Sunday, April 19, 2009

4 Nations Happier than the US With Half the Carbon Emissions

Although it may come as a surprise, research shows a larger carbon footprint doesn't lead to happiness.
Actually, my guess is that if you did a scatter plot of all the countries you would actually see a correlation between larger carbon footprints and happiness. But, I think the more important point is that it is possible to have a high level of happiness with a much smaller carbon footprint.
While the United States ranks near the top of both per capita and aggregate carbon emissions, it's not in the top 10 when it comes to happiness. In fact, many nations ranked happier than the U.S. also tread much more lightly on the planet.
I have called for the US to follow the Danish energy model before, and based on the results of this survey, I do so again. One could also make a case that Columbia wins the well-being return on natural resource contest, with just a slightly lower happiness ranking and a carbon footprint 1/7th that of Denmark.

And kudos to TreeHugger for shrinking the graphic to a size that makes the text illegible with no link to a larger image.

via TreeHugger via Odograph

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