Thursday, December 6, 2007

Good News

A fact for today from a report by the Worldwatch Institute:

Wealth in the US has doubled since 1957, yet the number of people who say they are very happy has remained the same.

More isn't making us happier, any more.

That's extremely good news on a planet with billions of people whose basic needs are not met and whose life support systems are faltering. It means that we in the rich world can afford to share. We could use our wealth to restore ecosystems, help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change, invest in clean energy, all without 'giving away' something essential to our happiness.

All the statistics can do is point to the potential - that plowing some of our wealth into the communities of our brothers and sisters (human and non-human) wouldn't make us unhappy, and might in fact lift our spirits.

From Global Green Grants to Heifer International to Oxfam and American Friends Service Committee there are all sorts of ways to test this hypothesis, both near and far from home.

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