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Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world | World news A series of hand-painted signs dot the side of the winding mountain road that runs between the airport and the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu. Instead of commands to cut speed or check mirrors, they offer the traveller a series of life-affirming mantras. "Life is a journey! Complete it!" says one, while another urges drivers to, "Let nature be your guide". Another, standing on the edge of a perilous curve, simply says: "Inconvenience regretted." It's a suitably uplifting welcome to visitors to this remote kingdom, a place of ancient monasteries, fluttering prayer flags and staggering natural beauty. Since 1971, the country has rejected GDP as the only way to measure progress. For the past three decades, this belief that wellbeing should take preference over material growth has remained a global oddity. At the same time, placing the natural world at the heart of public policy has led to environmental protection being enshrined in the constitution.

Gross National Happiness Commission - The Planning Commission of Bhutan, Development for Happiness Bolivia enshrines natural world's rights with equal status for Mother Earth | Environment Bolivia is set to pass the world's first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country's rich mineral deposits as "blessings" and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry. The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered. "It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all", said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. But the abstract new laws are not expected to stop industry in its tracks.

Flow e Psicologia Positiva: Seu blog sobre felicidade, saúde, amor, realização e tudo o que faz a vida valer a pena. Revista Época – Edição Especial – fevereiro de 2014 Na Revista Época (Edição Especial) desta semana, saiu uma matéria sobre pessimismo chamada “O poder do copo meio vazio”. E eu fui convidado para dar uma entrevista. Calma, pessoal, quero deixar claro que: 1) Não, não tive um surto psicótico (pelo menos por enquanto). 2) Não, não virei a casaca. 3) Não, não fui para o lado negro da força, caro Skywalker. A matéria está baseada em um livro recém-publicado chamado Manual Antiautoajuda e eu fui entrevistado justamente para contrapor o pensamento do autor, que defende a ideia de que o pessimismo é mais útil que o otimismo. Inicialmente, algumas considerações: 1) O autor deste livro não é psicólogo nem cientista, é jornalista. 2) Suas ideias contrariam CENTENAS de pesquisas COMPROVANDO CIENTIFICAMENTE que o otimismo é benéfico para a saúde física, mental, social e melhora a desempenho no trabalho. Agora um esclarecimento importante: A Psicologia Positiva NÃO é a doutrina do pensamento positivo!

In Bhutan, Gross National Happiness Trumps Gross National Product THIMPHU, Bhutan—This secluded Buddhist kingdom uses a unique barometer to measure economic progress. And the message of the 2015 Gross National Happiness Index is a troubling one: Money isn’t buying enough contentment. Tucked high in the Himalayas between India and China, Bhutan was poor and largely closed to foreigners when its fourth king declared, in the 1970s, that “gross national happiness” was more important than gross domestic product, or GDP. Never mind that tourism and hydropower have more recently lifted incomes and fueled development. So Bhutan’s happiness surveyors think it’s worth asking a few questions. “How much do you trust your neighbors?” “Is lying justifiable?” “Do you feel like a stranger in your family?” The index also surveys knowledge of artisan skills such as embroidery, carpentry and papermaking. Bhutan, population 750,000, still feels like a place out of time. In the meantime, his philosophy inspired others around the globe. Why the disconnect?

United States How’s Life? The United States performs very well in overall measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index. Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In the United States, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 38 001 USD a year, more than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year. In terms of employment, 67% of people aged 15 to 64 in the United States have a paid job, slightly above the OECD employment average of 66%. Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in the United States is almost 79 years, one year lower than the OECD average of 80 years.

A World Without People - In Focus For a number of reasons, natural and human, people have recently evacuated or otherwise abandoned a number of places around the world -- large and small, old and new. Gathering images of deserted areas into a single photo essay, one can get a sense of what the world might look like if humans were to vanish from the planet altogether. Collected here are recent scenes from nuclear-exclusion zones, blighted urban neighborhoods, towns where residents left to escape violence, unsold developments built during the real estate boom, ghost towns, and more. [41 photos] Use j/k keys or ←/→ to navigate Choose: A tree grows from the top of a chimney in an abandoned factory yard in Luque, on the outskirts of Asuncion, Paraguay, on October 2 , 2011. A bust of Confucius rests at an abandoned workshop in the town of Dangcheng in Quyang county, 240 km (150 miles) southwest of Beijing, on December 7, 2011. Ivy grows over a street in Tomioka town, Fukushima, northeastern Japan, on August 19, 2011. Institute of Design at Stanford Measuring national well-being: Life in the UK - Office for National Statistics Overall national well-being has improved. Of the 43 assessments of change, 17 have improved, 8 have deteriorated and 11 stayed the same, compared with 3 years earlier. The majority of improvements relate to objective measures of national well-being such as the unemployment rate, while the majority of measures assessed as “deteriorated” are subjective measures, such as satisfaction with health, for both periods examined. Satisfaction with health in the UK fell from 66.3% in the financial year ending 2011 to 57.8% in the financial year ending 2014. The number of crimes against the person fell from 82 per 1000 adults in the financial year ending 2012 in the UK to 57 per 1000 adults in the financial year ending 2015. Net national disposable income per head increased in the UK from £22,487 in 2011 to £22,786 in 2014 and the proportion finding it difficult to cope financially fell from 11.6% to 9.1% between financial years ending 2011 and 2014. Back to table of contents Also released today: Notes:

How Happy Is Bhutan, Really? Gross National Happiness Unpacked Mandy/CC BY 2.0 If you haven't already read, in the run-up to the Rio+20 environmental conference (the event roughly six weeks away now) the UN has been highlighting the importance of moving beyond GDP as the end-all-be-all measurement of national progress. Towards that it's highlighting the World Happiness Report, with the research done by the folks at Columbia University's Earth Institute. Hidden away at the end of that report (the entirety of which is worth reading, for those of the appropriately wonky inclination), is a case study of Bhutan and its development of the Gross National Happiness metric. Here at TreeHugger we've mentioned this many times, in cataloguing all the better and greener ways of measuring the economy than GDP, and GNH has a certain cache within the green movement and social justice movement more broadly. As far as how GNH is defined, the report says that though there is no single definition, the most widely used definition is: So what's the tally?