The John James Newsletter. <131>

John James Newsletter0

The John James Newsletter 131

3 August 2016

The misguided policy that gears our country to an arms economy which was bred by an artificually induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured on an incessant propaganda of fear

General Douglas MacArthur, 1951

The Happy Planet Index 

The HPI is a measure of sustainable wellbeing. It combines four elements – wellbeing, life expectancy, inequality of outcomes, and ecological footprint. It aims to show how efficiently residents of different countries are using environmental resources to lead long, happy lives. No G8 country appears in the top 30. The UK ranks 34th but it still comes out ahead of France (44th) and Germany (49th). For all of its grand-standing of exceptionalism and global lecturing, America limps in at a thoroughly miserable 108th.

The overall results highlight success stories in Latin America and Asia Pacific, where residents enjoy relatively high and equally distributed life expectancy and wellbeing, while leaving a smaller ecological footprint than other more advanced economies. It might surprise you to now that the tiny tropical nation of Costa Rica made it to the number one position – for the third time in a row. In Costa Rica, people are living longer, and are more satisfied with life than people living in all western societies. What really sets the country apart is that it has managed to combine long, happy lives with an environmental impact that’s little more than one third (per capita) of the USA’s.

You might ask how it has achieved such wellbeing. For a start, it abolished its army in 1949. Costa Rica then reallocated its entire defence budget to funding better quality education, health and pensions. In Britain, that would equate to about £55 billion every year, in the USA about $600 billion. There has been a culture of forming solid social networks of friends, families and neighbourhoods and this has proved to be an invaluable factor contributing to Costa Rican’s high levels of overall wellbeing. Costa Rica also stands out as a world leader when it comes to environmental protection. It has just managed to achieve over 95% of its electricity from renewable sources and the government is way ahead of all other wealthier nations, having committed the country to becoming completely carbon neutral by 2021.

An interactive map

Ecuador Legislates Rights of Nature in its Constitution

Rather than treating nature as property under the law, Rights for Nature acknowledge that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.  And we – the people –  have the legal authority to enforce these rights on behalf of ecosystems.  The ecosystem itself can be named as the defendant.

A Decade of Evidence Demonstrates The Dramatic Failure Of Globalisation

A terrible litany of decline and failure in freedom, education, nourishment and safety around the world during the past ten years. The world is being battered by wave after wave of crisis with aggression and fear from battle between states and corporations over natural resources. The principle of globalisation is now a win-at-all-costs scenario. The result of the sheer scale of conflict of interest, a piratical banking system, a fully controlled media and the creeping colonisation of nations by corporate domination is that over 70% of the entire wealth of continental Europe is now in the hands of 5% of the people. 

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