So the coolest thing in the world is happening to me, this week which is that I get to attend this conference of about 30 international thinkers on the questions of sustainability and consumption and cultural happiness (who let me in?). The title of the conference is "Do good lives have to cost the earth."
In other words, we're talking about whether the level of damage that we do to human health, happiness and security as it depends on our planetary habitat is a necessary evil in creating the good life. Or, is it possible that we can actually use fewer of our planetary resources and improve lives all at the same time?
If you've read this blog for any time at all, you know I believe the later--happier planet, happier people.
But what I wanted to share with you is a slide from a presentation by Nic Marks of the New Economics Foundation (a British think tank with the motto "we believe in economics as if people and the planet mattered), who are sponsoring the conference.
Basically, the data in red shows the subjective life satisfaction of individuals at different levels of resource consumption, which is shown in blue. As you can see, people tend to be just as happy whether they have a six or a one planet footprint.
That's great news, because it means, if this data is anything to go by, that we can substantially reduce our resource consumption and damage to our health, happiness and security as it depends on our planetary habitat, but still have a whopping good time (if, by the way, that is what you're having).
All we have to do now is convince the politicians, the corporations, the voters, and the super-elite who pull the strings of the fact.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.