Gross National Happiness over GDP?

A country's philosophy on success

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Happy Thursday! That is unless you live in a country that prioritizes economic growth over gross population happiness as a measure of success. YES, there is a country that evaluates how well they’re doing based on collective happiness and it’s called the Kingdom of Bhutan. However, there are criticisms based on Bhutan’s past of ethnic cleansing but today, we will just introduce Gross National Happiness as an idea.

What is the Gross National Happiness Index?

Gross National Happiness (GNH) is the idea of measuring societal progress based on communal well-being and social good. There are four pillars of GNH:

1) Sustainability

2) Sustainable socio-economic growth

3) Preservation and promotion of culture & diversity

4) Good governance

Does it work?

GNH is a relatively new idea. Introduced in 1970 as a “holistic approach to economic development”, GNH has not gotten much daylight (surprising). That’s because happiness is subjective and although there are arguably objective ways of measuring happiness like income, education, and community, we just don’t know how precise they are as metrics.

Regardless, there are movements today that are pushing for the idea to be considered when it comes to determining whether a social policy is good i.e. GNHUSA. And the idea sounds interesting because at the end of the day, wouldn’t you call a happy life a successful life?

Happy National Stress Awareness Day

A calming post...before the storm

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Happy National Stress Awareness Day. The perfect day to call in sick in protest of getting slammed by your project manager. So in light of this, today we’re going to talk about something a little less stress inducing: the climate apocalypse.

The pros (and cons) of climate preparedness

As a generally positive person, I don’t believe in the climate apocalypse. However, in light of the White House Administration officially beginning the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Accord, I do believe that, as the sole species responsible for accelerating the increase of the global temperature, we need to take more action in re-mediating potentially catastrophic effects. The truth is, we don’t know how things will unfold and we can only make predictions based on modern data experiments that are precise to a certain degree of uncertainty.

Now, run on sentences aside, it’s important to weigh our outcomes. The best case scenario, when it comes to climate change preparedness, is we over-estimate the climate effects and we end up with amazing technology that prepares us for unlimited catastrophic storms and droughts. Technology that can genuinely improve our quality of life. On the other hand, the worst case scenario is we’re dead in the water - because we’re not prepared for anything. So when one looks at it this way, there’s so much to gain.

The Rebel Alliance

In light of the White House Administration pulling out from the Paris Agreement, over two dozen US governors/politicians formed a bi-partisan coalition called the United States Climate Alliance and pledged to uphold the goals stated in the agreement. A rebellion against the White House’s withdrawal and great initiative that places the United States as a beacon for technological innovation. This is why I remain positive and why you should as well because there are still people that care about our global image and are willing to put some skin into the game and take personal responsibility. So I implore you to lead and succeed with us.

What you can do

Donate a tree! #TeamTrees

Join your local Citizen’s Climate Lobby

India's air quality is hazardous to their population

A quick look into the effects of rapid industrialization in India

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Welcome to Bedside News. In Tuesday’s edition, we look into how India’s population is dealing with the effects of rapid industrialization and how their leaders are dealing with their disgustingly polluted air quality.

India’s pollution problem

Due to the rapid industrialization efforts of India’s elites and farmers’ crop burning, Northern India’s air quality recently received the worst air quality index score possible: a hazardous health concern level.

So just how bad is this?

A hazardous health concern level means that everyone in the polluted region is going to have serious health concerns. This could mean respiratory system irritation, asthma, lung infection, or permanent damage of lung tissue. Some studies have found that Northern India’s air quality has SEVEN times more dangerous particles in the air than in Beijing.

Here’s what that looks like.

A New Delhi expressway on Saturday.

The photo source is from Anushree Fadnavis/Reuters and I also attached an NYTimes article link in the photo.

The legislative response to this? License plates.

If your license plate ends in an even or odd number, then you can only drive on even or odd days. It’s a bold and simple solution. I would like to hear from whoever came up with this solution on how they would save more water in California.

Organic food is worse for the environment & Elon donates 1 million trees

Thursday News

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Boy, do I got some news for you guys today. Here’s the scoop:

  1. Elon Musk evolves into Treelon (donates 1 million trees)

  2. Organic food is actually worse for the environment

Lord of the Tree Rings

Elon Musk (AKA Treelon on Twitter)

just donated 1 million dollars to the #TeamTrees cause. That’s 1 million trees! #Teamtrees surpassed 10 million trees yesterday in just four days. Want to be a part of the movement? Check it out @ teamtrees.org.

Pièce de résistance - Organic farming is worse for the environment

Although some research suggests that organic foods may be a tad healthier for you, the practice itself is worse for the environment. A recent study showed that if all of England and Wales converted to organic farming practices, it would cut direct greenhouse emissions of livestock by 5% and crop growing by 20%. However, it would slash food yield, increase land use from 16% to 33%, and Britons would have to rely on importing foods in order to meet their growing hunger demand. Overall, carbon emissions would increase by 21%! On average, a non-organic farm produces 40% more yield than its organic counterpart. This is because organic farms need much more land in order to grow foods, they need to rotate crops (like soy beans) that will inject nitrogen into the soil, and organic animals take a longer time to plump up.

So if we’re looking to become a greener society, we have to develop better sustainable farming practices. We have to develop practices that wouldn’t rely on using more land for agriculture and new methods like plant probiotics that will produce more nitrogen rich soil.

A look back: 346 people died for the rich to get richer

Reflecting on the Boeing 737 Max crashes

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In light of some of the news I normally talk about getting a bit dry, I am going to rant a little on the 737 Max accidents that happened earlier this year.

Today, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg was grilled by Congress for not adequately communicating the MCAS and setting pilots up to fail. A little background on this for those of you that are unfamiliar: Boeing’s managerial staff emphasized profits over safety when it came to the 737 Max design and 346 people died as a result of that. Three hundred and forty six. I want us all to let that sink in for a moment.

Boeing’s managerial staff made a conscious decision that their loyal, hardworking, and paying customers were not worth more than the fat bonus checks that they would receive once they shipped the 737 Max. I understand that we live in a capitalist world but we should not forget that capitalism is human driven and a business model that neglects their customers is one that fails. A business without customers is just an idea.

If you happen to work in the aerospace or defense industry, I implore you to consider the moral ramifications of your decisions. No matter the pressure you’re getting from your managers, stay true to fighting for your moral beliefs because that gives you the high ground (and we all know what happens once you have the high ground).

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