No, wait a minute. Another survey says Poland is the 114th. Surely some mistake?
It gets worse. The World Map of Happiness compiled by the University of Leicester claims that the happiest country in the world is Denmark. But the Happy Planet Index (snigger) by tree huggers at the New Economic Foundation reckons that the happiest country in the world is… Vanuatu!
Vanuatu – it’s a little island in the Pacific somewhere.
What’s more, the Happy Planet Index thinks that Columbia is second happiest. So, it looks like being permanently in a state of low level war, with drug gangs running amuck and the US bearing down on it as part of its War on Drugs is making Columbians deliriously happy!
Or maybe it’s all that coke?
What kind of bull is this, I hear you ask?
The happy, earnest people at the Happy Planet Index claim:
‘The Happy Planet Index is an innovative new measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives. The results are surprising, even shocking, but there is much to learn from what they show.‘
No, the results are not ‘shocking’ they are just silly. Linking the slippery concept of happiness to ecological efficiency is ludicrous.
The psychologists at Leicester University responsible for the World Map of Happiness say:
‘The meta-analysis is based on the findings of over 100 different studies around the world, which questioned 80,000 people worldwide. For this study data has also been analyzed in relation to health, wealth and access to education.
Whilst collecting data on subjective well-being is not an exact science, the measures used are very reliable in predicting health and welfare outcomes.‘
Again, ‘predicting health and welfare outcomes’ is nothing to do with measuring happiness.
Two daft studies both published in July prove nothing about happiness except that academics and Green campaigners have become obsessed with trying to make you and me ‘happy’.
The final insult to a grumpy old git like me, who would rather these people left us alone, is the news that British schools are to introduce happiness classes at school.
And that makes me very unhappy indeed.