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TED Talk – Nic Marks

TEDx events always include some of the TED Talk videos. Nic Marks’ talk is on the Happy Planet Index. All today’s talks are being videoed, and will be uploaded to the TEDx Youtube channel in about two weeks.

Martin Luther King did not say “I have a nightmare”, but “I have a dream”, and towards the end of his life, “I know there are challenges ahead, but I fear no-one. I have been to the mountain top, and I have seen the Promised Land”. For too long, we have focused on the problems and the worst case scenario, and used fear to grab people’s attention. But fear is linked to the fight and flight mechanism, and it’s counterproductive. So the environmental movement needs to start thinking about progress, and wrest the definition of ‘progress’ away from the economists.

Robert F Kennedy said that “the Gross National Product measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile”. GNP is nowhere near as important as happiness and health to people, so why aren’t statisticians measuring these things. And any measure has to include the planet and scarcity of resources. Good lives shouldn’t cost the earth. Costa Rica is the happiest nation on the planet and has a higher life expectancy than the US, on the quarter of the resources used in the western world. The future might be Latin American.

Watch the talk to find out how Nic thinks we could create a Happy Planet.