The United States may be #1 in GDP (that's gross domestic product for those of you who, like me, don't pay much attention to that stuff), we fell short in HPI -- Happy Planet Index. The HPI, thought up by the New Economics Foundation, is a way to measure something other than how many products and services a country has to offer. The index measures environmental sustainability relative to well-being. In other words, how many resources does a nation use to ensure the well-being of its citizens? While it may not be fool proof, it is interesting. Costa Rica, with its rich bio-diversity and environmental saavy, ranked #1 out of 143 countries. Zimbabwe ranked #143. And the US? Not so good. We only ranked 112. That's behind Russia and Cuba. Iceland, my favorite country and one I always considered to be particularly protective of their environment, only ranked #94.
Read more at //http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2009/new-york-times-07-06-2009.html