Among the topics Eckersley investigates is the question of what the mass of people actually like, want, prefer, and worry about, and whether (or not) and how (or how not) our dominant institutions care about and encasulate those actual desires.
Here is what Eckersley reports about the increasing advocacy of well-being indexes as a replacement for, or accompaniment to, GDP statistics. Such nice ideas, Eckersley suggests, do not go far enough:
Public perceptions of the future have been another dimension of my research. And I am not aware of any progress indicators that reflect the depth of people’s concern (which existed well before climate change gave it a tangible focus).— Richard Eckersley
Ordinary people, in other words, are far more worried about the future and desirous of macro-alternatives than any “happiness indicator” scales show. If, of course, one bothers to actually look.
That, alas, remains something very few thinkers, including the purported mavens of green consciousness, do.
Instead, among such would-be leaders, the phantasm of “consumerism” continues to trample this whole field of reality into a plane of hopeless hallucinatory mush.
TCT will say it again: “Consumer” analysis is barking up the wrong tree. The masses are already way more complex and thoughtful and open to hearing the news than their would-be saviors bother to know.
It is beyond high time for the arrival of an empirical perspective on off-the-job life in the modern world.