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What makes Finland the world’s happiest country? (Prof. Danny Dorling) E909

On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Prof. Danny Dorling of Oxford University, author of ‘Finntopia: What We Can Learn From the World’s Happiest Country.’ He discusses some of the problems in Finland, such as gambling and racism, which the government is trying to tackle. He also talks about how Finland ranks in the top three of more than 100 different world happiness indexes, the country’s tough history and how this forced its citizens to come together, how left-wing unity in Finland has led them to become a dominant force in Finnish politics, how the nation’s education spending differs from that of other Western countries, policies which have led to the virtual ending of homelessness, how the UK is at the bottom of most rankings such as equality among European states, whereas Finland consistently remains at or near the top, and more! Finally, we speak to Prof. Jeffrey Shaman, director of the climate and health program at Columbia University. He discusses the possible effects of the climate on influenza viruses and coronavirus, why it’s significantly harder to forecast fatality with the Covid-19 pandemic due to atmospheric conditions and human behavior, how coronavirus may have innate seasonality, how winter could make the coronavirus more transmissible, the findings of studies which have looked into how atmospheric conditions affect the coronavirus, and much more!

STATEMENT ADDITION

STATEMENT FROM THE LEFT ALLIANCE: 

Left Alliance spokesperson: "There still is independent marginal Communist Party in Finland. Last elections it had under 1% support. I have not ever heard of ”former woman’s party”, and communist party or some woman’s party does not have anything to do with us.

Over 30 years ago there was a ”Finnish People's Democratic League”. A large coalition of different kind of leftist people. Former Communist Party of Finland was a part of that leftist coalition.

We The Left Alliance are now 30 years old party and we continue the heritage of Peoples Democratic League. We have more and more new young members every year. We are leftist, pro democratic and part of European green left. Important part of our ideology is to support the tradition of nordic welfare state and develop it. Of course gender equality is also important to us.” 

 STATEMENT FROM THE FINNISH EMBASSY IN THE UK: 

Finnish Embassy in London spokesperson: "Finland ranks as one of the most socially just countries in the world, and for the third year in a row, Finland is the happiest nation in the World Happiness Report, which ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. This is quite a remarkable story when you consider, that when Finland became independent 100 years ago, it was one of the Europe’s poorest countries.

"The secret to our happiness is simple. Since Finland has no significant natural resources, we have invested in the one resource we have – the people. Everyone’s potential is utilized, and today we have one of the most educated workforces in the world.

"Other factors behind our happiness include high level of trust in the society, good governance and a respectful attitude towards nature."

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