Saturday, September 26, 2015

Balancing Social Economic and Environmental Issues

Balancing Social Economic and Environmental Issues

Social, economic and environmental issues, especially when related to development are three elements often found in conflict. Adding political will to the equation regularly lead to an extended period of paralysis by analysis and navel gazing in finding an acceptable balance if ever.

As society has correctly become more environmentally conscious, some sectors within the broader community are inflamed with what can be described as ideological fundamentalism and a anti-development mindset. These well organized and dedicated minorities dominate the debate and political decision making process. The silent majority by its very silence is subjugated.

Regardless of the many social and economic benefits a development may deliver, overreaching environmental objection often results in lost opportunity.

No one can afford to ignore the importance of environmental protection, especially in what is an increasingly shrinking planet. But neither can we as a species ignore that we are also an indivisible part of that natural environment. Along with that truism we must consider the realities of the social and economic structure that supports us.

While current and future generations should work to guarantee environmental stability the same demand applies to social and economic security. This will require a pragmatic approach in balancing our expectations between these three elements along with the political will to resolve the challenges, make informed decisions and implement a way forward.

The reality of modern day politics is that it has predominantly become a profession immersed in the maintenance and pursuit of power influenced by public opinion. The silent majority while comfortable in privately expressing its opinion must find its public voice and engage with government in expressing its expectations forcing government to act in a manner based on the principle of majority interest and wellbeing.

In a balanced society all relevant points of view should be equally weighed and measured to determine a realistic course of action. Our elected political representatives should be reminded that without an equitable balance between these three critical challenges, collapse of our social structure becomes a real possibility.

Change may prove difficult, perhaps even an anathema to some, but change remains an inevitable journey connecting our past and potential future. Having the courage to accept this inevitability and acting accordingly will determine what that future brings.

© 2015 Bob Janssen | 

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