Intergenerational Equity – Jen Park

In yesterday’s class, Professor Williams brought up the new term of “Intergenerational Equity”. Like many other students in this class, this is my first experience learning about the issue of Sustainable Development, thus many of the terms and concepts discussed are new to me. I particularly found this term interesting, as I have personally found that the actions of many companies and even the government at times focus more on temporary “band aid” solutions, rather than taking a long term perspective, and identifying the root of the problem in order to prevent difficulties in the future. The question of whether a short term perspective, where one will solve current issues without consideration of its future impacts is the more appropriate route to take as opposed to looking at the long run, and considering how actions taken today will impact society, the environment etc. in the future should be considered. One can refer back to a concept used by Karl Marx; “Self interest”. I feel that we live in a world where people are in the pursuit of one’s own well being, and if it means putting other people at risk then so be it. The case discussed in today’s class in regards to the droughts in Australia, I feel served as a perfect example. In my mind, I felt as though the politicians were more concerned about getting the extra votes from the rural community which represented a large proportion of the population, and were therefore looking out for their own self interest rather than taking care of the people of the nation as a whole, which is what they are being elected to do. In order to ensure and foster the creation of integenerational equity, we must always take on a long term perspective and carefully analyse how actions taken at the present, will affect the future if we are to preserve the well being of our future generations to come.

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3 comments on “Intergenerational Equity – Jen Park
  1. lixia says:

    It is my mission to protect environment. After 7 years worked in coal company, i realized the importance of sustainable development. about intergenerational equity, i want to say that i could do any job for my son, mayby becouse i am his mother. they also have the right to get natural resourses to survive in this plante.

  2. lixia says:

    There is one old chinese saying ‘但留方寸土,留于子孙耕’. According to traditional chinese culture, the land is the most important assets for people. This old say means that we should save one piece of land, leave it to our offspring for culturing. Maybe this is the evidence from old east country to support the intergenerational equity.

  3. jeremy says:

    Lixia, I think that in most societies around the world there will be some element of their culture where a high value is placed upon conservation and looking after the future, so I am not in the least bit surprised by the old chinese saying … although I must say my Mandarin is a bit rusty 😉

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