The successful implementation of pollution abatement technology is quickly forgotten and examples of any failures feature in the press as a confirmation of the bias. Technologies with questionable sustainability credentials are nevertheless welcomed. Even though the costs of getting closer to the ideal increases with every step, costs no longer seem to feature in the debate at the risk of societal regression in other areas.
In the meantime, human development progresses in every area imaginable. We live longer, food has become cheaper, our mobility has increased and we have more leisure time. Poverty, decease, inequality and violence have all reduced. This will undeniably increase our pressure on the environment. How do we manage that pressure effectively? How will we be with our planet?
A conflict-3 perspective avoids the difficult questions and thus maintains the status quo that it tries to break. It is driven by shame and doesn’t pursue environmental protection at the expense of personal comfort. In Conflict 3 the importance of environmental protection is stressed as absolute, but our monetary system allocates a much lower value to it. To break away from this cycle, the cumulative nature of pollution needs to be acknowledged as does the shared nature of responsibility. We owe a great deal to the advances of technology and the efficiency of industrial processes, not to mention the creatively of each of us to help us forward. Ultimately, it is about living together on a shared planet.