Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

4 Jul 2020

Fairness, equity and sustainability

Posted by Michael Keating

The pandemic has forced us to face some unpleasant realities about the unsustainability of our world. For many years, I’ve written about widespread environmental degradation. Now we are seeing the harsh side of economic and social unsustainability. A story this spring said the richest Americans increased by $434 billion since the pandemic lockdown began in March. At the same time, millions of people were out of work, struggling to feed their families and pay their mortgages. Food banks were swamped with demand. Businesses were struggling and many were failing. In a number of countries, such as Canada, the majority of COVID-19 deaths have been in long-term care homes. Other groups that suffer more illness and death from the pandemic include the poor, the homeless and migrant farm workers, some of whom are crowded into dormitories where it is impossible to keep a safe space. The Brundtland report said we need environmental, economic and social sustainability together. As governments seek a post-pandemic development pathway they have an opportunity to create a cleaner, healthier and secure future. But, they will have to retire some old ideas about the marketplace solving society’s problems.

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