mercoledì 18 giugno 2008

The “Boomerang” Effect

The relations between mankind and environment, between a territory and the community living in, create two strictly interconnected systemic dimensions rather than two clearly distinct ones. Environmental movements and leaders and scientific literature have produced a remarkable quantity of information and studies about the human impact over the environment: yet the human impact over the environment and the impact of this modified environment over the humans cannot be separately evaluated but they must be always simultaneously analyzed. An analysis about the environmental transformation and modification should be accompanied and supported by a deep understanding of the underlying modification occurring within the individual, collective and economic/non economic organizational dimension: in brief humanity modifies environment being simultaneously modified by the environment through a continuing process. These rather obvious considerations are essentially directed to criticize above all many local politicians who are often very interested in short term issues having little concern about mid-long term issues. Certain options producing small improvements in the short run may generate severe negative impacts in the long run whose costs will be paid by future generations and whose management will be a problem for the next administrators (by the way: this the real trick in politics). This rule can be applied either for the opening of a new supermarket in a rural village or for the construction of a big highway when only focusing on present (usually monetary) benefits with scarce or no consideration for future discomforts and problems. It is not necessary to cite studies and researches: what I want to emphasize is that the territory where we live doesn’t passively bear our injuries. The degradation we are producing everyday returns to us with a boomerang effect not only as natural resources’ degradation but also as degradation in the quality of the individual psycho-physical equilibrium, in the quality of the social relations, the relations between people and space, and those relations between people and institutions. Territorial degradation is always accompanied by an ethic degradation. As an example, many people paradoxically tend to consider big malls as “public spaces” rather than town places. What is happening outside my door is not my business…

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