But given continuing environmental harm, burgeoning populations all over the world, and the ever increasing size of human interventions in nature (larger dams, larger swaths of forest cleared for reaching oil sands, deeper mines), there is a likelihood that any choice that is potentially harmful to the environment and communities may have much larger consequences than in the past. However, it seems as if powerful interests are willing to increase monetary compensations so long as they can function viably. For example, the BP-Macondo Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico led to BP setting aside $20 billion to deal with settlement claims and cleaning the oil.
On an episode of Speaking of Faith (now known as Being), Jean Vanier talked about how it is essential that we lives our lives and make decisions with those most vulnerable among us at the centre of the decisions. Vanier gave the example of a new born child - the child is the most vulnerable member of a family or group, and once it exists, our decision making must accommodate the needs of this being. It is fascinating how this creature, although completely incapable of doing anything on its own, can control an entire group, its minds and hearts. This seems to throw a huge wrench in the Pareto way of thinking. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to how our governments and corporations make decisions today, it is the interests of not the most vulnerable among us, but the interests of the most powerful among us that are front and centre. Indeed, the Pareto condition is centred around those that are already well off compared to most of the rest. And then, there are the silent - nature and other living beings, who are potentially more vulnerable than the most vulnerable humans. What if we were to consider the interests of nature and ecosystems in the Pareto condition? If we are to constantly improve people's lives, can we do so without making the provider worse off?