With low oil prices, the Conservative party believes that we must put aside our concerns about climate change because maximizing profitability in the oil sector is more important. I have seen similar comments regarding Peter Bevan-Baker’s proposed Well-Being Measurement Act: that we shouldn’t spend time changing the way we measure progress while there are people going hungry.
Quite the opposite is true. People are dropping through the cracks of a society that is failing them because success is measured by the almighty dollar. GDP, and other measures of economic success, count activities such as forest clear-cutting, clear-cut reforesting, fracking, highway straightening, cuts to government services, and school closures, on the positive side of the ledger.
The negative effect on the environment and our quality of life, the effect on an individual’s ability to make ends meet, and the long-term damage we are leaving for our children to clean up, are not accounted for. Perhaps, just perhaps, changing the metrics that we use to measure success will steer us in a better direction.