Week 2

Unit 2. Processes and framing

The discussion on processes and framing at one stage spoke of the evolution in decision making over the last fifty or so years when environmental issues made an entry on to the public policy stage. One of the readings also spoke of the types of decision making or the bases for decision making being scienceitific, consensus and economic. This made me wonder about what the decision making criteria may be in the future. I think that ‘survival’ based decision making could join scientific, consensus and economic as one of the bases of decision making in the future. In the face of climate change, we have seen policy makers ignore the science. In the face of climate change, we have seen policy makers, for example the current Australian government, ignore international consensus on climate policy. In the face of climate change, we have seen the current Australian government ignore the economic benefits of renewable energy to address climate change and favour fossil fuels. At some point, policy makers with these positions will have to make decisions about survival – of communities, of cities, of states and of countries, like small Pacific Island states.

The unit also reminded me of the need to not take a simplistic approach to addressing environmental issues. You must deep dive into the data, perspectives, opinions, needs and so on to come up with all of the information you need to make informed decisions. In the age of uncertainty, it is also important to reocognise that there may be unintended consequences and these need to be recognised as being a part of the the process rather than a failure (as a political environment wold have us see).

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