This note is a part of my Zettelkasten. What is below might not be complete or accurate. It is also likely to change often.
22nd July, 2020


When taking decisions on distribution of finite resources, it is important to keep fairness in mind. Fairness should be considered for not just humans, animals also.

These are some aspects of fairness to consider:

Social and Ecological Justice

Inequality is a huge problem in the world and in India. When examining the cause and effect of unsustainable practices, we have to examine who is most responsible for the cause and who is effected the most by its effect. Ecological/Environmental Justice is an idea to address this disbalance.

  • The poorest bear the most cost/impact of the problem of unsustainability.
    • Tribals in the forests
    • Fishermen using rivers and ponds
  • The rich are the most responsible. They own the factories and have use the majority of resources.
  • All other life suffers from humans taking over.

Time-bound lens of fairness

  • Intra-generational Fairness

Within one generation, how are different groups of people affected by unsustainable behaviour

  • Inter-generational Fairness

We have to examine how our our actions going to effect future generations. In certain North American tribes, when taking a decision about the forest, they would imagine 7 generations of unborn children participating in that discussion and sharing their concerns. We often fall for the bias of Hyperbolic discounting when thinking about the effect of our actions (or inaction).

Fairness and perspectices

  • Fairness for one group of humans might not be fair to another
    • Our connection to the group also defines how we feel about that fairness
  • Animals, plants and insects deserve fairness too

Fairness in cooperation

  • Elinor Ostrum's research suggests that fairness is essential for people to mobilize to solve challenges.
  • Unfairness and Inequality leads to social unrest.