As power and wealth become concentrated or at least appear to, Sean and Svetlana Citizen rely on the State to stand between them and the excesses of entrepreneurship.
The planning process is one mechanism citizens depend on in that occasionally fraught relationship. Businesses and individuals can dismiss it as either an intrusion or ineffective tokenism — depending on whether it rules for or against them.
The Bord Pleanála decision to support two solar farms in Cork will hardly endear the process to those who opposed the developments yet the decisions highlight a far bigger issue — our unwillingness to accept initiatives climate change inevitably forces upon us.
Opponents of one of the farms argued it was set in a high-value landscape and would profoundly alter its rural character. That may well be the case but because of our refusal to meet nearly all our climate change aversion obligations that argument no longer holds water.
We all will have to embrace fundamental change, especially around energy generation, if the consequences of climate change are to be minimised.