Roth and true success

The question I found most interesting in Roth’s case study was “what is considered a success?”, especially in a field that has so much to do with the environment and human relation. The case study described the effect and relations between the government and the people in regards to flood safety and the relocation of peoples. The specific case involved protecting the land from significant river discharge that is thought to come in the future. Although the plan implemented by the government could be considered a success on the flood safety standpoint in the long term, it brings up the question of if it was a success for the citizens as a whole. 

The case study brings up a specific instance where the people of the land were given a decision rather than the government, who is normally the decision maker. This decision was whether to move from the polder or to stay, which, according to the study, had a variety of different effects on the farming community in the region. In the “Moving or Staying?” Section in the case study, Roth describes different scenarios that these farmer families are going through. Although these families come from the same place, their situations vary greatly and while some families gain immensely from this change others pay the price. 

The section brings up a point I never thought of before in regards to farming and that is the need for time. Farms, according to the case study, take around 50 years to turn a profit that is sustainable. This requires a successor for the older generation which is not necessarily easy to find. Each family, along with their children, have different wants and needs ranging from relocating the farm to leaving the farming field entirely. 

I believe that in the grand scheme of things this is a success. Although families have to make tough decisions now, the future is secure for their offspring to safely inhabit and sustainably farm the land. The needs of the people in the present should have priorities in some cases but I feel that in terms of safety and landscape management this change is a necessity.  


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