Young people are often heralded for their good intentions and their love of social causes. What we're less experienced with, like all humans, is multiple-stage planning—the kind of forethought it takes to anticipate not just what to do, but the unintended consequences of doing it.
The issues we're most passionate about—or afraid of—are the hardest to see clearly. For example, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was dismissive of those who point out "the costs" of combating climate change.
Her certainty that anticipated problems years down the road necessitate immediate sacrifice ignores the principle of unseen consequences. It feels good to advocate for immediate, sweeping change, but the costs—the trade-offs—of implementing long-term climate plans would be near-term tragedy for millions around the world.
The Fallacy of Good Intentions
Reality doesn't bend to good intentions. If we fail to consider the secondary and unseen effects of even our well-meaning actions, our grand plans can make things much worse.