Governments tend to seek to satisfy immediate national desires which are generally inconsistent with safeguarding the interests of future generations. This is particularly true where governments are elected for relatively short periods (for example, 2-5 years). Leaders are then motivated by the effective terms of their political tenure, or the comparable interval of some national plan. In addition, governments are staffed by individuals whose outer horizon of relevance is often bounded by their own death, or at most, by the life of their children or grandchildren. The notion that man's use of the earth is a sacred trust for future generations, although present in pre-industrial societies, has been lost in industrial societies.
Government policy frequently reflects pressure from the business community even when it is not the direct voice of that community. In the case of interest-payment defaults on international loans, lending banks, agencies and consortia influence governments to postpone settlement by authorizing and supporting the re-financing of nearly insolvent countries. This short-term solution is gambling with the entire world monetary system.