Planning as presently conceived cannot resolve the problems of environmental degradation and conflict. Planning as an institution contributes to the economic and ethical deficiencies of the broader resource allocation system. There is a basic misfit between the nature of the environmental problem and traditional planning theory and practice. The reasons for the failure of planning as an institution are systemic and lie deeply rooted in the institutional and methodological infrastructure of planning itself. Concepts of traditional planning stem from anachronistic social values and ideologies. They derive from the very power-based morality that brought about environmental problems in the first place and are shaped by an ethic of dominance. This engenders anthropocentric and instrumentalist concepts through which resources are construed as having value only to the extent that they can be exploited for human purposes. It leads to planning structures and practices that favour special interests over the good of society as a whole in any resource allocation decision. It legitimizes the conversion of environmental goods to private profit and the management of the subsequent conflict over resource distribution. In this sense it is conflict generating as a result of the progressive alienation of the public domain to special interests which reduces meaningful social choice and personal freedom, making more social and environmental conflict inevitable. In this sense planning is a wealth distribution process without a relevant normative basis, structure, or conceptual framework that can comprehend or resolve the fundamental ethical issues at stake. The existing decision-making concepts and processes reinforce economic inefficiencies and inequities, generate risk and conflict, and close off future options. A fundamental bias against environment protection and conflict prevention can be traced ultimately to the patriarchal values which underpin planning theory.