If markets are types of "information systems", how do they assist in the attainment of a future common objective that is beneficial or even necessary to a society? Since markets are driven by individual needs and wants, are such future planning objectives beyond the scope of markets? So, if markets are inherently short sighted, does that mean we are at the mercy of fate when it comes to large scale global problems that evolve over decades?
Of course markets can be shortsighted. The same problem can apply to any institution though. In order to correct a market failure using government it's necessary to appeal to the self interest of various interest groups, which may end up putting you back in square one.
Market are fundamentally not short sighted. One of the most basic concept in finance is the NPV, or net present value which is obtained by discounting future cash flow.
So yes, investors prefer to see the returns of their investments today rather than tomorrow, just like any rational individual, but they inherently account for future events, both costs and profits
In short, yes markets are short sighted because they only price goods and services in the here and now. They lack the mechanisms to measure the lifecycle costs of the goods, the degradation of wildlife that we obtain through hunting and fishing, the loss of soil depletion via farming and the opportunity cost of what could have been done with money squandered on consumption and so on.
The decline of the coral reef or the wild Salmon population does not make it into price discovery.