U.N. Agenda 21 and ICLEI in Pittwater


Property Owners really need to think about this.

Spuriousness of the precautionary principle


nvironmentalists have a powerful weapon against science. It is called the precautionary principle. The precautionary principle is that "where there are threats of a serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation".

 The principle is in fact almost an oxymoron. Even a stranger to science will find it hard to think that scientists always search for scientific certainty before acting. Most scientists will agree that where there is a threat of serious or irreversible environmental damage, preventive measures should not be postponed provided that:

 (a) the threat is real or at least probable;

(b) preventive measures are possible, and;

(c) the likely damage warrants the cost of prevention.

 The first premise of the precautionary principle cannot be reached without dispassionate scientific investigation. Hence the principle is practically useless as a basis for rationally responding to environmental problems.

 In practice, though, the principle allows subjective doomsday alarmism to trump evidence. In the arena of public opinion, dispassionate and reasoned argument is hardly a match for doomsday rhetoric.
 The irony is that doomsday may be hastened more by blinkered green fundamentalism than by objective and balanced scientific investigation that takes account of the dynamic and evolving nature of the world, and the limits of our capacities to design the physical and cultural aspects of life as we wish.

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  The Green Cover for Constitutional Vandalism (c) WebWise