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IR323-7-lecture - Global Environmental Politics Risk...

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- Precautionary Principle General Definition: Measures (cost-effective) to prevent environmental degradation should be used if there is a threat of serious or irreversible damage, even if there is scientific uncertainty regarding the threat Basic risk equation: I = µR where I = risk µ = probability of occurrence R = magnitude of damage Risk variables of µ and R are dependent on 1) Socio-cultural values, sensitivity, & perceptions re µ and R 2) Local/tangible v. distant/intangible µ and R 1 Global Environmental Politics Risk & Precautionary Principle
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- Precautionary Principle (cont’d) Points 1) Principle does not require precautionary principle to be taken, rather that Q of what measures/when be placed on agenda 2) Principle lies between a) α precaution—absence of precaution b) Radical precaution—ban any activity w uncertain risk 3) Risk not equal to uncertainty a) Risk ~ distribution of outcomes known, but instances known b) Uncertainty ~ hard to know, b/c instances can be unique & unknown c) Ambiguity ~ knowledge outcomes poor d) Ignorance ~ absence knowledge about effects/damage 2
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