The Precautionary Principle

The Precautionary Principle - The Precautionary Principle...

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The Precautionary Principle
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Environmental Risk Risk = the  probability an event  will occur X the  seriousness of the  consequences should  that happen Known impacts and  known probabilities
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Uncertainty Known impacts and unknown probabilities Unknown impacts and unknown probabilities Why are scientists uncertain? Lack of time or data Disagreement over theoretical consequences Disagreement over causes  Environmental damage can be difficult to  determine (such as with the ozone layer)
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Burden of Proof Guilty until proven  innocent or innocent  until proven guilty? Chemicals on trial-  starting in the 1970s
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“When human activities may lead to morally  unacceptable harm that is scientifically plausible  but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or  diminish that harm” (Beder p.48).   What is morally unacceptable? Threatens human life or health
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2012 for the course POL 223 taught by Professor Aldrich during the Fall '10 term at Purdue University.

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The Precautionary Principle - The Precautionary Principle...

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