Click to get your own widget

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

"Precautionary Principle" - a sure marker that the speaker is an eco-Nazi unconcerned about human life

  The "Precautionary Principle" is not a scientific principle, nor one with any sort of logically discussed merit it is simply a phrase used by eco-Nazis*. Indeed the imprecision and meaninglessness of the term is proven by the fact that it has so many definitions:

The precautionary principle states that if an action or policy has suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.

Assumption of the worst case scenario with respect to actions whose outcomes are uncertain.

The concept that precautionary action can be taken to mitigate a perceived risk. Action may be justified even if the probability of that risk occurring is small, because the outcome might be very adverse.
The view that when science has not yet determined whether a new product or process is safe or unsafe, policy should prohibit or restrict its use until it is known to be safe. Applied to trade, this has been used as the basis for prohibiting imports of GMOs, for

a moral principle used to guide decisionmaking and prevent harm: When there is an activity or product that could threaten human health or the environment, precaution should be taken, even before there is scientific proof that the activity or product is harmful. ...

This principle establishes that a lack of information does not justify the absence of management measures. On the contrary, management measures should be established in order to maintain the conservation of the resources. ...
Where significant environmental damage may occur, but the knowledge on the matter is incomplete, decisions made and measures implemented should err on the site of caution.
The obligation to take preventive action when a chemical is suspected of causing harm to human health and/or the environment in the absence of conclusive scientific evidence in order to ensure a high level of environmental protection and of human, animal and plant health.
It is a fundamental component of the concept of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and has been defined in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration (1992) United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio, 1992 (the "Rio Declaration"): Where there are threats of serious or ...
where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.
The best environmental policy is to protect the environmental systems as a priority, in particular where the results of an action/procedure are unknown.
Taking action now to avoid possible environmental damage when the scientific evidence for acting is inconclusive but the potential damage could be great.
The principle that when information about potential risks is incomplete, decisions about the future policies should be based on a preference for avoiding unnecessary environmental or health risks.
an approach to the management of risk when scientific knowledge is incomplete.
The approach whereby any possible risk associated with the introduction of a new technology is avoided, until a full understanding of its impact on health, environment etc. is available. ...

Usage examples

"We're living through a crisis with the changes to our environment," Blair said. "The fact is, just on the precautionary principle, it'd be sensible to act. And the truth is, if we don't act, and in a way that binds the main countries in...

Jan 26, 2007 - Forbes - Tony Blair
"We want to work in this environment on a precautionary principle," Kuneva said.

Apr 22, 2008 - Scientific American - Meglena Kuneva

Sturgeon said: "This is the first occasion we have had to take the step of closing a school in Scotland. But we are doing it on the basis of the precautionary principle and our containment strategy so far has been successful."

May 13, 2009 - Scottish Daily Record - Nicola Sturgeon

  None of these make any attempt to quantify such risks. In the worst cases it is simply enough that somebody, or at least some approved eco-fascist, claims tom believe their is the possibility of some sort of risk, at some time, possibly only decades or centuries away and refuses to accept any proof otherwise, sometimes even saying that there are no circumstances whatsoever that they would ever accept evidence. [This is not hyperbole it is precisely the position adopted over GM foods, the claim that low level radiation is dangerous and indeed "catastrophic global warming".

  It also involves bringing in other slippery, undefinable terms such as "scientific consensus" and "ecologically sustainable development". It should be noted that even what looks like a precise term "burden of proof" has 3 ditinct meanings - beyond reasonable doubt; clear evidence; preponderance of evidence". Thus no "definition" which includes that without specifying the meaning used is anything other than spin.

 My preferred definition is from Yes Minister's Sir Humphrey Appleby. This came before the "principle" had been adopted by ecofascism and was just referred to as civil service policy - that "'many, many things must be done, but nothing should ever be done for the first time'.

   Of course all actions or indeed inactions have more effects than just one. For example not growing GM foods means less food and more starvation worldwide. This effect can be estimated with some accuracy and set against any benefit of inaction. Usually the benefit of inaction is remarkably close to zero. However supporters of this "principle" actively eschew any such calculations which suggests they know perfectly well that they would prove they are on the side of killing people not protecting them.

  Invoking the "precautionary principle" itself is, for this reason, likely to be extremely risky and, if it were a real principle rather than spin invoking the precautionary principle could not be done by anybody who supported the precautionary principle.

  Basically anybody who invokes that so called "principle" to give themselves a veto over people's right to do things is, by doing so, proving themselves to be an eco-Nazi*.

* In this case eco-Nazi, rather than ecofascist, is the correct term since they are demonstrating a willingness to kill people.

UPDATE Al Fin has a longer article on this same subject.

Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

British Blogs.