Precautionary principal

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Precautionary principal Introduction
The precautionary principle traces its origins to the early 1970s in the German principle ‘Vorsorge’, or foresight, based on the belief that the society should seek to avoid environmental damage by careful forward planning. The ‘Vorsorgeprinzip’ was developed into a fundamental principle of German environmental law and invoked to justify the implementation of robust policies to tackle acid rain, global warming, and North Sea pollution. The precautionary principle then flourished in international statements of policy. On a national level, several countries have used the precautionary principle to guide their environmental and public health policy. In the United States e.g., the precautionary principle is not expressly mentioned in laws or policies. However, some laws have a precautionary nature, and the principle underpins much of the early environmental legislation in this country (The National Environmental Policy Act, The Clean Water Act, and The Endangered Species Act). It also is applied to social justice interests for equity visions, and in health and welfare applications
The precautionary principle is based on the adage that ‘it is better to be safe than sorry’. However, there is no universally accepted definition of the principle.
The precautionary principle is relevant to many issues, especially those of environment and public health, global warming or sharp climate change, extinction of species, the uncertain risks of nuclear power or geoengineering, the introduction of new and potentially harmful products into the environment that threaten biodiversity (e.g., genetically modified organisms), threats to public health due to new diseases or techniques (e.g., AIDS transmitted through blood transfusion), persistent or acute pollution (asbestos, endocrine disruptors, etc.), food safety (e.g., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), and other new bio-safety issues (e.g., artificial life and new molecules).
The Precautionary Principal is an underlying principle that has been almost universally adopted by policy makers at several levels. It often forms a basis for the concept of sustainability. It has been used in social justice and environmental problems, and especially in health and welfare decisions. It amounts to a new moral imperative. Interestingly it is fundamentally anti-science, although it claims science as its rational basis. However, science is not necessarily considered for the decision. It does not base public policy decisions on science for their justification, application or for validation. The basis is fear.
Futurists, politicians, environmentalists, and green policy makers have adapted this order of business and ethic all over the globe, in UN programs, and have applied it to all potential innovations, developments, technologies and risk assessments. With the COVID19 process it is the bottom line. The epidemiologists and media and medical recommendations for public policy, are secondary in consideration. Any risk is unacceptable.
In essence it means that even if the science is not there to prove the problem, or danger, we will act anyway to limit the “probable”.
Scientifically peer reviewed processes are exacting and cumbersome, and often counter intuitive.GIGO models are the rule, not the exception, that is why there is so much funding to correct misconceived models or blatant mistakes. In the Western world, and especially in the USA, ridicule in the public sphere and claims of class or racial bias, or ultra-rhetorical bigoted anti-bigot divisive propaganda and aggression are also very effective.
Do you think this subjective approach to putting human interest and policy ahead of economic systems, or proven scientific is the new reality? Here is the assignment.
1.What is the Precautionary Principle?
2. Why is it important to understanding of the governmental responses to the (Global Warming/Climate Change) or COVID 19 policies?
3. Can you think of a different approach that would have been better?
4. Any other comments you want to make and a graphic.
Refer to the PowerPoint (Attached). DO TWO analyses
1. Answer the questions, include any sources you used for your inquiry and a graphic in your response. ( 3-5 paragraphs Some questions you may ask….)
What is the Precautionary Principle? How did it come about? Who has embraced it? Is it rational? Why is it important? How does it affect the conceptualization of issues, and especially the role of science as a rational base for policy? How is it applied in current global policy? How does it affect environmental protection and health policy? What do you think? Is there another way to have approached this?
The key application or query I want you to explore here is…. How might this concept of precautionary principle and exercising caution above all else, have influenced the (exaggerated) policy decisions to deal with.
2. Global warming, specifically research the COPS and the new Green agenda items to be mandated into the USA.
3. The COVID19 policies especially the progression toward mandatory vaccines? For the latter case, Specifically the lock down orders on entire populations, the tracking and the role of government and media.
Here are a couple of sources to get you started. Note the is the German equivalent to the
PART 3 Geocache
1. What is the topic in both pics (below) and how this relates to human hubris and COVID19?
1. Look up the quote “there must be a pony in here somewhere” Relate it to your COVID19 or Global warming experience…. Make suitable or unsuitable comments, and find similar graphics
2. Who are Olivia Newton John and john Travolta? Why are they important? What was the movie Olivia Newton John starred in with John Travolta?)
3. Who are these powerful funding groups and what are their agendas:the Ford Foundation, Winrock Intl, the Tides, and McArthur Foundations.
Chapter 12
Environmental Challenges
Amazon Rainforest, Brazil:Deforestation (or more accurately, conversion of natural or wild lands into human managed areas) has become a major environmental issue in the Amazon rainforest. This image of the rainforest reveals on one hand; the continual spread of environmental impacts from logging, ranching, road construction, and human settlement. On the other hand it is also documenting the spread of development, including roads, houses, farms and ranches jobs, cities. The Belo Monte Dam project is a great controversy right now. The Brazilian government needs to have an energy source to supply the energy infrastructure for their poor North East and Amazon regions. (These areas are about the same size as two thirds of the size of the USA ) Dams are renewable resources that supply relatively clean energy, but at a trade off to the local forests and indigenous peoples.Look up Belo Monte for the discussion.Most of the time the media plays it off as a dramatic controversy and struggle between bad development and suffering colorful people. Certain elements get all passionate and file lawsuits, the politicians get all dithery, and the dam costs many times what it should when it is eventually built.Hawaii had similar issue here with the H3 construction, and the Super Ferry project. They are now going at it over the rail system.
The above concepts are all related to an eco-centric worldview where the primary concern is for understanding the natural systems, the interrelatedness of all the physical and biological processes, and the amazing relationships and balances in the natural world.
Note that these concepts and related ones like Ecology, environmentalism and global systems approaches, ONLY DATE FROM THE 1980s.I took the very first ecology classes offered and they were revolutionary in that they derive from many disciplines such as geography, botany, zoology, The remote sensing data from satellites and the GIS systems, have allowed for mapping of all the surface of the Earth.Computers can now store the data and have programs to run simulations and make predictions and hopefully decisions for planning purposes.
Ecological Concepts
Ecosystems (cont’d)
First Law of Ecology
Natural Capital
Renewable Resources
Non-Renewable Resources
Earth’s Biodiversity
A resource is something of use to humans.Until we put a value on it and/or apply our economic activities to it; is just there.Or wait a minute, maybe just being there is enough.Ecological service is the concept that the elements of the natural world such as trees or fish are there because the system needs them.If we destroy the system it will degrade or even stop functioning.We can harvest to the point of destroying the biologically based resources and they will no longer be renewable.
We can may also be able to disrupt the essential physical processes of the globe to such a point that the whole thing goes blooey.This is clearly probable when you know of our nuclear warheads destructive capacity.The video you saw on GMO, and the issues of excessive or wasteful behaviors that are fueling the Global warming controversy are less clear.Now the precautionary principle sounds like a more rational, if still oddly reactionary, ideal.
Ecosystems (cont’d)
Environmental Degradation
Human caused (anthropogenic) changes can affect both the quantity of an item and quality of the environment. (So can things like hurricanes.)We can also reverse some problems, like through the multi billion dollar governmental programs known as the Superfund.This targeted old industrial and waste sites for clean up.Wetland regulations and protection laws, restoration of degraded ecosystems, and conservation biology principles are all part of this.
Ecosystems (cont’d)
Common Property Resources
Common Property Resources vs. Open-Access Resources
The basic issue here is who benefits directly from the resources.This is tied to makes the decisions and how the decisions are made. Private property owners make their own decisions up to a point, as governmental regulations exist for most every project.They have long required the zoning compliances, healthYour home is still your castle so long as you do not build it in on the top of a mountain or in a wetland.(So much for strategic defense redoubts and moats.)Any large project or one that uses federal funds must have an Environmental Impact Statement. EIS which describes the ecological changes and proposes solutions to any issues.
Common property resources are often public resources and some level of government makes choices among various options.For example we have areas in our National or State level Forest Systems that are exclusively set aside as wilderness, for endangered species protection or watershed protection.Other areas are managed as productive forests for woodproducts, grazing, or mining and many contain reservoirs that supply electricity and water for irrigation.Still other lnds have ski resorts and recreational developments on the. This is called the multiple use concept where the highest and best use of the common property is considered including ecological limits, productive profits and demands and needs of the public.It is a question of trade offs and wise use.
Nonrenewable Energy Resources
Future of Oil
Reserves to Production (R/P) Ratio
Oil Production and Consumption
Oil Embargo
Your book does not clearly state the difference between the two types of scarcity.One is where the resource is or is not found.The above map shows this.Note how big Saudi Arabia and the Mideast’s reserves are and also Venezuela, when compared to the USA.The situation may change as more reserves are found in places like Brazil, Russia, or Africa.
The concept of economic scarcity refers to the ability to actually use or buy the resource.Thus much of the developing world cannot use their own oil to fund their own development at home, instead they sell it at higher prices.Countries like Venezuela have grand schemes and communistic bombast blaming their problems on external sources, but seem unable to actually bring their people out of poverty.Global politics revolves around protecting and profiting from the oil and arms industries.
Nonrenewable Energy Resources
Future of Oil
Reserves to Production (R/P) Ratio
Oil Production and Consumption
Oil Embargo
The petroleum we are using is really the essence of past life concentrated and stored underground.Once we decide to use it, whether for plastics or pharmaceuticals, or building materials or clothing, it is not going to easily turn back into oil.When we burn hydrocarbons in our combustion engines we transform its chemical state and release the carbon and other chemicals back in to the atmosphere and biosphere.This is in essence releasing all the stored energy from the past into the present.It is uncertain what these additions will do to the current biosphere.Think of it as bringing all the food and canned goods and everything else you have had stored in the cupboards, the basement or the garage for years into you kitchen and using it all to make dinner.
Nonrenewable Energy Resources (cont’d)
Coal Distribution and Consumption
Challenges of Coal
Mountaintop Removal (MTR)
Acid Rain
Coal is a main type of fuel for our modern society.Without the energy generated by coal we would not have electricity.Mining creates dramatic landscape alterations.We have many regulations on the extraction and burning of coal in the USA and thus little no pollution from those nasty old smokestacks.
Acid rain is not actually falling acid from the sky.It refers to the pH of water when it condenses in clouds around a nucleus of a larger molecule.For example, CO2.
Natural rain includes a relatively large normal range from basic to acidic. The rain here in Hawaii picks up particles from the escaping volcanic gases and always has an ACIDIC RAIN! from that on the Big Island (vog).At the same time sea breezes pick up Salt and carry it on land (SALT RAIN!) Calcium and other elements in the soils (or the lack of them in a particular place) help balance out these effects and eventually everything goes back to NEUTRAL! Or whatever the normal local conditions are.The problem is a higher acidity of the rain or a change in the rains acidity in an area where this was not usually happening, and any environmental impacts.
Nonrenewable Energy Resources (cont’d)
Nuclear Energy
Except for the problem with the disposal of the highly radioactive waste, and the vulnerability to human error (Chernobyl), natural disasters (like in Japan), or terrorism, nuclear energy is clean, renewable and cheap.
Renewable Energy Resources
Biomass Energy
Biogas / Biofuel
An alternative to petroleum is to grow plants in monocultures and then just distill the sugars into alcohol to be burned in the gas tank.This may cause more natural ecosystems to be converted into industrial scale monocultures of sugar cane. This energy crisis only applies to the demand for energy in our industrial electrified and gluttonous consumer societies.
The real energy crisis on the planet has nothing to do with any of this oil and gas stuff. The real energy crisis is in the developing countries and has to do with wood.How can the poor women of the world cook their meals or heat their houses?
Renewable Energy Resources (cont’d)
Large dams vs. Small Hydropower (SHP)
Q: Are SHP energy systems possible for large cities?Why not in downspouts?
Three gorges dam in China, Itaipu, Aswan, Hoover dam etc.These are the powerhouses behind our modern level of living.Yet they are very disruptive to the aquatic ecosystems.
Solar and Wind Energy
Renewable Energy Resources (cont’d)
Passive vs. Active Solar Collection
Wind Farms
Totally passive and renewable, they do not alter the state of the planet, or diminish the resource when it is used to make energy.Wind farms have environmental impacts in terms of bird kills, and they visually impact the landscapes.Yet what would we think of Holland without its windmills?
Geothermal Energy
Renewable Energy Resources (cont’d)
This is a huge potential source of energy especially here in Hawaii.
Human-Environment Interactions (cont’d)
What a Geographer Sees:
Environmental Change
Why is this delta disappearing?Let me tell you a story about the ice ages and the huge flows that created it 10,000 years ago.That water flow with all its silt to build the delta has been turned into the trickle now known as the Mississippi River.No more input of materials into the system, means the natural forces of waves and storms will destroy the loosely consolidated soils. ALL of these are natural processes and have nothing to do with man.
Another reason for the accelerating disappearance of the delta is that the Army Corps of Engineers diverted the silt bearing water from the Eastern channels.Look at newmini-deltas being created in the western side in the Atchafalaya Region. New Orleans is sunk.
Human-Environment Interactions (cont’d)
What a Geographer Sees:
Environmental Change
Natural processes cause immense changes.The recent photos from this years East or Gulf coast hurricane show how these outer barrier island can easily dissappear in one storm, only to be reformed elsewhere.I also mistrust this photo set.The one on the far right seems to have been taken at a higher altitude.Of course no governmental agency, academic institution or environmentalist activist would do such a thing to make their point.Right?Right….

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