The Precautionary Principle in the 20th Century: Late Lessons from Early Warnings
Poul Harremoes, David Gee, Malcolm Macgarvin, Andy Stirling, Jane Keys, Brian Wynne, Sofia Guedes VazISBN: 1853838934;
The Precautionary Principle is widely seen as fundamental to successful policies for sustainability. It has been cited in international courts and trade disputes between the US and the EU, and invoked in an growing range of political debates. Understanding what it can and cannot achieve is therefore crucial. This volume looks back over the last century to examine the role the Principle played or could have played, in a range of major and avoidable public disasters. Among the studies it examines are: asbestos and asbestosis, BSE in cattle, CFCs and the depletion of stratospheric ozone, the pollution of the Great Lakes in America, the collapse of Atlantic fish stocks, PCBs, etc., for all of which there is good information on the science, the health andenvironmental impacts, and the costs and benefits. From detailed investigation of how each disaster unfolded, what the impacts were and what measures were adopted, the authors draw lessons and establish criteria that could help to...
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