Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Class Review: Precautionary Principle

The Precautionary Principle states that: "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.” CEPA (from Rio Declaration)

Personally I feel that this is what society needs in some case when it comes to the environment. If there is a issue or imminent disaster, there is little to know time to determine what, at the end of the day, may be the best answer because you may not - or do not - have all day. You deal with the situation in the best way you immediately can, and after disaster is averted, then you sit down and see how you can improve.

Wide use of this Principle could really speed up global improvement on mankind's "war" on climate change. We have many of different ideas on how to combat environmental issue and way way more speculation. We have some proof that if we don't act now, we'll be in big trouble.

However, we can't just change overnight or immediatly act on every idea just as it comes into our heads. While society needs to hurry it up with combating climate change we need to also be aware of what we have to go through to do so. If the whole world woke up one morning and said: "I'm going to stop using fossil fuels starting this moment and put a wind turbine up in my back yard" for example, the global economy would collapse, the factories and machines used to produce the trubine would not have the power to do so because power plants all over the world would be shut down. We would have blackouts and chaos.

The world does need to start moving forward to reduce climate change and its effects, but in rapid yet calculated bursts like phasing out a power plant or two with wind or tidal farms over a specific period of time. Not an instant overhaul.

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