Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] 60 Mins

Jim Macdonald jsmacdonaldjr@yahoo.com
Sun, 17 Nov 2002 12:08:25 -0800 (PST)


Like I said, I personally take a different approach.  If you want to read what the
right is saying about the economic consequences of Kyoto, I can post a link when it
comes out to a report that should be online next week by Margo Thorning, who works
at another right wing policy research center.

Lomborg believes that implementing Kyoto would be economically devastating, and I
think that's where these kinds of arguments go, into the tedious business of numbers
crunching and speculation about real economic impact, and blah, blah, blah, blah,

Some day, if I ever write my own environmental ethics, I don't think I'm going to
make use of the precautionary principle because it is still rooted in the reduction
of ethics to quantification.  If you attend discussions on the matter given by the
rightwingers, they never question the precautionary principle as it stands, they
question the application of it.  I attended a speech sponsored by PERC (one of the
most worthless organizations I have ever come across, but I feel extra pissed at
them because of the way they've meddled in discussions of Yellowstone policy) by
Jonathan Adler of Case Western Reserve University, and he makes a similar case. 
However, I'm not sure that the entire approach is useful at all.  I think there are
plenty of good reasons why we should stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere that
aren't based on theories of ethics that depend upon risk assessment.  

It's ironic that the same theories about precaution are used by the same
rightwingers in their promotion of a missile defense system.  All this tells me that
the real issues lie somewhere else.  

However, I don't have 500 pages right now to develop what I mean.  One of these days
I will.  However, I think you can get some of that sense actually from Midnight
Oil's music, which is precisely why I quoted the line I did.  

Jim Macdonald

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