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True Warnings And False Alarms

Author: Allan Mazur,
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136527524
Size: 41.26 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Given time, scientists reach consensus about the truth or falsity of a wide range of alleged hazards. Today, there is broad agreement that CFCs destroy stratospheric ozone. On the other hand, research does not support claims that electromagnetic fields from transmission lines cause a noticeable increase of leukemia. But new allegations continuously arise. Are manufactured chemicals in the environment distorting normal hormonal processes in our bodies? Are genetically modified foods a cause for concern? Addressing one of the most vexing problems in risk policy, Allan Mazur asks how we can tell, at an early stage, how seriously we should take a new warning. To identify hallmarks that could help predict the truth or falsity of an alleged hazard, Mazur analyzes 31 health warnings raised during the 1950s and 1960s about diverse technologies, including fluoridation, DDT, cyclamate, nuclear weapons testing, and birth control pills. Among his considerations are the initial source of an alarm, the biases held by its primary 'sponsors,' and the type of media coverage it receives. With 30 to 50 years of hindsight, he identifies characteristics - apparent from the outset of a controversy - that most effectively distinguish true warnings from false alarms. Early recognition and a timely response to a genuine hazard are important to protect our environment, health, and economic well-being. But if we act quickly and a warning turns out to be false, money is wasted, people are needlessly frightened, regulators lose credibility, and our ability to appropriately handle the next set of risks is compromised. Mazur's findings do not provide certainty about which of today's warnings will prove true and which will prove false. But they do help us to make informed judgments about where it is best and most reasonable to direct our worries and resources.

True Warnings And False Alarms

Author: Allan Mazur
Publisher: Earthscan
ISBN: 1891853554
Size: 76.31 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 416
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Given time, scientists reach consensus about the truth or falsity of a wide range of alleged hazards. Today, there is broad agreement that CFCs destroy stratospheric ozone. On the other hand, research does not support claims that electromagnetic fields from transmission lines cause a noticeable increase of leukemia. But new allegations continuously arise. Are manufactured chemicals in the environment distorting normal hormonal processes in our bodies? Are genetically modified foods a cause for concern? Addressing one of the most vexing problems in risk policy, Allan Mazur asks how we can tell, at an early stage, how seriously we should take a new warning. To identify hallmarks that could help predict the truth or falsity of an alleged hazard, Mazur analyzes 31 health warnings raised during the 1950s and 1960s about diverse technologies, including fluoridation, DDT, cyclamate, nuclear weapons testing, and birth control pills. Among his considerations are the initial source of an alarm, the biases held by its primary 'sponsors, ' and the type of media coverage it receives. With 30 to 50 years of hindsight, he identifies characteristics - apparent from the outset of a controversy - that most effectively distinguish true warnings from false alarms. Early recognition and a timely response to a genuine hazard are important to protect our environment, health, and economic well-being. But if we act quickly and a warning turns out to be false, money is wasted, people are needlessly frightened, regulators lose credibility, and our ability to appropriately handle the next set of risks is compromised. Mazur's findings do not provide certainty about which of today's warnings will prove true and which will prove false. But they do help us to make informed judgments about where it is best and most reasonable to direct our worries and resources.

The Reality Of Precaution

Author: James Hammit
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136522565
Size: 44.18 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
View: 6269
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The 'Precautionary Principle' has sparked the central controversy over European and U.S. risk regulation. The Reality of Precaution is the most comprehensive study to go beyond precaution as an abstract principle and test its reality in practice. This groundbreaking resource combines detailed case studies of a wide array of risks to health, safety, environment and security; a broad quantitative analysis; and cross-cutting chapters on politics, law, and perceptions. The authors rebut the rhetoric of conflicting European and American approaches to risk, and show that the reality has been the selective application of precaution to particular risks on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as a constructive exchange of policy ideas toward 'better regulation.' The book offers a new view of precaution, regulatory reform, comparative analysis, and transatlantic relations.

Environmental Policy Analysis And Practice

Author: Michael R. Greenberg
Publisher: Rutgers Univ Pr
ISBN:
Size: 72.16 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Pressing environmental challenges are frequently surrounded with stakeholders on all sides of the issues. Opinions expressed by government agencies, the private sector, special interests, nonprofit communities, and the media, among others can quickly cloud the dialogue, leaving one to wonder how policy decisions actually come about. In Environmental Policy Analysis and Practice, Michael R. Greenberg cuts through the complicated layers of bureaucracy, science, and the public interest to show how all policy considerations can be broken down according to six specific factors: 1) the reaction of elected government officials, 2) the reactions of the public and special interests, 3) knowledge developed by scientists and engineers, 4) economics, 5) ethical imperatives, and 6) time pressure to make a decision. The book is organized into two parts, with the first part defining and illustrating each one of these criteria. Greenberg draws on examples such as nuclear power, pesticides, brownfield redevelopment, gasoline additives, and environmental cancer, but focuses on how these subjects can be analyzed rather than exclusively on the issues themselves. Part two goes on to describe a set of over twenty tools that are used widely in policy analysis, including risk assessment, environmental impact analysis, public opinion surveys, cost-benefit analysis, and others. These tools are described and then illustrated with examples from part one. Weaving together an impressive combination of practical advice and engaging first person accounts from government officials, administrators, and leaders in the fields of public health and medicine, this clearly written volume is poised to become a leading text in environmental policy.