precautionary principle

When teaching the Precautionary principle its important that students are able to clearly articulate the concept.

I show the video below emphasising that the principle holds that those who wish to continue producing greenhouse gases should prove that there are no harmful effects before continuing.

Clearly the counter argument is why invest money in new techniques to reduce greenhouse gases if scientists don’t know for certain that an enhanced greehouse effect is going to be harmful to the environment

Points to emphasis regarding the principle

  • Those proposing something must prove it causes no harm before they start to do it
  • Those objecting do not have to prove that there will be harm
  • Trails must be done first
  • and the precautionary principle is applied when the possible consequences are severe

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