Articulating actual costs

Identifying the real cleanup costs:

"The prevailing political paradigm obscured its meaning."

p. 139

"Scientific assessments of the global rates of deforestation provide extensive data with a high degree of precision and are generally considered reliable."


Two dimension of scientific problems:

    1. general • universal
    2. special • region-specific

All politics is local.

Some pollution is not local, but transboundary because its affects cross borders.

1972, Alvin Weinberg, "policy makers were increasingly being called upon to construct public policy based on uncertain science."

The troubling case of:

Commoner vs. Brown reports on dioxin drift and the Nunavut Arctic, Inuit hunters' health

"science becomes what our side follows, while the other side is deluded by their biases – a claim that both sides of the debate in Ames tried to assert."

p. 288-89.

The fair policy versus precautionary principle:

  • divide costs and benefits on some equitable basis.
  • The proponent of an activity with uncertain affects should bear the burden of proof and act on the assumption that they avoid harming others.

p. 292.

In the cases of the Great Lakes and the Baltic Sea

Geography and adaptive management; but "an ecosystem is not easily delineated on the ground."

p. 303.

Science & Politics, pp. 203-324.