Three red flags on environmental impact

  • Beware of projects that risk permanent harm in return for short-term gains.  This is the reverse of mainstream economic thinking, which privileges present value over future value.
  • Beware of risk assessments.  An insurance actuary can accurately estimate the risk of common events, but there is no accurate way to estimate the risk of catastrophic events that rarely happen or haven’t yet happened.  It is much safer to weigh what you have to gain against what you have to lose.
  • Beware of projects that require waivers of laws.  If an environmental law, or a health and safety law, is harmful or unnecessary, it should be repealed, but if it is needful, then there shouldn’t be any exceptions.

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One Response to “Three red flags on environmental impact”

  1. simonandfinn Says:

    I agree… here in Canada the Keystone XL pipeline has become a very polarizing issue – unfortunately the debate comes at a time when much of our environmental assessment framework has been dismantled and the precautionary principle ignored..


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