Saturday, March 19, 2011

#78 / The Precautionary Principle

Of course, the real meaning of the "precautionary principle" is the exact opposite of what our cartoon commentator is saying. An article in the March 18th Washington Post, commenting on the policy implications of the nuclear reactor crisis in Japan, said this about the official United States government policy:

In sharp contrast to governments across the world that are moving to warn their citizens in Japan about radiation hazards and to reassess their own nuclear power programs, the Obama administration is pursuing a cautious course — standing firmly behind the U.S. nuclear industry.

"Standing firmly behind the U.S. nuclear industry" is not what I call "cautious." The world we create is ultimately and utterly dependent on the world of Nature, and yet we ignore the requirements and limits imposed on us by Nature, by the "laws of Nature," if you will, and the result of this arrogance is always (sooner or later) a disaster to the human world. "Making a killing" is exactly what comes from ignoring the precautionary principle.

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