From June 8th - 11th GEC Project Manager Daniel Parshley and Organizational
Development contractor Robert Randall were in Baltimore, MD, for the
first-ever National Conference on the Precautionary Principle. They joined
approximately 300 others from not only the U.S. but several other nations as
well, to share experiences in applying the precautionary principle across
environmental issues and at all levels from local to international.
What is the Precautionary Principle (PP)? Simply put, it is the way most of
us live our lives every day. It is applying that old saying that "an ounce
of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It is shifting the question we ask
from "How much harm can we endure?" to "How much harm can we avoid?" More
technically, it is applying the principle that, when we have reason to
believe that an activity causes human harm, then, even in the absence of
scientific certainty, we give the benefit of the doubt to human health and
safety and we prohibit or control that activity. No longer should victims
have to prove that a profit-making activity is killing them before that harm
Three full days of conference events, workshops, presentations, and
discussions cannot be summarized in a short article.
But we learned that there are places where the PP has been adopted as public
policy and is being implemented by caring public servants. They are
pointing the way for us in coastal Georgia, and if we are indeed to ever
realize a clean environment and healthy economy locally, we will need to
work for the application of this principle by our elected officials,
governmental regulators, and business leaders.
For more information, start at