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GEC Participates in First National Conference on the Precaution Principle


   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 is stopped.

   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.

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  Text Box: Precautionary Principle!



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