Stewards of the natural world do not understand the precautionary principle
The UK government does not possess a definition of the principle at the heart of environmental protection and law
Here’s something remarkable I stumbled across while researching my column on Monday, but did not have room to include. I hope you’ll agree that it is worth sharing.
I was trying to understand the context for the new chief scientist’s cavalier treatment of scientific evidence, in an article he wrote opposing a European ban on neonicotinoid pesticides. These are the toxins which, several studies suggest, could be partly responsible for the rapid decline in bees and other pollinators.
Just one month into the job, Sir Mark Walport has, I believe, disgraced himself: by misrepresenting the science, misinforming the public about risk and uncertainty and indulging in scaremongering and wild exaggeration in support of the government’s position. I believe he has seriously damaged his standing and that of the office he holds.
To read the full essay, please click here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/may/01/protect-natural-world-understand-precautionary-principle?CMP=twt_fd