Homework Writing Help on Environmental Economics

Environmental Economics

The precautionary principle relates the risks involved in the society to the one doing the action. It states that an individual doing something that seems to be risky to the environment bears the burden associated with proving that the action is harmful (Harding & Fisher, 1999). Policy makers in various sectors use the principle as a framework for the decision-making process.Moreover, it is worth noting that the principle associates scientific consensus with the harm that is associated with the actions at hand(Harding & Fisher, 1999). Therefore, there is the need to scientifically prove that a course of action is not harmful to the environment or the society at large.Thus, the principle suggests that the public has to be protected from any harm caused by certain activities before scientific studies have been conducted (O’Riordan, 2013). It is important not to expose any person to risks at any costs (Morris, 2000). The protection from the risks may be relaxed in case the scientific research proves that the actions are not associated with any risks.

            Sometimes it may be too late to wait for the fate of certainty. A good example to show how the principle works involve smoking. Long before scientific evidence proved that smoking causes cancer in the body, there had been speculations that it actually caused cancer. However, few people believed in this speculation, while others ignored. Before the scientific evidence proved the case, many people had already died of lung cancer and other related conditions. Those who believed in the speculations saved themselves from lung cancer. Thus, their decision to quit smoking even before science could prove the effects of smoking them to save themselves. The scientific standards regarding smoking later made many people to quit smoking(Morris, 2000).

            The principal has a number of applications in the environment as far as safety is concerned.For instance, some of the United States food regulators use the principle to safeguard the lives of the public. These regulators consider safety first before any scientific findings show that some foods and drugs are safe to use(Harding & Fisher, 1999). For instance, the regulators require that each and every food and drugs are scientifically proven before they are sold to the markets. It is a wise idea to test theusability of the foods and drugs since they may pose some risks to the lives and health of the public.

            The principle is further used in other sectors such as the building and construction sector. The OSHA standards require that any new building or structure be scientifically proven before it can serve its purpose of construction. For instance, a house has to be tested on whether it meets the stipulated OSHA standards of construction before people can move into the house(Morris, 2000).

            In summary, the precautionary principle aims at preventing the subjection of the public and the environment to any forms of risks. Moreover, the principle requires that scientific proof be used to justify the fact that any situation is harmless to the public or the society. In this case, the principle set some minimum requirements and standards for any activity to take place. In addition, the principle can be used as a regret-free decision-making framework(Morris, 2000). For this reason, there is the need to comply with the stipulations and requirements of the precautionary principle in everything that individuals do.


Harding, R., & Fisher, E. C. (1999).Perspectives on the precautionary principle.,: Federation Press.

Morris, J. (2000). Rethinking risk and the precautionary principle. Oxford,: Butterworth-Heinemann.

O’Riordan, T. (2013).Interpreting the precautionary principle.,: Routledge.