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Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment

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Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment Cover

ISBN13: 9780262650533
ISBN10: 0262650533
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

For the past quarter-century, government and the private sector have relied heavily on risk assessment for making decisions, allowing widespread environmental deterioration. In this book, Mary O'Brien recommends a simple yet profound shift to another decision-making technique: "alternatives assessment." Instead of asking how much of a hazardous activity is safe (which translates into how much damage the environment can tolerate), alternatives assessment asks how we can avoid or minimize damage while achieving society's goals.Alternatives assessment is a simple, commonsense alternative to risk assessment. It is based on the premise that it is not acceptable to damage human and nonhuman health or the environment if there are reasonable alternatives. The approach calls for taking precautionary measures even if some cause-and-effect relationships have not been fully established scientifically. The process must involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action at all. Equally important, it must be democratic and include potentially affected parties.O'Brien not only makes a persuasive case for alternative assessment; she tells how to implement it. She also shows how this technique has profound implications for public health, for our stewardship of the environment, and for a truly democratic government.Published in association with the Environmental Research Foundation.

Synopsis:

Published in association with the Environmental Research Foundation.

Synopsis:

For the past quarter-century, government and the private sector have relied heavily on risk assessment for making decisions, allowing widespread environmental deterioration. In this book, Mary O'Brien recommends a simple yet profound shift to another decision-making technique: "alternatives assessment.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. [267]-283) and index.

Table of Contents

1. Goal: replace risk assessment with alternatives assessment — 2. How does risk assessment actually work? — 3. What are we defending with risk assessment? — 4. When scientists shut their eyes: pretending that the safety of hazardous activities can be estimated — 5. When decision makers become compromised: pronouncing unnecessary hazardous activities "acceptable" — 6. When a society isn't serious about environmental health: assessing a narrow range of options — 7. Who loves, uses, or cooperates with risk assessment? — 8. Unnecessary societal triage: comparative risk assessment — 9. Alternatives assessment: the case of bovine growth hormone and rotational grazing — 10. Alternatives assessment vs. cost-benefit analysis: there is more to life than money — 11. We already know how to do alternatives assessment — 12. We know how to push for alternatives assessments — 13. The essential features of an alternatives assessment — 14. A society that assesses its alternatives — 15. Alternatives assessment: more information, fewer pages — 16. Getting started — 17. Barriers to alternatives assessment — 18. Forces for alternatives assessment.

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Marte, November 27, 2006 (view all comments by Marte)
This book is a must read for anyone interested in the environment. It describes different ways of thinking about making decisions regarding development, industry, and government and provides examples and activities for achieving those ends. It will open your eyes and perhaps help you on the path to environmental activism that may make a difference. I hope this is chosen as a Daily Dose to increase the number of readers accessing this important book...maybe some of you are in positions of power???
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780262650533
Other:
O'Brien, Mary
Publisher:
MIT Press (MA)
Author:
O'Brien, Mary
Location:
Cambridge :
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
Environmental policy
Subject:
Natural Resources
Subject:
Environmental risk assessment
Subject:
Environmental policy -- Decision making.
Subject:
Environmental Studies-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Making Better Environmental Decisions
Publication Date:
20000531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 17
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.9 x 6 x 0.8 in

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Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Management

Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment Used Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages MIT Press - English 9780262650533 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Published in association with the Environmental Research Foundation.
"Synopsis" by , For the past quarter-century, government and the private sector have relied heavily on risk assessment for making decisions, allowing widespread environmental deterioration. In this book, Mary O'Brien recommends a simple yet profound shift to another decision-making technique: "alternatives assessment.
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