Herb Lindberg: The Precautionary Principle | TheUnion.com

Herb Lindberg: The Precautionary Principle

Since its European origin (Sweden and Germany) in 1970 and expansion at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the precautionary principle has exchanged knowledge, freedom, service to mankind, and science with ignorance, fear, agendas and lawyers. The promulgators of these agendas are experts in creating fear of possibilities (damage from genetically optimized crops, harm from species dying out, climate change) in place of sound logic and probabilities. These fears have seduced liberals and government agencies into their service. It’s hard to resist joining “earth friendly” causes to “save our planet” via “sustainable development” and “organic crops.”

The Precautionary Principal has turned logic and fairness on their heads. Instead of innocent until proven guilty, we have ethics used to find individuals or firms culpable if they don’t prove beyond reasonable doubt their products are safe, and lawyers get to define “reasonable.”

We should instead rely on the logic that no firm would stay in business if it didn’t do its level best to assure their products serve mankind and cause no harm, but it is impossible to prove it. The net result is that lawyers tell us what products and services are good for humanity, not scientist who are vastly more capable of doing so.

We’ve got to resist this steady decline into a world of ignorance and fear and cast out laws that keep us from doing what is best for humanity and the world we live in. We can start by stamping out any law that promotes the illogical and unfair precautionary principle, and offshoots like the Endangered Species Act and the campaign against genetically optimized crops, which are just another way to stifle human priorities and have little to do with safety of food or the welfare of species.

Herb Lindberg

Grass Valley

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Mark Johnson: One question …


Every single person I know … every acquaintance that I have spoken with recently … is 100% against reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine. The destruction of our valued way of life looks like it would be…

See more