Blog 7 – “What if those scientists are right?”

Naomi Klein’s TED talk on RISK

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Naomi Klein’s TED talk on our addiction to risk needs to be watched by everyone with a conscious mind. Her lengthily description of what she saw on the Gulf of Mexico a short time after the BP oil spill brought me to tears.

“But even more striking than the ferocious power emanating from that well was the recklessness with which that power was unleashed — the carelessness, the lack of planning that characterized the operation from drilling to clean-up.”

As a culture, we have become far too willing to gamble with things that are precious and irreplaceable, without a back-up plan, without an exit strategy. This is my problem with uncertainty and risk.

Stupid questions we ask ourselves instead of how can we save humanity:

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Why do we keep letting this happen? Naomi later in the speech correlates the spill to climate change, and this is where it gets interesting. She goes on to ask ‘what if the IPC scientists are all wrong?’

I argue ‘what is the IPC scientist are all right?’ I am a firm believer in the precautionary principle and refuse to accept risk in my way of thinking. As I read through this weeks readings and lecture, terms such as ‘unacceptable but maybe tolerable risk’ jumped out at me and made me sick to my stomach.

Another stupid questions we ask ourselves instead of how can we save humanity:

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I argue that NO risk is acceptable, and that governments and society need to understand that environmental risks go hand in hand with human survival risks. There is no other way of seeing it; dramatic, I know.

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