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Marco Martuzzi and Roberto Bertollini, researchers with the World Health Organization (WHO), argue that although the Precautionary Principle, which demands preventive action in the face of credible threats of harm (even lacking full scientific certainty), may be difficult to apply, it can be valuable in the effort to protect human health and the environment. Henry I. Miller, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and policy analyst Gregory Conko argue that the
precautionary principle leads “regulators to abandon the careful balancing of risks and benefits,” blocks progress, limits the freedom
of scientific researchers, and restricts consumer choice.
Professor of management Dinah M.Payne and professor of accounting Cecily A. Raiborn argue that environmental responsibility and sustainable
development are essential parts of modern business ethics and that only through them can both business and humans thrive. Environmental journalist Ronald Bailey argues that sustainable development results in economic stagnation and threatens both the environment and the world’s poor.
Janet N. Abramovitz, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute, argues that if we fail to attach economic value to supposedly free
services provided by nature, we are more likely to misuse and destroy the ecosystems that provide those services. Professors of applied ecology Marino Gatto and Giulio A. De Leo contend that the pricing approach to valuing nature’s services is misleading
because it falsely implies that only economic values matter.
Professor of economics David N. Laband argues that the public demands excessive amounts of biodiversity largely because decision makers and
voters do not have to bear the costs of producing it. Wildlife conservation researcher and writer Howard Youth argues that the actions needed to protect biodiversity not only have economic benefits, but also are the same actions needed to ensure a sustainable future for humanity.
Professor of sociology Robert D. Bullard argues that even though environmental racism has been recognized for a quarter of a century, it remains a problem and Bush Administration policies threaten to undo what progress has been achieved. Writer and social analyst David Friedman denies the existence of environmental racism. He argues that the environmental justice movement is
a government-sanctioned political ploy that will hurt urban minorities by driving away industrial jobs.
Freelance science writer Charles W. Schmidt argues that economic incentives such as emissions rights trading offer the most useful
approaches to reducing pollution. Author, college teacher, and environmental activist Brian Tokar maintains that pollution credits and other market-oriented environmental
protection policies do nothing to reduce pollution while transferring the power to protect the environment from the public to large corporate
Environmental journalist Ronald Bailey argues that the natural environment is not in trouble, despite the arguments of many
environmentalists that it is. He holds that the greatest danger facing the environment is not human activity but “ideological environmentalism, with
its hostility to economic growth and technological progress.” David Pimentel, a professor of insect ecology and agricultural sciences, argues that those who contend that the environment is not
threatened are using data selectively and that the supply of basic resources to support human life is declining rapidly.
Professor of economics Dwight R. Lee argues that the economic and other benefits of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) oil are so great
that even environmentalists should agree to permit drilling—and they probably would if they stood to benefit directly. Katherine Balpataky argues that cost-benefit analyses do not support the case for drilling in the ANWR and that the damage done by drilling both to the environment and to the traditional values of the indigenous people, the Gwich’in, cannot be tolerated.
George Marshall and Mark Lynas argue that despite a remarkable level of agreement that the threat of global warming is real, human psychology keeps us "in denial." But survival demands that we escape denial and seek more positive action. Long-time anti-global warming spokesman Fred Singer argues in an interview by Stephen Goode that global warming just is not happening in any significant way and if it were, it would—judging from the past—be good for humanity.
Social activist Jeremy Rifkin argues that fossil fuels are approaching the end of their usefulness and that hydrogen fuel holds the potential not only to replace them but also to reshape society. Writer Henry Payne and director of science, environment, and technology policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy Diane Katz argue that hydrogen can only be made widely available if society invests heavily in nuclear power. Market mechanisms will keep fossil fuels in play for years to come.
New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer states that removing regulatory requirements for power plant pollution controls will prevent needed improvements in air quality. Environmental Protection Agency assistant administrator Jeffrey Holmstead argues that removing regulatory requirements for power plant pollution controls in favor of a markets-based approach will improve air quality.
Professor Stephen Ansolabehere and the other members of the group that produced MIT’s "The Future of Nuclear Power" report argue that greatly expanded use of nuclear power should not be excluded as a way to meet future energy needs and reduce the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. Professor of journalism Karl Grossman argues that to encourage the use of nuclear power is reckless. It would be wiser to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Lester R. Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, argues that stabilizing world population is central to preventing overconsumption of environmental resources. Stephen Moore, director of the Cato Institute, argues that human numbers pose no threat to human survival or the environment but that
efforts to control population do threaten human freedom and worth.
The national academies of science of the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and the Third World argue that
genetically modified crops hold the potential to feed the world during the twenty-first century while also protecting the environment. Brian Halweil, a researcher at the Worldwatch Institute, argues that the genetic modification of crops threatens to produce
pesticide-resistant insect pests and herbicide-resistant weeds, will victimize poor farmers, and is unlikely to feed the world.
Professor of Marine Ecology Robert R. Warner argues that marine reserves, areas of the ocean completely protected from all extractive activities such as fishing, can be a useful tool for preserving ecosystems and restoring productive fisheries. Sean Paige, a Fellow at the market-oriented Competitive Enterprise Institute, argues that marine reserves are based on immature and uncertain science and will have a direct and detrimental effect on commercial fishermen.
Anne Platt McGinn, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute, argues that although DDT is still used to fight malaria, there are
other, more effective and less environmentally harmful methods. She maintains that DDT should be banned or reserved for emergency use. Alexander Gourevitch, an American Prospect writing fellow, argues that, properly used, DDT is not as dangerous as its reputation insists it is, and it remains the cheapest and most effective way to combat malaria.
Professor of biological sciences Michele L. Trankina argues that a great many synthetic chemicals behave like estrogen, alter the reproductive functioning of wildlife, and may have serious health effects, including cancer, on humans. Michael Gough, a biologist and expert on risk assessment and environmental policy, argues that only "junk science" supports the hazards of environmental estrogens.
Environmental consultants Robert H. Harris, Jay Vandeven, and Mike Tilchin argue that though the Superfund program still has room for improvement, it has made great progress in risk assessment and treatment technologies. Journalist Margot Roosevelt argues that because a quarter of Americans live near Superfund sites and sites such as Tar Creek, OK, remain hazardous, Superfund’s work is clearly not getting done.
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham argues that the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, nuclear waste disposal site is suitable technically and
scientifically and that its development serves the U.S. national interest in numerous ways. Environmentalist writer Gar Smith argues that transporting nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain will expose millions of Americans to risks from accidents and terrorists.
Benedict S. Choen argues that environmental regulations interfere with military training and other "readiness" activities, and that though the U.S. Department of Defense will continue "to provide exemplary stewardship of the lands and natural resources in our trust," those regulations must be revised to permit the military to do its job without interference. Jamie Clark argues that reducing the Department of Defense’s environmental obligations is dangerous because both people and wildlife would be threatened with serious, irreversible, and unnecessary harm.
Edward J. Markey argues that the risks—including those associated with terrorist attack—associated with LNG (liquefied natural gas) tankers and terminals are so great that additional federal regulation is essential in order to protect the public. Donald F. Santa, Jr., argues that meeting demand for energy requires public policies that "do not unreasonably limit resource and infrastructure development." The permitting process for LNG import facilities should be governed by existing Federal Regulatory Commission procedures without additional regulatory impediments.