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Module 6 - Eternal health and safety issue.docx
Module 6 - Eternal health and safety issue.docx

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University of Waterloo
PHIL 215
Brian Orend

Module 6Eternal health and safety issueIts not just about pollution that is the health and safety issue its also about product safety some products physically damage peopleThe Politics of Pollution ControlIs there really a problemJan Narvesons Libertarian critique of Environmentalism o Convinced that there is no environmental problem at all o Vocal minority group out to feather their own nests o Base problem on dubious science o Hysterical socialist agendaThat is misanthropicSystematically underestimates human capacity for technological adaptationWhere is the problemIs it a problem that we keep on takingIsnt that what the earth is forDo we need to be concerned about depleting all of our resourceso Oil and gas companies o Tress and reforestationWhere does this hysteria come from that if we take and take there will be nothing left and mass catastrophes nd John Palmers Critique of Environmentalism2 reading o Resource gets scarce o Supply falls o Price goes up o New producers are attracted o Deforestation is all supply and demand o Diminishment of the resource creates incentives to plant moreEnvironmentalist being critiqued have certain convictions about the rate of resource depletionEg Oil is going to run out in 15 yearsEg Forests will be depleted in 35 years o Deep scientific questions to ask about whether those are accurate claimsEg debate about the science behind global warmingKyoto Accorddebate as to whether global warming is even happeningOr is this just a 200 year hot cycle o Does industrialization have anything to do with global warningStewart and Dickeys Optimism Re Pollution ControlReading in text bookThe Issue of Optimism and PessimismStewart and Dickeys Optimism o Prospects of finding a balance betweenPursuit of shortterm profit goring and maximizing standard of livingSome kind of environmental sustainabilitySchreckers Pessimism not in reading o Doesnt believe that this balance is possibleSteward and Dickey The Pollution Control ArgumentIt is in the selfinterest of business to care about environmental responsibility o Public image o Prolong their resources o Employees dont want to live in a polluted environment o Cost efficiencydo more with less o Employee moralehelps recruitment o Increase profitWith raw demandWilling to pay more Stewart and Dickey Favourably Cite Public Opinion Polls o Changes in consumer awareness and consumer behaviour are beginning to create demand for green products people are becoming more green and its changing they way they buy thingsproduct demand o Do you think thats true o They believe that this shift is permanent and built into the marketplaceDo you shop at Body Shop or Walmart 15 vs 3 for lotion o What do these surveys actually indicateSurveys are notoriously unreliable when it comes to long term attitudes and long term changesPeople dont tell surveyors what they actually believeOften give answer that they think surveyors wants1960 election between JF Kennedy and Johnson70 of people told the poller that they voted for Kennedy but in reality many of them lied because that was the closest election in history o Environmentalism has gone in cyclesEarly 1960sSilent Spring by Rachel CarsonLate 1960scounter culture movementEarly 1970screates momentum in favour of all the proenvironmental legislationLate 1970senvironmentalism is not on the agenda o Connection with Economic GrowthEalty 1980sdifficult for economyMid 1980seconomy heats up againLate 1980senvironmentalism is a hot issue again Brundtland CommissionEarly 1990srecession little concern for environmental issuesLate 1990seconomy up again but environmentalism cannot match late 1980sRio Conferencescheduled during the pack of interest in 89 then the economy tanked and nothing came out of Rio because they wanted the recession to end
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