We should take gravity more seriously

We should take gravity more seriously.


No, not the apple on the head gravity, rather the gravity of potential harms arising from human activities on the environment.  Recent history has shown that decision makers tend to overlook the potentially grave consequences of their decisions.  The BP spill in the Gulf is an example of an activity getting approved due to the assumed and/or presented low probability of a catastrophe occurring.  Are our decision makers optimistic to a fault?  Do regulators rely on the low probability of grievous harm to rationalize approvals?
The emphasis on the low probability of events occurring extends from our use of a risk management approach to decision-making and has become central to environmental impact assessments.  The risk management approach dictates that we ask all the rights questions.  What is the potential for environmental harms?  What is the nature of that harm?  Can the harm be mitigated?
Read “We should take gravity more seriously” on the ELC blog.


The Environmental Law Centre (ELC) has been seeking strong and effective environmental laws since it was founded in 1982. The ELC is dedicated to providing credible, comprehensive and objective legal information regarding natural resources, energy and environmental law, policy and regulation in Alberta. The ELC’s mission is to educate and champion for strong laws and rights so all Albertans can enjoy clean water, clean air and a healthy environment. Our vision is a society where laws secure an environment that sustains current and future generations.
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