â€œThe precautionary principle or precautionary approach states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.
â€œThis principle allows policy makers to make discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from taking a particular course or making a certain decision when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking. The principle implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. These protections can be relaxed only if further scientific findings emerge that provide sound evidence that no harm will result.â€
Post Normal Science (PNS) is specifically recommended for environmental issues (including â€œsustainabilityâ€?). Post Normal Science includes the following criteria, which can be found in Ravetz, 2001 and more sparsely in other sources:
Uncertainty (facts are uncertain)
High Stakes - Dangerous (Climate change warming is inferred harmful; this depends upon feedbacks greater thanArrhenius, 1894)
Irreversible â€“ Permanent; Problem will not go away
Urgent (decisions urgent)
Experimentation â€“ â€œnot best suitedâ€ - crucial experiments unavailable
Values in dispute; PNS may influence values within research and even statistics (Ravetz, 2004, Ravetz, 2010)
It is to extend "democracy" (public debate, politics) (Ravetz, 2004, Ravetz, 2010)
Politics/Policy/Regulation - Policy Implications are to guide regulatory work
Quality Assurance (Extended Peer Community)
Post-Normal approach to Science embodies the Precautionary Principle (Ravetz, 2004, Ravetz, 2010)
Trust, Integrity, Truth
Some references to Ravetz, 2010 may be error, a confusion in notes with Ravetz, 2004. Sorry.
â€œScience now finds itself in a new and troubled situation. The traditional optimistic picture is problematic and compromised at every turn. The scientific system now faces a crisis of confidence, of legitimacy and ultimately of power. We can usefully distinguish two sorts of science. The â€˜mainstreamâ€™ is reductionist in style, and increasingly linked to industry. By contrast, the â€˜post-normalâ€™ approach embodies the precautionary principle. It depends on public debate, and involves an essential role for the â€˜extended peer communityâ€™. It is based on the recent recognition of the influence of values on all research, even including the basic statistical tests of significance. It is the appropriate methodology when either systems uncertainties or decision stakes are high; under those conditions the puzzle-solving approach of â€˜normal scienceâ€™ is obsolete. This is a drastic cultural change for science, which many scientists will difficult to accept. But there is no turning back; we can understand post-normal science as the extension of democracy appropriate to the conditions of our age.â€
Arrhenius, Svante. â€œOn the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air Upon the Temperature of the Ground.â€ Philosophical Magazine and Journal Of Science Series 5, Vol 41 (April 1896): 237 â€“ 276. www.rsc.org/images/Arrhenius1896_tcm18-173546.pdf
This is the famous paper upon which AGW depends. It is the basis for the logarithmic increase of temperature for a doubling of CO2. It gives 1 - 1.2o C for modern doubling. Unfortunately, it is the only science connecting CO2 and surface temperature. The rest of the claimed increase is based on consensus feedback estimates and tuning of models to historical data (elaborate curve fitting ). Unfortunately, the data is in poor shape (i.e., munged IMO).
â€œWith the help of an array of WUWT reader comments on this thread and several others documented within, Iâ€™ve been compiling a summary of all potential climatic variables in order to build a conceptual map of Earthâ€™s climate system. The goals of this exercise include: To gain a bigger picture understanding and perspective of Earthâ€™s climate system. To demonstrate that Earthâ€™s climate system is a ridiculously complex, continually evolving and sometimes chaotic beast, with the plethora of variables, many interdependencies and an array of feedbacks, both positive and negative. Your help in completing this exercise would be most appreciatedâ€¦.â€
What you have missed completely is the human characteristic to be seen as being in charge. There is no PP involved by those that have attained being in charge, they just act. Certainly because they are in charge they must be right on all matters. Further when it is discovered that PNS helps their position of authority they embrace it entirely. A positive feedback loop. A positive feedback loop eventually blows something up. Unfortunately the little people suffer this event in much larger scale. It unfortunately often takes both believers and non believers in its wake.