Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Fear Factor Behind Europe's UN-Centered 'Negative' Sustainable Development

A. The Power and Dynamic of Fear

The well-known Italian political philosopher, Niccolo Machiavelli, once opined that,

“[S]ince love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.” [1]

Many political theorists have since recognized the wisdom of Machiavelli’s words, particularly, how “our evolved physiological makeup disposes us to fear all sorts of actual and potential threats, even those that exist only in our imagination”. Governments, as well, “understand this basic fact of human nature.” [2]

“The people who have the effrontery to rule us, who call themselves our government, understand this basic fact of human nature. They exploit it, and they cultivate it. Whether they compose a warfare state or a welfare state, they depend on it to secure popular submission, compliance with official dictates, and, on some occasions, affirmative cooperation with the state's enterprises and adventures. Without popular fear, no government could endure more than twenty-four hours. [3]

Indeed, as some have suggested, fear is a depreciable asset that continually requires “maintenance, modernization and replacement”. Therefore, governments have become savvy about not overloading the public's sensibilities, and about periodically investing in their “stock of fear capital”, lest the people will “eventually discount government's attempts to frighten them further.”[4]

At least one authoritative British study recently evaluated the use of fear as a stimulus for learning. It looked at the impact of negative information on the formation and persistence of children’s fear beliefs. The study found not only that a person’s fear beliefs increased significantly after hearing negative information (much more so than after hearing positive information or no information at all), but also, that negative information also altered a person’s “causal learning”. In fact, negative information “led to an overestimation of the frequency of negative outcomes [for future events even] when the causal relationship was incongruent with [the] information and the actual frequency of negative outcomes” was much, much less (“20% of the time).[5] In other words, negative information caused them subsequently to over-predict the frequency of negative outcomes.

The study concluded such findings to be significant, given that a “key feature of clinical phobias and excessive fears is that they do not respond to verbal reassurances and…that…despite repeated experiences of the phobic object not leading to aversive outcomes, the fear persists…” [6]

Scholars, furthermore, have noted how ‘fear’ serves as an efficient tool of governance and subjugation, especially when fear is promoted in the media and used to keep the public in a state of artificially heightened fatigue and apprehension. This, in turn, paves the way for greater government control over individual freedoms and rights, via regulation, taxation, reporting and surveillance.

“… By keeping the population in a state of artificially heightened apprehension, the government-cum-media prepares the ground for planting specific measures of taxation, regulation, surveillance, reporting, and other invasions of the people's wealth, privacy, and freedoms. Left alone for a while, relieved of this ceaseless bombardment of warnings, people would soon come to understand that hardly any of the announced threats has any substance and that they can manage their own affairs quite well without the security-related regimentation and tax-extortion the government seeks to justify. Large parts of the government and the "private" sector participate in the production and distribution of fear…At every point, opportunists latch onto existing fears and strive to invent new ones to feather their own nests.” [7]

Last, but not least, fear is being used to induce fundamental changes in human behavior, with respect to the environment, without the opportunity for public dissent. For example, should anyone, including scientists, engineers, lawyers, businesspersons, politicians and reformed environmental activists[8] dare to get in the way of the environment-centric message now being crafted and to publicly refute the ostensible science underlying the political consensus formed among European nations, UN bureaucrats, American Europhiles and environmental activists, it is virtually assured that they will be publicly castigated and discredited,[9] and their views censored.[10]

This has already occurred at the hands of the liberal media elite,[11] scientific journals controlled by the liberal agenda,[12] and an emboldened band of liberal and politically correct Congressional[13] and European government representatives.[14] Such persons, apparently, have determined that it is absolutely necessary to stifle public debates on critically important policy questions concerning the environment that they believe they might lose.[15] This censorship has occurred before the public has even had a chance to participate or to evaluate the conflicting evidence.[16]

Coincidentally, ‘enlightened’ members of the U.S. Congress also seem to embrace an uneducated preference for knee-jerk ‘go-along-to-get-along’ European-style multilateralism, whether or not it would endanger the long term security of the United States.

It is extremely ironic that, just as former vice president Al Gore, in 2004, had “denounced President Bush for ‘playing on our fears’” with respect to the threat of terrorism, Mr. Gore and many congressional Democrats and ‘soft’ Republicans are now “at the forefront of a ‘green scare’ about global warming [and other potential environmental hazards] intended to terrify Americans into submitting to [their politically preferred] environmental policies.”[17] One such policy would be to adopt the European Precautionary Principle as the basis US federal, state and local environmental, health and safety law,[18] even though it is incapable of ensuring against a great many public environmental and health risks, and may actually cause more public harm than good.[19]

Indeed, environmental scaremongering and misinformation, especially in Europe, can be traced back to the accidental 1986 explosion and subsequent radiation leak at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine. Research performed by the United Nations Development Program found that, “fear, not radiation…truly afflicted the peoples of the region” (emphasis added).[20] Later research confirmed that scaremongering and misinformation had served to shape negative public opinion surrounding nuclear energy and to bolster public support for a greater government role in protecting and assisting the public against such hazards in the future.

This had a truly profound impact on Ukrainian public opinion during the ensuing years, despite the fact that little empirical evidence of actual harm was later adduced that justified such fears.

According to Kalman Mizsei, former UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States,

“[A] lack of information and a Soviet legacy of fatalism have left Chernobyl survivors convinced that they continue to live under a cloud, resulting in a culture of despair and dependency that has stunted development in the impoverished region…Research shows that people still don't know what the effects are…The fatalistic mentality that communism created has shifted to Chernobyl.” [21]

In the words of best-selling author, Michael Crichton, however, “Authoritatively telling people they are going to die can in itself be fatal.”[22]

B. The Use of Fear by European Governments

French President Jacques Chirac recently delivered a speech in Paris, France to the “Citizens of the Earth Conference for Ecological Global Governance”. French bureaucrats,[23] environmental activists and fear-inciters extraordinaire, including climate alarmists such as former US vice president Al Gore and disputed British political economist Nicholas Stern, also spoke at this event.

Mr. Chirac emphasized, in his trademark Gaullist tone and condescending paternalistic manner, that there is an immediate need for a new French-led post-WWII global paradigm. He argues that it is necessitated by the ‘environmental emergency’/ ‘environmental crisis’ at hand that could conceivably lead to an international ‘environmental war’. With fear as his motivator, Monsieur Chirac thus recommends the adoption of a new paradigm based on the negative Malthusian[24] notion of environment-centric sustainable development.

The French president extolled the multiple purposes of the Earth Conference as indispensable to saving the planet from such threats. There were three:

“[1] To raise awareness of the urgency of the situation, taking stock together of the threats facing the environment and endangering the broad ecological balances of our planet[;] [2] To decide upon priority measures to combat those threats in order to respond to the global ecological issues for our time and for generations to come[;] [and 3] To take action, at international level, to create a United Nations Environment Organization (UNEO) with a view to strengthening environmental governance. [25]

Monsieur Chirac began by setting the forth the following fear-based rationale for engaging in ‘enlightened’ global environmental governance; a/k/a negative sustainable development:

The planet is sick. The symptoms are its increasingly frequent extreme reactions – hurricanes, floods and droughts. Nature is sick. Species are dying out at an alarming rate. We have proof that human activity is causing these disorders. The day is fast approaching when runaway climate change will spin out of control. We have almost reached the historic point of no return… For years now, in the European institutions, in the G8, in all the international fora, France has been battling – I have been battling – to draw attention to the environmental emergency at hand. [26]

Mr. Chirac then proceeded to chastise humankind and to criticize the current post-WWII paradigm as contributing to such environmental emergency:

“Why are we not taking the steps that need to be taken? Because in our reprehensible selfishness we refuse to face the facts; because we are unable to shake off outmoded mindsets and an economic structure inherited from the nineteenth century; because our international policy-making structure is ill-suited to the crucial issue of the twenty-first century, namely the environment.” [27]

According to Chirac, we must develop a ‘humanist environmentalism’, that leads to the creation of a new “fundamental…human right – the right to a sound and protected [as opposed to a ‘clean’] environment”. In addition, such human right must be universally recognized via the adoption at the UN of a “Universal Declaration of Environmental Rights and Duties”, which would be binding on all nations and peoples.

“Our responsibility towards the earth is inseparable from our responsibility to humanity. The environmental imperative opens an unprecedented chapter in human rights. We must assert and enforce a new fundamental right – the right to a sound and protected environment. That is the meaning of humanist environmentalism. We need a revolution in our culture. We must educate everyone, especially the very young, in environmental issues. To ensure that we all become ‘Citizens of the Earth’, let us adopt a Universal Declaration of Environmental Rights and Duties at the United Nations. The Declaration will be an expression of our common environmental ethics, which will underpin our public and individual endeavours.” [xxviii]

In addition, President Chirac noted the economic and other sacrifices that ALL developed nations and individuals, including Americans, must make in the name of negative sustainable development.

“[T]he sustainable development revolution...will require a radical transformation in our production and consumption patterns and stewardship of natural resources and environments. It will mean cutting pollution; including environmental quality in calculating GDP; and pricing natural resources fairly. Companies must take on board their environmental responsibilities…The most innovative and environmentally protective economies will be the most powerful economies. To achieve that, however, we need clear and fair competition rules. Either the international community knuckles down, or there will be an ‘environmental war’. The burden must be fairly shared. The countries of the North were the first to build their wealth on the massive exploitation of natural resources. They must shoulder their share of responsibility by complying, within a concerted framework, with production rules and environmental standards. These are the focus of the negotiations on combating global warming within the framework of the United Nations Convention, which are to be completed before 2009 and which cover the post-Kyoto Protocol period”. [29]

Last, but not least, Chirac called for the creation of a multilateral environmental organization with the authority to ensure environment-centric sustainable development and international peace.

“[T]he environmental imperative is increasingly shaping local and national policies. But this struggle must be waged at a global level. The environmental crisis recognizes no borders. Yet we still, all too often, fail to act together. We must build world environmental governance. In this area as in others, unilateralism leads nowhere. Just as multilateralism is the prerequisite for peace, it is the key to sustainable development. The United Nations Environment Programme is outstanding, and I want to pay tribute to it. But it does not have adequate powers or institutional clout. We must aim to transform it into a fully-fledged United Nations agency. This UNEO will act as the world's ecological conscience. It will carry out impartial and scientific assessment of environmental dangers. It will have policy-making terms of reference giving it the legitimacy to implement action jointly decided. It will lend greater weight and greater cohesion to our collective endeavours. The goal of this conference is to mobilize all our citizens and all sections of our societies and to set up a group of pioneer countries prepared to support the United Nations Environment Organization project and to win over those who are still hesitant to join us.” [30]

C. The European Commission’s ‘Fear Report’

A 2003 report prepared by the European Commission[31] had previously highlighted the negative physical and emotional impacts associated with public fears generated by a host of hazardous human activities. It explained how the public’s perceptions, fears and impressions of uncertain and hypothetical future hazards are often directly responsible for the tensions and psychosomatic ailments that reduce human ‘well-being’ as defined by the World Health Organization, and thereby, the ‘quality of life’. It also found that such fears are largely rooted in cultural and ethical values “which can be different regionally and individually and even change in time.”[32]

“[A]nxieties stem not from a general and unavoidable fear of the unknown, but partly from the failures of the EU risk communication and technology education, and partly from the ‘unnatural character of new technologies’. These failings have allegedly had a profound impact on Europeans’ perception of self-autonomy and have thus resulted in the public experiencing higher levels of stress and feelings of helplessness." [33]

The report identified a number of economic activities that the European public perceives as being too risky.[34] These include “exposure to health hazards by chemical factors, safety of food and drinking water, natural and manmade poisons, infectious diseases, and new technologies, especially biotechnology. They include also the welfare of companion animals, wildlife and animals in general, as well as the environment as a whole.”[35]

Interestingly, the report did not consider the possibility that these higher levels of stress might be traceable in part to the false and exaggerated claims of technological harm put out time and again by extremist environmental organizations and ‘green’ publications. Rather, it concluded that public risk perception and risk communication have a direct bearing on ‘quality of life’ considerations and human ‘well-being’, whether or not the risks are real, and that such fears have reduced public confidence in the ability of EU regulators to protect them from harm.

To reduce these negative impacts and improve Europeans’ quality of life, the report called for risk assessments to go beyond the traditional use of ‘hard’ analytical science (e.g., statistical analyses of likelihood of severity of harm, actual exposure data, and the likely impact on affected exposure groups). In other words, risk assessments would need to encompass also the use of ‘soft’ social science principles that reflected subjective ‘quality of life’ notions.

The report thus recommended that aspects of the quality of life beyond traditional risk assessment and risk management are to be included in the [risk evaluation] process via the Precautionary Principle.[36] In other words, the report called for more and more stringent regulation. Thus, the European Commission had hoped to rely upon the report’s findings to change the scientific risk assessment protocols which it and the EU’s member states could rely upon to justify European Precautionary Principle-based regulations at variance with World Trade Organization rules.

D. The Embrace of Fear by the WTO Director-General

While it may be comforting to believe that the extreme ideas articulated by Monsieur Chirac are embraced only by his fellow European leaders, and perhaps even by socialist UN bureaucrats, think again. Similar thoughts have also been expressed by none other than World Trade Organization Director-General, Pascal Lamy. Although one may be inclined to dismiss Monsieur Lamy as another Frenchmen reared in the socialist tradition, he is, in his official capacity, obliged to defend the negotiated rules and principles of the international free trade system against illegitimate abuse via disguised protectionism. However, he appears not to have assumed his responsibility as seriously as he should.[37]

In a recent speech delivered to the UN Environment Programme Governing Council and Environment Ministerial in Nairobi, Kenya, Mr. Lamy, too, sought to incite public fear. He alleged that free trade advocates were seeking to derail the WTO Doha Round trade negotiations by refusing to engage in negotiation of environmental matters. He warned that “failure of the Doha negotiations ‘would strengthen the hand of all those who argue that economic growth should proceed unchecked’ without regard for the environment. He then stressed that ‘trade, and indeed the WTO, must be made to deliver sustainable development’”.[38] “It was the first time a WTO leader had attended the UN Environment Programme's Governing Council meetings, and his attendance was hailed by environmental campaigners.” [39]

“The Doha Round of trade negotiations contains a promise for the environment. A promise to allow for a more efficient allocation of resources — including natural ones — on a global scale through a continued reduction of obstacles to trade (tariffs and subsidies). But it also includes a promise to ensure greater harmony between the WTO and MEAs: a promise to tear down the barriers that stand in the way of trade in clean technologies and services; as well as a promise to reduce the environmentally harmful agricultural subsidies that are leading to overproduction and harmful fisheries subsidies which are encouraging over-fishing and depleting the world's fish stock.” [40]

In referring to this need, Lamy invoked the quasi-Pagan name ‘Gaia’ that environmental extremists have long used to personify, worship and protect planet Earth (‘Mother Earth’)[41] against most human interference. He did so, just as he emphasized the urgency of re-launching environmental negotiations at the Doha Round. According to Lamy, global adherence to environment-centric sustainable development is no longer an ‘option’ – it is now a ‘must’. “A sustainable development strategy, linking all international actors, must become our goal. We must not wait for Gaia to react!” [42]

According to the Gaia Hypothesis, we are parts of a greater whole (he said). Our destiny is not dependent merely on what we do for ourselves but also what we do for Gaia as a whole. If we endanger her, she will dispense with us in the interests of a higher value — life itself…In 1987, when the Brundtland Report coined the term “sustainable development”, many of us saw it as one option. The other option was the business-as-usual scenario. Twenty years later no one can argue that sustainable development is a choice anymore. It has become a must. Sustainable development should be the cornerstone of our approach to globalization and to the global governance architecture that we create…[T]he WTO stands ready to do its part.” [43]

To achieve environment-centric sustainable development, Mr. Lamy called for greater and more integrated global governance at a supra-national level. This involves synchronized environmental and trade policies, as well as synchronized global institutions - the WTO, UNEP, and MEAs by which all nations, including America, would be bound.

“[T]he world has become interconnected to a point, that today it is impossible for a country to live and prosper in isolation of the rest of the world…Clearly, globalization is a phenomenon that requires careful management…The management of globalization would allow us to capture its benefits, while leaving behind its downside [i.e., pollution that crosses borders]…There is no doubt that the world needs more effective ‘global governance’ — governance at a level that transcends national boundaries. Our institutions of global governance must therefore be strengthened. They must also be made to function as a more coherent whole. This applies to the WTO, and to all other international institutions, which should complement each other…In today's world, our policies are not fully synchronized. Greater awareness of the need for this synchronization is, first and foremost, required of governments. We need to turn the page on the era in which governments would bring conflicting positions to different fora. The right hand of government should not compete with its left hand. The WTO, UNEP, and MEAs — as well as all other international institutions — must be put to work towards a shared sustainable development vision” (emphasis added). [44]

[1] See Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513.
[2] See Robert Higgs, “The Political Economy of Fear”, Ludwig von Mises Institute (5/16/05) at: http://www.mises.org/story/1819#_ftnref1 .
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5] See Andy Peter Field and Robin Banerjee, “The Role of Information in the Development of Fear Beliefs: End of Award Report”, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (July 2005) at: http://www.statisticshell.com/research/childfear.htm .
[6] Ibid.
[7] Robert Higgs, supra.
[8] “Greenpeace co-founder and former leader Dr. Patrick Moore said the United Kingdom's Royal Society should stop playing a political blame game on global warming and retract its recent letter that smacks of a repressive and anti-intellectual attitude. ‘It appears to be the policy of the Royal Society to stifle dissent and silence anyone who may have doubts about the connection between global warming and human activity,’ said Dr. Moore, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Vancouver, Canada-based Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. ‘That kind of repression seems more suited to the Inquisition than to a modern, respected scientific body,’ said Moore. In a letter dated September 4 and published this week in a London newspaper, the Royal Society's Bob Ward accused ExxonMobil of misleading the public by daring to question the link between human activity and increases in global temperatures” (emphasis added). See “Greenpeace Co-founder Asks UK's Royal Society to Stop Playing Political Blame Game on Global Warming” PR Newswire (9/21/06) at: http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/cgi/news/release?id=179680 .
[9] “As Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at MIT, recently lamented in the Wall Street Journal: ‘Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libeled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse. Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science that supposedly is their basis’…[T]o the greens…the only thing we have to fear is the lack of fear itself” (emphasis added). See Jonah Goldberg, “Conveniently Missing the Truth”, National Review Online (4/21/06) at: http://www.nationalreview.com/goldberg/goldberg200604210711.asp .
[10] See United States Senator James Inhofe, “Hot and Cold Media Spin Cycle: A Challenge to Journalists Who Cover Global Warming – A Skeptics Guide to Debunking Global Warming Alarmism”, Senate Floor Speech and Global Warming Related Materials (9/25/06) at: http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=56dd129d-e40a-4bad-abd9-68c808e8809e .
[11] In the case of global warming, such scaremongering has been undertaken despite the fact that “60 climatologists from around the world who wrote Canada's prime minister that ‘observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models…[Consequently,’…there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future.’ But that's all beside the point to Gore & Co., who say the time for debate is over. And if you disagree, get ready for the witch-hunt. Major news media have gone after scientists who argue there's still time to study global warming rather than plunge into some half-baked environmental jihad that could waste possibly trillions of dollars.” See Jonah Goldberg, “Conveniently Missing the Truth”, supra.
[12] “Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming. A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds. A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming, said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which raised doubts over the issue.” See Robert Matthews, “Leading Scientific Journals Are ‘Censoring Debate on Global Warming’”, UK Telegraph (5/1/05) at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/05/01/wglob01.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/05/01/ixworld.html .
[13] "In an effort to call attention to the detrimental effects of industry-funded, so-called ‘research’ in the debate on global climate change, Senators John (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) today called on the world’s largest oil company to end its funding of a climate change denial campaign. Rockefeller and Snowe’s effort would also reassert the leading role of the United States in addressing important global issues that demand the world’s collective attention. Rockefeller and Snowe said that ExxonMobil’s extensive funding of an “echo chamber” of non-peer reviewed pseudo-science had unfortunately succeeded in raising questions about the legitimate scientific community’s virtually universal findings on the detrimental effects of global warming. This ongoing “debate” has also damaged America’s reputation as a leader in global affairs.” See “Rockefeller and Snowe Demand that Exxon Mobil End Funding of Campaign that Denies Global Climate Change”, Olympia J. Snowe, United States Senator for Maine (10/30/06) at: http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=9acba744-802a-23ad-47be-2683985c724e .
[14] “In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute on November 9, foreign secretary Margaret Beckett called on the media to deny terrorists and their supporters a platform…But then she said something shocking. ‘I've seen [the same thing] in the long-running debate on climate change: wheel out the resident sceptic, however unrepresentative or discredited, to generate tension and voice provocative views in the name of editorial balance. It makes for more heated exchanges and louder headlines. But it is not the way to build a common consensus on the ground we share’…Here, Beckett explicitly compared ‘climate-change skeptics’ to terrorists, and implied that both should be denied media air time. In one fell swoop, she demonised those who challenge the consensus on climate change by lumping them in with radicals who support the use of violence, and suggested these sceptics should be censored…[T]he fact [though,] is that most of them are scientists, and many of them work in British universities. Yet…the secretary of state for foreign affairs put[] these middle-class professionals in the same camp as terrorists who, according to the government, pose the greatest threat to life and liberty as we know it. Beckett is following a trend. Increasingly, environmentalists are calling for the silencing of climate-change sceptics or deniers. The deniers' words are so dangerous, we are told, that they must be censored for the good of humanity. Some have even claimed that in denying climate change, these individuals are committing a ‘crime against humanity’ and should be put on trial.”See Brendan O’Neill, “A Climate of Censorship”, Guardian Unlimited (11/22/06) at: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/brendan_oneill/2006/11/a_climate_of_censorship.html . [15] See Kevin Mooney, “Activists Try to Shut Down Climate Debate, Skeptics Say”, CNSNews.com (1/23/07) at: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200701/CUL20070123a.html .
[16] See Bonner Cohen, The Green Wave: Environmentalism and its Consequences, Capital Research Center (©2006).
[17] See Jonah Goldberg, “Conveniently Missing the Truth”, supra.
[18] See Lawrence A. Kogan, “Exporting Precaution: How Europe’s Risk-Free Regulatory Agenda Threatens American Free Enterprise”, supra at pp. 43-91; Lawrence A. Kogan, “Precautionary Preference: How Europe Employs Disguised Regulatory Protectionism to Weaken American Free Enterprise”, supra at: pp. 152-240.
[19] For example, a Precautionary Principle-based REACH chemicals regulation will be unable to ensure that greater risks to human health and the environment will not materialize through use of mandated substitute substances and products, and thereby likely trigger what risk managers term a ‘risk-risk’ scenario. “Policymakers face a serious dilemma. If they design policies according to the risk perceptions of lay people, they actually may tolerate more real sacrifices in terms of lives lost or human suffering than necessary. If they follow only the advice of the professional experts, they may lose public support or even sympathy.” See Ortwin Renn, “Risks and Society”, Presentation made at the Directorate General, Health and Consumer Protection, International Conference: .Risk Analysis and Its Role in the European Union”, Brussels (July 18-19, 2000), available online at http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/risk/session1_1_en.pdf ;
www.konsumentsamverkan.se/evenemang/brysselriskprogram.html , cited in Lawrence A. Kogan, “The Precautionary Principle and WTO Law: Divergent Views Toward the Role of Science in Assessing and Managing Risk”, Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations V(1), Winter/Spring 2004, pages 77-123 at p. 77, at: http://diplomacy.shu.edu/journal/KOGAN%20-%20Precautionary%20Principle%20&%20WTO%20Law.pdf .
[20] See “Fear, Not Radiation, the Sad Legacy of Chernobyl”, United Nations Development Program, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (Sept. 2005) at: http://europeandcis.undp.org/?menu=p_cms/show&content_id=A4CC9963-F203-1EE9-B777058EE3F5D77D , citing the Chernobyl Forum report, “Chernobyl’s Legacy: Health, Environmental and Socio-Economic Impacts,”
[21] Ibid. Indeed, “The experts concluded that the majority of people who had been living in the contaminated area received only low doses of radiation. There is no evidence of decreased fertility, or of an increase in birth defects. There have been 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer caused by the blast, mainly in children, but except for nine fatalities, all of them have recovered. Moreover, the accident has been far less damaging to the environment than originally feared. Except for the still closed, highly contaminated 30-kilometre area surrounding the reactor, and a few lakes and restricted forests, radiation levels have mostly returned to acceptable levels. While the report makes clear that Chernobyl was a ‘very serious accident with major health consequences,’ it also found that ‘the mental health impact of Chernobyl is the largest public health problem unleashed by the accident to date’. Misinformation has led many Chernobyl survivors to believe that they are doomed to die from the radiation. Ironically such fatalism has caused many to disregard their health, exacerbating existing problems such as poor diet, excessive drinking and tobacco use. ‘Fear is not allowing [these people] to get on with their lives,’ said Burton Bennett, chairman of the Chernobyl Forum and an authority on radiation effects. The real problem of the Chernobyl area, as for much of the former Soviet Union, is poverty, said Mr. Mizsei, but misperceptions have helped to keep moneys from being used effectively for development.” Ibid.
[22] See Michael Crichton, “Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century”, Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy (11/6/05) at: http://www.michaelcrichton.com/speeches/complexity/complexity.html . “[T]he greatest damage to the people of Chernobyl was caused by bad information. These people weren’t blighted by radiation so much as by terrifying but false information. We ought to ponder, for a minute, exactly what that implies. We demand strict controls on radiation because it is such a health hazard. But Chernobyl suggests that false information can be a health hazard as damaging as radiation. I am not saying radiation is not a threat. I am not saying Chernobyl was not a genuinely serious event. But thousands of Ukrainians who didn’t die were made invalids out of fear. They were told to be afraid. They were told they were going to die when they weren’t. They were told their children would be deformed when they weren’t. They were told they couldn’t have children when they could. They were authoritatively promised a future of cancer, deformities, pain and decay. It’s no wonder they responded as they did. In fact, we need to recognize that this kind of human response is well-documented. Authoritatively telling people they are going to die can in itself be fatal.” Ibid.
[23] See “Biography, Committee of Honour”, “Citizens of the Earth” Conference for Global Ecological Governance at: http://www.citoyensdelaterre.fr/conference/?Biography-Committee-of-honour ; “Steering Committee” , “Citizens of the Earth” Conference for Global Ecological Governance at: http://www.citoyensdelaterre.fr/conference/?-Steering-Committee-&lang=en .
[24] In his famous work, An Essay on the Principle of Population, eighteen century English economist Sir Thomas Malthus wrote that “the realization of a happy society will always be hindered by the miseries consequent on the tendency of population to increase faster than the means of subsistence.” See “Thomas Robert Malthus 1766-1834”, Online Encyclopedia at: http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/MAL_MAR/MALTHUS_THOMAS_ROBERT_1766_1834.html . In other words, Malthus “opined that poverty and distress are unavoidable because population increases faster than the means of subsistence. As checks on population growth, Malthus accepted only war, famine, and disease but later added moral restraint.” See “Biographies – Political Theorists and Activists” at: http://www.blupete.com/Literature/Biographies/Philosophy/BiosPol.htm . “[B]oth historically and philosophically the doctrine of Malthus was a corrective reaction against the superficial optimism diffused by the school of Rousseau. It was the same optimism, with its easy methods of regenerating society and its fatal blindness to the real conditions that circumscribe human life, that was responsible for the wild theories of the French Revolution and many of its consequent excesses…[Malthus] and his followers appear to have greatly exaggerated both the magnitude and the urgency of the dangers to which they pointed. In their conceptions a single social imperfection assumed such portentous dimensions that it seemed to overcloud the whole heaven and threaten the world with ruin. This doubtless arose from his having at first omitted altogether from his view of the question the great counteracting agency of moral restraint. Because a force exists, capable, if unchecked, of producing certain results, it does not follow that those results are imminent or even possible in the sphere of experience.” See Robert Malthus 1766-1834”, Online Encyclopedia, supra.
[25] See “Presentation”, “Citizens of the Earth” Conference for Global Ecological Governance at: http://www.citoyensdelaterre.fr/conference/?-Presentation,10- .
[26] “See Speech by M. Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic, on the Occasion of the “Citizens of the Earth” Conference for Global Ecological Governance (2/2/07) at:
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/actu/bulletin.gb.asp?liste=20070202.gb.html&submit.x=6&submit.y=9 ;
http://www.citoyensdelaterre.fr/conference/?Appel-de-Paris ; http://www.citoyensdelaterre.fr/conference/?-English-.
[27] Ibid.
[28] See Speech by M. Jacques Chirac, supra.
[29] Ibid. France and Great Britain, with the support of the European Commission, have pushed for this result. They have also sent emissaries to the United States in the hopes of persuading federal congressional and state level action on climate change. See “Britain Leads EU Charge to Undermine US Federal Climate Change Policy”, Press Release, Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (7/17/06) at: http://www.itssd.org/Press%20Release/BritainUndermines.pdf . See also Lawrence A. Kogan, “Beware of the Flying Dutchman When Traveling to Brussels”, Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (Aug. 2006) at: http://www.itssd.org/Publications/Beware-Flying-DutchmanIII.pdf .
[30] See Speech by M. Jacques Chirac, supra.
[31] See “Final Report on Setting the Scientific Frame for the Inclusion of New Quality of Life Concerns in the Risk Assessment Process”, adopted April 10-11, 2003, European Commission, Health & Consumer Protection Directorate-General, at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/ssc/out362_en.pdf .
[32] See Lawrence A. Kogan, “Exporting Europe's Protectionism”, National Interest No. 77 (Fall 2004), pp. 91-99 at 93-94, at: http://www.itssd.org/Publications/Kogan%20TNI%2077FINAL.pdf .
[33] Ibid., at 94.
[34] Ibid., at 94.
[35] “Final Report on Setting the Scientific Frame for the Inclusion of New Quality of Life Concerns in the Risk Assessment Process”, at pp. 3-4, supra.
[36] Ibid., at pp. 3, 22-23, 30, 33.
[37] See Lawrence A. Kogan, “Polluting the Future of the WTO”, Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (July 2006) at: http://www.itssd.org/Publications/PollutingtheFuture.pdf ; Lawrence A. Kogan, “EU Trade Protectionism Must Yield to Non-EU Market Access Demands”, Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (July 2006) at: http://www.itssd.org/Publications/EU-Trade-Protectionism.pdf .
[38] See Speech by Pascal Lamy, “Globalisation and the Environment in a Reformed UN”, (2/5/07) at p. 3, at: http://www.polity.org.za/pdf/Lamt5_2.pdf .
[39] See “Interview – Free Trade Can Help Guard the Environment – WTO”, Planet Ark (2/6/07) at: http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/40201/story.htm .
[40] Ibid.
[41] “The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological theory that proposes that the living matter of planet Earth functions like a single organism…[T]he Gaia theory is more commonly referred to as earth system science, and is a class of scientific models of the geo-biosphere in which life as a whole fosters and maintains suitable conditions for itself by helping to create an environment on Earth suitable for its continuity…[According to one advocate of this theory,] life on Earth provides a cybernetic, homeostatic feedback system [i.e., life maintains the stability of the natural environment, and that this stability enables life to continue to exist] operated automatically and unconsciously by the biota, leading to broad stabilization of global temperature and chemical composition. [However, there is disagreement among Gaia advocates about whether Earth is or is not a living organism. According to another advocate]…only homeorhetic and not homeostatic balances are involved: that is, the composition of Earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere are regulated around ‘set points’ as in homeostatis, but those set points change with time. Also…there is no special tendency of biospheres to preserve their current inhabitants, and certainly not to make them comfortable. Accordingly, the Earth is not a living organism which can live or die all at once, but rather a kind of community of trust which can exist at many discrete levels of integration. But this is true of all multicellular organisms; not all cells in the body die instantaneously…[Rather it is]…an emergent property of interaction among organisms[, a]…series of interacting ecosystems that compose a single huge ecosystem at the Earth's surface.” See “Gaia Hypothesis” Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis .
[42] See Speech by Pascal Lamy, “Globalisation and the Environment in a Reformed UN”, supra.
[43] Ibid.
[44] Ibid.

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