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Jan 16 /2011 Carolyn Raffenspeger/Precautionary Principle the Golden Rule for Future Generations  RSS feed

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SBCC Center for Sustainability Hosts:
Precautionary Principles the Golden Rule for Future Generations
The Precautionary Principle
the Golden Rule for Future Generations
with Carolyn Raffensperger

and special guest David Eisenberg
Monday, January 16, 7pm-9:30pm, 2012
Santa Barbara City College, West Campus, Fe Bland Auditorium
$10 general/$5 SBCC Students

What does the present owe the future?

From medicine to agriculture, energy, communication, and transportation, we have technologies our grandparents could not have imagined. Some of these technologies have dark sides and unknown consequences. Who will be the guardians for future generations insuring that our present technologies don't negatively impact our descendants?

The Precautionary Principle suggests that we err on the side of caution when designing for our future. It is a tool for making better health and environmental decisions, and aims to prevent harm from the outset rather than manage it after the fact.

Although America's founding father's intended a government that would allow its citizens life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they could not have anticipated the industrial age with its extremely toxic substances that now pollute the soil, air, and water, our country's commons.

What role does both government and the individual play in protecting these commons, our common heritage? What compelling vision can we have for ourselves and our children that allows us to be prosperous, healthy, and ecologically whole? Come learn about the Precautionary Principle and its tool kit for communities, organizations, and government.

Carolyn Raffensperger has helped define, shape, and lead the precautionary movement. She and her team at the Science and Environmental Health Network, have purposefully sown the seeds of the precautionary principle across the United States.

Carolyn Raffensperger is an environmental lawyer and the Executive Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network. She is the co-editor of Precautionary Tools for Reshaping Environmental Policy published by M.I.T. Press (2006) and Protecting Public Health and the Environment: Implementing the Precautionary Principle, published by Island Press (1999). Together, these volumes are the most comprehensive exploration to date of the history, theory, and implementation of the precautionary principle. Carolyn coined the term “ecological medicine” to encompass the broad notions that both health and healing are entwined with the natural world.

Carolyn will be joined by her friend and colleague David Eisenberg of the Development Center for appropriate technology (DCAT), who since 1995, has led the effort to create a sustainable context for building regulations. A panel discussion including community members from backgrounds of health, agriculture, social justice, and education will follow the talk.

The event takes place on Monday, January 16, 7pm - 9:30pm, at the Fe Bland Auditorium, Santa Barbara City College West Campus, 721 Cliff Dr, SB 93109. Admission $10 general/$5 SBCC students, no reservations required. More info; (805)965-0581,ext 2177, sbpcnet@silcom.com

Event Sponsors: Oasis Design, Santa Barbara Permaculture Network & the SBCC Center for Sustainability

SBCC Center for Sustainability

More Info:

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Center for Sustainability:

Carolyn Raffensperger
Science and Environmental Health Network:


Carolyn Raffensperger Interview:
The Precautionary Principle asks whether harm can be prevented
instead of assessing degrees of "acceptable " risk:

How Do You Love All the Children, Interview with Architect, Designer William McDonough:

"If design is a signal of intent, and we look at what we've done with the first industrial revolution, we would have to ask, did we intend to do this? If we articulated the retroactive design assignment of the First Industrial Revolution, it would be something like this: "Could you design a system that pollutes the soil, air, and water; that measures productivity by how few people are working; that measures prosperity by how much natural capital you can dig up, bury, burn, or otherwise destroy; that measures progress by the number of smokestacks and requires thousands of complex regulations to keep you from killing each other too quickly; that destroys bio-diversity and cultural diversity; that produces things that are so highly toxic they require thousands of generations to maintain constant vigil while living in terror?" William McDonough, the Next Industrial Revolution


Margie Bushman
Coordinator, SBCC Center for Sustainability
(805) 965-0581, ext 2177, sbpcnet@silcom.com
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