Addressing Uncertainty, Ambiguity and  Ignorance in Sustainability Appraisal Andy Stirling SPRU – science and technology p...
‘ Sound Science’ in Policy Under Uncertainty on chemicals: “ … sound science  will be the basis of the Commission's legisl...
0.001 0.1 10 1000 externality’: c US /kWh  (after Sundqvist  et al , 2005) high  SUSTAINABILITY  low CBA delivers precise ...
0.001 0.1 10 1000 coal oil gas nuclear hydro 36 wind solar biomass n = ‘ externality’: c US /kWh  (after Sundqvist  et al ...
0.001 0.1 10 1000 coal oil gas nuclear hydro 36 20 wind 18 solar 11 biomass 22 31 21 16 n = ‘ externality’: c US /kWh  (af...
<ul><li>All analysis requires framing … all framing involves values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>setting agendas   defining probl...
abatement  cost mitigation cost hypothetical markets damage  cost Hohmeyer,  1988 Ottinger et  al, 1990 Externe,  1995 pri...
Hohmeyer,  1988 Ottinger et  al, 1990 FUEL CYCLE STAGE LIFE  CYCLE PHASE extraction processing transport storage conversio...
global  warming nuclear  proliferation ecosystem  damage aesthetic  impacts Schuman  et al, 1982 Hohmeyer,  1988 Ottinger ...
acoustic noise marine debris aerial visibility effects  marine hydrocarbon releases agricultural intensification marine li...
   THE FORM OF EFFECTS   eg:  death / injury / disease routine marginal / novel catastrophic reversible / irreversible  ...
Incommensurability: ‘apples & oranges’ <ul><li>completeness we should be able to compare all alternatives </li></ul><ul><l...
SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED  POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED  Aspects of Incertitude  – a heuristic framework
<ul><li>- engineering failure  </li></ul><ul><li>- transport safety  </li></ul><ul><li>- familiar chemicals  </li></ul><ul...
  …  many analytic schemes for problems    deriving probabilities – in terms of: -  source:  context; data; model; experti...
RISK UNCERTAINTY AMBIGUITY constituting, bounding,  partitioning or ordering of  salient possibilities is  unclear or cont...
<ul><li>… divergent framings of ‘possibilities’ in appraisal, eg:  </li></ul><ul><li>-  basis : knowledge; experience; sen...
RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE AMBIGUITY empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty UNCHARACTERISABILITY problematic defini...
<ul><li>ignorance is rarely explicit in CBA,    thus effectively denying even possibility of: </li></ul><ul><li>unknowns -...
only rarely discussed…  but then tends to be in terms of ‘reducibility’. This assumes that knowledge is  always additive a...
eg: CFCs eg: TSEs; EDCs RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE AMBIGUITY uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco-mensurab...
RISK UNCERTAINTY institutional ignorance societal ignorance AMBIGUITY uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco...
RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE institutional ignorance societal ignorance AMBIGUITY EPISTEMIC PHENOMENOLOGICAL uncharact-erisa...
RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE institutional ignorance societal ignorance indeter-minacy deterministic chaos AMBIGUITY EPISTEM...
after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE institutional ...
POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED  SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED  IGNORANCE after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight,...
unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods knowledge about possibilities some specifi...
unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods knowledge about possibilities RISK UNCERTA...
unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods AMBIGUITY IGNORANCE RISK UNCERTAINTY risk ...
scenarios / backcasting  interactive modeling mapping / Q-methods participatory deliberation unproblematic problematic unp...
unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods AMBIGUITY IGNORANCE RISK UNCERTAINTY risk ...
unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods knowledge about possibilities RISK UNCERTA...
unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods Precaution and Participation as Analytical...
<ul><ul><li>extend scope    additive, cumulative, synergistic effects; life cycles, compliance      real world effects: CF...
organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls low  sustainability   high ‘ Mappin...
organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls organic environmental intensive GM ...
organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls organic environmental intensive GM ...
organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls GOVERNMENT INDUSTRY organic environ...
<ul><ul><li>-  Move beyond ‘sound science’ aspiration and rhetorics   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>explicitly acknowledge im...
 
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Andy Stirling - Addressing Uncertainty, Ambiguity and Ignorance in Sustainability Appraisal

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Presentation by Dr Andy Stirling of the STEPS Centre to an interdisciplinary workshop on
'Cost‐Benefit Analysis: Uncertainty, Discounting and the Sustainable Future’, Technical University Eindhoven, 12‐13th April, 2010.

www.steps-centre.org

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  • Andy Stirling - Addressing Uncertainty, Ambiguity and Ignorance in Sustainability Appraisal

    1. 1. Addressing Uncertainty, Ambiguity and Ignorance in Sustainability Appraisal Andy Stirling SPRU – science and technology policy research presentation to interdisciplinary workshop on 'Cost‐Benefit Analysis: Uncertainty, Discounting and the Sustainable Future’ Technical University Eindhoven, 12‐13 th April, 2010
    2. 2. ‘ Sound Science’ in Policy Under Uncertainty on chemicals: “ … sound science will be the basis of the Commission's legislative proposal…” - EC RTD Commissioner, Philippe Busquin <ul><ul><li>on genetic modification: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“… this government's approach is to make decisions … on the basis of sound science ” </li></ul></ul>former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair <ul><ul><li>on energy : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ [n]ow is the right time for a cool-headed, evidence based assessment of the options open to us … I want to sweep away historic prejudice and put in its place evidence and science ” </li></ul></ul>UK Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks <ul><ul><li>Converts messy political problems into neat technical puzzles </li></ul></ul> Powerful pressures for ‘decision justification’
    3. 3. 0.001 0.1 10 1000 externality’: c US /kWh (after Sundqvist et al , 2005) high SUSTAINABILITY low CBA delivers precise orderings of options coal oil gas nuclear hydro wind solar biomass ‘ Sound Science’ in CBA? – the energy sector example
    4. 4. 0.001 0.1 10 1000 coal oil gas nuclear hydro 36 wind solar biomass n = ‘ externality’: c US /kWh (after Sundqvist et al , 2005) minimum maximum 25% 75% high SUSTAINABILITY low CBA delivers precise orderings of options , but is sensitive to ‘framing’ ‘ Sound Science’ in CBA? – the energy sector example
    5. 5. 0.001 0.1 10 1000 coal oil gas nuclear hydro 36 20 wind 18 solar 11 biomass 22 31 21 16 n = ‘ externality’: c US /kWh (after Sundqvist et al , 2005) high SUSTAINABILITY low CBA delivers precise orderings of options , but is sensitive to ‘framing’ ‘ Sound Science’ in CBA? – the energy sector example <ul><ul><li>challenges centrality of determinate probability & magnitude </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>All analysis requires framing … all framing involves values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>setting agendas defining problems characterising options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>posing questions prioritising issues formulating criteria </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deciding context establishing baselines drawing boundaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>discounting time adopting methods engaging disciplines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>choosing cases recruiting expertise commissioning research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>constituting ‘proof’ exploring sensitivities interpreting results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>allocating resources policing remits sourcing probabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>including scenarios considering uncertainties reviewing findings </li></ul></ul>Some dimensions of ‘framing’ in sustainability appraisal <ul><ul><li>not just operational matter of consistency, completeness, commensuration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but fundamental interpretive flexibility – as true of principles as methods </li></ul></ul>‘ Framing’ in CBA <ul><ul><li>Each aspect of framing mediates distinctive uncertainties… </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. abatement cost mitigation cost hypothetical markets damage cost Hohmeyer, 1988 Ottinger et al, 1990 Externe, 1995 principal method Tellus, 1991 Framing: divergent methods in CBA <ul><ul><li>Tension between standardisation and triangulation </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Hohmeyer, 1988 Ottinger et al, 1990 FUEL CYCLE STAGE LIFE CYCLE PHASE extraction processing transport storage conversion residues materials energy construction operation capacity decommissioning DTI, 1992 effect addressed effect partly addressed Framing: ‘system boundaries’ in CBA <ul><ul><li>Tension between narrow but precise and broad but aggregated </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. global warming nuclear proliferation ecosystem damage aesthetic impacts Schuman et al, 1982 Hohmeyer, 1988 Ottinger et al, 1990 Externe, 1995 effect addressed Framing: ‘sustainability’ issues in CBA <ul><ul><li>Not just about consistency: to what extent and how to be complete? </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. acoustic noise marine debris aerial visibility effects marine hydrocarbon releases agricultural intensification marine life morbidity air quality mechanical hazards altered flow rates and patterns micro-climate effects ambient temperature change mutagenicity or teratogenicity aqueous radioactive pollution navigational hazards behavioural interference nitrogen oxide emissions carbon monoxide emissions occupational health catastrophic dam burst occupational safety catastrophic pollution potential particulate emissions or community disruption prompt public health impacts drainage disruption psychological trauma ecological or habitat disturbance radioactive emissions electromagnetic interference resource depletion elevated water levels road traffic endangered species impacts rural population impacts enhanced coastal erosion salinity change enshading or reflection sedimentation changes entrainment of aquatic biota soil acidification eutrophication soil erosion explosive or incendiary effects soil sterilisation fisheries interference soil structure loss chain residues soil toxification or contamination gaseous waste volume management solid waste volume management greenhouse gas emissions stratospheric ozone depletion hazard to bird flight sulphur oxide emissions metal releases thermal radiation effects hydrogen sulphide emissions toxic aerial emissions seismicity tritiated water emissions induced subsidence tropospheric ozone enhancement interference with migration turbidity changes land use change visual aesthetic offence latent human health effects volatile organic emissions liquid waste volume management water abstraction demand local ambient CO 2 /O 2 balance water quality effects Categories of ‘ environmental impact’ variously addressed in CBAs in OECD countries of electricity supply technologies (studies reviewed earlier)… Framing: ‘sustainability’ issues in CBA … even greater numbers of non-environmental aspects of sustainability (‘externalities’)
    11. 11.  THE FORM OF EFFECTS eg: death / injury / disease routine marginal / novel catastrophic reversible / irreversible  DISTRIBUTIONAL ISSUES eg: concentrated / dispersed public / workers benefits / burdens future / present human / non-human  AUTONOMY OF AFFECTED eg: voluntary / controllable / familiar institutional trust Framing: ‘sustainability’ issues in CBA <ul><ul><li>Each presents a source of uncertainty in final orderings … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different issues raise contrasting dimensions of value </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Incommensurability: ‘apples & oranges’ <ul><li>completeness we should be able to compare all alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Impossibility Theorem’ (51; 63): principles not all reconcilable </li></ul><ul><li>plural society: no guaranteed single ‘objective’ or ‘definitive’ preference ordering </li></ul><ul><li>NB: undemanding criteria – eg: does not impose equality of influence </li></ul><ul><li>substantive rationality problematic – look to procedural rationality </li></ul><ul><li>unanimity if everyone prefers A to B , then society should too </li></ul><ul><li>non-dictatorship no-one should always get their way, no matter what </li></ul><ul><li>transitivity if A preferred to B and B to C , then A preferred to C </li></ul><ul><li>independence… ordering of A and B independent of other alternatives </li></ul><ul><li>universality all possible preference orderings are admissible </li></ul>Arrow: axiomatic rationality to explore ordinal social choice Much discussed, but not refuted within rational choice paradigm economics is curiously reticent to highlight this Nobel-winning work Subjectivity of utility means no cardinal preference orderings
    13. 13. SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED Aspects of Incertitude – a heuristic framework
    14. 14. <ul><li>- engineering failure </li></ul><ul><li>- transport safety </li></ul><ul><li>- familiar chemicals </li></ul><ul><li>routine epidemics </li></ul><ul><li>well tried software </li></ul><ul><li>- unfamiliar agents / vectors </li></ul><ul><li>- excluded conditions </li></ul><ul><li>- human actions / intentions </li></ul><ul><li>complex systems </li></ul><ul><li>open dynamic contexts </li></ul>SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED RISK all relevant probabilities are known UNCERTAINTY not all relevant probabilities are known Aspects of Incertitude after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    15. 15. … many analytic schemes for problems deriving probabilities – in terms of: - source: context; data; model; expertise; - levels: statistical; scenarios; scientific; - nature: epistemic; ontological, normative; - technical: inputs; structure; parameters; - practical: variability; sensitivity; precision - locus: institutional, moral, legal, situation; … RIVM, van Asselt, de Marchi SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED RISK EMPIRICAL UNCERTAINTY intrinsic to data THEORETICAL UNCERTANTY inherent in science or models after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… UNCERTAINTY not all relevant probabilities are known Aspects of Incertitude POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    16. 16. RISK UNCERTAINTY AMBIGUITY constituting, bounding, partitioning or ordering of salient possibilities is unclear or contested POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… Aspects of Incertitude IGNORANCE at least some salient possibilities are indeterminate or indeterminable
    17. 17. <ul><li>… divergent framings of ‘possibilities’ in appraisal, eg: </li></ul><ul><li>- basis : knowledge; experience; sensibility; expectation </li></ul><ul><li>- normativity: rights; interests; priority; values; virtues </li></ul><ul><li>focus : trust; legitimacy; authenticity; accountability; blame </li></ul><ul><li>contexts : marginal-routine; transformative-catastrophic </li></ul><ul><li>ordering: benefit; harm; scenarios; principles; norms </li></ul><ul><li>distribution : fairness; equity; equality; tolerance; plurality </li></ul><ul><li>ethics : consequences; utility; instrumental; deontic; lexical </li></ul>RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… AMBIGUITY salient possibilities are unclear or contested Aspects of Incertitude POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    18. 18. RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE AMBIGUITY empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty UNCHARACTERISABILITY problematic definition, bounding or partitioning NONCOMPARABILITY problematic basis for comparison INCOMMENSURABILITY problematic aggregate relative orderings UNQUANTIFIABILITY problematic aggregate cardinal ratios &increments SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… Aspects of Incertitude POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    19. 19. <ul><li>ignorance is rarely explicit in CBA, thus effectively denying even possibility of: </li></ul><ul><li>unknowns - surprise - novelty - new alternatives or unexpected conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>But these are central to sustainability: </li></ul><ul><li>- CFCs and ozone depletion; - robustness of cross-species TSEs; - endocrine disruption as new mechanism </li></ul>RISK UNCERTAINTY OPEN IGNORANCE acknowledged IGNORANCE CLOSED IGNORANCE unacknowledged AMBIGUITY uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco-mensurability cardinal un-quantifiability empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… Aspects of Incertitude POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    20. 20. only rarely discussed… but then tends to be in terms of ‘reducibility’. This assumes that knowledge is always additive and increased by research. But this not always true (eg: CFCs, TSEs, EDCs) RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE AMBIGUITY uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco-mensurability cardinal un-quantifiability empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… OPEN closed ACCESSIBLE INACCESSIBLE Aspects of Incertitude POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    21. 21. eg: CFCs eg: TSEs; EDCs RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE AMBIGUITY uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco-mensurability cardinal un-quantifiability empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty INSTITUTIONAL IGNORANCE salient knowledges available, but not accounted for in policy SOCIETAL IGNORANCE knowledges accessible, but not yet available SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… OPEN closed ACCESSIBLE INACCESSIBLE Aspects of Incertitude POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    22. 22. RISK UNCERTAINTY institutional ignorance societal ignorance AMBIGUITY uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco-mensurability cardinal un-quantifiability empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty PHENOMENOLOGICAL IGNORANCE intrinsic to nature of world EPISTEMIC IGNORANCE intrinsic to nature of understanding SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… IGNORANCE INACCESSIBLE OPEN closed ACCESSIBLE Aspects of Incertitude POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    23. 23. RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE institutional ignorance societal ignorance AMBIGUITY EPISTEMIC PHENOMENOLOGICAL uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco-mensurability cardinal un-quantifiability empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty INDETERMINACY eg: genotypic change after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… INACCESSIBLE OPEN closed ACCESSIBLE Aspects of Incertitude DETERMISTIC CHAOS eg: butterfly effect SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    24. 24. RISK UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE institutional ignorance societal ignorance indeter-minacy deterministic chaos AMBIGUITY EPISTEMIC PHENOMENOLOGICAL uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco-mensurability cardinal un-quantifiability empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty HERMENEUTIC IGNORANCE intrinsic to language AXIOMATIC IGNORANCE inherent in assumptions LOGICAL IGNORANCE incomplete logic system after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… OPEN closed INACCESSIBLE ACCESSIBLE Aspects of Incertitude SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED
    25. 25. after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… UNCERTAINTY IGNORANCE institutional ignorance societal ignorance indeter-minacy deterministic chaos hermeneutic ignorance axiomatic ignorance logical ignorance AMBIGUITY POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED EPISTEMIC PHENOMENOLOGICAL uncharact-erisability noncom-parability ordinal inco-mensurability cardinal un-quantifiability empirical uncertainty theoretical uncertainty SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED CBA TENDS TO TREAT ALL INCERTITUDE (IF AT ALL) AS RISK RISK INACCESSIBLE ACCESSIBLE OPEN closed Aspects of Incertitude
    26. 26. POSSIBILITIES UNDERDEFINED SALIENT POSSIBILITIES DEFINED IGNORANCE after: Collingridge, Faber, Funtowicz Keynes, Knight, O’Neill, Proops, Ravetz, Wynne… BUT NEGLECTED ASPECTS CAN ALSO BE EFFECTIVELY ADDRESSED inaccessible ACCESSIBLE OPEN RISK UNCERTAINTY AMBIGUITY humility and transparency closed institutional ignorance societal ignorance research and monitoring transdisciplinary learning precautionary appraisal participatory deliberation Aspects of Incertitude reductive aggregation
    27. 27. unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods knowledge about possibilities some specific, concrete practical lessons for CBA Responses to Incertitude
    28. 28. unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods knowledge about possibilities RISK UNCERTAINTY AMBIGUITY IGNORANCE risk assessment , cost-benefit analysis decision theory optimising models some specific, concrete practical lessons for CBA Responses to Incertitude
    29. 29. unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods AMBIGUITY IGNORANCE RISK UNCERTAINTY risk assessment , cost-benefit analysis decision theory optimising models uncertainty heuristics interval analysis sensitivity testing some specific, concrete practical lessons for CBA Responses to Incertitude knowledge about possibilities
    30. 30. scenarios / backcasting interactive modeling mapping / Q-methods participatory deliberation unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods AMBIGUITY IGNORANCE RISK UNCERTAINTY risk assessment , cost-benefit analysis decision theory optimising models uncertainty heuristics interval analysis sensitivity testing some specific, concrete practical lessons for CBA Responses to Incertitude knowledge about possibilities
    31. 31. unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods AMBIGUITY IGNORANCE RISK UNCERTAINTY risk assessment , cost-benefit analysis decision theory optimising models uncertainty heuristics interval analysis sensitivity testing scenarios / backcasting interactive modeling mapping / Q-methods inclusive engagement monitor, surveil, research diversity, flexibility, learning resilience, adaptability some specific, concrete practical lessons for CBA Responses to Incertitude knowledge about possibilities
    32. 32. unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods knowledge about possibilities RISK UNCERTAINTY AMBIGUITY decision rules aggregative analysis deliberative process political closure reductive modeling stochastic reasoning rules of thumb insurance ` evidence-basing agenda-setting horizon scanning transdisciplinarity liability law harm definitions indicators / metrics institutional remits ‘ Reductive aggregation’ presents powerful means to justify decisions This ‘closing down’ around risk is Beck’s “organised irresponsibility” Institutional Pressures for Closure IGNORANCE
    33. 33. unproblematic problematic unproblematic problematic knowledge about likelihoods Precaution and Participation as Analytical Rigour PRECAUTIONARY APPRAISAL PARTICIPATORY DELIBERATION REDUCTIVE AGGREGATION RISK UNCERTAINTY AMBIGUITY IGNORANCE knowledge about possibilities HUMILITY, LEARNING, ENQUIRY TRANSDISCIPLINARY REFLEXIVITY AND RIGOUR
    34. 34. <ul><ul><li>extend scope additive, cumulative, synergistic effects; life cycles, compliance real world effects: CFCs, DES; ‘closed systems’: MTBE, PCBs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>humility on science sensitivities & proxies: mobility, persistence, bioaccumulation omission of persistence in organochlorines, MTBE, CFCs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pro-active research prioritise open monitoring & surveillance & targeted experiment neglected: TBT, BSE; no monitoring: asbestos, benzene, PCBs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deliberate argument levels of proof, burden of evidence, onus of persuasion Swann committee on antimicrobials, 1967 later ignored </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>alternative options pros, cons, justifications for range of options & substitutes ALARA, BAT, BPM – ionising radiation, fisheries, acid rain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>engage public independence through pluralism and robustness on values benzene, DES, asbestos, acid rain, fisheries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>X-discipline learning collect all relevant knowledge, beyond ‘usual suspects’ MTBE / engineers; BSE / vets (clinical / toxicology / epidem.) </li></ul></ul>Precaution as ‘Broadening Out’ Appraisal (cf: EEA, 2001) Deliberative process (not just ‘decision rule’) transcends CBA <ul><ul><li>explicit incertitude explicitly engage with uncertainty, ambiguity and ignorance </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls low sustainability high ‘ Mapping’ Key Uncertainties in Sustainability Appraisal Divergent expert views of risks and benefits of different agricultural strategies elicited using multicriteria mapping method in Unillever-sponsored research (2003) A Practical Example
    36. 36. organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls low sustainability high ‘ Mapping’ Key Uncertainties in Sustainability Appraisal Divergent expert views of risks and benefits of different agricultural strategies elicited using multicriteria mapping method in Unillever-sponsored research (2003) A Practical Example GOVERNMENT
    37. 37. organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls ‘ Mapping’ Key Uncertainties in Sustainability Appraisal Divergent expert views of risks and benefits of different agricultural strategies elicited using multicriteria mapping method in Unillever-sponsored research (2003) A Practical Example low sustainability high GOVERNMENT INDUSTRY
    38. 38. organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls GOVERNMENT INDUSTRY organic environmental intensive GM + labelling GM + monitoring GM + voluntary controls PUBLIC INTEREST ‘ Mapping’ Key Uncertainties in Sustainability Appraisal Divergent expert views of risks and benefits of different agricultural strategies elicited using multicriteria mapping method in Unillever-sponsored research (2003) A Practical Example low sustainability high
    39. 39. <ul><ul><li>- Move beyond ‘sound science’ aspiration and rhetorics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>explicitly acknowledge importance of framing in analysis real world effects: CFCs, DES; ‘closed systems’: MTBE, PCBs </li></ul></ul>Conclusions Address uncertainty, ambiguity & ignorance in appraisal <ul><ul><li>- Acknowledge that CBA is highly circumscribed as appraisal method </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ horses for courses’ – contrasting tools for different contexts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Be reflexive about dynamics of closure in appraisal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>pressures for decision justification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Recognise intrinsic rigour of precaution and participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for ‘broadening out’ and ‘opening up’ appraisal of sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seize a rare opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>shared imperatives of analytical rigour and democratic accountability </li></ul></ul>
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