The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in 1992, from which our regulatory concern with the environment springs, says: 'The environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domination and occupation shall be protected' (Principle 23). 'In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by states according to their capabilities.Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation' (Principle 15).
This is a ridiculous starting point for scientific inquiry.When in doubt - don't.
With this attitude, we would never have invented or discovered anything throughout the course of history. Nature is not sacrosanct.
David Connor, Bristol