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Environmental Ethics

Volume 11, Issue 2, Summer 1989

Douglas Crawford-Brown, Neil E. Pearce
Pages 153-167

Sufficient Proof in the Scientific Justification of Environmental Actions

Environmental actions require a willingness to act, which, in turn, is stimulated partially by the belief that an action will yield the desired consequences. In determining whether an actor was justified in exerting the will to act, therefore, it is essential to examine the nature of evidence offered by the actor in support of any beliefs about the environment. In this paper we explore the points in environmental risk analyses at which evidence is brought to bear in support of inferences conceming environmental effects of regulatory actions. The intent is to provide a framework for discussing the manner in which evidence may provide a sufficient basis for ethically sound decisions for environmental actions.