The Precautionary Principle

Over the past decade I have had at least 10 cycling wrecks, been hit by several cars, and shot at on my bicycle. The precautionary principle says that I should never ride. Or get in a car. Or go in a public place. Or get out of bed.

And I definitely shouldn’t let the dogs walk through poison ivy and then rub up against my ankles.

About stevengoddard

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30 Responses to The Precautionary Principle

  1. Doug says:

    I’ve experienced most of those. Poison ivy is the worst.

  2. SMS says:

    I think we should start preparing for the asteroid that will eventually hit the Earth. It may not happen in the next billion years but the best option is to start now.

  3. Mann: That’s it!!
    Gavin: What??
    Jones: yea, what Mikey? You got a cure for Baldness?
    Gavin: Do you ?? .. I …
    Mann: … No you Jerk-Off’s… its a way to irritate Goddard…
    Jones: How?
    Mann: We’ll fund a grant to plant Poison Ivy along Goddard’s favorite Bike Path…
    Gavin: So do you have a cure for Baldness??

  4. Lance says:

    Was out for my 60 km bike ride last evening. Got home and my wife told me a cyclist was killed about 2 km from where I was….he was stationary on the side of the road…and some car just drifted across and nailed him….I’m guessing they were texting…since I’ve been run off the road as I could see the person on his phone…however,….getting out of bed has its dangers too.

    • Cowboy79 says:

      Caution is admirable in most circumstances. Precaution seems more like advance worry, and that driven by other’s fears. Unless of course, pre pre caution etc, comes into vogue. At best, one may only choose aspects of circumstances, friends, etc, until the pesky unknowns and unknowable elements take over. Adapt. Overcome. Survive. That’s the best way to give enemies an ulcer.

    • Billy Liar says:

      Is your last name Armstrong?

  5. Bill S says:

    I seen the pixtures. Them dogs is dangersome! Bets theys gots doggy breathe too!

  6. Bill S says:

    My beagle could puts yah down from five feet with thats doggy breathe!

    • annieoakley says:

      My dog rolled in a squishy dead fish along the road tonight. I didn’t know until I petted him and felt the slime. Everything stinks to high heaven.

  7. nigelf says:

    You choose to cycle because you’ve determined the benefits outweigh any risk to you. Same as getting in a car, going to public place and getting out of bed.
    Sane people have determined that our modern lifestyle is worth any risk that it may cause some mild warming far in the future.
    That’s just the way we roll.

  8. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    I think it means you should move to here in Australia Tony. I only had one car glance me in about a decade of commuting and no stacks at all.

    But after quite a few near misses from coal trucks I decided to chicken out, so I now work from home, use bike paths and avoid busy roads.

  9. MJB says:

    The original precautionary principle, formalized at Rio (ref 1), actually had some merit and lines up with common sense. It basically said ‘if you think something might go wrong you should not wait until you are certain it will go wrong before you should do something reasonable to avoid it’. It is the modern environmental movement (ref 2), and perhaps to some extent a litigious society, that has flipped it into the paralyzing version of ‘do not proceed unless you can conclusively prove there will be no harm’.

    Ref 1 – Rio declaration, principle 15 (1992)
    Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

    Ref 2 – Wikipedia (2015):
    If an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.

    • BobW in NC says:

      ‘…do not proceed unless you can conclusively prove there will be no harm’.??? Really??? And…”scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.”

      No wonder it’s paralyzing! These people are incredible! Scientific consensus is nonsense – one deals with facts, the other with opinion devoid of definitive facts. Further, to demand that burden of proof falls on those to “prove” it is not harmful is absurd – you CANNOT prove a negative.

      Good Grief! What kind of idiots are we dealing with?

  10. tabnumlock says:

    Bicycling is extremely dangerous, especially for adults. Get a car.

    • Neal S says:

      tabnumlock writes “Bicycling is extremely dangerous”. It needn’t be. One of the most enjoyable bike rides I’ve ever had on roads that included motor vehicle traffic, was in Georgia on the roads inside Fort Gordon Army Base. Every vehicle operator followed all the rules. It was the bicycle vs traffic equivalent of having gone to heaven, but in a good way.

      I later mentioned this to my daughter and she explained that the MP’s would scrupulously enforce all traffic regulations and that as a result all drivers were careful to follow all the applicable rules. So as long as bicyclists would follow all the same rules, there were no problems at all. And Fort Gordon is big enough that one could bike ride several centuries worth or riding, without going over the same roads too much or too often.

  11. BallBounces says:

    Or drive on the railway tracks. Too early for flapjacks?

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