So what is to be done? Reality is a complex set of interrelations that
does not respond well to narrow specialist analysis. Analysis of parts of
a whole delivers a concatenation of half truths that, like all half
truths, are worse than lies, because the deception is harder to detect.
There is a more holistic approach coming into increasing use among those
of us who are attempting to practice sustainable agriculture. Called
Holistic Management, it is a decision making model that reflects the
interdependent nature of the real world. It seems to me that if this or
similar approaches were to come into more general use, in decisions about
the overall impact of a chemical on our quality of life, for example,
that would be a good thing.
Northland Sheep Dairy
"Mother Nature never tries to farm without livestock" --Albert Howard
"Pueblo que canta no morira" --Cuban saying
On Wed, 03 Jun 1998 13:34:20 -0500 Jeff Bump <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Watching the Frontline program on environmental chemicals, I found the
>person's viewpoint interesting. I'm rather new to this whole debate,
>this is old stuff please forgive. My take on her position was: There
>doubt that synthetic chemicals have an enviromental impact and that
>will impact human health -- but the real issue is does the positive
>weigh the negative. Chemical use is a technology much the same as the
>automobile and as such it can do substantial harm, but it can also do
>tremendous good. The problem is that we all have potentially a
>value assessment of what is good and what is harm, thus to get
>with the discussion it seems the whole debate needs to eventually get
>economic analysis. (The real question I guess is why so much
>given to the economic impact of Michael Jordan and not estimates of
>costs of lower IQs??)
>If indeed I read this correctly, am I justified in being hopeful? If
>EPA official was steering this toward an economic analysis, some money
>become available to put some numbers to this debate and get it
>into the universal language of money (or if this has been done, why
>not presented?). Unfortunately and despite most wishes to the
>our species doesn't generally veer from the worn path until we get a
>swift kick in the pocketbook.
>I would appreciate any references on new work about the issue of
>analysis in this area.
>PO Box 620732
>Middleton WI 53562
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