>>> 30 Nov 1998 21:32:42
Subject: industry's driving forces
From:   Anatole Klyosov <aklyosov@WARREN.MED.HARVARD.EDU>

Before the forum is closed, it seems appropriate to make a few more comments on issues which were repeatedly -- and often -- mentioned in many discussions. Those are: pollution, environment, "lobby the government for favorable status or exceptions from pollution control or tax" (in various semantic forms), and alike.

It seems that the farther people are from these issues (technically or legally), the more categorical the people are. They tend to generalize these issues, they sound like they are ABSOLUTELY against ANY effect on the environment, ANY favorable status, ANY exception from pollution control, without specifying WHAT effect and WHAT KIND of pollution they are talking about. That is what I called "diverting" from the subject(s) of this discussion.

Let me explain.  Our very existence on this planet causes "pollution" and "the environmental damage", do we like it or not. Every new house built, every new road, etc. etc. causes environmental damage.  It is hard to believe but even the house/apartment where the staunchest fighter for the environmental protection lives, is located on a place where some beautiful creatures used to live.:-)  And they are gone because of that very house.  My point is - to build that, or a similar house, we must have some kind of exception from things related to the environment, otherwise nothing and nowhere would have been built, constructed, born, educated, fed, and so forth. We need not a denial, but a balanced action with respect to the environment.

Every time, before a project is started, we need to consider a number of options for the projected environmental damage (which is unavoidable, do we want it or not) and choose the OPTIMAL situation including the minimized damage.  MINIMIZED/optimized environmental damage should be a key word, not "no damage at all".  In this context, one should be more careful with denial of "lobbying government", "favorable status", or "exceptions from pollution control" in all forms, since some of those actions might be well justified.  Some of them might be based on that minimized/optimized approach with respect to the environment, could be positive overall, but still need some explanation to or education of decision-makers. Call it lobbying or whatever. These attempts still might not meet some stringent requirements imposed by legislators in the past. Get "favorable status" or "exceptions" if you prove that the overall outcome will be positive - for people and their environment. But please be specific and consider it case-by-case, not generally.  Again, it is more difficult, it takes real expertise, it carries more responsible approach, compared with general statements like "no more environmental damage" -- which is easy to make, does not take any expertise, and carries no responsibility whatsoever.

Balanced approach, good expertise, economic considerations, environmental care, and no general slogans - that sounds like a reasonable basis for the subject at this forum.

Best regards,
Anatole A. Klyosov