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Attitudes, beliefs, uncertainty and risk

Abstract

There is now unmistakable evidence of a widening split within the Western industrial nations arising from conflicting views of society; for and against change. The argument is over the benefits of 'progress' and growth. On one side are those who seek more jobs, more production and consumption, higher standards of living, an ever-increasing GNP with an increasing globalisation of production and welcome the advances of science and technology confident that any temporary problems that arise can be solved by further technological development - possible energy shortages as a growing population increases energy usage can be met by nuclear power development; food shortages by the increased yields of GM crops. In opposition are those who put the quality of life before GNP, advocate a more frugal life-style, reducing needs and energy consumption, and, pointing to the harm caused by increasing pollution, press for cleaner air and water standards. They seek to reduce the pressure of an ever-increasing population and above all to preserve the natural environment. This view is associated with a growing uncertainty as the established order is challenged with the rise in status of 'alternative' science and medicine. This paper argues that these conflicting views reflect instinctive attitudes. These  More>>
Authors:
Greenhalgh, Geoffrey [1] 
  1. Down Park Place, Crawley Down (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
Jul 01, 2001
Product Type:
Conference
Report Number:
NEI-SE-436
Resource Relation:
Conference: VALDOR 2001. Values in Decisions on Risk. 2. VALDOR symposium addressing transparency in risk assessment and decision making, Stockholm (Sweden), 10-14 Jun 2001; Other Information: 17 refs; PBD: 2001; Related Information: In: VALDOR. Values in decisions on risk. Proceedings, by Andersson, Kjell (ed.) [Karinta-Konsult, Taeby (Sweden)], 535 pages.
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; DECISION MAKING; PUBLIC OPINION; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; RESOURCE CONSERVATION; RISK ASSESSMENT
OSTI ID:
20412452
Research Organizations:
Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, Stockholm (Sweden); Swedish Radiation Protection Inst., Stockholm (Sweden); Environment Agency (United Kingdom); UK Nirex Ltd., Harwell (United Kingdom); Commission of the European Communities, Brussels (Belgium). Directorate-General for the Environment
Country of Origin:
Sweden
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
TRN: SE0300369086340
Availability:
Available from INIS in electronic form; Also available from: Karinta Konsult, Box 6048, SE-187 06 Taeby, Sweden
Submitting Site:
SWDN
Size:
page(s) 382-389
Announcement Date:
Dec 20, 2003

Citation Formats

Greenhalgh, Geoffrey. Attitudes, beliefs, uncertainty and risk. Sweden: N. p., 2001. Web.
Greenhalgh, Geoffrey. Attitudes, beliefs, uncertainty and risk. Sweden.
Greenhalgh, Geoffrey. 2001. "Attitudes, beliefs, uncertainty and risk." Sweden.
@misc{etde_20412452,
title = {Attitudes, beliefs, uncertainty and risk}
author = {Greenhalgh, Geoffrey}
abstractNote = {There is now unmistakable evidence of a widening split within the Western industrial nations arising from conflicting views of society; for and against change. The argument is over the benefits of 'progress' and growth. On one side are those who seek more jobs, more production and consumption, higher standards of living, an ever-increasing GNP with an increasing globalisation of production and welcome the advances of science and technology confident that any temporary problems that arise can be solved by further technological development - possible energy shortages as a growing population increases energy usage can be met by nuclear power development; food shortages by the increased yields of GM crops. In opposition are those who put the quality of life before GNP, advocate a more frugal life-style, reducing needs and energy consumption, and, pointing to the harm caused by increasing pollution, press for cleaner air and water standards. They seek to reduce the pressure of an ever-increasing population and above all to preserve the natural environment. This view is associated with a growing uncertainty as the established order is challenged with the rise in status of 'alternative' science and medicine. This paper argues that these conflicting views reflect instinctive attitudes. These in turn draw support from beliefs selected from those which uncertainty offers. Where there is scope for argument over the truth or validity of a 'fact', the choice of which of the disputed views to believe will be determined by a value judgement. This applies to all controversial social and political issues. Nuclear waste disposal and biotechnology are but two particular examples in the technological field; joining the EMU is a current political controversy where value judgements based on attitudes determine beliefs. When, or if, a controversy is finally resolved the judgement arrived at will be justified by the belief that the consequences of the course chosen will be more favourable than if the alternative had been adopted.}
place = {Sweden}
year = {2001}
month = {Jul}
}