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[en] Ethics are determined by weighing risks against benefits, pros against cons, but also by evasion. Whenever decisions are taken, the side effects and risks to be accepted must be weighed. In law, this is called the principle of commensurability implying that ethical compromises are made. Too much emphasis on ethical principles leads to an evasion of realistic action. In consensus discussions it is often seen that the positions adopted by science and technology are incommensurable with those of philosophy, psychology, and theology. Any decision requires that the risk be evaluated in a spirit of responsibility. (orig.)
[de]Verantwortliches Handeln wird von Gueter- und Uebelabwaegungen bestimmt. Es gilt, die Folgen des Handelns und des Handlungsverzichts gegeneinander abzuwaegen. Jede ethisch vertretbare Entscheidung setzt verantwortungsvolle Risikobewertung und Kompromissfaehigkeit voraus. In Naturwissenschaft und Technik, in Philosophie, Psychologie und Theologie gibt es jedoch auch Stroemungen, die die Gueter- und Uebelabwaegung nicht ernst nehmen oder gar diffamieren. Ein solches Verhalten stellt nicht selten eine Flucht aus der Verantwortung dar. (orig.)
[en] Peace building in Colombia is inevitably an environmental issue. Problems related to violence and war are historical and, above all, highly complex, since they embody the dense interrelationships between cultures, ecosystems and the different conceptions of development. In this brief note I analyze this complexity and the challenges it poses to Colombia. Specifically, I propose nine ideas for the research program on Environmental peace building and development in Colombia of the Center of Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn and the Instituto de Estudios Ambientales (IDEA) at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.
[en] Many organizations in the Netherlands are concerned with the collection, treatment and disposal of waste (either by tipping or incineration). They make up what is called the refuse market, and they all have their own business interests. What they have in common is that their internal objectives are not necessarily concerned with limiting the size or altering the composition of refuse streams. On the contrary, the organizations have an interest in the destination of waste streams. Besides the market-oriented organization, the waste sector also comprises various tiers of government, policy support groups and pressure and lobby organizations. All these organizations have their own different sets of interests. In other words, the refuse sector in the Netherlands is complex. The research project on 'Organizing Waste Reduction in the Dutch Waste Sector' focuses on the structure of the sector: the organizations, the relations between them, and organizational factors such as tariff systems, ownership relations and the market situation. An important question, which the research seeks to answer, is whether a modification in the structure of the sector can lead to the encouragement of reduction in the quantity of waste
[en] This paper analyses NATO's past, actual and potential impact on the nonproliferation regime. It starts by looking back at the useful function NATO has performed throughout its existence in discouraging motivations by its non-nuclear weapon member-states from going nuclear. It then asks whether that role is likely to continue. The study goes on to ask whether NATO's doctrine and practice may also pose risks to the regime, and investigates what benefits and risks may emerge from future counterproliferation activities. In conclusion, the paper suggests a modest but useful contribution NATO could make to strengthen the nonproliferation regime, provided major flaws are avoided. (orig.)
[en] The seriousness of the energy problem at which is confronted the world has been too long underestimated.It can bring risks of conflict. To avoid that the 'energy war' be a doomsday, it is important to modify these strains in factors of cooperation. (N.C.)
[en] Slow and complicated wind power planning and permitting procedures have been a large obstacle for wind power diffusion in Sweden and other countries. This paper complements previous siting-oriented literature with a planning perspective on these problems. The focus is two national planning instruments implemented in Sweden in the early 2000s: a national planning target and an appointment of areas of national interest for wind power. The paper identifies different types of conflicts of interest related to wind power - in addition to the conflict between wind power as a national public interest and various local private interests - and analyses the impact of the national planning instruments on the handling of these conflicts in the land-use planning process in the County of Ostergoetland. The analysis shows that the planning target actually made local planning officials even more inclined to treat wind power as a private rather than a public interest and that the method used to identify areas of national interest of wind power forced wind power to compete with the combined strengths of all other public interest. The planning instruments thus left wind power to fight an uphill battle rather than to meet other interests face-to-face on a level playing field.
[en] Ongoing conflict over the fair allocation of greenhouse gas emissions among nations is a significant impediment to progress in international climate change negotiations. This article considers the strengths and weaknesses of a crucial argument within the allocation debate asserting the atmospheric capacity to absorb greenhouse gases should be distributed on an equal per capita basis. While noting the argument's many appealing qualities, the paper argues that the per capita perspective also encompasses important practical and ethical limitations. Besides potentially encouraging population growth and discriminating against those with greater (but still legitimate) energy needs, early evidence suggests that the equal per capita idea may hinder progress in climate change talks by invoking a more absolutist and uncompromising rhetoric of rights. Alternative ideas of fairness, such as the distinction between subsistence and luxury emissions, or the Common Heritage of Mankind idea, offer a more flexible mix of egalitarian and other allocation principles that should be considered carefully, even by those sympathetic to the equal per capita perspective. (author)