The EPA’s Lesson in Civility

Aaron Flint posted on January 21, 2011 09:11 :: 1069 Views

Despite all the calls for civility, (even though a lack of civility clearly didn’t cause the Arizona shootings) it seems the EPA is looking for a new way to define the value of human life.  I always thought this was just a joke, made by critics of the EPA who feel the organization cares more about the environment than they do human life.  It, of course, recalls Ted Turner and his thoughts on China’s one-child policy.

Well, as the EPA looks to form a more civil dialogue when belittling human life-  it looks like they are having a tough time.  As Politico’s Morning Energy reports- the best they’ve come up with so far is the “value of mortality risk.”

The AP has this:

Now, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to stop putting a price tag on American lives and use different terminology, but that’s not as easy as it sounds.

The agency’s first try for a replacement — a wonky “value of mortality risk” — was shot down as not quite right by its science advisory board Thursday.

The EPA has proposed changing the term to “value of mortality risk” and instead of using dollars for a theoretical life, regulations would be measured in “dollars per micro-risk per year.” A micro-risk is one in a million.

The odd twist to this story is that this debate really began anew under the Bush Administration EPA, which proposed lowering the values of human life when arguments were made in support of regulations.  The reality that the EPA and the global environmental movement oftentimes doesn’t want told, though, is the harm caused to human life as a direct result of their regulatory policies.  How many Africans died because of the ban on DDT?  How many more people would starve without the use of pesticides and fertilizers?  How many rain forests would be chopped down to instead produce food if we didn’t have the productive agricultural sector currently enjoyed in the US?  What would happen to the global economy if Kyoto Protocol-style regulations were enacted?  Those are the types of effects on human life that never seem to be quantified.  

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