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POL562: Environmental Policy Lecture Booklet

POL562: Environmental Policy Lecture Booklet

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Published by Chad J. McGuire
Lecture materials in booklet form for POL562: Environmental Policy. Brought to you through the Department of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. This course is part of the Master of Public Policy (MPP) concentration in environmental policy, and also part of the online graduate certificate in environmental policy.
Lecture materials in booklet form for POL562: Environmental Policy. Brought to you through the Department of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. This course is part of the Master of Public Policy (MPP) concentration in environmental policy, and also part of the online graduate certificate in environmental policy.

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Published by: Chad J. McGuire on Dec 14, 2012
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07/11/2014

Think for a moment about how you might assess a risk? What are the factors you might
apply in defining a risk? Why those particular factors? And, importantly, do you think the
factors you might choose to describe a risk are the same factors others might choose?
This is really at the heart of this section on risk assessment. Remember, we are using the
process of identifying risk as a proxy for understanding values. Thus, the factors we use
in coming to a sense of a risk are an important way of understanding how humans think
about environmental problems within a risk context. In this section our focus is on
understanding objective forms of risk assessment.

One of the ways of establishing objective forms of risk assessment is to gain a
perspective of the ‘risk’ in a particular policy direction that is, to the extent practicable,
immune from bias. Bias speaks to the subjective experiences of humans, as well as to
flaws in interpretation of data (via human perspective), and can thus impact both results
(bias in methods used) and conclusions (bias in interpreting results). Thus, objective
forms of measuring risk are meant to help prevent the formation of bias and thus give us
a clearer indication of risk.

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