Reconciling Anthropocentrism and Biocentrism Through Adaptive Management: The Case of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Public Risk Perception
Political Science and International Affairs
Environmental policy issues often cannot be resolved owing to differences between anthropocentrists who adhere to neoclassical economic principles and biocentrists who argue in favor of a broad conception of sustainable development. This article examines the two perspectives in the context of radioactive waste management by presenting a case study involving public risk perception of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). WIPP is a mining program under-taken by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management to demonstrate the safe transportation and disposal of transuranic waste, a by-product of nuclear weapons production. The authors conclude that U.S. waste management programs such as WIPP can garner support only if a means for genuine, meaningful public participation is provided through adaptive management principles that “bridge the gap,” to the extent possible, between anthropocentric and biocentric perspectives.
Thrower, A. W., & Martinez, J. M. (2000). Reconciling anthropocentrism and biocentrism through adaptive management: The case of the waste isolation pilot plant and public risk perception. The Journal of Environment & Development, 9(1), 68-97. doi:10.1177/107049650000900104