Core Beliefs

  • Informed decision making requires holistic thinking. Most issues relating to the environment are complex, requiring that we consider both quantity and quality, content and context, heredity and environment, relative and absolute.
  • The division between the ecology and the economy is an artificial one, as the two are implicitly and intricately connected. Thus, the basis for a sustainable economy is a sustainable ecology, and vice versa.
  • Sound science is a critical component of sound decision making. Good decisions start with facts, not faith; and with ideas, not ideology.
  • Science is a means to making informed decisions, not an end unto itself. Ultimately, critical decisions require the use of judgement. Science can improve the chances that judgements are sound, but can never replace the need to actually draw conclusions by assessing risks and opportunities; costs and benefits; current vs. future needs.
  • Deep down, we all share a few common aspirations, including the opportunity for future generations to lead lives as least as fulfilling as our own. Where we often differ is therefore not on goals, but on the strategies and tactics by which goals will be realized.
  • Provided with reliable information and given solid tools with which to process it, people will make decisions that are good for themselves, society and the world. We are optimistic that humanity can, and wants to, improve its own lot without causing harm to the rest of the biosphere.

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Copyright 1998 The Center for Informed Decision Making