Findog

Risk Assessment

In Polytricks, Weather on October 1, 2012 at 11:50 am

I listened to a great radio show on CBC recently about “Risk”.  It impressed me enough to want to blog about some of the great points it raised about risk.  Risk assessment isn’t easy, because the two major factors in the assessment, a) Probability of Risk and b)Potential of Loss are difficult to guess accurately.

But the risk assessment does allow us to make educated, rational estimates of risk and to asses the costs of preparing (or not preparing) for risk.  Most cities in earthquake zones have made assessments and invested in protecting themselves from risk.  Hurricane Katrina savagely exposed the delinquency of government in protecting New Orleans and its people.

One of the points the radio show made was that we haven’t come down out of the trees long enough to change our instinctive risk-taking strategy.  In other words we don’t ‘do’ risk assessment.  As the saying goes.. ‘don’t do the crime unless you are prepared to do the time’, (try telling that to the guys in jail).   Despite huge amounts of data, humongous number-crunching computers and a rational brain, as individuals, groups, nations or as a species we simply don’t think ahead.

In fact almost all blunders and disasters of the last 100 years could have been avoided by implementing adequate risk management.  For example, the still unfolding Fukushima nuclear disaster was widely explained-away by being an ‘unprecedented’ tsunami.  Actually the nuclear industry has a lot to answer for by not preparing adequately for earthquakes and for falsifying safety records.  Of course everybody already knew that the assurances the nuclear industry gives the public isn’t worth the paper its written on.

Another clear example of not implementing adequate risk management is Climate Change.  In this case the experts in the field are unanimous about the enormous risk.  But their risk assessment is being strenuously trashed by a horrendous case of corporate and political corruption.  As I repeated often in this blog, I feel that the only way to put an end to this insidious corruption is to ban corporations nationally.  I know it sounds totally unworkable, but we only need to do an adequate risk assessment to conclusively prove its our only option left… ;o)

If you haven’t seen this documentary, here is the link to the free download or streaming video.. http://archive.org/details/The_Corporation_ (I really recommend it)

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