What should be done about airplane safety and terrorism, global warming, polluted water, nuclear power, and genetically engineered food? All over the globe, risks to safety, health, and the environment are a subject of intense interest. Too much of the time we fear the wrong things. Sometimes we make the situation even worse. Rather than investigating the facts, we respond to temporary fears. The result is a situation of hysteria and neglect - and unnecessary illness and death. Risk and Reason explains the sources of these problems and explores what can be done about them. It shows how individual thinking and social interactions lead us in foolish directions. Offering sound proposals for social reform, it explains how a more sensible system of risk regulation, embodied in the idea of a 'cost-benefit state', could save many thousands of lives and many billions of dollars too - and protect the environment in the process.
1. Beyond 1970s environmentalism; 2. Thinking about risks; 3. Are the experts wrong?; 4. This month's risk (with Timur Kuran); 5. Reducing risks rationally; 6. Health-health tradeoffs; 7. The arithmetic of arsenic; 8. Of courts and law: cost-benefit default principles; 9. Cleaning the air; 10. Tools.