We see the stories in the newspaper nearly every day: a drug hailed as a breakthrough treatment turns out to cause harmful side effects; controls implemented to reduce air pollution are shown to generate hazardous solid waste; bans on dangerous chemicals result in the introduction of even more risky substitutes. Could our efforts to protect our health and the environment actually be making things worse? In Risk versus Risk, John D. Graham, Jonathan Baert Wiener, and their colleagues at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis marshal an impressive set of case studies which demonstrate that all too often our nation's campaign to reduce risks to our health and the environment is at war with itself.
One would be hard pressed to find a more important topic than risk tradeoff. Whether addressing the health of individuals or the ecosystem of the planet, Graham and Wiener advocate a proactive, holistic approach rather than heuristic, piecemeal reactions to emergencies-of-the-month...an important, even pathbreaking book.
This book goes well beyond most of the extant risk analysis works currently available...Professionals and policymakers should find this volume quite useful and thought provoking...This work might also begin a dialogue that will help develop a more holistic way of thinking about our problems and stimulate demand for a more democratic and informed policymaking process.
John Graham and Jonathan Wiener develop their thesis that unless risk tradeoffs are considered in reducing risks, well intentioned, costly measures may fail to deliver the expected protection of the environment, safety or health. In brief, Graham and Wiener begin by describing a framework for 'risk tradeoff analysis,' then document the significance and complexity of risk tradeoffs in a range of real-world issues, and conclude by proposing a holistic approach to reducing risk. Professionals and policymakers engaged in risk management and risk communication will find this book illuminating and immensely useful.
In recent years changing lifestyles and shifts in the distribution of resources have been accompanied by growing concerns about risks to health, safety and the environment. The key argument in this book is that policies to combat such risks may themselves introduce 'countervailing risks' which can serve to offset the positive effects of policy intervention. This leads to the idea that 'risk tradeoffs' must be considered in order to prevent well-intentioned programmes from causing perverse outcomes. The book aims to develop a framework for risk tradeoff analysis (RTA) which should enable decision-makers, at a personal, social or government level, to weigh all existing and potential risks with care in seeking solutions to reduce overall risk...[The case study] chapters each make fascinating reading in themselves and cover issues ranging from the recycling of lead in batteries to hormone replacement therapy for women with menopausal problems...Risk tradeoff analysis is seen as having the potential to stimulate the development of forms of intervention to confront, if not always to resolve, risk tradeoffs and the need to take a more holistic approach to risk reduction here at least incorporates recognition of the need for cultural change.
- 352 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
- Foreword by Cass R. Sunstein
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