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Catastrophe: Risk and Response

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Catastrophe: Risk and Response Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Catastrophic risks are much greater than is commonly appreciated. Collision with an asteroid, runaway global warming, voraciously replicating nanomachines, a pandemic of gene-spliced smallpox launched by bioterrorists, and a world-ending accident in a high-energy particle accelerator, are among the possible extinction events that are sufficiently likely to warrant careful study. How should we respond to events that, for a variety of psychological and cultural reasons, we find it hard to wrap our minds around? Posner argues that realism about science and scientists, innovative applications of cost-benefit analysis, a scientifically literate legal profession, unprecedented international cooperation, and a pragmatic attitude toward civil liberties are among the keys to coping effectively with the catastrophic risks.

Synopsis:

In this shocking work, Posner reveals to an unsuspecting public that catastrophic risks are much greater than is commonly appreciated.

About the Author

Richard A. Posner is Judge of the U.S. Court Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. He is the author of numerous books, including Overcoming Law a New York Times Book Review editors' choices for best book of 1995 and An Affair of State, one of their choices for Best Book of the Year in 1999.

Table of Contents

Introduction

What is catastrophe?

The organization of this book

Some useful disctinctions

1. What are the catastrohpic risks, and how catastrophic are they?

Natural catastrophes

Scientific accidents

Other unintended man-made catastrophes

Intentional catastrophes

Catastrophic synergies and lesser-included catastrophes

2. Why so little is being done about the catastrophic risks

Cultural factors

Psychological factors

Economic factors

3. How to evaluate the catastrophic risks and the possible responses to them

The difference cost-benefit analysis can make: the case of RHIC

A modest version of the precautionary principle

Discounting to present value

Taxes, subsidies, and options: the case of global warming

Valuing human lives

Risk versus uncertainty

Coping with uncertainty

Politics, expertise, and neutrality: RHIC revisited

Summary

4. How to reduce the catastrophic risks

Institutional reforms

Fiscal tools: a recap

Some hypothetical regulatory policies

Conclusion

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195306477
Author:
Posner, Richard A.
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Richard A.
Subject:
Disaster Relief & Rescue Operations
Subject:
Society.
Subject:
General Law
Subject:
Law | Law
Subject:
Society | Law and Science
Subject:
| Law and Science
Subject:
Law | Law and Society | Law and Science
Subject:
Law | Law & Society | Law and Science
Subject:
Sociology-Disasters and Disaster Relief
Publication Date:
20051231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 line illus.
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.86x6.06x.85 in. 1.04 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Social Science » Disasters and Disaster Relief
Reference » Science Reference » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

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Product details 336 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195306477 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this shocking work, Posner reveals to an unsuspecting public that catastrophic risks are much greater than is commonly appreciated.

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