hazard bias

are we biased towards certain hazards?

Within our work in climate change mitigation and adaptation, we prioritize a nested-scales, all-hazards approach to identifying and addressing risks. Nested scales recognize the interconnectedness of systems, and of decisions that our clients may, or may not, control. All hazards reference climate hazards as well as other natural and human induced hazards that our clients might be exposed to, which in turn increase their vulnerability or require them to increase their adaptive capacity. Working in nested scales, and considering all hazards, improves the likelihood that any actions taken to reduce risks are appropriate to total exposures, comprehensive in terms of vulnerabilities and adaptive capacities, and inclusive of compounding impacts. However, one recurring issue we’ve observed involves the extent that key stakeholders and technical experts seem predisposed to single hazard over all-hazard, or even multi-hazard responses. Though climate scientists have been talking about compound (co-occurring) and cascading climate hazards for some time, we’re often surprised at how often many teams prioritize some hazards over others when addressing risks in their projects. We call this Hazard Bias.

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