Catastrophic Harm Version Precautions as Insurance

For some risks, people seek to create a margin of safety that operates as a kind of regulatory insurance. In deciding on our own behavior and the behavior of sensible governments, we might favor special precautions against worst-case scenarios. Perhaps it makes sense to buy extra insurance for catastrophic risks, on a principle of risk aversion. When low-probability risks of catastrophe are placed on-screen, so that people will not ignore them, many people are willing to pay much more to avoid...

Ozone Depletion

Chlorofluorocarbons CFCs were originally used as fluids in refrigerators, in part because they were far safer than the available alternatives, which were either flammable or dangerously toxic.4 In addition to their numerous cooling applications, CFCs came to be used as propellants in aerosol spray cans. Widespread commercial and military uses for CFCs and related chemicals, prominently including halons, produced billions of dollars in revenues for their manufacturers. The idea that CFCs posed a...