Are we good at assessing risks? Not really. Since your minds are geared to risk aversion, we often fear events more than the chance of impact on us.
In Lloyd’s Register Foundation “World Risk Poll,” we find some interesting facts on this issue. For example, their survey captured specific worries people had versus what they had actually experienced. 21 percent of us are “very worried” about getting ill from the
food we eat. But 17% had at least one experience (mild to severe). Nearly a third (32%) of us are very worried about violent crime, but 18% have been impacted by a crime. Negative news causes us to be biased to the negative result.
We are swayed in our thinking by misinformation and by those with an agenda. The one major example was this year’s election. Despite forecasts about rampant cheating, voter fraud, changed and lost ballots – very little or none of that occurred. The experts for election security, the top official, said it wa
s one of the most secure elections ever. Not a statement made lightly. But that is a one-time event. What about more critical issues.
What about global issues, such as COVID, with major world impacts? We will study this pandemic for many years to come. But what we know is that those with agendas are trying to sway our thinking. We do know a lot about global climate change and the way most of us think about its risk and how we have changed over time.
The Lloyd surveys mentioned above also track these opinions. Today, some 69% of people around the globe think that climate change represents a very or somewhat serious threat to the country where they live. The percent varies but those with more education express more concern over
the threat than those with less education. As we learn more and are educated more about this issue (with true facts), more of us are concerned.