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Playing against Nature: Integrating Science and Economics to Mitigate Natural Hazards in an Uncertain World by Seth Seth Stein Stein, Jerome Jerome Stein Stein

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6Human Disasters

“The essence of the this-time-it's-different syndrome is simple. It is rooted in the firmly held belief that financial crises are things that happen to other people in other countries at other times; crises do not happen to us, here, and now. We are doing things better, we are smarter, we have learned from past mistakes.”

C. Reinhart and K. Rogoff, This Time Is Different1

6.1    Assessing Hazards

Natural disasters involve humans, in that they occur when a natural process causes loss of life and property. Other disasters are purely human, in that they result from the failure of a human system. Because human disasters have much in common with natural disasters, we can learn a lot about assessing and mitigating natural disasters ...

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