Risking the Lives of Your Children

If you are safe in one place but wish to get a better life with better prospects for your young family, what risks should you take to achieve your ambition?  Continue reading

Fighting without Risk

I have read through mountains of adjectives about terrorism and through a plethora of ideas, concepts, proposed solutions and polemic. It is a shame that it takes an event like the murder of cartoonists to get people thinking about solutions to terrorism. At the moment we are too frightened to implement solutions; we only paper over the cracks or relieve some of the symptoms without curing the disease.  Continue reading

When Low Risk Means Very High Returns

The Energy Minister of the United Kingdom has complained about the excessive profits that two of the United Kingdom’s energy companies are making. Mr Edward Davey has focused his complaints (which he has made to the energy regulator) upon higher than expected profit margins that British Gas and SSE are making. These margins are in excess of 11% for the year 2012. He is right to complain. In theory utility companies should operate at very low Continue reading

Taking risks

Are we too frightened to take risks? A volcano blowing ash closes Northern European’s airports and inconveniences millions of travellers because the ash may interfere with some flights. Climate change poses far more risk to humanity than volcanic ash, but we do not close down all fossil fuel burning for six months every year, which would be a risk free approach to global warming. It may be that there is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change but the risk of it, on health and safety grounds, should create far more measures to curtail climate change by carbon dioxide emissions than exist right now.

When I was sitting sipping coffee in Northern Chile my friend pointed out a man who was painting the outside walls of a block of flats. The gentleman concerned used a broom like brush and a bucket of paint. His method of getting to the upper stories was rather unusual. In Britain the Health & safety people would have been on his case immediately, but in Chile the gentleman was unconcerned about such niceties and completed his work quite safely.