Risked-Based Approach in a (World) Risk Society

The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) is focused on adapting to climate change to protect New York’s present and future infrastructure. Yohe and Leichenko, however, argues that both mitigation and adaptation strategies are necessary.

Keeping in mind the ideas that Beck outlines, what do you think is the best approach (for the world, and namely New York City) to react to risks and climate change?

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3 Responses to Risked-Based Approach in a (World) Risk Society

  1. Jessica Lin says:

    I think the risk – based approach mentioned by Yohe and Leichenko which combines both mitigation and adaptation is the best way to react to risks and climate change. the Risk based approach maximizes the protection of the city’s infrastructure and overrall function of the city. NPCC cannot solely focus on adaptation strategies without mitigation strategies. One day climate change will overrun us and it will exceed our ability to adapt to it. Adaptation should be a long term but ‘temporary’ method while we try mitigation.

  2. jennylee says:

    I don’t know that there is a full and satisfying way to answer this question. But to me, it seems obvious that both mitigation and adaptation are necessary, because without changing the fact that we are creating problems, we will ever tangle ourselves in more of them, and without challenging ourselves to deal with problems we currently have, we’re just dooming ourselves. It’s not an either/or/both problem, but “what kind of mixture of the two should we take?”
    As far as NYC’s approach goes, I do think the city’s emphasis in planning should be more on adaptation, simply because mitigation is most needed to happen/organized on a large scale. Of course, we should continue pursuing means that would be labeled “mitigation” and remain wary of risks.

  3. In Living in the World Risk Society, Beck emphasizes the “unpredictable and impersonal force” of global risk in the modern world, which provokes the human response to organize sustainability tactics such as the mitigation and adaptation strategies proposed by Yohe and Leichenko. I think that the best approach for the world, as well as New York City, to react to risks and climate change is adopting a risk-based approach, as Jessica L., and Jenny both acknowledged. The dual approach of adaptation and mitigation neutralize one another, as adaptation compensates for the other when mitigation responses don’t reflect anticipated climate changes, while mitigation balances adaptation when it is overwhelmed by the fluctuating climate. Figure 2.1, in Adopting a Risk-Based Approach, which shows a graph presenting risk thresholds over decades demonstrates that if we remain on the current risk trajectory, disregarding adaptation and mitigation, the acceptable level of risk is crossed relatively soon. It also indicates that without mitigation efforts, adaption is not enough to sustain and preserve society. Therefore, adopting to a risk-based approach incorporating adaptation and mitigation, is essential when reacting to risks and climate change in the world and in New York City.

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