Tuesday 24 Nov 2020 | 18:24 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 24 Nov 2020 | 18:24 | SYDNEY

The case for resilience


Sam Roggeveen


5 February 2008 09:36

The FT reviews three new books on how societies respond to disasters and catastrophes. Short version: they're really hard to predict, and it is politically impossible and financially ruinous to try to prevent all of them. It follows that we might get more value for our money by trying to reduce the impact of disasters rather than trying to prevent them, yet this seems to be a very small part of our response to terrorism. The problem is largely political. It's hard for politicians to tell their electorates the truth: we cannot stop all terrorist attacks, and we should accept occasional losses, knowing that terrorists cannot threaten our liberties or prosperity if we put systems in place to minimise the disruption caused by their attacks. In other words, we need to be resilient.