No idea of risk: Expensive environmental and health panic. Keine Ahnung von Risiko: Teure Umwelt- und Gesundheitspanik.
Affiliation: TU Dortmund
Keywords: Health, Probabilities, Anxiety, Risks, Economy, Environment Language: German Gesundheit, Wahrscheinlichkeiten, Angst, Risiken, Ökonomie, Umwelt, Deutsch
Most people cannot handle risks and probabilities. For alarmists, this is an advantage, for everything new, it is an obstacle How does one recognize a real princess? According to Hans Christian Andersen`s Fairy Tale, by the fact that she is tormented by a pea under twenty mattresses. In the same way millions of Germans have been driven from one panic into the next for decades: by acrylamide and BSE, nitrofen and dioxin (all of course only in the relevant doses), glycol in the wine, E. coli in the salad and amalgam in the teeth, nitrate in groundwater and glyphosate in beer, bird flu and swine fever, anthrax, radiation and electrosmog – it is a miracle that we are still alive. In reality, of course, truth, the health of Germans as measured by life expectancy is constantly increasing. Current anxieties focus on nitric oxide and fipronil, the new egg poison. Contrary to the dioxin egg panic of 2011, when many German media almost saw the world sink, commentators this time strive for objectivity by leaving open how many hundreds of eggs one must eat before a Fipronil-induced feeling of sickness occurs. But the news is still full of this, and many Germans are afraid. Based on inadequate risk assessments, billions of Euros are wasted every year on unnecessary and even damaging activities. Dr. rer. pol Walter Krämer is a mathematician and economist form the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, He has worked as a Research Assistant at the Seminar for Statistics at the University of Mannheim; as Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario, Canada; Assistant Professor at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna; Professor of Empirical Economic Research at the University of Hanover. He is currently the Spokesman for the DFG Collaborative Research Centre 823: "Nonlinear dynamic models in business and technology and a Full Professor of Economic and Social Statistics at the Department of Statistics at the University of Dortmund