RISK V PROBABILITY B Wilkinson 12-02-15

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RISK V PROBABILITY
I have seen so much fudged nonsense about risk now from NIWA -and
MfE-related circles that the only remedy I can see is to continue to
have input for an independent well-qualified statistician who is strongminded enough to insist that remote and speculative projections be
distinguished from solid statistical evidence.
(I have yet to find anyone in NIWA who understands that risk is not
about the probability distribution for the further shoreline. That
probability distribution is what it is whether people are risk lovers or
risk averse. Risk is about attitude to loss and gain. A risk neutral
person will be indifferent about tossing a coin to win or lose a
dollar. A risk averse person would choose not to toss the coin. The
probability distribution for the outcome from tossing the coin is what
it is, either way. The same is true for the future position of the
shoreline. The statistician on the panel was right to point this out
(albeit much more tersely). Too many scientists don’t seem to want to
take it on board. They seem to want to adjust the probability
distribution for tossing the coin for risk–arbitrarily.)
B Wilkinson
12-02-15
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