The purpose of this chapter is to focus attention on the “damage and risk” side of the geohazard (GHZ) phenomena rather than on their generating processes. Damage evaluations are indeed often neglected and oversimplified in predictive studies. As a result, risks are poorly understood and often considered as the mere expression of the probability or likelihood of an adverse event. In this chapter, we will use numerous real‐life examples and will discuss among other subjects: technical glossary of risk, damages, crises, multidimensional consequences analysis, and definition of risk tolerance. This chapter also focuses on ethical (geo‐ethical) issues linked to GHZs caused by human activities and their mitigation decisions and possible unintended consequences. The discussion includes the sometimes excessive and sometimes lacking (blindness) perception of risks by the public, corporate, and public officers. The root cause of some odd human behaviors when facing risks (biases) like the survivor bias is discussed. GHZs cast a long and often misunderstood shadow on human activities, development, and survival. By understanding how to model consequences and better evaluating risks and crises, we will be able to alleviate human and environmental suffering and foster sustainable development.
Part of the book: Geohazards Caused by Human Activity