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India dam break Facebook and fake news

India dam break Facebook and fake news finds its inspiration in a series of very recent events. Very unfortunately one of them, the Rishiganga dam collapse (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-55969669), was mortiferous.  World-wide water storage structures are ageing A report by UNU-INWEH,  Ageing Water Storage Infrastructure: An Emerging Global Risk, provides an overview of the phenomenon. Indeed tens of thousands of existing large dams have reached 50 years of age. In addition, many others will approach 100 years. For instance, UK has the…

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Codes, resilience and climate change

Many clients are dealing with a conundrum at the cross between codes, resilience and climate change. Solving it is paramount for tactical and strategic planning purposes. Code compliance is not synonymous with resilience When facing good-old hazards that are becoming more frequent and more intense, perhaps due to climate change, it is easy to realize that code compliance becomes meaningless. Indeed, codes work for the “good old way”, both in terms of resilience and frequency. A code compliant solution may…

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Catastrophic failures forensic analyses

Catastrophic failures forensic analyses are, most of the time, left in the hand of experiences engineers. At least, that’s the case for tailings dams failures and other catastrophes like major infrastructural accidents and for instance, aviation. Are we sure that is the best way? Normalization of deviance, management and decision-making are oftentimes ingredients of the catastrophic failure buildup, not only “engineering”. So, we dare to say, Independent Panels should include social scientists. They seem to be the most qualified to…

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Demands for Zero Risk

Oftentimes when explaining risks to Management or the public “Demands for Zero Risk” objection arise. Repeatedly, stakeholders may point out that any “non zero” risk is unacceptable. Indeed, in the aftermath of any recent accident (Samarco, Cadia, Mount Polley) public opinion, regulators, law enforcement agencies and the media vehemently embrace that vision. However, the first reaction should be to declare that goal  as not realistic as any endeavor has intrinsic risks. Indeed, we are exposed to hazards and resulting risks…

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Antifragile resilient solutions for tactical and strategic planning

We recently discussed with a client Antifragile resilient solutions for tactical and strategic planning. The theme is interesting and warrants publication this week as it raises a number of interesting issues. We use Rx to indicate our client’s Remarks, and Ax to indicate the our related Answers. Fragile – Robust – Antifragile systems R1) I think there is value in characterizing systems into the three groupings that Taleb presented. That is, Fragile – Robust – Antifragile. Because it gets engineering…

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Near misses and pandemic advice

Today we will tell you our experience of Near misses and pandemic advice. But first of all, we hope this blog-post reaches all of you and your Families healthy and serene. Let us know of your experiences and how you are doing. Travel experiences at the beginning I was in Italy until February 25th after completing several intercontinental trips. There I saw the beginning of the contagion take place. Indeed, Italy was already taking some protective measures then. Then my…

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Marcus Aurelius stoicism and COVID-19 epidemic

Marcus Aurelius stoicism and COVID-19 epidemic reactions are deeply linked. As famously stated by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and philosopher: “Things do not touch the soul.” Also, for example: “Focus on what you can act, the rest is negative noise.” These deceptively simple statements are keystones of the Stoic philosophy. Marcus Aurelius meant that we are not victims of events, people, or things, but by the opinions we form of them. As he put it, “our perturbations come only from…

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Insurance denial amid climate change

We explore today how insurance denial amid climate change will impact assets and other aspects of business. In particular, we think at fires like the Australian bushfires and Fort McMurray (Canada) fire in addition to increasing rains leading to flooding. These will undeniably be a ‘big drag’ on growth and have already generated invaluable losses to biodiversity. Furthermore, insurance denial will become a  problem as we discussed back in 2016 and even as far as 2009. Insurance denial amid climate change…

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