The following is my excerpt from an article in today’s Parade magazine by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, in which they highlight some of the points in their forthcoming book Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance. I’ve been ranting about my fellow Americans’ irrational approach to risk analysis and management for years. These guys back me up with numbers. Of course I still stand by my own example. In the past eight years approximately 3,000 Americans were killed by terrorists. To reduce this figure, we have spent more than one trillion dollars, overthrown two sovereign governments including the only secular pro-western country in the Middle East, destroyed what little stability the region had, alienated our allies, and given over our freedoms to Homeland Gestapo who tap our phones and turn air travel—never a pleasant experience—into purgatory. Oh and did I mention that all of this effort was in vain and the principal anti-American terrorist organizations are still operating? On the other hand, in those same eight years drunk drivers killed about 100,000 Americans. That number could be slashed by about 99% by simply installing a breathalyzer interlock in every new car. It would cost no more than a couple of billion dollars and no one would need to be arrested—or even take their shoes off. But we’re not doing it. Terrorists terrify us--that’s why we call them that. Drunk drivers don’t even get our attention. Levitt and Dubner veer off into more controversial territory with their own screed countering the global warming hysteria. I think they fail to recognize the Paradigm Shift in progress, and I think they underestimate the tremendous improvement in our understanding of thermodynamics since 1900. Nonetheless their illustration is amusing and reminds us that we are a species of problem solvers.