Risk and Conservation
A COMMON characteristic can be uncovered among many of the environmentalist precepts--a hesitancy to take undue risks. This hesitancy can be found in both conservatives and conservationists. It attracts like-minded groups who are otherwise quite unwilling to support environmentalist causes. Thus when environmentalists are successful in showing serious risks or dangers of ecosystem disruption, drastic changes in natural environments, or potential danger to human health or the nation's future, many persons from other movements support the environmental effort. The solidarity stems from unwillingness to accept personal, physical, or collective risks for the potential economic advantage of someone else or another social group.
In studies of risk taking in recent years,1 an individual's willingness to take risks is seen as linked either to measurable benefits ("voluntary" risk taking) or to a perceived ability to handle the risk involved. Such is the case when people do not believe they are in____________________