Most people behave more rationally than they talk. That is why sweeping statements about avoiding risk prevail in places where words are a magic currency, such as among the intelligentsia or in courts of law. Centuries ago, Thomas Hobbes said that words are wise men's counters but they are the money of fools.
Today, words are the big money -- in the millions -- of tort lawyers bringing frivolous lawsuits with the help of judges like Alvin K. Hellerstein.
The idea that all risks should be reduced at all costs -- or rather, while ignoring costs -- has spawned many hysterical safety crusades, in addition to many frivolous lawsuits. But wealth is in fact one of the biggest safety factors.
Hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters can kill hundreds of times as many people in a poor country as they do when they strike a rich country. All sorts of diseases that have been wiped out in rich countries still plague poor countries.
Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was the biggest hurricane ever to hit the United States but it did not kill one-tenth as many people as were killed by a Texas hurricane in 1900, when this was a poorer country without the massive resources used to predict and prepare.
Another way of saying the same thing is that inhibiting the growth of wealth costs lives. That is why "if it saves just one life" hugely expensive precautions against remote risks can cost more lives than they save. This is not just killing the goose that lays the golden egg, it is in effect killing people as well.