Are Unquantifiable Hazards the Best or the Worst Kind?

by Chris MacDonald

unquantifiable_2What’s not to love about the sign in this photo from just outside Bristol, England? The sign is apparently posted adjacent to an area of felled trees and marshy land.

I love the idea of warning of an “unquantifiable” hazard. Of course, many many hazards are unquantifiable, or at least unquantified — after all what’s the probability, precisely, associated with drinking irrigation water or allowing children to pump gas?

It’s also worth noting that most people — or is that just most people here in North America — would have very little idea what the word “unquantifiable” means. It seems rather a subtle point to put on a sign, really.

Thanks to Ursula Wills-Jones for the picture.