What does Japan’s 2011 nuclear accident have in common with the 2005 flooding of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina? What does global warming have to do with Black Hawk Down, Mark Bowden’s classic account of a military disaster in Somalia? What is the relation between coal and tuna? This thought-provoking book presents a compelling account of recent and historical disasters, both natural and human-caused, drawing out common themes and providing a holistic understanding of hazards, disasters, and mitigation. Based on his on-the-ground experience with several recent major disasters, Timothy Dixon explores the science, politics, and economics behind a variety of disasters and environmental issues, arguing that many of the worst effects are avoidable. He describes examples of planning and safety failures, provides forecasts of future disasters, and proposes solutions for hazard reduction. This book shows how billions of dollars and countless lives could be saved by adopting longer-term thinking for infrastructure planning and building, including our energy infrastructure. Dixon makes the case that better communication on environmental and hazard issues between scientists, the media and the public is vital in reducing global risks and preventing future catastrophes, and also argues that the media needs to be more astute when communicating the views of special interests.