Although loss of life from natural hazards has been declining, the property losses from those causes have been increasing. At the same time the volume of research on natural hazards and the books reviewing findings on the subject have also increased. Several major changes have occurred in the topics addressed. Emphasis has shifted from hazards to disasters. There has been increasing attention to vulnerability. Views of causation have changed. Four possible explanations are examined for the situation in which more is lost while more is known: (1) knowledge continues to be flawed by areas of ignorance; (2) knowledge is available but not used effectively; (3) knowledge is used effectively but takes a long time to have effect; and (4) knowledge is used effectively in some respects but is overwhelmed by increases in vulnerability and in population, wealth, and poverty.
White, Gilbert F.; Kates, Robert W.; and Burton, Ian, "Knowing Better and Losing Even More: The Use of Knowledge in Hazards Management" (2001). Geography Faculty Contributions. 1.