This chapter argues that the virtual plays a central role in assessments and decisions concerning risk in everyday life. We will consider the notion of a risk society, and of increased anxiety in Western societies in terms of abstract, virtual, material and probable threats. I argue that the virtual ﬁgures in risk when threat is understood to be widely present, as in the case of ecological and health risks due to pollution. In what follows we examine the elements of virtuality to our calculation of risk, and our sense of vulnerability or security. This argument involves the following steps:
• Risk is virtual as much as actual (i.e. concrete and/or probable).