“Resilience Matters”

New document issued by Island Press. See: Resilience Matters Transformative Thinking in a Year of Crisis.  This 145 page report is a free download.

Thanks to Ed Thomas, Natural Hazards Mitigation Assoc., for the citation.

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One Response to “Resilience Matters”

  1. plodinec says:


    You asked me to provide a few comments as I did for last year’s compilation edited by Laurie Mazur.

    This is a collection of 37 pieces previously published elsewhere. In my review of last year’s “Resilience Matters” I pointed out that that book far too often was a polemic. This one raises polemics to new lows. Feel free to bash Mr. Trump all you want, but don’t use “Fake Facts” to do it.

    A particularly egregious example of this is in Mazur’s Introductory essay – “Already, there are more US jobs in solar energy than in oil, gas and coal extraction combined.” Best estimates – using Bureau of Labor Statistics data – is that there are 2 million workers in oil, gas and coal extraction vs about 100,000 in solar energy. While it is true that there are more workers in electricity generation from solar than from conventional baseline sources, is this reflective of the relative immaturity of solar generation, i.e., will these numbers decrease?

    Another manifestation of being overly polemic is that stories which could provide juicy nuggets that planners and municipal officials could digest and use in their own communities end up watered down with anit-Trumpian bile. An example of this is the essay “South Florida’s Compact is a Model for Local Climate Solutions.” In April, I participated in a meeting of NIST’s Community Resilience Panel held in Miami. The focus of concern is not so much climate change per se as it is rising sea levels exacerbating flooding. The real stories are the practical actions being taken – Miami Beach building up its sea walls, communities rethinking their road systems, the hundreds of actions the city of Miami is taking and the many hundreds more it cannot yet afford to. Reducing their carbon footprints are more of an afterthought and a “feel good” measure; the real work is in re-imagining their infrastructure. Those are the stories that need telling.

    I found a few bright spots…”Getting Energy Efficiency to the People Who Need It Most;” “Interdependence and Its Discontents” – I’m a fan of Shade Shutters’ work, and this is not a polemic; “To Prevent Disaster, Rethink Development” – again not proselytizing but offering a practical look at the recent disasters.

    It is not clear to me for whom – or why – this book was written. Was it for the acclaim of the acolytes of the Resistance movement? Are statements such as “To be American, no matter where you live and work, is in one way or another to be a hypocrite.” (p. 108) going to convince non-Believers to take the actions espoused here? Our climate IS changing (though not as fast as Alarmists scream). Managing that change (and, perhaps, taking advantage of that change) requires mobilization of ALL of us, not just those who didn’t vote for one or the other Presidential candidate. I personally found the smug self-righteousness of this short book offensive. I really can’t recommend it.

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