Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Let's Talk About Resilience

If you can't beat 'em you can at least learn how to roll with the punches. When it comes to climate change impacts that means adaptation - measures that will enhance our resilience. What is your country, your province, your municipality doing to build resilience where you live?

It's not a conversation our pols are keen on having with us because it requires a candid assessment of what we're facing and our vulnerabilities. It also means talking numbers. How much is preparing for climate change going to cost? Who pays? How can we muster that much cash?

It's been estimated that replacing, repairing and upgrading Canada's essential infrastructure could cost a trillion dollars. See also here. Shocking as that may seem it is in keeping with estimates of the global cost. The compelling part of the argument for a major infrastructure resilience project is that we stand to lose a lot more if we don't get the job done.

Today the Global Commission on Adaptation released a report calling on investment of 1.8 trillion dollars USD mainly to help vulnerable nations adapt.  Bloomberg, meanwhile, explores the massive costs of not adapting.

Our leaders know the dangers. They understand the risks and the harm we're facing and yet they just kick the can down the road. Everything increases - the risks, the challenges, the costs. And yet we're going to return those same people to power. That makes sense, doesn't it? Explain it to me.


Anonymous said...

They are doing nothing. A municipality just destroyed a perfecting good addition added to a school which was approximately four years old. The school is no longer in use...so the bull dozers came in an demolished these reuse able buildings which could have been sold....its called sustainability. Anyong.

The Mound of Sound said...

I don't think that's quite what I'm getting at, Anyong.

Anonymous said...

"What is your country, your province, your ""municipality"" doing to build resilience where you live? Resilience means knowing how to cope in spite of setbacks, or barriers, or ""limited resources"". Resilience is a measure of how much you want something and how much you are willing, and able, to overcome obstacles to get it. It has to do with your emotional strength

Resilience means knowing how to cope in spite of setbacks, or barriers, or limited resources. Resilience is a measure of how much you want something and how much you are willing, and able, to overcome obstacles to get it. It has to do with your emotional strength. The Major's ability to understand that recycling materials is a good thing was not part of his resilience. Anyong

The Mound of Sound said...

I assume that's a cut'n paste comment, Anyong. "The Major" reference. Who is that?

Lorne said...

It would be nice to hear these difficult issues being seriously discussed in the upcoming federal election Mound, but as Kim Campbell once (in)famously and cynically said, "Elections are not the time to discuss serious issues."

The Mound of Sound said...

It is hard to accept that our leaders have no interest in discussing issues that might lead to awkward questions about their reluctance to respond to these existential challenges. Here again we have our political caste placing their personal partisan interest ahead of the public interest.

There was a time when genuinely progressive leaders engaged corporate and other narrow interests differently. Today neoliberal government seeks quasi-partnership with the private sector. In better times government engaged these interests as representatives of the public interest. That could often lead to a more critical, sometimes even adversarial, interaction.

The interests of the private sector and the public interest often conflict but when politicians ignore that they are usually siding with the private interest over the public. That is the essence of the Gilens and Page study out of Princeton in 2014 that found the US had become a functioning autocracy, democratic in name only.

Toby said...

That BBC video was big on saving lives and feeding ever more people but there was no mention of birth control. Unfortunately, humans are like every other species in that our population will keep expanding as much as the food supply will handle. We are already at an unsustainable population. We have to stop this go forth and multiply insanity. I know that there is a big moral issue but we have to come to terms with this or all other measures we take to address climate change will come to naught.

The Mound of Sound said...

If we don't deal with it, Toby, nature in due course shall. History shows that civilizations collapse abruptly and at their zenith. This time we're dealing with a single, tightly interwoven, global civilization. It's hard to see that surviving intact, perhaps at all, as the challenges of the day destabilize one nation after another. They may not be the biggest gears in the machine but it can't run for long without at least most of them.