Why Modern Life Makes Us Vulnerable

h.koppdelaney's photostream/CC BY 2.0

A zombie apocalypse isn't the only reason we need to plan for adaptability. Over at Forum for the Future, Sara Parkin writes that freak storms in the isolated island community of the Inner Hebridies are causing everyone to reflect on the fragility of modern life:

“Just like the old days” said one of our visitors. “Well no,” responded my husband. “In the old days we were geared to cope, nowadays we are not. We are more, not less vulnerable.” And he is right. Our kitchen fire has a back boiler providing hot water to baths and radiators. Many other people, however, being modern, have ‘gone electric’, sold on its cleanliness and convenience. And it is true that for years the power has never gone off for more than 12 hours at a stretch, which for those with a stash of candles and a gas camping stove is tolerable.

But a week! The electricity company reported around 100 problems over the Argyll and Bute region and tens of thousands of people without power. Here on Islay, teams of engineers and kit managed to get here, but with no mobile phones working could not communicate with the central power station.

Head over to the Forum's blog for more lessons on resilience from an island without power.

Tags: Communities | Electricity | Renewable Energy | United Kingdom

2014 Gift Guide

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK