Resilience vs Sustainability - "There are no Solutions, Only Responses" (Video)

daniel lerch post carbon institute interview photo

Image credit: Peak Moment TV

The concept of resilience keeps cropping up these says. From Rob Hopkins' take on why resilience beats sustainability every time, and the need to design for withstanding shock, to Thomas Homer-Dixon's insistence that efficiency has made our society brittle and vulnerable, there are plenty of people out there who would argue - as Daniel Lerch does in the video below - that sustainability has been asking the wrong questions all along. Can Renewable Energy Maintain Our Current Lifestyle?
Clean energy advocates like Dana Nuccitelli will tell you that 100% renewable energy by 2050 is possible. Daniel Lerch, co-editor of the Post Carbon Reader, disagrees—or at least he is adamant that renewable energy and efficiency can never maintain the standard of material living or economic growth that those of us in the Western World have gotten used to during the era of cheap oil.

Resilient Cultures Withstand Shock
In fact, says Lerch, the idea of aiming to "sustain" our lifestyles at any particular level is somewhat absurd in the first place. Instead of focusing on doing what we do now, but with less material and energy inputs, and less negative impacts, Lerch and his collaborators argue that we need to adapt our entire civilization to withstand shocks and roll with what they see as the inevitable punches of climate change, peak oil, and resource depletion.

It's pretty convincing stuff. And yet another great video from the folks at Peak Moment TV. The future will look nothing like the past. Instead of "designing" a future based on historical observations and future extrapolations, we need to embrace uncertainty and build in resilience.

More on Peak Oil, Resilience and Climate Change
How Can Food and Farming Transition to a Post Carbon World?
When Low Tech Beats Fancy Innovation - Ensuring Resilience
Why Resilience Beats Sustainability: Rob Hopkins on Resilience in the City

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