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September 19, 2014
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editorial

Resilience


If resilience is necessary for systems’ stability, then learning how to support resilience is vital for our future. As individuals and families, as neighbors and communities, we have the power to increase our capacity to deal and even thrive despite unwelcome change forced upon us from the outside. Resilience starts with becoming less reliant on outside resources over which we have little or no control, especially in a global economy.

Building resilience involves supporting locally owned businesses to create living local economies. It involves learning forgotten skills, for example, how to grow some of our own food, for those who are able. It involves learning traditional trades and new occupations to create local employment opportunities. It involves becoming less dependent on fossil fuels and supporting the growth of renewables. It involves creating stronger social networks close to home, i.e. not in cyberspace. It involves becoming more aware that our actions have ecological consequences.

Human enterprise is inseparable from nature. Society is inseparable from ecology. We are inextricably linked in socio-ecological systems. Everything depends on our ability to preserve and build resilience of these systems.

[Editor’s note: For more on resilience and socio-ecological systems, see www.stockholmresilience.org/21/research/what-is-resilience/research-back.... For a series of papers on the topic, see www.ecologyandsociety.org/issues/view.php?sf=22]