Surviving the “Perfect Storm”

Michael Learner, Randy Hayes | September 8, 2020 | Leave a Comment

George Inness The Storm, 1885

We face a “perfect storm of global stressors.

Decentralized regional self-sufficiency in energy, food, & friendship is key to greater resilience.

We can build collecting consciousness of the “perfect storm” and save more of what matters.

Our question is simple and straightforward. Would you consider putting your organization’s good work and strategic planning in the context of the larger picture of the “perfect storm” we are facing?   This “perfect storm” requires a level of collective consciousness and transformation that we have not achieved so far.

As most of you know, forty years of pointing out the industrial damage to natural systems has not won the day. In fact all major planetary life support indicators continue to worsen. Over two dozen deeply troubling global stressors — ecological, economic, social and technological — interact unpredictably in this “perfect storm.”

Tens of thousands of foundations and hundreds of thousands of social change organizations (NGOs) address almost every important silo issue under the sun.  Almost no foundations and very few NGOs address the whole enchilada of global transformation. We can’t weather the “perfect storm” with siloed work alone. We must go through the storm.  Our preparation — our resilience — will determine how much of what we care about survives.

This “perfect storm” is like a funnel through which only a small proportion of existing biodiversity — and at best some portion of humanity — will ultimately emerge. We need to continue vigorous good work on all the global stressors.  But we also need to come together at every planetary level, and especially at decentralized regional and community levels, to build resilience.

Resilience is needed in our personal lives, our communities and our local biological regions.  We also need resilience at the national, continental and global level.  Resilience looks different depending on where you find yourself.  But people are already practicing resilience — usually in desperation — all over the world.

How much of the infinitely precious treasure of biological diversity and humanity can we preserve?  The resilience movement is launching tens of millions of arks all over the world in hopes of surviving the storm.  The resilience movement doesn’t yet have a collective consciousness.  The good news is that awareness of the need for resilience is growing everywhere,

We don’t need to invent the resilience movement.  We can and must aid and inform it[i].  One key leverage point is enhancing disaster and emergency planning.  The head of the US Red Cross has called the Mormons the most prepared Americans for disaster.  The Swedes and Swiss plan for disaster as do others.  Japan is asking if it can afford to keep rebuilding in, for example, in the flood plains.  With greater clarity about the “perfect storm: we must all face together, the resilience movement can more sensibly plan and build hope.

This brief synopsis presents our sober view that we must go through the “perfect storm.”  Thanks for your attention, your good work, and for reflecting with us on this great question.

Live kindly with your neighbors — close and far. The web of life is your closest neighbor.


[1] Problematique websites: Check out The Resilience Project, Post Carbon InstituteForesight Analysis Nexus and MAHB  for information helpful to concerned citizens, NGOs, and funders on this global human dilemma — the problematique.

Randy Hayes, Executive Director

Foundation Earth

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