Sustainability and Resiliency

I often make the point that sustainability and resiliency are intimately linked.  Part of being sustainable for Oregon is learning to live in an environment that includes large earthquakes and tsunami’s on a regular basis.  We tend to discount the “regular” for subduction zone earthquakes. After all, one hasn’t happened here since Americans and Europeans settlement began.  However, scientists have been very good at reminding us that one is imminent.  At the same time the local sustainability community has been attempting to reduce our dependence on carbon to head off the man made disaster of global warming.  Bill Lascher’s piece “How low car life will save Portland when the Big One strikes”  in the December issue of Portland Afoot, talks about bridges, fuel, and bikes and shows that these efforts can work together.

This is not the only area.  When the sustainability community talks about eco-districts, it makes the case for smaller and more redundant systems for energy, water, waste, storm water,  which by their nature more resilient in the face of a Cascadia event.  When building owners are wondering whether to install solar or wind power generation, the choice may become easier if this power source becomes the an emergency source of  power following the earthquake.

I will touch more on sustainability and resilience in future posts.  In the mean time, you can feel even better biking to work knowing that you are not only are fighting global warming, but getting prepared for the Big One too.