Rita, educating us all

Well, we can learn much from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and, as noted several times here, there exists a whole set of connexions between Sustainability and War processes, especially in the way that they will both drive Urbanism/Urban Form in the next century or so. (When I say War here, I am referring to 5GW, as described and discussed over at John Robb’s excellent website Global Guerrillas.)

So, looking at the New Orleans Principles, a set set of ten guidelines for Sustainable development formulated in response to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina, I am not at all surprised to find:

8 • Provide for passive survivability
Homes, schools, public buildings, and neighborhoods should be designed and built or rebuilt to serve as livable refuges in the event of crisis or breakdown of energy, water, and sewer systems.

I say not surprised at all because as noted over at Global Guerillas:

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A new variation on an extremely old method of warfare has emerged. This new method is called systems disruption — which has been a major theme of this weblog since its inception. Based on extensive analysis, I believe that systems disruption will become the dominant method of warfare for non-state networks against nation-states.
It consists of simple attacks (using ad hoc weapons) on critical nodes of infrastructure — oil, gas, electricity, water, etc. These attacks, if properly targeted, can cause cascades of failure that sweep entire systems.

And furthermore, in another exchange:



It would seem that the types of global organizations that will arise from this effect will be massively decentralized, with the flow of information dramatically increasing, while the flows of manufactured objects reducing, and commodities becoming more dear, rapidly and temporarily in some cases.

The really interesting thing, once we get past the immediate and obvious effects on the price of commodities is the effects on Science and Technology, as replacements for certain commodities are sought, and the R&D funding for replacements becomes economically sound.

The re-localization of manufacturing seems to be another developing trend here, with the only necessary global flows being of IP.


EF. You are exactly right. Resilient decentralization is the inevitable long-term answer. Unfortunately, it’s not something that most people want to hear.

Despite this, in the meantime, there is LOTs of money to be made during this correction. I generate billions (no joke) in the 90s during the last big global trend, and I think this one has a similar opportunity.

The interesting comment to me is the part that goes ” Unfortunately, it’s not something that most people want to hear,” which I would translate as “It is not what those in power want to hear.” And that’s interesting because this exchange underlines two very important facts:

1. Sustainability is a long term friend to those who would make America safer from 5GW attacks, &

2. The existing economic/political powers have too many vested interests in the system as it works now to do what is necessary to protect us, both from Global Warming and Global Guerillas.

Rita, educating us all

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