...the concept of resilience caught on among ecologists big time, because it goes to some of the issues of forests and fisheries and other biological systems that they may be resilient to one kind of change, but adapting to that change may make them more vulnerable to another change. And so, nothing is eternally resilient. Basically, it means capacity to have a change and adjust, and continue functioning about like you did before, as a system. (emphasis added)
In this quote, I see support for those who believe we must act now. An economist-friend of mine has often argued that once the effects of climate change get more serious, then we will get market-based solutions to the problems, which ultimately will be the best solutions. I don't disagree that free market solutions will likely be the best, but a lot of data shows we cannot wait. The feedback loops are such that the effects will become nearly irreversible and the technology exists now to mitigate enough of the worst consequences that a "good" solution is good enough.
But Bangladesh is very poor and while there are discussions, I doubt that they will be able to take the actions that would enable them to be fully resilient.
If you believe in rights to life, which most Americans do, I think you need to take this sentence very seriously. If you are a "skeptic" who wants to wait to see further affects before committing to take action, you are going to be infringing on the rights of some people to life as the sea level rises.
Recognizing that this is something that must be done at multiple levels, so what I am concerned about is a lot of people think that the only way to cope with global change is international agreements.
Attention, America: We can act independently of Kyoto, or any other protocol that we may or may not see come out of Copenhagen. Fortunately, many states have taken the lead in taking action. Hopefully this trend continues regardless of what the federal government negotiates.
Community A has a very good plan for dealing with disasters and it’s sent around and everybody copies it verbatim. That is, I think itself a disaster. I’m strongly urging against. Because, the difference for a community that is below sea level and one that has cliffs right up to the edge of an ocean is dramatically different...we need diversity of response. I’m not recommending that nobody plan. I am recommending that people plan knowing a lot about their own ecological systems, their structure. How fragile are they to this threat versus that threat.
Ostrom clearly would support the AWG-LCA (long-term cooperative action) track, advocated by the United States, for these upcoming negotiations. I personally agree with her view, that everyone needs to plan for their own contingencies. As long as everyone is taking *some* action, this will ensure that everyone's actions will have the best results for themselves. Self-interest at its finest!
But, we’ve got to somehow get over the problems that people will screw one another upon occasion. And we have to find ways of using sanctions and other mechanisms to make sure that the people who are not trusting, or trustworthy and using reciprocity, are discovered and encouraged to change their ways or to not participate. To get out.
This is one of the final things she says, and again, I think it's easy to read her and think about Copenhagen. We have to have some kind of international monitoring system to ensure that everyone is doing their fair share. But we also have to get over this philosophy that we won't take action unless we know for sure that everyone else is going to take similar action. Ultimately, in a cooperative situation, something you have to take the plunge and assume that everyone is plunging with you.
This was a long post, but I haven't even covered everything from the transcript. I found all of it very interesting and this tends to reinforce my belief that the Nobel selections this year, in some small way at least, had Al Gore's success resuscitating Bali and the upcoming negotiations in Copenhagen in mind.