Analysing what could go wrong is a major part of planning for a sustainable future. When it comes to our climate crisis, much of the planning we must do revolves around understanding future risks and making plans to avoid them where possible, and mitigate their effects where we cannot.
There are many shocks that can come our way as the planet warms, from drought and extreme heat events, to heavy rainfall, rising sea levels, and flooding. Food system disruptions and infrastructure damage are likely to increase in frequency and severity. Understanding the risks and anticipating how they will effect us should be front and centre in our minds when planning and in design.
Analysing risk, however, need not be a process devoid of hope. In analysing risk, we can also identify the strategies and practices that will help us avoid disasters, and move towards a more ethical, sustainable and resilient paradigm.
A lot of my job involves being clear headed about the global and local risks we face. But more importantly, it is about determining how we can direct ourselves, our businesses, our communities and wider society towards a better future. Permaculture and sustainability provide us not only with a clear look at the problems, but also with solutions. Being clear on both the negatives and the positives helps us build up a clearer picture of where we are, and where we can and need to be.
People sometimes criticise environmentalists for painting a gloomy picture. But balance is key. It is vital that we get across the negatives as well as the positives to get a clear look at the risk picture and understand the best route forwards.
If you would like some help to build up a clearer picture of the risks you face as an individual or in your business, please do get in touch.