In recent years, my academic geography department began to incorporate the word "resilience" into the names of some of our programs and courses. In part, this reflects some evolution in how and what we teach, but it is also a recognition that what many now call "climate resilience" is deeply intertwined with what many geographers do.
|Photo montage from Resilience Force|
This all came to mind last weekend as I listened to Rewind: Saket Soni on the People Who Make Disaster Recovery Possible, the first episode I had heard of the radio program/podcast Climate One. I look forward to more from this program, which I had first encountered on WCAI 90.1 FM. That is the New Bedford-area frequency for Cape & Islands Radio, a fantastic mid-sized public-radio station, one of three to which I listen regularly.
I recommend the hour-long recording itself and the ancillary materials posted with it -- I stole the image above from one of them. This discussion and the ongoing work behind it reflect a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of humans and the natural environment. The term "climate resilience" is itself a recognition of the compounding and confounding interplay among consumerism, racism, carbon pollution, transportation, housing, and more.
Guests Saket Soni and Daniel Castellanos go even further, connecting all of the above to the problems of human trafficking and the inhumanity of migration politics in the United States. But this is in the end a broadcast/podcast that brings me hope, because their Resilience Force organization is not only rescuing trafficked workers and organizing them for better treatment; it is also educating communities, exposing the crimes that are obscured by layers of subcontractors, and working toward a vision of a professionalized cadre of resilience workers worldwide.
In our educational endeavors around resilience, we are preparing people for citizenship and possibly employment related to big-picture concepts such as urban planning, supply-chain management, and environmental policy. Soni and Castellanos inform us that this kind of education is not enough: we also need vocational training, career development, and worker support for resilience workers who might be called second responders -- those who arrive 48 hours after a fire, flood, or storm and remain until people can sleep in their own beds and return to work or school.