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Home > Reviews > Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption

Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption

Author Alice C Hill and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz

ISBN No 9780190909345

Review date 13/08/2022

No of pages 256

Publisher Oxford University Press

Publisher URL

Year of publication 19/03/2020


Our Review


£ 16.99

You soon learn that this book, written by two Americans, is largely set in the United States; for when they talk about Norfolk, they mean the US Norfolk, on their Atlantic coast, not the British Norfolk. Why should you, or indeed Americans, mind that the place is at particular risk of flooding from rising sea levels, due to climate change? For one thing, it is the site of a NATO command headquarters.

Is resilience a security question? The authors show that if it is, it's in terms of disaster recovery from extreme weather, such as wildfires and hurricanes; and national security, given the other military bases that Norfolk, Virginia is home to. As the book shows, resilience is about many things, and people already with resilience in their title come from many fields: insurance, healthcare, building regulations and architecture, the law (for one thing, because of liability), transport (such as airports; think about how at holiday resorts and the likes of Schipol, airfields have to be on flat land, often at risk of inundation if sea levels rise in coming decades).

Other evidence that resilience is a matter for the security profession came in autumn 2018 at the Security Institute conference when a speaker covered many of the matters raised by this book. As the authors point out early on, even if done fully and well, resilience will be no more than a 'shock absorber' unless we change our economic ways and reduce pollution. Besides the future, resilience is 'urgently needed to enable communities to cope with the climate impacts we are already experiencing'. The authors talk in terms of risk; resilience blunting impacts, whether early warning systems give notice of coming disasters, or people have to physically move.