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Re: Beyond “temporal” resilience: results that withstand the test of time

Stefan Pasti
Stefan PastiThe Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) InitiativeUnited States of America

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this discussion.

I am submitting comments on the subject of what kind of human habitats deserve the most attention, as we focus more and more attention on creating habitats with long term resilience.  As my questions and comments will illustrate, I believe that long term resilience--in terms of both systems and habitats--will be, and must be, closely related to what we arrive at as the best models for carbon neutral economies, and what we arrive at as the best models for ecologically sustainable habitats.

I am agreement with Mr. Mwasaa, in his introduction to this “resilience” topic, that “the rigor in identifying, understanding, analysing and addressing the multifaceted determinants of resilience is often the driver of success”.

Specifically, my questions, comments, and observations (detailed in the attached file) are centered by the following three very-much-related questions-- 

Of the two following descriptions of habitats which could be our primary focus for global warming/climate change mitigation with the hope of holding global warming to 1.5oC--

--megacities with more than one million people, and with sometimes over 15 million people

or

--medium to small sized cities (with populations of 100,000 people, or less) and towns--

which of the above two habitat descriptions have the strongest likelihood of leading us quickly, and most decisively, to holding global warming below 2oC?

which of the above two habitat descriptions have the best chance of being our foundation and support for ecological sustainability on into the future?    and

which of the two habitats descriptions above would represent more resilience (and less vulnerabilities) if we only manage to hold warming to 2.5oC or 3oC?

The attached file (titled “Questions for CCLS17 Panel Discussion--Diminishing Returns re Megacities?”)(8 pages) is a question and comment statement I submitted to the Cambridge Climate Lecture Series (23 February-16 March 2017; University of Cambridge, UK; hashtag #CCLS17).  Then I was directing my question and comment statement specifically to the Panel Discussion, which was livestreamed on Thursday 16 March 2017, from 18:30-20:00 GMT.

Although my questions and comments (it is the same document in the above link, and in the attached file) were directed specifically to the Cambridge Climate Lecture Series, I believe those same questions and comments are highly relevant to the topic of this discussion... and that long term resilience, as a feature of human habitats--and what human habitats will be both most useful and practical in holding global warming below 2oC, and our best foundation for ecological sustainability long into the future)--are three subjects which are very, very closely related. 

And I believe that megacities with more than one million people, and with sometimes over 15 million people, are very seriously over-rated as a primary focus for carbon neutral economies, as a foundation for ecologically sustainable habitats, as a base for solution-oriented activity on many other critical challenges (especially those challenges related to solving social issues, but also challenges related to water conservation and food security)--and thus very seriously over-rated as a primary focus for long term resilience.  We would do much better to focus as much as possible on medium to small sized cities (with populations of 100,000 people, or less) and towns--if we want to build long term resilience into human habitats.

I hope my contribution is helpful to the discussion.

For a Peaceful and Sustainable Future,

Stefan Pasti