Building Resilience

Home sick today, feeling weak and useless. It was even difficult to cut up  macaroni ‘n cheese. Perhaps I wouldn’t feel so lousy if I were in better physical shape. I’m still recovering from breaking my leg on New Year’s (sledding—it was fun!), so I’ve had a couple months of limited physical activity. I really am weak — so not as resilient as I should be.

 “Resilience” is a new buzzword. Everyone from doomsday “preppers” to those in the “Transition” movement to ecologists like to use that word. Are we buffered enough against shocks, whether natural, economic or climatic?

 Preppers advocate being ready for economic shocks and along with the Transition folks, encourage people to learn basic, common-sense skills like canning and gardening. And natures resilience can also be improved  by repairing some of the human damage.

The blustery weather this morning made me think about climate change. Oh brother, this is really hurting my head. How resilient is the natural world to challenges, whether natural our human-caused? I’m afraid that human abuse of ecosystems has reduced nature’s ability to bounce back. Just one teensy example before I reach for the Tylenol: the chytrid fungus is killing frogs. Their populations are already damaged due to habitat loss. Do they have enough resilience to absorb losses from disease?

We are part of the ecosystem.  Planting native plants – building resilience — is one simple common-sense way to help buffer our local ecosystems.