Saturday, October 26, 2019

City's Concept of Resilience Looks too Small, all Slogan and Sticker

Was it just last year that Paradise burned to the ground during the Camp Fire and Sierra Nevada created a collaborative beer called "Resilience"?

Sunday Headlines

Destruction of Paradise: The allegory is apt.
From last November
This year we have the Kincade Fire in Sonoma. It might seem far away, but what is happening there will filter north and visit us in the decades to come, maybe even just a generation.

Mandatory evacuation all the way to the beach now - twitter
Even though the vineyards themselves are a kind of firebreak, the houses still burn. Wealthy corporate owners can weather the loss, but for vineyard workers and other ordinary people the loss is catastrophic.

KJ is moving north, slowly but surely - twitter
We have seen an increasing number of Oregon vineyards and wineries purchased by large California operations, and in so many ways we can see the action of climate change in wine. Harvest dates and degree-day summations track the trend of increasing temperatures, and vineyard ownership tracks changes elsewhere. (See notes on one of KJ's purchases here and more general trends here. Californians are here and more are coming. Wineries are a proxy and index on the leading edge of more widespread change.)

People think that projections for population increase here might be exaggerated, but we will have climate refugees from California who will bid up the price of land and housing.

We need to think more about resilient systems and less about
the resilient individuals and proud self-reliance,
even social darwinism
For those in Sonoma, two weeks of camping supplies doesn't solve the problem of utilities that have not invested in the right infrastructure or been properly regulated by the state; doesn't solve the problem of housing built in the wrong places and under-regulated housing development; doesn't solve whatever forestry practices may exacerbate things with excess vegetative fuel; and doesn't change our addiction to driving and the carbon pollution it spews.

But is the solution for residents to be ready
for 2 weeks of camping? (And hey, stickers!)
For Monday's Council agenda, there is no report on the Resiliency Task Force. Maybe there will be more published, but it might also be just a genial update on our glorified camping PR.

We will have big problems. We already have problems. And just pushing a prepper mentality is not the way to solve them. Individuals do need to be better prepared, but the scale of problems calls for governmental entities to change systems, not to privatize it all and off-load responsibility for it to individuals. Our formal thinking on resilience is just so shallow and small at the moment. And I am not sure that we are viewing the Our Salem project through any kind of "resilience lens."

(If a report is published, there may be more to say later.)

Addendum, Sunday

The start of our action items
in the 2017 Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan
Pages 3-4 to 3-9 of the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (see notes here from 2017, link at City site here) are the action items we should see referenced in the Resiliency Task Force update. If these items are not discussed, or if no progress has been made on them, then we will know the thing is a sham.

In a comment, Sarah points out additional omissions and biases: The camping PR assumes a household in a single-family home with storage space and yard. It does not accommodate people living in multi-family dwellings, living in cars, or living outdoors without permanent shelter. There is an implied class bias and wealth check in the PR and planning.

Addendum 2, Monday

The City's published a one-page update.

It's all about "training"
So it looks like "preparedness" is conceived solely as readiness for the long camping adventure. Slogan and sticker.


Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(swapped in the San Jose Mercury-News Sunday front page and took out a Saturday twitter clip from the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat)

Sarah Owens said...

Small: Slogan, Sticker and *Single-family housing*-focused

All the preparation advice we've seen assumes the hh is in single-family housing that has storage that will be accessible after "the big one" hits, if not a yard to camp in. Most of CANDO's residents are homeless or in multi-family housing, much of which will be inaccessible if not pancaked in an earthquake. Yet, there's no advice for homeless, the homeless services providers or for ppl in MF housing. Try pointing this out to emergency management officials and all you'll get is a blank stare, like they have no idea what you're talking about. The City's concept of resilience is very small indeed.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for pointing that out. You are right, that's a serious gap.

Also added clip from the Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

(Added clip from the City's report on the Resilience Task Force)

Walker said...

What neither Salem nor Olympia seem to recognize is that we are going to be feeling the effects of these recurring climate-driven crises much sooner than when they arrive for us physically— we’re likely to see a huge push of migration north, putting the Dust Bowl migrations to shame.

If we don’t want to repeat the ugliness of how the Okies were “welcomed” in th 30s, we need to start making some serious plans for how we will accommodate climate refugees, quite apart from earthquake refugees.

Of course, the nightmare scenario is that we get good and mired into an attempt to tell climate refugees “Keep on Going, we Can’t Tqke Care of Our own” and then, as we’re dealing with the social disruption and disintegration that will cause, the Big One hits. Yikes.