While working on my Climate Crisis print series, I have been catching up with The Post Carbon Institute’s online course “Think Resilience.”
In nature’s “Adaptive Cycle,” certain adaptive species flourish in the aftermath of a shock. They may rapidly dominate the environment, but without diversity, they exhaust resources and become less resilient until they are themselves vulnerable to shock.
My Climate Crisis series views the push for ever-increasing “Economic growth” in this light. After a long period in which progress and even “freedom” have been equated with unrestrained consumerism and resource exploitation, we face resource scarcity and an existential Climate Crisis. In this context, what does “Resilience” mean? Certainly, it is about adapting. But surely not seeking to preserve the old system intact. That system is already dying. Rather, the crisis offers an opportunity to develop a new resilience based on rethinking our core values and the development of new (and probably some very old) narratives about value and worth.
The prints in this series are often paired. One expressing anger and one projecting a more hopeful future in which the connotations of “Anthropocene” shift from destruction, fear and denial towards symbiosis, respect, and positive engagement with our ecosystem.