Oklahoma tornado rekindles resilience questions in Oregon
By Andy Giegerich
Digital Managing Editor
Edward Wolf said even though earthquakes and tornadoes are very different events, building owners can take steps to make their companies more resilient in the event either catastrophe strikes.
Yesterday’s storms that slammed the heart of Oklahoma brought back to mind warnings, issued by Sustainable Business Oregon blogger Edward Wolf, that Oregon, like virtually everywhere, remains vulnerable to natural disasters.
Wolf approaches the topic from a cerebral place, pointing out that while resilience to natural disasters and sustainability aren’t the same, they do have plenty of common.
Here’s what Wolf wrote in April:
Resilience tends to be concerned with the capacity to withstand and recover from disasters, both natural and human-caused.
Both concepts involve footprints. Here’s one way to put the difference: Sustainability seeks to reduce society’s footprint on the environment. Resilience seeks to reduce the environment’s footprint on society.
We decided to check back in with Wolf to ascertain whether, with the Oklahoma tragedy fresh on everyone’s minds, whether there’s been more movement to adopt the Oregon Resiliency Plan that would insulate the state from any number of natural disasters.
Sustainable Business Oregon: You wrote in April that when the Oregon Resiliency Plan was introduced, “the sustainability community took little notice. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Yawn. Wasn’t there something in there about a nuclear power plant?” ... Does it, sadly, take something like this to happen before people will take it seriously?
Edward Wolf: That comment was tongue-in-cheek; certainly I know many people in sustainability careers who are keenly interested in these questions and think creatively about them. On the whole, our personal concerns and agendas are sometimes ahead of our institutional concerns and agendas in the ability to connect the dots.
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