got community? a focus for adaptation strategies

tending to community building

Part of any self-respecting GW 'adaptation' strategy involves re-examining your 'choice' of community.

That's right, adaptation's not just about relocating shore-front facilities, but also about relocating yourself...and not just to 'higher' ground, but also to places with more resources, stronger community networks, and smarter strategies.

Why? Not just because sea levels are rising, but also because nation-states are (or will be) collapsing (via how to save the world).

And, if self-managed communities are emerging in the vacuum that this collapse produces, you're gonna wanna choose your community well.

As Dave Pollard notes, "to create self-managed communities will require a lot of large-scale 'musical chairs' as people seek others with whom they can hope, and want, to create community."

Sadly, prolly sooner than we think, these concerns could become paramount.

We're looking at less room and fewer resources for everyone, says Pollard, noting "our all-too-human predilection to resort to gang behavior and banditry at the first sign of resource scarcity."

Ironically, the brutal suppression of community-based 'independence' movements by dying nation-states is hindering precisely the sort of community practice that may hold our best hopes.

Intel blogger Jeff Vail, who sees the nation-state of Mexico collapsing in the near term, wryly suggests that a form of re-localization may help us cope better after the 'End of Oil'.

Pollard worries that, even in the best communities with an abundance of resources (say, like Kauai), the process of self-management is "not going to be pretty", and that it "takes a lot of practice to get right".

Sounds like the second half of my book, where I sum up key lessons learned from a decade of community-based efforts on Kauai.

Fact is, I called this the "milennial governance challenge" and argued that:

"Corporate-led 'globalization-from-above' may prove more vulnerable and threatening, at the same time as community-led 'globalization-from-below' proves more viable and compelling. Both trends are unfolding on their own trajectories. What is new is the awareness that community efforts 'from below' are cumulatively building-up a countervailing force for sustainability in the globalization process."

In the concluding "Taroist Imperative", I wrote:

"So we begin building from the bottom to re-engineer communities that are sustainable. Starting with a new appreciation of the power of community networks and the latent wealth of talent and initiative that can carry us forward.

Excessively messy? Sometimes. Exceedingly slow? Yup. But that's democratic history and that's our future in community-based management".

To be fair, Vail says what collapse means is that "the importance of Nation-States will decline sharply, as they become increasingly ineffectual both domestically and internationally".

As nation-states increasingly fail to care for their constituents, says Vail, we become "increasingly susceptible to the black shirts and brown shirts of history...but these movements will be increasingly dissociated from States, more similar in organizational model to al-Qa’ida than to Nazi Germany."

OK, so it's shaping up as the terrorists versus the taroists. Am I right?

Oh, and, like the folks at GSG, I envision a hybrid scenario that sees the emergence of a nested governance structure, from the local to the global.

Published by Ken on July 22nd, 2007 tagged Community Initiatives, HI-specific

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