Saturday, February 8, 2014
#39 / Stationarity #2
In an excellent article about water supply planning, environmental attorney Roger Moore has warned us against "stationarity," which means planning for the future as if the prevailing conditions we find in our current reality were static. That is not a good way to plan, says Moore, because the conditions of the reality we inhabit aren't stationary. They are moving. What we counted upon in the past we can't necessarily count upon in the future.
If we were to do water planning from an "extremist thinking" perspective, we might want to orient our planning by exploring how we could survive in a "no water" future.
There is at least pretty good evidence that the collapse of the Maya civilization and the collapse of the Anasazi civilization, in the American Southwest, were directly related to massively long periods of drought.
Planning for a "no water" future would obviously be an extremist approach. However, if we think of extremist thinking as a helpful tool, a kind of intellectual compass to point us in a direction we want to go, we might want to try planning using that "no water" hypothesis.
California, where I live, is currently experiencing what is probably the most severe drought in the recorded history of the state.
Stationarity is not an option. "Extremist thinking" might be.