- May 2022
One example of a siloed approach to critical infrastructure is the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection’s framework and action plan, which focuses on reducing vulnerability to terror attacks but does not consider integrating climate or environmental dimensions.39 Instead of approaching critical infrastructure protection as another systems maintenance task, the hyper-response takes advantage of ecoinnovation.40 Distributed and localized energy, food, water, and manufacturing solutions mean that the capacity to disrupt the arterials that keep society functioning is reduced. As an example, many citizens and communities rely on one centralized water supply. If these citizens and communities had water tanks and smaller-scale local water supply, this means that if a terror group or other malevolent actor decided to contaminate major national water supplies—or if the hyperthreat itself damaged major central systems—far fewer people would be at risk, and the overall disruption would be less significant. This offers a “security from the ground up” approach, and it applies to other dimensions such as health, food, and energy security.
The transition of energy and other critical provisioning systems requires inclusive debate so that a harmonized trajectory can be selected that mitigates against stranded assets. The risk of non-inclusive debate is the possibility of many fragmented approaches competing against each other and wasting precious time and resources. Furthermore, system maintenance of antiquated hyperthreat supporting systems as pointed out in Boulton's other research. System maintenance is a good explanatory concept that can help make sense of much of the incumbent financial, energy and government actors to preserve the hyperthreat out of survival motives.
A template for a compass for guiding energy trajectories is provided in Van Zyl-Bulitta et al. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333254683_A_compass_to_guide_through_the_myriad_of_sustainable_energy_transition_options_across_the_global_North_South_divide which can also be a model for other provisioning systems.
The third example involves local manufacture and supply. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the risks associated with reliance on long globalized supply chains, which are energy- and resource-intensive and therefore help power the hyperthreat. Increasing local manufacturing and supply capacities helps deflate the hyperthreat and reduces risks associated with stockouts of critical items. Circular economies, which incorporate closed-loop manufacturing and recycling systems, can now be viewed as critical to achieving planetary security.
cosmolocal production (design global, manufacture local or what's light is shared, what's heavy is produced) can also help alleviate hyperthreat supply chain vulnerabilities, democratize production and increase local wealth at the same time (Ramos, Edes, Bauwens & Wong, 2021)
- compass for sustainable energy transitions
- systems maintenance
- cosmolocal production
- William Stafford
- Van Zyl-Bulitta
- James Gien Wong
- Jose Ramos
- Michel Bauwens
- Sharon Ede
- christian Ritzel