Better, Stronger, More Resilient

Jeremiah Peterson via flickr.com

The new I-35W bridge has a strong, redundant structure. If one part fails, the bridge will still survive. Other systems can be rebuilt with the same principles.

In nature, when a species becomes too specialized and dependent on its own niche, its fragile way of life inevitably collapses. If it survives, the species will return more resilient and less specialized than before. But the billions of Earth’s human inhabitants don’t have to wait for a collapse to develop stronger, more flexible systems.

While it’s not always easy to recognize and address fracture-critical systems until it’s too late, scientists, engineers, and policy-makers have identified some major ones and are working to fix them.