Several studies have shown that within a certain time span the climatological circumstances may radically change. And now man is confronted with the knowledge that he will not be able to adapt his surroundings any longer, since the changes are to great to undo. The changes in the natural environment will possibly be so overwhelming that man has to radically change its approach to external, in this case natural environmental changes.
To cope with consequences of climate change the current sustainability trend is likely not to suffice (McDonough and Braungart 2002). The resilience approach, based on the definition by C.S Holling from 1973 is another approach to dealing with risks associated with climate change. Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganise while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks (Holling 1973).
Resilience deals with mitigating risks and reducing vulnarability. In the light of the scarcity of resources, a resilience approach offers a strategy yielding an increase of sustainability as one of the results. Thusly resilience is proposed as an alternative approach to climate change of which sustainability is a derivative. By basing society on the use of the infinite resources and accepting climate change as a fact, by result society adheres to commonly accepted definitions of a sustainable society.
Therefore I propose a resilience-approach to increase the ability of modern society to deal with climate change and by consequence reach a sustainable way of life.
A resilient system is defined as a system able to adapt to external change in its surroundings while retaining its essential characteristics. Transforming modern society into a resilient system can provide tools to overcome the lack of resources by opening possibilities for using hitherto unused resources and ways of dealing with climatological change.