There aren’t many references, footnotes and the like in the Resilience Handbook. I wanted it to be small and light enough to fit in your grab bag for a start. Write your emergency numbers and useful notes in the back, and you’ve got a resource worth carrying!
A few days ago, I watched a film called ‘Pandora’s Promise’ a shameless piece of propaganda for the nuclear power industry. I’ve tried to create an workable emergency plan for civilians caught up in a nuclear plant disaster, so I don’t think the benefits even begin to justify the risk assessment. Besides, the advances in renewables technology and research into the use of thorium make the old style paradigms look so last century.
The film was an exercise in how carefully selected interviews can be mixed with colourful factoids and film clips to present an argument. ‘Scientists talked to me till I changed my mind’. Which scientists? What did they say? Where are the peer reviewed papers to back their opinions up? Were you tied to a chair until you agreed with them? Where are the references?
The Resilience Handbook was mainly written by talking to people. People in the bus queue, on the train, in pubs and cafes. Farmers and vegans, pacifists and soldiers, plumbers, teachers, politicians, cheese-makers. Children, parents, grandparents. And of course, our hundreds of splendid event volunteers who gave us feedback on the original booklet.
Over the years, certain books have stood out for me as being especially helpful to understanding the wider concepts of resilience. These are listed in the Handbook. When you read these, see which publications they recommend. Follow the knowledge.
It’s the same, only much faster, researching on the Internet. One website leads to another, and before you know it you’ve written an article on breadmaking! I must have visited fifty sites or more for that one. It’s impossible to refer to them all. Some were rather dodgy – dancing adverts, suspiciously long time to load and the like – so I came out of them. Some only had one key piece of information, or repeated stuff from another site.
So it’s difficult to include internet references in a book. Also, they tend to be ephemeral, sliding off into the Dark Net without warning. I thought I’d be on safe ground mentioning Transport Direct, an excellent website run by the government, which let you map a course from here to there using any available means of transport. However, funding was cut and it vanished – fortunately before the final print edit of the Resilience Handbook.
For those of you who like to ask questions – try a search engine – I’m retrieving and putting up the links I found most useful here. It’s taking a while, as quite a few have gone, so I have to trawl through the web for a suitable equivalent. If you let me know when one of these breaks, it’d be helpful.