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Resilient or resilience refers to being able to continue in spite of (adverse) events.

Resilience could well be associated with suffering heavy losses, as long as the capability to continue is maintained. When used for civilization it should thus be reserved for events beyond control, complementary rather than alternative to sustainable: resilience is for events beyond control, sustainable is for practices we control. A civilization needs both to continue in the long term. E.g., resilience to survive climate change and sustainable practices that don't cause it.

In a long term setting resilience is doubtful. It is a question of time until a threatening event becomes large enough as to endanger even the most resilient system. Creating robust, resilient system(s) of civilizations is desireable, but does not relieve from the task to get as much as possible within control and going about it in a way that can continue indefinitely. The two complement each other.

Where resilience is used as a concept to avoid taking control and avoiding painful action, as is tempting with climate destabilization, it is counterproductive. Resilience is a new term, not yet as extensively misused and frustrated as sustainable. It may be the next big thing, but that doesn't make the term resistent to being misused. Action is what ultimately matters.

Understanding concepts helps to define actions. Haggling over terms rather than meaning would seem to be counterproductive.


Wikipedia has articles on ecological and organizational aspects, both seem relevant in the context of lasting civilization.