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The Role of Agaves in Presilience at the Food/Water/Energy Nexus

“Our challenge is not only resilience, which is the power to rebound (re- ‘back’ + salire ‘to jump, leap’). Our challenge is also what we might call presilience, the courage to take this great, stumbling leap into a world unlike any we have ever seen, knowing that we will not be back.” — Kathleen Dean Moore, Great Tide Rising

The new IPCCC 2022 report on climate impacts projects that climate change is already causing widespread disruption of food production in every region in the world with just 1.1°C (2°F) of warming. To put that into perspective, greenhouse gas emissions from human activities since the 19th century (1850-1900) were responsible for approximately 1.1°C of warming,  but over the next 20 years, global temperature increases are expected to reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming.

As climate change advances in a manner that is making much of the world’s terrain hotter and drier, desert cities—particularly those on or near geopolitical boundaries—have become “laboratories for the future.” They are where cultural creatives MUST generate “just” innovations to assure equitable public access to water, energy and food security. These innovations will ultimately need to be applied in metro areas that have already become “urban heat islands” landscapes far beyond the deserts themselves.