CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

In California, Diversity Keeps Bad Times From Becoming Even Worse

An Invasive Monoculture Is Leaving Us More Vulnerable to All Kinds of Disasters

A firefighter sprays water as a wildfire races along Lytle Creek Road near Keenbrook, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Firefighters had at least established a foothold of control of the blaze the day after it broke out for unknown reasons in the Cajon Pass near Interstate 15, the vital artery between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Californians like to brag about our diversity, how our mix of people of all races, ethnicities, and origins produces a vital culture and economy. But we rarely talk about the other less glamorous role diversity plays in our state—as protection against disasters, both natural and manmade.

California is a disaster-prone state, and when calamity strikes, diversity—of all kinds—keeps bad times from becoming even worse.

The central insight into diversity as protection is biological: a diverse eco-system is more resilient. Why? Because when you have different kinds of living things in an …

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