We are entering our tenth volume of CRJ, which was launched a decade ago. The nature of the publication means celebration is inappropriate; too many incidents have occurred over this time, too many lives lost. But it is, nonetheless, a gratifying milestone.
Our founding ethos still holds true: to bridge any institutional, organisational and national gaps, to share information, enhance partnership working and improve communication. It has been good to see how dialogue between various disciplines and organisations has evolved, as shown by the increasing diversity of actors and stakeholders who have become involved in the conversation through our pages.
Despite this, in many ways the world feels no safer. The Hydra of wicked problems sometimes appears invincible, the same incidents repeating themselves, locked in a dispiritingly familiar cycle. Each time we absorb the horror of a disaster or terrorist attack, a bigger, more destructive one seems to surpass it.
The risk landscape has shifted in a decade: climate change has been added to the list of threats, exacerbating existing hazards. But the response, resilience and emergency planning community has developed accordingly in terms of leadership acuity, interagency co-operation, mutual assistance and business continuity.
And it is fascinating to observe the proliferation of emerging technology – ten years ago we hadn’t heard of Twitter, YouTube, the Internet of Things, smart cities… Of course, these bring their own vulnerabilities and can be exploited to cause harm, but their potential for improving safety and resilience should not be overlooked.
So is with gratitude that we thank our sponsors, many of whom helped to launch CRJ ten years ago. Thanks also to our Editorial Advisory Panel – those who have been with us since the start and those who joined us along the way – and to the writers who have generously shared their thoughts, knowledge and experience. And an immense thank you to our subscribers.
To paraphrase Camus, most people are good rather than bad; it is usually ignorance that causes harm, despite good intentions. And this is why sharing experience and information is so vital: you are all working to eradicate ignorance and make the world a safer place.
It is a privilege to observe and report on this.
This comment was published in Summer 2014