Terror Under the Tundra

This is a bit of a scary sequel to The Promise of the Waxworm, the prior blog post in a series of 2.

In my previous post (The Promise of the Waxworm) I discussed some of the ideas of secondary risk, applied lightly to concepts of sustainability and focused more on the definition of secondary and residual risk.  Consider this post a sequel.  In this post, I’d like to tie the concept a little more tightly to climate change to illustrate a rather extreme form of secondary risk which almost sounds like residual risk (leftover risk) because of the lengths of time involved.  However – it is indeed secondary risk – particularly secondary threat, perhaps a big one, as you’ll see.

You may want to be seated for this, it’s a bit alarming.  Are you seated?  Okay.  Proceed.

The Promise of The Waxworm

(This is from my Projects@Work blog post series.  Read the entire post HERE.)

There’s a recent story in the news about waxworms.  Several outlets covered it but I like this coverage from ABC (Australia).

I love how the story opens:

“Scientist and amateur beekeeper Federica Bertocchini picked parasitic wax worms from the honeycomb of her beehives and left them sitting in a plastic bag.

When she returned to the bag, it was riddled with holes and many of the worms had escaped.

It was that chance discovery that led her to collaborate with scientists at the University of Cambridge in England to unearth the possibility of using worms to munch through the world’s plastic problem.”

Why do I like this opening so much?

—It expresses the idea of a threat becoming an opportunity

—It shows the value of science

—It has a promise to solve a problem for the planet

Let’s take these one by one.

Threats and Opportunities

PMI defines risk as “an uncertain event, which, it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on project objectives”. In this case, we have a threat, which Bertocchini was treating (or responding to) by removing and bagging the worms. The risk response had a secondary risk, which in this case was an opportunity. Usually, a secondary risk is a threat…. continue reading…