Deep Adaptation

Jem Bendell on Deep Adaptation

Jem Bendell is Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria, and has recently (July 2020) revised his 43-page 2018 paper Deep Adaptation: a Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy, in which he puts forward the view  "that a climate-influenced collapse of societies in most parts of the world in the coming decades is either likely, inevitable or already unfolding", and suggests that we should be preparing to adapt to this situation rather than deluding ourselves into thinking that we can prevent it.

The abstract of the paper states

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to provide readers with an opportunity to reassess their work and life in the face of what I believe to be an inevitable near-term societal collapse due to climate change. The approach of the paper is to analyse recent studies on climate change and its implications for our ecosystems, economies and societies, as provided by academic journals and publications direct from research institutes.

That synthesis leads to my conclusion there will be a near-term collapse in society with serious ramifications for the lives of readers. The paper does not prove the inevitability of such collapse, which would involve further discussion of social, economic, political and cultural factors, but it proves that such a topic is of urgent importance. The paper reviews some of the reasons why collapse-denial may exist, in particular, in the professions of sustainability research and practice, therefore leading to these arguments having been absent from these fields until now.

In a note to the revised edition of the paper Bendel writes

Two years after its first release, this paper has influenced hundreds of thousands of people to reconsider their lives and work in the face of dangerous climate change. A new agenda, community and movement for Deep Adaptation to our predicament has been born. It is comprised of people who believe that a climate-influenced collapse of societies in most parts of the world in the coming decades is either likely, inevitable or already unfolding. They are organising a diversity of activities to help reduce harm, save what we can, and create possibilities for the future while experiencing meaning and joy in the process. 

Read the paper as a  Google document
                               downloadable PDF

Discussion articles from Ecologist magazine
Is Deep Adaptation flawed science?      
Is Deep Adaptation good science?

Jem Bendell's website     https://jembendell.com/

 

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