This DEEP ADAPTATION by Professor Jem Bendell is such an important read, that I was guided to read the full paper as part of a 2 part series on my News For The Soul Radio show! NOW you can listen here on KYRONA-pod OR follow the download links shared at the botton of this page to DOWNLOAD the full paper for yourself in many formats and languages (all absolutely FREE from Jem’s website). This DEEP ADAPTATION paper was the most downloaded paper of the last 12 months on the internet – for good reason… I encourage you to listen in & share!
“DEEP ADAPTATION by Professor Jem Bendell is remarkable in a number of aspects. First, it was written by a professor of sustainability leadership who has been heavily involved for a long time in helping organizations including governments, nonprofits and corporations to become more sustainable. Second, the author, Jem Bendell, has now concluded the following after an exhaustive review of the most up-to-date findings about climate change: “inevitable collapse, probable catastrophe and possible extinction.” Third, his paper was rejected for publication not because it contained any errors of fact, but largely because it was too negative and thought to breed hopelessness.
It is important to understand what Bendell means by “collapse” in this context. He does not necessarily mean an event taking place in a relatively short period of time all over the world all at once. Rather, he means severe disruptions of our lives and societies to a degree than renders our current institutional arrangements largely irrelevant. He believes we won’t be able to respond to the scope of suffering and change by doing things the way we are doing them now with only a few reformist tweaks.
That this idea doesn’t go down well in sustainability circles should be no surprise. That’s because our current arrangements, even if “reformed” to take environmental imperatives into account, are in no way equal to the task ahead. Our existing institutions are structurally incapable of responding to what is coming and so consulting about how to reform them is largely a fool’s errand—not the way sustainability experts and consultants want to be thought of.
Instead, Bendell proposes a “post-sustainability” ethic. We must give up on the hope that our society can proceed largely on its current trajectory—with proper allowances, of course, for carbon emission reduction and climate change adaptation—and embrace what he calls “deep adaptation.” That agenda calls for resilience, relinquishment and restoration. The words themselves, especially “relinquishment,” convey something of the radical approach Bendell believes is now necessary. For details, I implore you to read the paper.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this paper is its detailed discussion of what Bendell calls “collapse denial.” Understanding the psychology behind the denial of collapse as a possibility and the opprobrium visited on those who speak of it openly is essential for grasping the current discourse on climate change (and many other existential environmental topics).
Hope, it turns out, can be an opiate. It can keep you from thinking about what you might have to do if the worst happens. Whether you agree with Bendell or not about the inevitability of collapse, reading him will likely disrupt your usual ways of thinking about responses to our environmental challenges and likely increase the scope of responses you are willing to consider.” Summary by Kurt Cobb, https://www.resilience.org
ABOUT PROFESSOR JEM BENDELL
Dr Jem Bendell is a Professor of Sustainability Leadership and Founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria (UK).
He focuses on leadership and communications for social change, as well as approaches that may help humanity face climate-induced disruption.
A graduate of the University of Cambridge, he had twenty years of experience in sustainable business and finance, as a researcher, educator, facilitator, advisor, & entrepreneur, having lived & worked in six countries. Clients for his strategy development included international corporations, UN agencies and international NGOs. The World Economic Forum (WEF) recognised Professor Bendell as a Young Global Leader for his work on sustainable business alliances. With over 100 publications, including four books and five UN reports, he regularly appeared in international media on topics of sustainable business and finance, as well as currency innovation. His TEDx talk is the most-watched online speech on complementary currencies. In 2012 Professor Bendell co-authored the WEF report on the Sharing Economy. Previously he helped create innovative alliances, including the Marine Stewardship Council, to endorse sustainable fisheries and The Finance Innovation Lab, to promote sustainable finance. In 2007 he wrote a report for WWF on the responsibility of luxury brands, which appeared in over 50 newspapers and magazines worldwide, and inspired a number of entrepreneurs to create businesses in the luxury sector. That bio is all past tense, as now Jem has moved into a new phase of work in light of the latest climate science.
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HERE ARE SOME LINKS DISCUSSED IN THIS PODCAST YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN:-
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