Friday, February 1, 2019

Deep Adaptation

Jem Bendell, Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria, U.K., wrote a paper titled “Deep Adaptation.”  Previously, he had been involved in the standard corporate-oriented stuff — Sustainable Development™, Sustainable Growth™, and so on.  He eventually realized that these have little relationship to genuine ecological sustainability.  He also came to realize that climate change was going to cause a collapse of society during the lives of his students.

Corporate-oriented “sustainability” education teaches blind faith in technology and human genius — full strength hopium.  We can solve any problem!  For them, nothing is more inappropriate than honestly acknowledging reality.  Speaking honestly would scare students out of their wits, fill them with despair, destroy their sanity, and ruin their lives forever!

Bendell was tormented by his realization that “the evidence before us suggests that we are set for disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war… in your own life.”  Why is it taboo to discuss this in academia?  He decided to break the taboo in his classes, and the result surprised him.  He wrote:

“In my work with mature students, I have found that inviting them to consider collapse as inevitable, catastrophe as probable, and extinction as possible, has not led to apathy or depression.  Instead, in a supportive environment, where we have enjoyed community with each other, celebrating ancestors and enjoying nature before, then looking at this information and possible framings for it, something positive happens.  I have witnessed a shedding of concern for conforming to the status quo, and a new creativity about what to focus on going forward.”

He wrote a 38-page scholarly paper that defied the taboo.  [HERE]

Drama and commentary on his paper.  [HERE]

He also created a 14 minute video.  [HERE]

His website is [HERE]

His blog is [HERE]

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