“Getting busy with action can be a distraction from full acceptance of our predicament, where our predicament is that we don’t know. We don’t know what the best things to do are anymore and we don’t know whether what we do with the best intentions will work.” – Jem Bendell
E45 – JEM BENDELL ON DEEP ADAPTATION, CLIMATE CHANGE AND SOCIETAL COLLAPSE
ACCEPTANCE AND EVOLUTION IN THE FACE OF GLOBAL MELTDOWN
Listen to the conversation:
About this interview:
How can we adapt to the inevitability of climate-induced societal collapse?
In this episode Amisha shares a moment with strategist and educator Jem Bendell. Jem published a paper in July 2018 introducing the concept of Deep Adaptation and stating his belief in the inevitability of climate-induced societal collapse within the next 10 years.
Jem first became an environmentalist as a teenager in 1988. For him it was a spiritual and existential position: the world was his church and environmentalism would be his worship. He went on to train in climate science during his degree before moving into the field of sustainable business. Alarming data on the melting of ice caps and permafrost drew Jem back to climate science to see for himself whether the worst case predictions from his early studies were indeed coming to pass. He soon realised that what we see today are many signs of runaway climate change that has already gone beyond our control.
Through his work on Deep Adaptation, Jem offers three questions for humanity at this time: what do we most value, what must we let go of and what must we restore that has been lost? Jem speaks about the experience of sharing his message with school children and sustainable development professionals alike and the fascinating differences in their response. He shares the personal existential and spiritual shifts that have come about in him as a response to this acceptance of inevitable societal collapse.
Jem shares examples of where this collapse has already begun, including an explanation of how the devastation in Syria has its origins in the collapse of agriculture and the ensuing migration to urban areas. He speaks also about our response to what we now face and how we might take radical choices and prepare bold measures to adapt to major societal disruption.
“The big challenge of our time is to make sure that when our hearts break we stay open and connected and curious rather than coming up with stories to justify ourselves being violent to others that we have othered more than those closest to us.” – Jem Bendell
Professor Jem Bendell is the originator of the concept of Deep Adaptation to near term societal collapse due to climate chaos. Five years ago, Jem began offering transformational professional development courses after 20 years pursuing a variety of methods for social change. From anti-globalisation activism and sustainability consulting in the late 1990s, via senior management in large environmental organisations and research roles with the United Nations. Jem’s approach to education is participative, experiential and focused on the whole person. He now dedicates his time to helping people, and himself, evolve in response to the latest climate science.
To find out more about Jem, visit www.jembendell.wordpress.com
To connect or work with Amisha, visit www.amisha.co.uk
Links from this episode:
The Future Is Beautiful book (gift)
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