Okay, so I thought things were scary when I started to take to heart the work of Willian Rees but that was only the warm-up act for the ideas of Jem Bendell. That was when the rubber hit the road.
Bernie and Susan introduced us to the paper Jem wrote in 2018, Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy.
Jem is a sustainability expert, professor and consultant. Prior to taking time off to refresh his knowledge of the current climate science and write Deep Adaptation he described himself as offering support for “leadership and communications for social change, as well as approaches that may help humanity face climate-induced disruption.”
That is all past tense. He is now focussed on Deep Adaptation. “ Deep Adaptation refers to the personal and collective changes that might help us prepare for and live with a climate induced collapse of our societies.”
Bendell believes that our current economic, social and political systems are not going to be able to adapt quickly enough to the changes that are happening. In that gap there will be pain and suffering.
Jem describes societal collapse as the “ uneven ending of our current means of sustenance, shelter, security, pleasure, identity and meaning . . . We consider this to be inevitable because humanity will not be able to respond globally fast enough to protect our food supplies from chaotic weather.” Jem would say this process is already happening in some places and likely in others.
Would we say this is happening, right now, in the Western United States?
Back to my journey with this information. In December 2019 the Talking Climate Group watched this video, Deep Adaptation which presented his ideas.
The first time I shared this video with my children I almost felt sick. How could I?
What kind of crazy irresponsible, parent was I to even suggest the future for them was not full of the benefits I enjoyed, plus more?
How could I put this awesome and terrifying reality on them; that myself, the generation I was part of, along with previous generations had somehow broken something that can’t be fixed.
Somehow sharing it with them made it seem real and concrete in a different way. I could no longer live like it wasn’t true.