Pile of newspapers

News review on Deep Adaptation – August to November 2019

In recent months, more mainstream media have reported on aspects of deep adaptation to climate chaos. Here is a quick summary of some written outputs since August 2019.

In August, the Guardian started its review of the Extinction Rebellion handbook by focusing on the chapter from Jem Bendell that warns of societal collapse.

In September, an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald discussed some of the latest climate science and the views that collapse may now be inevitable. Also in September, an old South Carolina newspaper, The Post and Courier, published a discussion of the growing sentiment that climate change is speeding up and threatens collapse. All of that was topped by an opinion piece in the New Yorker by novelist Jonathan Franzen, which invited readers to consider what it would mean to them if was too late to stop catastrophic change from climate change. The way Professor Jem Bendell has been reinventing his focus as an academic in response to the latest climate news was featured in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

In October, the BBC published a discussion of the rise of climate anxiety, and cited work on deep adaptation. The New York Times also carried an opinion piece that explained how the narrative on climate change has been changing to recognise how it threatens our way of life, and highlighted the Deep Adaptation research. In India, one columnist in The Statesman discussed some of the more disquieting science. Also in October, the UK Government website (let’s call that mainstream media) carried a speech from the Chair of the Environment Agency, who quoted Professor Bendell:

“Executives in the private, government and charity sectors all face growing frustration at the clear net impotence of our actions on climate change. This ‘stasis anxiety’ will grow as the news on extreme weather and the latest science becomes more worrying.”

In November, an article for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation discussed how apocalyptic outlooks are becoming the topic of dinner party conversations, and causing stress in relationships. The “deep adaptation” outlook was recognised as not being simply gloomy, but transformative.

One of the best ways to keep up with the latest news on deep adaptation is through the Positive Deep Adaptation Facebook Group, as its near 8000 members are regularly posting relevant information.

But if you have a deeper interest that what the mainstream media will provide at this time, we recommend some of the writings and speeches from Professor Bendell on aspects ranging from leadership to localisation, from psychology to spirituality, and from social justice to the merits of Jonathan Franzen.

Hope in a time of climate chaos” was a keynote speech at the UK Council for Psychotherapy, where Jem discussed climate anxiety and the implications for their profession. A full transcript is available as well as a video of the talk.

Will We Care Enough to Matter to Them? Climate Justice, Solidarity and Deep Adaptation” is a short article on these issues which are central to the new wave of climate activism, including Extinction Rebellion and the movement that is growing about Deep Adaptation. It includes a link to a speech Jem gave on the topic in Glasgow.

The Spiritual Invitation of Climate Chaos” is a short article on Jem’s personal reflections on this huge topic, which includes a video of a speech he gave at the Buddhafields’ festival called Green Earth Awakening.

Leadership for Deep Adaptation” is a short article where Jem describes some of the organising philosophy he has brought to the development of the Deep Adaptation Forum, and where he celebrates the many volunteers who are making the various activities grow. It also includes an interview with him about these topics.

Why Deep Adaptation needs re-localisation” is a short co-authored article with Matthew Slater, where they discuss the importance of re-localising our economic relations as a means of promoting resilience in the face of risks of disruption to the global economy. Matthew, Jem and colleague Dorian are also co-authors of a new IFLAS Occasional Paper that explains the way Local Governments could initiate their own local currencies to promote such resilience.

Please don’t shut up Mr Franzen” is a response from Jem to the criticism levelled at the novelist for inviting a new conversation about adapting to devastation from climate chaos.

If you spotted a mainstream news item in the months of August to November 2019 that was not mentioned above, please link to it in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “News review on Deep Adaptation – August to November 2019”

  1. In her interview in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad of 7 November 2019 Carole Rackete refers to the article Deep adaptation by Jem Bendell and she explains what it entails.

  2. Jem,

    Don’t know how else to reach you. Have you seen the May report by Breakthrough-National Center for Climate Restoration, Australia, entitled “Existential Climate-Related Security Risk” by David Spratt and Ian Dunlop”?

    Stephen Raskin

  3. Dear Mr. Bendell,
    I haven´t found any other way to contact you so I write to you here. I am a voluntary translator from Spain and I have been translating articles and documents on climate change for over a year now, trying to spread the word of what I am discovering. In one of these translations I came across your Deep Adaptation document, and when I saw how important it was I decided to translate it. Before I start a translation I always check it hasn´t been translated and I found your document was already in Spanish, but I also found that, because of the wording, it was not easy to read and some of the ideas in the document weren´t appropiately reflected and were difficult or impossible to understand. So I decided to review the translation. I don´t know how to send it to you from this page, so please, let me know where I can send it to.

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