Deep Adaptation

In 2018 Jem Bendell of the University of Cumbria in England published a paper ‘Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy’. An updated edition was released in July 2020. He starts the Introduction to his paper with the following words,

Can professionals in sustainability management, policy and research –myself included -continue to work with the assumption or hope that we can slow down climate change, or respond to it sufficiently to sustain our civilisation?

The paper does not spend much time explaining the nature of our predicaments, nor does it try to diminish the consequences of our actions. Instead, Bendell considers how we can respond. His program is built around the following actions.

  • Resilience

  • Relinquish

  • Restoration

  • Reconciliation

With respect to society as a whole, he sees three types of response:

  1. Reform capitalism/consumerism.

  2. Develop our own community.

  3. Technology.