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  • Rick Bonetti

Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos

Updated: Jun 26, 2022

Deep Adaptation "is a concept, agenda, and international social movement."

The concept of Deep Adaptation was introduced in the 2018 paper "Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy" by University of Cumbria sustainability leadership professor Jem Bendell. It was updated in July 2020.

"The conceptual paper was originally intended for an audience of people in the corporate sustainability field. The purpose was to provide readers with an opportunity to reassess their work and life in the face of what Bendell believes to be an inevitable near-term societal collapse due to climate change."

In July 2021 the book Deep Adaptation was published with Rupert Reed co-editor..

Find out more at Jem Bendell's blog

"Deep Adaption presumes that extreme weather events and other effects of climate change will increasingly disrupt food, water, shelter, power, and social and governmental systems. These disruptions would likely or inevitably cause uneven societal collapse in the next few decades."

"Climate change is not just a pollution problem, but an indicator of how our human psyche and culture became divorced from our natural habitat."

"The word deep” indicates that strong measures are required to adapt to an unraveling of western industrial lifestyles. The agenda includes values of nonviolence, compassion, curiosity, and respect, and a framework for constructive action."

Bendell focuses on relinquishment, resilience, reconciliation and reconciliation, but others have added reverence. The R's ask us:

  • Reverence: In what ways can we recognize and reclaim Reverence as a primary and trustworthy source of guidance?

  • Relinquishment: Where in our lives can we give up certain assets, behaviors and beliefs in order to not make matters worse, or even to feel more free?

  • Resilience: As changes increase or grow more severe, in what ways can we adapt then adapt aging... and again? Resilience = Applied Reverence

  • Reconciliation: As part of the cause and the solution, with whom and what can I make peace to lessen suffering and live more livingly?

  • Restoration: What traditional or ancient wisdom can we bring back (restore) to help us with the coming difficulties and tragedies?

Project Adapt is a "collaboration of concerned individuals and organizations committed to interdisciplinary, relational ways of belonging. Project Adapt prepares local communities to become "centers of connected resilience" by embracing reverence for Earth, tending relationships and co-creating just, joyful and regenerative ways of being on the planet." .

Lauren Van Ham, Climate Action Coordinator for United Religions Initiative (URI) also organizes Adaptive Circles as part of Project Adapt, which is a non-profit program of Canticle Farm in Oakland, CA.

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