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~> Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy
IFLAS Occasional Paper 2
Professor Jem Bendell BA (Hons) PhD
Originally Published July 27th 2018.
Revised 2nd Edition Released July 27th 2020.
Two years after its first release, this paper has influenced hundreds of thousands of people to
reconsider their lives and work in the face of dangerous climate change. A new agenda,
community and movement for Deep Adaptation to our predicament has been borne. It is
comprised of people who believe that a climate-influenced collapse of societies in most parts
of the world in the coming decades is either likely, inevitable or already unfolding. They are
organising a diversity of activities to help reduce harm, save what we can, and create
possibilities for the future while experiencing meaning and joy in the process. This movement
has grown through word-of-mouth, as I did not actively seek to promote Deep Adaptation
through the mass media, and instead focused on enabling peer-to-peer support.
Outside of management studies, there is a wide field of scholarship on the experience and
possibility of societal collapse, which I did not know about when we released this paper from
the Institute in July 2018. In addition, over the last two years many scientists have concluded
that societal collapse is the most likely scenario. However, this paper appears to have an iconic
status amongst some people who criticise others for anticipating societal collapse. Therefore,
two years on from initial publication, I am releasing this update.
The update involves a light edit, not seeking to incorporate the range of scholarship that is
relevant to societal collapse over the past two years. Instead, I focus on making specific
clarifications and corrections to the original text. The paper therefore remains focused on its
originally intended audience – people in the corporate sustainability field. Therefore, the
paper does not address the many important issues of poverty, rights, humanitarian action,
public policy, re-localisation, monetary policy, anti-patriarchy, racial justice and
decolonisation. Those subjects were important to me before this paper and remain so, with
various contributions on those topics at http://www.jembendell.com
As I am not a climate scientist or Earth systems scientist and wish to focus on other activities,
if you have a view on any aspect of this paper then I invite you to engage each other by
commenting on a google document version here.