Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
Prof. Jem Bendell talks about the social, emotional & existential responses to the climate crisis. Bendell talks about three R’s: Resilience or what we value most that we want to save; Relinquishment or what we have to give up in order to survive; and Restoration or what we can do to ameliorate the climate crisis and create a social and ecological adaptation.
Bendell also talks about survivalist, fascist and violent reactionary responses to the climate crisis and how those reactions can be both generated by the crisis and transformed by it.
My response is first, to get active with Extinction Rebellion as a way to alert the community to the probability of collapse, and second, to get involved with urban ecology movements that work towards ecological, climate and social justice.
Right Adaptation is an ongoing process, not a result. Right Adaptation requires understanding all the social impacts of the climate crisis, including mass migration, starvation, disease, poverty, homelessness, conflict and displacement, as well as racism, fascism and violent reactionary responses. We must take these into account and so that we don’t perpetuate the ‘save our own asses’ response. We have to think long term of generations and ecosystems to come, even as we do what we can to protect the present generation. We have to work towards equality of provision and social justice, and conflict resolution as forms of ecological adaptation.
Renunciation: We have to—and we will be forced to—renounce carbon-intensive and land-wasting conveniences, and even what we consider necessities: cars, meat and temperature-controlled homes, cheap air travel and ubiquitous gadgets. We’re going to have to shift to walking, bikes, buses, trains, vegetarian food, not buying new stuff but recycling and reusing old stuff, living offline and living locally. We’re also going to have to give up some of our time and effort to advocating for climate justice, growing our own food, and helping each other when a climate disaster strikes.
As Dr. Bendell notes, there will be a tendency to want to reject his conclusions in Deep Adaptation since to accept them is so life changing in its repercussions. [Rated PG-13] For those who want a visual summary of the science behind Deep Adaptation, first watch https://youtu.be/pMbeYJgH_6g. We at ScientistsWarning.TV feel responsible to provide some orientation and emotional support to viewers. The subject is quite serious, with the ‘collapse of civilization’ in the relatively near term seemingly unavoidable at this point. We urge viewers to follow Jem’s advice in the video, namely to use it initially as a ‘thought experiment,’ that is, something to consider it as a matter of ‘what if’. IMPORTANT: This is NOT an excuse for doing nothing to alter our catastrophic trajectory. It is not a reason to abandon our values and indulge in hedonism, apathy or denial. The complexities of the future cannot be summarized meaningfully in words and images. Even if the ‘collapse of civilization’ is unavoidable, HOW that plays out is still very much something we can influence with our collective commitment, wisdom and actions. PLEASE SHARE THIS VIDEO WIDELY with mature audiences that includes the kids who are ready to handle it but not the really young ones. So we are voluntarily classing it as a PG-13 rated video.
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