Should we tell young people what we’ve done to the climate? Too late: they are telling us. From the climate talks in Katowice Poland, the student rebel who started it all: Greta Thunberg, interviewed by Stuart Scott from scientistswarning.org. From Australia to Canada young people are walking out, protesting a system designed for extinction. Then Dr. Jem Bendell a well-known Sustainability Professor from Britain walks out on green fantasy to tell us: change your plans. Climate change will collapse this system within ten years. I’m Alex Smith. Don’t miss this Radio Ecoshock show.
GRETA THUNBERG – STIRRING YOUTH CLIMATE ACTIVIST IN POLAND
“Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale – our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change. If we don’t take action, the collapse of our civilizations, and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”
– Film-maker Sir David Attenborough at COP24, Poland. A video of his short talk “The World Is In Your Hands” is here.
Every time world experts meet to hash out a climate deal, Stuart Scott appears in the NGO Press Room to interview all the voices left out or shut out by authority. Stuart makes You tube videos, now posted at scientistswarning.org. I interviewed Stuart Scott in October. This time has a special guest. Greta Thunberg, a Swedish school girl with excellent English, learned about the climate threat at an early age. Seeing nothing happening to stop it, she left class to protest outside with a simple sign. She then sat outside Parliament, until they made her move. Now a whole generation has been inspired by her. Stuart Scott brought Greta to the Conference of the Parties 24 in Poland – the first big climate meeting since Paris in 2015.
Greta Thunberg, Sweden
You need to hear Greta, introduced and interviewed by Stuart Scott. Please pass on either the video or audio to anyone you know.
You can watch this interview on You tube.
Here is the description from Scientistswarning.org
“Greta Thunberg achieved international recognition overnight when several months ago she began a one-woman SKOLSTREJK FÖR KLIMATET (School Strike for Climate) outside of the Swedish Parliament. Her no nonsense, direct confrontation with Swedish politicians has inspired students in hundreds of schools both in Sweden and around the world to stage similar actions under the hashtag #ClimateStrike. When she returned to school finally, she persisted in striking every Friday. She can be found in all weather, outside the Swedish Parliament building. Her campaign is now also known on social networks as #FridaysForFuture and @FridaysForFuture.
Greta and Savante Thunberg will be attending this year’s UN climate negotiations, and they will participate in 4 half-hour press conferences sponsored by ScientistsWarning.org during the first week. Greta and her father are blood relatives, 4th and 3rd cousins respectively, of Svante Arrhenius, the Swedish scientist credited with alerting humanity that it’s CO2 emissions would heat the planet.”
Following Greta’s lead, there is support for a student climate strike in Canada. And thousands of students protested climate inaction in Australia. Read about that here.
THE EXTINCTION REBELLION
Watch for another video with Stuart Scott hosting Greta Thunberg, Nils Agger & Liam Geary Baulch to introduce the Extinction Rebellion that began in the UK in 2018.
Extinction Rebellion held actions on Nov 17 in several countries. Some of the people from “Occupy” have come back out of retirement. The British activists dug up Parliament Square, to bury the casket of the planet… (are we back to the “Diggers”?)
Greta Thunberg was there. She said there is a small Extinction Rebellion movement in Sweden, all adults, and the school strike is 80% adults, but few children care, “most us don’t care about the environment“. “If adults don’t care, then children won’t care.” Kids in Sweden think if it’s hotter in that would be good. In the UK a radio announcer said it would be “like the South of France” there – that sounds sweet, doesn’t it?
A DeSmog Blog reporter asked Greta: what do you think of the Poland Climate talks? Greta says something big needs to happen and these climate talks don’t do much. Stuart uses the word “Bullshit” to describe the Polish climate talks, and says the conference is owned by the fossil fuel companies, providing words only, while selling us down the river for money.
GEORGE MONBIOT ON THE LAUNCH OF “EXTINCTION REBELLION”
You can read the famous Guardian columnist George Monbiot’s description of the launch of the Extinction Rebellion here. The groups has a web site here. And here is their introductory video on You tube.
FINDING MEANING AS COLLAPSE APPROACHES: DR. JEM BENDELL
Now we go to the other end of human age in climate change. In the UK, Dr. Jem Bendell is Professor of Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cumbria. His expertise has been sought around the world. Bendell is a keynote speaker at international conferences. Then he revisited the current science of climate change. In this interview with Stuart Scott of scientistswarning.org, Jem Bendell explains why his field is not relevant, why his outlook on life has changed, and why you should expect the global system to collapse within the next ten years. He is calling for Deep Adaptation.
Dr. Jem Bendell
As a premiere in Radio Ecoshock, here is Professor Bendell with Stuart Scott, from scientistswarning.org. Stuart made the recording, which was the edited for radio by Alex Smith.
Jem Bendell’s latest paper is “Deep Adaptation”, and you can find links to all this in my Radio Ecoshock blog at ecoshock.org. Professor Bendell was interviewed by Stuart Scott from scientistswarning.org.
Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy
IFLAS Occasional Paper 2
DOWNLOAD PAPER HERE: http://www.lifeworth.com/deepadaptation.pdf
From the Conclusion of this paper:
“Disruptive impacts from climate change are now inevitable. Geoengineering is likely to be ineffective or counter-productive. Therefore, the mainstream climate policy community now recognizes the need to work much more on adaptation to the effects of climate change. That must now rapidly permeate the broader field of people engaged in sustainable development as practitioners, researchers and educators. In assessing how our approaches could evolve, we need to appreciate what kind of adaptation is possible. Recent research suggests that human societies will experience disruptions to their basic functioning within less than ten years due to climate stress. Such disruptions include increased levels of malnutrition, starvation, disease, civil conflict and war – and will not avoid affluent nations.
This situation makes redundant the reformist approach to sustainable development and related fields of corporate sustainability that has underpinned the approach of many professionals (Bendell et al, 2017). Instead, a new approach which explores how to reduce harm and not make matters worse is important to develop. In support of that challenging, and ultimately personal process, understanding a deep adaptation agenda may be useful.””
So in this show, a British Professor of Sustainability now says nothing in our civilization is sustainable. After diving back into the climate science, Jem Bendell suggests we only have another ten years, at best, before a major collapse. I’m not sure I agree (for reasons that are too complex to describe here). But I am nervous about the fragility of everything from the stock market to banking system to the food supply. I’m always trying to develop resilience, but the consumption machine just keeps on growing, expanding to billions more people. Maybe a severe crash is all that can save us?
I’ve talked about that possibility with other guests, including Dr. Tim Garrett from the University of Utah. The show blog about our latest interview is here. But the basics are in my 2010 interview with Tim (24 minutes), which you can hear on Archive.org.
DON’T MISS JEB BENDELL’S BLOG
For example, read this: “The study on collapse they thought you should not read – yet” posted on July 26, 2018
It begins: “A research paper concluding that climate-induced collapse is now inevitable, was recently rejected by anonymous reviewers of an academic journal.”
This entry is very important, a classic: “After acceptance – some responses to anticipating collapse” posted by Jem Bendell on August 25, 2018,
“This year I have often been talking with people about the likelihood of near-term societal collapse, brought on by disruptive climate change. One reason for publishing my paper on Deep Adaptation was to invite such conversations and begin to explore more purposely what the heck this means for my own work and life. Once people move beyond the various barriers to generative dialogue on this topic, we then begin to discuss all kinds of ideas. I’ve found that people are responding in a variety of different ways. But one theme seems to be consistent – people feel nonplussed about how to explore what to do and who to talk to. People feel isolated. That can lead them back into denial.”
I take the liberty of reprinting Jem’s list of responses to knowing about climate change. I found myself in several categories, and you may also recognize others you know in this list. From Jem Bendell’s blog, responses to anticipating collapse:
“Reading and talking much more about societal collapse, and all the issues it brings up, but without significantly changing behaviour. That can include being active on social media so your tweets and Facebook posts seem rather doom-laden. Let’s call this “SOS!” response.
Changing jobs, moving home, and starting to build a more self-sufficient good life, partly off-grid, usually in the countryside. Or researching and planning this process, actively. I’ll call that the “survivalist” response. In some cases, this response could be a form of denial, as it is going to be so difficult to isolate oneself to cope with collapse, as I have discussed elsewhere.
Seeking personal growth via therapy, and/or various forms of meaningful play, time in nature, spirituality, or deep conversations. Many people have expressed a massive personal transformation as they accept near term mortality and lose some of their deference to societal norms and expectations. Let’s call this a “transcendence” response.
Talking about societal collapse in one’s professional circles, to explore what could be done within one’s profession and beyond. I am now witnessing a few such attempts, and rather than walking away from own profession, decided to do the same, for now. Let’s call this the “professional sunk costs” response.
Taking more risks in one’s workplace and community, to express one’s views with less fear of repercussion. Often this involves speaking about purpose and values and not accepting the dominant assumptions about growth, profit and conformity. The “not hiding anymore” response.
Reducing workload to create more time for exploring the issue of climate chaos or societal collapse, in anticipation of making a major decision about changing one’s life. The “taking a breather” response.
Retraining to develop skills that may be relevant for being useful to oneself and others post-collapse. That could be learning first aid, horticulture, herbal medicines, musical instruments, or even learning how to use a crossbow. Though that last one doesn’t sound too gentle, as these things are done as much as pastimes as preparations, I’ll call this the “gentle prepper” response.
Seeking to repair or improve one’s close relationships, while smelling the flowers and being nicer to pets, neighbours and colleagues. The “palliative love” response.
Seeking to know how to deal better with confusion, fear, and anticipatory grief, for oneself and to help others with those emotions. The “emotional self-care” response.
Looking for networks of people who are creating self-reliant ‘Arks’, in order to support them and have the option to join later. The “all options open” response.
Deciding that the options to change one’s life and work aren’t attractive or practical now, so continuing as normal but with a greater focus on peace and joy while waiting for the collapse. This is the “keep a cyanide pill” response. Though, to be honest, I haven’t met anyone who has prepared that way…. or they haven’t told me.
A related response to that one is where people accept collapse, go through the range of emotions, consider a range of options and then consciously choose to try and live in denial to have a happier life for as long as they can. Sometimes this can include attempts at living the dolce vita, spending more on today that they might have, given the bleak outlook. This is the “return me to the matrix” response. Sci-fi nerds might call it the “blue pill” response.
Organising to get the idea that we face a climate emergency and should prepare for collapse, such as through preparing for food rationing, on to the political agenda. As it evokes the belief in national government and citizen sacrifice that we have seen during wars, I will call this the “war footing” response. I should note that people who respond in this way have a variety of views that are shaped by their existing politics and values and there is no consensus nor likely to be one.
Organising to campaign for geoengineering and/or carbon sequestration while we still have the capacity to act on these. Examples include Arctic cloud brightening, agroecology and kelp planting. Some call for these actions with the idea that while civilisation exists then we have the chance to reduce the speed of climate change and thus give the species a chance to avoid extinction. I’ll call it the “where’s Bruce Willis” response.
Turning to non-violent direct action to force changes in practices that are making matters worse. Most instances of such direct action appear to be within a carbon emissions reduction paradigm, but could be influenced now by an awareness of impending collapse. That would bring into view a range of new things to disrupt, depending on the values one holds dear after accepting collapse. I will call this the “climate peace activist” response.
Organising to promote a particular set of proposals, and develop certain capabilities, for how to adapt to the coming changes, in particular at local levels. Some have started focusing on practical grassroots initiatives to develop capabilities for deep adaptation. I’ll call this the “humanitarian” response.
Organising to promote the cultural concepts that will help us to find and express meaning after societal-collapse. It involves looking for beauty and meaning in a new context. This is one focus of the Dark Mountain group. It’s a “reframing collapse” response.
Evangelising about one’s views on life, the cosmos and human organisation. That evangelising can be religious, new age spirituality or a view on politics and social organisation. This response can be cloaked in stories about how becoming a believer, or more devout, will help reduce the harm of climate change (so that gets close to collapse-denial) or help with whatever form of human community may survive. Secular versions include people saying they are developing the blueprint for how humanity will be in future if everyone listens and does what they will be told. Collectively, I’ll call these the “follow me” response. One of the joys of lumping all these approaches into the same category is it will annoy the hell out of the people who respond in this way. Sorry guys, and yes its nearly always guys, but the common denominator seems to be an ego-driven need to hold the truth and be recognised for that.
Watching Guy McPherson videos on Youtube. The “masochist” response.
Sharing Guy McPherson videos with your Facebook friends. The “sadomasochist” response.
OK, that’s an in-joke. “Doomer humour” will be a fast-growing genre. And, by its own admission, fairly fast-ending.
There are other responses that I have not come across yet in person, but have heard about. These are worrying forms of response and are sometimes cited by people who don’t want to talk about these issues. They include:
Anger and anxiety turning into depression, sometimes leading to suicide. I have read about a couple of suicides related to anxiety caused by awareness of climate change. These were famous cases, so I don’t know of how widespread climate-influenced depression has become. It’s the “depressive” response.
Turning to violent direct action to either take revenge or attempt to impose change or force action. I have only heard this discussed in abstract terms, mostly when people wonder why we haven’t seen this kind of action yet. It’s the “violent” response
Mentioning these responses makes me realise that we need psychologists and others who provide counsel to people, such as coaches and religious leaders, to engage actively in this field and develop the relevant support.
Having listed the range of responses above, what does it make you think about or feel?”
Or course there is a Reddit thread on Jem Bendell and collapse, here.
A sustainability professor got denied the publication and hence public discussion of a paper, presenting a collapse scenario for the future, because the publishers fear the readers would react with helplessness, inadequacy and ultimately disengagement from the issue. from collapse
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