Societal Collapse From Climate Change

The Threatened Societal Collapse Resulting From Climate Change – How Do We Deal With It?

Presenters: Thor Henrich and Barrie Webster

December, 2019

Our discussion will involve examining the proposals for dealing with climate change as presented below.  Jem Bendall’s work “Deep Adaption” is a handbook on how future societies will deal with climate change.  It’s a grim read, but it sets a template for action.
A Description of Threatened Societal Collapse

Jem Bendell’s Call to Action – the impending threat and strategies to deal with climate tragedy

Bendall describes the three ways of dealing with climate change:

1. Resilience
The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means ‘bouncing back’ from difficult experiences” (American Psychology Association, 2018).

Jeremy Rifkin’s take on Resilience

2. Relinquishment

This involves people and communities letting go of certain assets, behaviours and beliefs where retaining them could make matters worse. Examples include withdrawing from coastlines, shutting down vulnerable industrial facilities, or giving up expectations for certain types of consumption.

3. Restoration

This involves people and communities rediscovering attitudes and approaches to life and organisation that our hydrocarbon-fueled civilisation eroded. Examples include re-wilding landscapes, so they provide more ecological benefits and require less management, changing diets back to match the seasons, rediscovering non-electronically powered forms of play, and increased community-level productivity and support.

Proposal for a new economic system: George Monbiot’s “Out of the Wreckage” (2019) A toxic ideology of extreme competition and individualism has come to dominate our world. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better future.

Lessons for changing the world:

Quoted by George Monbiot (2017) in Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis ISBN 978-1-7866-3289-0 derived from Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign staffers, Beck Bond & Zack Exley, in Rules for Revolutionaries; How Big Organizing Can Change Everything (2016) as reviewed by John Foran, University of California, Santa Barbara, Journal of World-Systems Research, Vol. 24 #2 (2018)

* have big ideas,

* display radical trust in people and ask them to do things, and

*devolve decision-making, or at least operational power, to the local level.

“By allowing people to appreciate how powerful they are and how useful they can be, and how politics and government can belong to all of us rather than only a remote elite, we will become unstoppable”