Ecologically-induced social collapse, globally

Posted: March 1, 2019 in Social Issues
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“Our way of life has a terminal diagnosis”

Jem Bendell Deep Adaptation UPFSI 2019

Professor Jem Bendell’s recent study about global social collapse due to climate change was rejected for publication, saying it was too fear-inducing, impossible and unrealistic. It’s an important conversation to have immediately, because social disruption is imminent. It raises many questions about what to do and how we should respond. “This agenda does not seek to build on existing scholarship on “climate adaptation” as it is premised on the view that social collapse is now inevitable.”

We now face inevitable near-term social collapse.


There is a need to promote discussion about the implications of a social collapse triggered by an environmental catastrophe.


Professor Bendell clarifies his reason for publishing:

First, I briefly explain the paucity of research that considers or starts from social collapse due to environmental catastrophe and give acknowledgement to the existing work in this field that many readers may consider relevant. 

Second, I summarise what I consider to be the most important climate science of the last few years and how it is leading more people to conclude that we face disruptive changes in the near-term. 

Third, I explain how that perspective is marginalised within the professional environmental sector – and so invite you to consider the value of leaving mainstream views behind. 

Fourth, I outline the ways that people on relevant social networks are framing our situation as one of facing collapse, catastrophe or extinction and how these views trigger different emotions and ideas. 

Fifth, I outline a “Deep Adaptation Agenda” to help guide discussions on what we might do once we recognise climate change is an unfolding tragedy. 

Finally, I make some suggestions for how this agenda could influence our future research and teaching in the sustainability field.

The study:

The study on collapse they thought you should not read – yet


The response:

Impermanence makes everything and everyone around us totally sacred and significant. The tragedy of climate chaos is also an invitation to drop our illusions of permanence.

Denial is a common emotional response to situations that are perceived as threatening and inescapable. Radical hope is a form of hope that’s consciously chosen after denial.

Hope and Vision in the Face of Collapse

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