Embracing Collapse

Jem Bendell on the value of accepting what is happening to our world

Douglas Rushkoff

--

Here’s a short excerpt from this week’s episode of Team Human, a conversation with ecolibertarian and regenerative agriculture school founder Jem Bendell.

Unlike his former peers in the “scale of impact” community, Bendell offers no amazing science fiction fantasy technosolutionist fix for the climate crisis. Instead, he offers a set of strategies for how to adapt to the inevitable.

Jem Bendell was a Professor of Sustainability Leadership at University of Cumbria, who came to realize that climate change was inevitable, and the collapse of modern industrial consumer societies was already underway. However, by fully experiencing the sadness and despair, he realized he wanted to “live to the max“ in this new context, and wrote a controversial paper in 2018 called Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy. He followed that up with a book called Deep Adaptation, and the brand new book I read for this conversation, Breaking Together: A Freedom-Loving Response to Collapse.

What’s coming is bad, but it’s not all bad. A combination of realistic acceptance along with hope and resilience could help inflect the quality of the experience ahead. Think of it like the serenity prayer: grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Here’s a snippet of my conversation with Jem Bendell. You can hear the whole thing by clicking on the link.

Douglas Rushkoff:
Part of what interests me about your story is your move away from both the university as well as the top-down, official, global United Nations type organizations for sustainable development. Would you describe the process as growing disillusioned by these globalist efforts that just weren’t working, or being inspired by more local bottom up possibilities?

--

--

Douglas Rushkoff

Author of Survival of the Richest, Team Human, Program or Be Programmed, and host of the Team Human podcast http://teamhuman.fm