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Deep Adaption
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mikepepler
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject: Deep Adaption Reply with quote

I recently read this interview with Prof Jim Bendell on Dark Mountain:
http://dark-mountain.net/blog/extending-the-glide-an-interview-with-jem-bendell/

It refers to a talk Bendell gave which is summarised here:
https://jembendell.wordpress.com/2016/11/26/engaging-the-climate-tragedy/

And he also wrote an article about being interviewed for Dark Mountain:
https://jembendell.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/after-climate-despair-one-tale-of-what-can-emerge/

It is not light reading, but very interesting! I think it's where I'm at myself, wondering how much more effort it is worth putting into decarbonising. Not to give that up, but to start to think about the deep adaption agenda as well, whether that's adapting to climate change or peak oil - the fact is we have to deal with both at once to some extent.
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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Location: south east England

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, you and everybody else really might as well "give up." I am not sure that our collective efforts to stop climate change are going to make any difference whatsoever to the final outcome. I think it is highly likely that all it will change is the timing, and it may not even change that by much.

The question is this: when the fossil fuel era of human history finally draws to a close, how much economically recoverable fossil fuels will have been left in the ground in an attempt to prevent climate change? The answer may well be "none". All the attempts to reduce fossil fuel emissions may end up doing little more than extending the period of time over which the same amount is used. Also, direct anthropogenic emissions and climate change, as you well know, may eventually be dwarfed by feedback effects involving more emissions and other forms of warming - our emissions just being the trigger for a process which, once in motion, will only end when the climate finds a new equilibrium on its own (once all the sea ice is gone then no more can go, etc...). If so, even if a significant amount of fossil fuels were indeed left in the ground, all our efforts will still have made no difference to the final outcome. The metaphor of a landslide, or an avalance, is apt. It really is too late to stop it now.

Once you start thinking like this, then it becomes clear that a lot of current thinking, talking and acting is indeed aimed at preserving self-image, staying sane, etc... It's another form of denial, and it isn't helpful in any non-psychological way.

The truth is that we need to move on to what you are calling "deep adaptation" because it's the only game in town. The trouble is that there is little chance of convincing more than an insignificant minority of people of this until it is far more obvious what is happening. Give it another 30 years and then maybe.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear UE. I have to agree with your points.

On the one hand the UK is preaching zero-carbon, and on the other is trying to build 300,000 houses every year, in addition to all the required infrastructure. We’ve lost.
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
Oh dear UE. I have to agree with your points.

On the one hand the UK is preaching zero-carbon, and on the other is trying to build 300,000 houses every year, in addition to all the required infrastructure. We’ve lost.


Yes. But we were always going to lose. We never stood a chance.

If you trace the causal chain backwards, trying to find the point at which it definitely wasn't inevitable that we'd end up at this point, you have to go a very long way back indeed. Long before the neolithic revolution, and maybe even before the appearance of anatomically modern humans. I think accepting this might be an important factor in truly accepting what is coming, and being able to adapt.
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nature doesn't negotiate. I am wearing my maths hat at work today. The equation has to balance by altering the variable. In this equation the number of living humans is the variable. I think you know the rest.
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with all of the above, especially that we have to go back a long way to see the root cause. Discovering how to use fossil fuels was a key, but what determined how that knowledge was used was already in place. Pride, greed and envy probably drove a lot of it I think, and they are still fundamental to the way our society and economy work today, which leaves me little (or no) hope of 'fixing' the problem.

When you look closely, it seems most 'sustainability' is about trying to change nothing about how we live our lives, and just apply technology so we can continue. This can't work, as I think we all know. It's odd for me to say that, as with my engineering background I find the tech interesting, but over the past 12 years working in the 'sustainability sector' I've reached that point.

The tricky thing is thinking about what to *do*. Working to encourage more renewable energy is probably not a bad thing, even if it won't dig us out of the hole. At least it's not making matters worse. Likewise managing our woodland responsibly is not a bad thing, and is enjoyable too. But what else? Just enjoy the remaining days before things really go wrong?
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clv101
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:
Working to encourage more renewable energy is probably not a bad thing, even if it won't dig us out of the hole. At least it's not making matters worse.

To play the devil's advocate, one could argue that if more renewable energy keeps the show on the road for another decade or two, before the collapse of industrial civilisation, it could well have made matters worse compared to an earlier collapse.
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
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Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
mikepepler wrote:
Working to encourage more renewable energy is probably not a bad thing, even if it won't dig us out of the hole. At least it's not making matters worse.

To play the devil's advocate, one could argue that if more renewable energy keeps the show on the road for another decade or two, before the collapse of industrial civilisation, it could well have made matters worse compared to an earlier collapse.

A pretty dark and devilish thought that. I doubt if renewable energy could be the engine that pushes us over the cliff. More likely it will be the rope we hang onto as the ground falls away beneath our feet. Those that have grasped the rope will survive while those that chose not to will drown in the sea below.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
woodburner wrote:
Oh dear UE. I have to agree with your points.

On the one hand the UK is preaching zero-carbon, and on the other is trying to build 300,000 houses every year, in addition to all the required infrastructure. We’ve lost.


Yes. But we were always going to lose. We never stood a chance.

If you trace the causal chain backwards, trying to find the point at which it definitely wasn't inevitable that we'd end up at this point, you have to go a very long way back indeed. Long before the neolithic revolution, and maybe even before the appearance of anatomically modern humans. I think accepting this might be an important factor in truly accepting what is coming, and being able to adapt.
This
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
mikepepler wrote:
Working to encourage more renewable energy is probably not a bad thing, even if it won't dig us out of the hole. At least it's not making matters worse.

To play the devil's advocate, one could argue that if more renewable energy keeps the show on the road for another decade or two, before the collapse of industrial civilisation, it could well have made matters worse compared to an earlier collapse.
And this
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UndercoverElephant



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

The tricky thing is thinking about what to *do*. Working to encourage more renewable energy is probably not a bad thing, even if it won't dig us out of the hole. At least it's not making matters worse.


Yes, increasing local or regional sustainability can help to minimise the local or regional impact.

Quote:

Likewise managing our woodland responsibly is not a bad thing, and is enjoyable too. But what else? Just enjoy the remaining days before things really go wrong?


That's about it. And trying where possible to educate people about what is happening, so they can make decisions in their own life accordingly, and help to educate others.
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woodburner



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think people need to be educated as to what is happening in the hope they give up, and throw in the towel, rather than trying to steal what you have when they get short.
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mikepepler
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:
mikepepler wrote:
Working to encourage more renewable energy is probably not a bad thing, even if it won't dig us out of the hole. At least it's not making matters worse.

To play the devil's advocate, one could argue that if more renewable energy keeps the show on the road for another decade or two, before the collapse of industrial civilisation, it could well have made matters worse compared to an earlier collapse.

I thought of an interesting analogy - a person who is struggling with debt (and the resulting mental health problems), but also addicted to opiates. What we're doing with renewable energy is like helping this person with their debt while ignoring the addiction, which is just as harmful to them. The root causes of the problem have to be addressed.
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UndercoverElephant



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikepepler wrote:
The root causes of the problem have to be addressed.


Those root causes won't even be acknowledged until the collapse is well under way, let alone addressed.
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Potemkin Villager



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
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Location: Narnia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
mikepepler wrote:
The root causes of the problem have to be addressed.


Those root causes won't even be acknowledged until the collapse is well under way, let alone addressed.


No wonder distractions like Brexit are so welcome.

I have been rereading "Overshoot" recently and I must say that Bill Catton had it pretty much well set out in 1980 when he concluded "Our Best Bet : Expect the Worst" (p 262).

Bendell and the arty dark mountain hipsters are very much Johnny come latelies intent on building careers out of our collective peril.

Still sells lots of books.
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