Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Facts on Deep Adaptation in response to a New York Times style article

The Deep Adaptation Occasional Paper released in July 2018 has been downloaded over a million times and inspired a range of reactions, from full time climate activism to criticism of its analysis and influence. A recent article in the New York Times style section made some claims about the Deep Adaptation paper and movement which Professor Jem Bendell responds to below.


From Professor Jem Bendell:

A recent article in the New York Times reports claims about a reduction of climate activism that results from an anticipation of collapse. That is not backed up by reports in the media over the last 2 years about the influence of the Deep Adaptation paper on the new wave of radical climate activism. For instance in YouGov and the Financial Times. In addition, it is not backed up by Cumbria University's initial research on the new kinds of action being taken by participants in the Deep Adaptation Forum. As a lifelong environmental activist, who wants fair and bold action on carbon cuts and drawdown, if there is substantial new evidence that an anticipation of collapse is undermining climate activism, then that is a concern and I would like to see it, and discuss its implications. For instance, rather than condemning anticipation of collapse, we could help each other explore the implications so more of us can arrive at pro-social responses. 

Some people may be ignoring evidence of how an anticipation of collapse has inspired climate activism and are instead projecting onto people how they might feel and act if they anticipated collapse themselves. That is not to deny that the psychological implications of anticipating collapse are huge and incredibly important for all of us who wish to slow climate change and prepare for further disruptions in the future. I will therefore continue working with psychologists to invite informed and open discussion of the implications and what we can all do to help, and intend to share more on that in the coming weeks. The seriousness with which the DA Forum takes these matters is illustrated by their safety and wellbeing policy, support for grief tending, and advice on seeking professional help when in distress. It is also why its approach to facilitating gatherings involves space for emotional expression and processing. That is contrary to some of the suggestions in the NYT article. 


That article may suggest to some readers that I have a disdain for expertise on climate change. The opposite is the case. I tell anyone who asks, if they want to cross-check my claims on specific issues, to contact a number of scientists who specialise in those issues. Therefore, to discuss what I write about the Arctic, contact experts on the Arctic. To discuss what I write about tipping points, contact the published experts on tipping points. I reference them all in my writing, to make it easy to check with various experts. I also always warn against regarding famous scientific commentators as the one voice from climatology. To do that would be unscientific, as it would not recognise the varieties of views within the various subfields of climate science. It was in concluding that explanation to the NYT journalist that I said he should not rely on a couple of famous climatologists to prove a debunking of the science in the DA paper, and instead go find out for himself from those who work in the specific subfields. Unfortunately the quote used in the article left out that context, in a way that implies disrespect for well known climatologists.

I also always explain that the risks of societal collapse cannot be fully understood from within climate science, as societies are complex social systems, and we need insight from the huge field of scholarship now dubbed ‘collapsology’. I always note that the main weakness of my DA paper is that it did not explore and summarise that field, and that I am still learning from that field and invite climatologists to do the same. 

The DA paper discussed the implications of Arctic ice loss and tipping points by citing a range of experts on that. I do not reach a conclusion that methane hydrates on the Arctic ocean floor are definitely being released at significant scale, but conclude that there should not be confidence there will not be a mass release of methane from that source in the near future. Therefore, I have continued to call for constant monitoring of the situation, and taking current scientist measurements of methane very seriously. One can not overstate how worrying this issue is, even when being criticised for being alarmist or doomist for expressing concern and questioning the confidence of people who dismiss the possibility.

The NYT article includes a comment from Dr Kate Marvel that is presented as a criticism of the science in the DA paper and yet does not relate to what is in my paper. I paste in a relevant section of the paper and the article below. I do not confuse albedo effect and tipping points. I cite experts on the albedo effect and a study on how much radiative forcing arises from ice loss. This criticism is used in the NYT article as the basis for implying that the field of collapse anticipation is based on faulty science. One could argue against the scientific basis for collapse anticipation in more informed and nuanced ways that might aid our understanding of our situation. However, the way the article treats the topic reflects an approach that over 500 scientists and scholars have recently criticised as unhelpful suppression of the discussion of collapse risk and readiness. It also suggests a conflict between scholars which might not actually exist, and simply be misunderstandings of what one or the other has written or said. It is unfortunate that people reading the NYT might think I dismiss Dr Marvel or any climatologist, when the quoted sentence was within my explanation about the importance of seeking granular expertise on specific matters. Therefore, in clarifying this, I would like to confirm that I do not disrespect or disregard the work of Dr Marvel, or any other climatologist, but still encourage journalists to look further than the most famous names in the broad field of climatology when engaging in contentious aspects of climate change. For instance, it is quite easy to contact the scientists I referenced in the paper on albedo and the Arctic.

The NYT article talks about DA implying it is too late to ‘save the world’. Neither myself or anyone I work with uses that frame or phrasing. Such a phrase reflects a set of anthropocentric patriarchal assumptions about the world and the human relationship to it. Perhaps some people assume that current industrial consumer societies constitute the only “world” worth “saving”. Following the work of Sheldon Solomon, perhaps that reaction is because these societies are the ones that have been the source of our identity, and as we become more anxious, unless we support each other's equanimity, we become more attached to our existing stories of identity, belonging and purpose. That is why it is so important to listen to the insights of indigenous scholars and people who work with them, such as Professor Vanessa Andreotti, who is on the holding group (advisory board) of the DA Forum. It may also be a reason why the DA Forum itself recently questioned the ‘save the world’ framing in their most recent review of where the Forum is now at since I left it in September. It is also why loosening our attachment to stories which affirm our separation and superiority with the rest of creation are central to the ethos of DA activities, as we explain in detail in a recent paper.   

To anticipate societal collapse because of ecological and climate change, impacting directly and indirectly on social processes, is an emotionally difficult way of experiencing life. Yet it also means people show up stripped of many of their old stories of success, status, and certainty, which allows for a more connected and generative way of being and working together. Unfortunately the very existence of this worldview will continue to alienate some people, and so I will encourage in myself and others in the DA movement our ongoing patience, discernment, forgiveness and focus. Our choice is to focus on reducing harm and promoting connection, not avoiding criticism or winning arguments. That does not mean we wait for those criticisms will stop. Rather, they are likely to grow as much as collapse anticipation grows. The silver lining is that the criticisms will bring more attention to how some people have this perspective, and then those people who are ready will be able to discover the kind, curious and creative ways people are voluntarily engaging for positive change. That faith in how many of us can be our better selves through various crises, whatever the consequences, is something that sustains me. To get a sense of the diversity of ideas about how to live positively when anticipating collapse, you could read my reflections in Open Democracy.

Section from the DA Paper on Arctic albedo

"Given a reduction in the reflection of the Sun’s rays from the surface of white ice, an ice-free Arctic is predicted to increase warming globally by a substantial degree. Writing in 2014, scientists calculated this change is already equivalent to 25% of the direct forcing of temperature increase from CO2 during the past 30 years (Pistone et al, 2014). That means we could remove a quarter of the cumulative CO2 emissions of the last three decades and it would already be outweighed by the loss of the reflective power of annual Arctic sea ice cover. One of the most eminent climate scientists in the world, Peter Wadhams, believes an ice-free Arctic will occur for a  summer in the next few years. Once that happens, the warming feedbacks make it near certain that, after some years, an entire year will be ice free in the Arctic,  which he calculated will likely increase by 50% the warming caused by the CO2 produced by human activity (Wadhams, 2016).[3] Whereas some scientists assess warming implications to be lower than that (Hudson, 2011), if correct, it would render the calculations of the IPCC redundant, along with the targets and proposals of the UNFCCC. Between 2002 and 2016, Greenland shed approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year, and the island’s lower-elevation and coastal areas experienced up to 13.1 feet (4 meters) of ice mass loss (expressed in equivalent-water-height) over a 14-year period (NASA, 2018). Along with other melting of land ice, and the thermal expansion of water, this has contributed to a global mean sea level rise of about 3.2 mm/year, representing a total increase of over 80 mm, since 1993 (JPL/PO.DAAC, 2018). The IPCC has been found to have underpredicted sea level rise, as part of its general “understatement of existential climate risk” (Spratt and Dunlop, 2018).  Recent data shows that the upward trend is non-linear (Malmquist, 2018). That means sea level is rising due to non-linear increases in the melting of land-based ice."

The New York Times article refers to this section here:

Mr. Bendell writes that the loss of the reflective power of ice in the Arctic is such that even a removal of a quarter of the cumulative carbon dioxide emissions of the last three decades would be outweighed by the damage already done. Dr. Marvel said that this represents a basic misunderstanding. Though ice melting represented a feedback loop, she said, in which an effect of the climate becoming warmer itself contributed to further warming, there was a conflation in Mr. Bendell’s thought between that feedback loop and a so-called tipping point. “It’s not an example of a tipping point,” she said. “This is something that is well understood. You make it warm. You get rid of ice. You make it cold. You get ice.”

On this section Prof Bendell notes: I did not write about tipping points in this section of the DA paper on albedo. What I write about tipping points, citing specialists on tipping points, can be read in the full paper. If Dr Marvel's critique can be clarified to me, so a change can be made in the paper, then that would be ideal. I have opened up the paper for such comment here. A difficulty is that with misinformed or confusing critiques, when I say they are misinformed or confusing, it is portrayed by some people as resisting feedback and criticism. Which is why I opened up the paper and am getting some useful clarifications and requests for clarifications.

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Enabling learning for wisdom and compassion in maternity care - new study

From Professor Jem Bendell, announcing publication of a new journal article:

"Whereas medical knowledge and medical management practices have been crucial for improving the lives of billions of people, there has been a shadow side to that progress. The dominance of certain forms of knowledge, attitude and behaviour within medical systems means that the wisdom, compassion and initiative of people who choose to work in helping the health and wellbeing of their fellow humans can be undermined. The profit motive in all aspects of health systems increases the potential undermining of such knowledges and approaches. 

Supporting the wisdom, compassion and initiative of people who provide health services, whether in formal or community settings will be increasingly important as established medical systems are put under increasing pressure, arising from disruptions of many kinds. For instance, pandemics are likely to increase due to human impacts on the environment and climate. 

In a new paper co-written with colleagues from Lancaster University and Impact International we seek to contribute to a dialogue on how to better support wisdom, compassion and initiative amongst medical professionals. We focus on what can be an emotionally intense aspect of medical service provision - maternity wards." 

The paper "Professional Learning from Disturbances in Healthcare: Managerialism and Compassion" appears in the International Journal of Management, Knowledge and Learning, 9(2), 129–151

It can be accessed for free

It is written by:

Katie Willocks, Lancaster University Management School, United Kingdom

Jem Bendell, University of Cumbria, United Kingdom

Richard Little, Impact International, United Kingdom


This study asks what behaviours might convert professional disturbances in maternity wards into opportunities for learning within healthcare and how that process is influenced by models of management and leadership. A framework of Cultural History Activity Theory helped to analyse moments of fractured collaboration in which uncertainty about roles and differences in professional status was a factor. Implications for professional learning are discussed along with the frames that might give coherence and utility to future research. We conclude that any interventions to support professional learning should reflect the broadly compassionate ethos that informs the commitments and activities of healthcare workers.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

IFLAS Occasional Papers

Occasional Paper 1: Searching for Sustainability Leadership 
Limited progress towards the sustainability of either business or society despite decades of voluntary initiative is one reason why more managers and academics are calling for better leadership for sustainability. This is mirrored by the increase in degree programmes offering sustainability leadership. This Occasional Paper draws upon Critical Leadership Theory to argue that the existing paradigms in leadership and leadership education are counter to sustainability and should not be incorporated into sustainability efforts unchallenged. Instead, a new approach to leadership and its development is required, which begins to be introduced in this paper 

Occasional Paper 2: Deep Adaptation: A map for navigating the climate tragedy 
Occasional Paper on themes of leadership and sustainability. “Deep Adaptation: A map for navigating the climate tragedy” addresses in depth some implications of the most recent climate measurements and science, here 

Occasional Paper 3: Post-Civilisation 
IFLAS is pleased that philosopher, Chair of Green House thinktank, and leading member of Extinction Rebellion, Dr Rupert Read has contributed our 3rd Occasional Paper 

Occasional Paper 4: Local Future Tax Credits: Towards a tool for local government to finance itself and help adapt to the climate emergency 
Occasional Paper #4 seeks to start a conversation with people who have knowledge of either local government finances or the implementation of local policies on the climate emergency, here 

Occasional Paper 5: Early recollections - as a research method for finding fuller meaning in the values of wellbeing 
During a global pandemic practitioner wellbeing is an important topic, many people are working from home and delivering their usual services over video conferencing technologies. Whilst this may have some benefits for a better work life balance and is hugely reducing the environmental impact of travel, many people are feeling more isolated which can reduce wellbeing, here. 

Occasional Paper 6: Facilitation for Deep Adaptation 
This paper supports people with designing and facilitating gatherings on Deep Adaptation, whether online or in-person. The term ‘Deep Adaptation’ describes an agenda and framework for responding to the potential, probable or inevitable collapse of industrial consumer societies, due to the direct and indirect impacts of human-caused climate change and environmental degradation (Bendell, 2018) here.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

International Scholars Warning on Societal Disruption and Collapse

If you are a scientist or scholar you can still sign the letter before the end of 2020, and a final list will be published in January. 

A public letter signed by over 250 scientists and scholars from 30 countries, calls on policy makers to engage more with the growing risk of societal disruption and collapse due to damage to the climate and environment. The letter invites focus on how to slow, prepare for, and help those already suffering from, such disruptions. The signatories are specialists in a range of subject areas that relate to this challenge, who commonly believe it is time to listen to all the scholarship on humanity’s predicament.

The referenced letter and a full list of signatories, at the moment of publication on Dec 6th 2020, follows below. In English, an edited version of the letter appears in The Guardian (Monday 7th 2020). The letter will also be published in French.

If you could bring more attention to this letter, please use #scholarswarning #breakdownwarning hashtags in your social media posts. You can follow this Scholars Warning on twitter and direct people to this page via www.scholarswarning.net 

Subject: Only if we discuss collapse might we prepare

As scientists and scholars from around the world, we call on policymakers to engage openly with the risk of disruption and even collapse of our societies. After five years of failing to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Climate Accord (1), we must now face the consequences. 

While bold and fair efforts to cut emissions and naturally drawdown carbon are essential, researchers in many areas now consider societal collapse to be a credible scenario this century (2a & 2b). A range of views exist on the location, extent, timing, permanence and cause of such disruptions; but the way modern societies exploit people and nature is a common concern (3a & 3b).

Only if policymakers begin to discuss this threat of societal collapse might communities and nations begin to prepare and so reduce its likelihood, speed, severity, harm to the most vulnerable, and to nature. 

Some armed services already see collapse as an important scenario, requiring planning (4a and 4b). Surveys show many people now anticipate societal collapse (5). Sadly that is already the experience or memory of many communities in the Global South (6). However, the topic is not well reported in the media, and mostly absent from civil society and politics.

When potential collapse is covered by the media, it typically cites people who condemn discussion of the topic. Ill-informed speculations, such as on foreign misinformation campaigns, or impacts on mental health and motivation, will not support serious discussion (7). Rather, such claims risk betraying the thousands of activists and community leaders whose anticipation of collapse is part of their motivation to push for change on climate, ecology, and social justice. 

People who care about environmental and humanitarian issues should not be discouraged from discussing the risks of societal disruption or collapse. That could risk agendas being driven by people with less commitment to such values.

Some of us believe that a transition to a new form of society may be possible. That will involve bold action to reduce damage to the climate, nature and other people, including preparations for major disruptions to everyday life. We are united in regarding efforts to suppress discussion of collapse as hindering the possibility of that transition. 

We have experienced how emotionally challenging it is to recognise the damage being done, along with the growing threat to our own way of life. We also know the great sense of fellowship that can arise (8). It is time to invite each other into difficult conversations, so we can reduce our complicity in the harm, and be creative to make the best of a turbulent future (9).  

Signed, in a personal capacity, by: Professor Gesa Weyhenmeyer, Uppsala University; Professor Will Steffen, Australian National University; Professor Kai Chan, Lead Author, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services; Professor Marjolein Visser, Université Libre de Bruxelles; Professor Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights; Professor Yin Paradies, Deakin University; Professor Saskia Sassen, Columbia University; Dr Ye Tao, Harvard University; Professor Aled Jones, Anglia Ruskin University; Professor Joy Carter, Winchester University; Professor Bobby Banerjee, University of London; Professor Lummina Horlings, University of Groningen; Professor Pritam Singh, University of Oxford; Professor Rupert Read, University of East Anglia; Dr. Peter Kalmus, Climate Scientist; Dr. Malika Virah-Sawmy, Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin; Dr. Yves Cochet, Former Minister of the Environment (France); Dr. Marie-Claire Pierret, University of Strasbourg; Dr. Wolfgang Knorr, Lund University; The Very Reverend Dr. Frances Ward, St Michael's Church; Dr. Alessia Lo Porto-Lefebure, School of Public Health (France); Dr. Emmanuel Prados, INRIA; Dr. Pablo Servigne, Author; Dr. Gail Bradbrook, Extinction Rebellion.

References follow below the full list of signatories. If you have a PhD or professional doctorate, then to sign the letter before the end of 2020 visit here (and thus receive updates on the reaction and implications). 

For emotional support on this extremely troubling matter, use some of the links to resources from here

If you are a journalist seeking to interview a signatory, then please email press@scholarswarning.net 

If you can produce an additional translation, or want to locate one, then visit this emerging list.

If you are a scientist wanting to engage further, we recommend Scientists Warning Europe, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Scientists for XR.

If you want to engage with others on what this situation means to your life and work, we recommend the Deep Adaptation Forum. If you want to stay informed of related initiatives, subscribe to this quarterly newsletter.

If you are researching collapse risk, consider using this database on collapse scholarship, or contributing to it. If you want to read more about collapse risk, we recommend the book How Everything Can Collapse 

All Signatories (reverse alphabetical order, with organisation shown for information only, as each signs in a personal capacity):

Professor Stephen Zavestoski, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of San Francisco US

Dr Caroline Zaoui, Biotech entrepreneur, Novobiom BE

Dr Sandra Wooltorton, Senior Research Fellow, Nulungu Research Institute CA

Professor Jason Wirth, Professor of Philosophy, Seattle University US

Dr David Windt, Physicist, Reflective X-ray Optics LLC US

Dr Sarah Williams, University Lecturer, University of Cumbria UK

Dr Alison Whybrow, Chartered Psychologist, Co-Founder Climate Coaching Alliance, The Vedere Partnership Ltd UK

Professor Gesa Weyhenmeyer, Professor, Uppsala University SW

Dr Dietmar Weinmann, Physicist, CNRS DE

Dr Martin Weinel, Research Associate, Cardiff University FR

Dr Arthur Weaver, Independent scientist, Independent US

Dr Frances Ward, Anglican Priest in Workington, Church of England UK

Professor Mark Wallace, Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies, Swarthmore College US

Professor Stephane Vuilleumier, Professor of Environmental Biology and Microbiology, CNRS team leader, Universite de Strasbourg FR

Dr Charlotte von Bulow, Senior Lecturer in Leadership, University of the West of England DK

Dr Linda Vogelsong, Founder, WovenStory Productions US

Professor Marjolein Visser, Professor, Universite Libre de Bruxelles BE

Dr Malika Virah-Sawmy, Researcher, Humboldt universidad zu Berlin DE

Professor Bruno Villalba, Professeur science politique, AgroParisTech FR

Dr Florence Vieban, Organization of a territorial food resilience, La Ceinture Verte (Green Belt) FR

Professor Caroline Verzat, professor, ESCP FR

Dr Nicolas Vereecken, Associate Professor, Chair of Agroecology, Universite libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium) BE

Dr Elizabeth Vander Meer, Research and Policy Manager (climate change and biodiversity), University of Edinburgh UK

Dr Arnold van Vliet, Biologist, Wageningen University NL

Dr Marieke Van Lichtervelde, Research fellow, University of Toulouse FR

Dr Lenny Van Bussel, Assistant Professor, Wageningen University AT

Dr Robert Turner, Teaching Professor, University of Washington Bothell us

Dr Renaud Toussaint, Researcher in Geophysics, CNRS FR

Dr Balint Toth, Researcher in environmental archaeology, Paris-Sorbonne University SE

Dr Amber Tomas, Statistical consultant, Amber Tomas Statistical Consultancy AU

Dr Wanchat Theeranaew, Researcher in Medical Signal Processing, Case Western Reserve University US

Dr Laure Teulieres, Lecturer in history, Toulouse Jean Jaures University (France) FR

Dr Ye Tao, Rowland Fellow, Rowland Institute at Harvard US

Dr Mark Swoiskin, MD, UCSF us

Dr Kate Swindells, Community Activist, HEART Community Group UK

Professor Cedric Sueur, Professor, Universite de Strasbourg FR

Dr Ian Sturrock, Senior Lecturer, Teesside University UK

Dr Peter Sturm, Senior Researcher, Inria, France FR

Dr Giovanni Strona, Associate Professor in Ecological Data Science, University of Helsinki FI

Professor Donald Strauss, Founding Chair, Urban Sustainability Department, Antioch University Los Angeles US

Dr Iain Stewart, Director, Sustainable Earth Institute, University of Plymouth UK

Dr Victoria Stevens, Retired protected areas ecologist, BC Parks CA

Dr Melissa Sterry, Design Scientist, Complex Systems Theorist, Bioratorium FR

Professor Stephen Sterling, Emeritus Professor of Sustainability Education, University of Plymouth UK

Professor Will Steffen, Earth System scientist, Australian National University (Emeritus Professor) AU

Dr Milena Stefanovic, Programme Manager, European Fund for the Balkans RS

Dr Ashley South, Author, researcher and consultant., Chiang Mai University TH

Dr Isabelle Soraru, Researcher, Universite de Strasbourg FR

Professor Michael Smith, Professor of History and Environmental Humanities, Ithaca College US

Professor Pritam Singh, University of Oxford, UK & IN

Dr Amanda Shuman, Researcher and lecturer, University of Freiburg DE

Dr Candida Shinn, Ecotoxicologist, Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal) PT

Professor Orrin Shindell, Professor, Trinity University US

Dr David Sheeren, Associate Professor, Toulouse INP-ENSAT FR

Dr Pablo Servigne, Author and speaker, Independent FR

Dr Isabelle Schurch, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Bern CH

Professor Pierre Yves Schobbens, Professor, University of Namur BE

Professor Saskia Sassen, Professor, Columbia University US

Dr Thibault Sana, Researcher, INRAE FR

Professor Geoffrey Samuel, Emeritus Professor, Cardiff University UK

Dr Joyce Salvage, Retired, National-Louis University (retired) US

Dr Daniel Ruiz, Affiliate Researcher, SSSUP IT

Professor Shawn Rosenheim, Professor of English, Williams College US

Dr Peter Roopnarine, Curator, California Academy of Sciences US

Dr Laura Roop, Assistant Professor of Practice, Education, University of Pittsburgh US

Dr Estienne Rodary, Directeur de recherche, Institut de recherche pour le developpement (IRD) FR

Dr Xavier Ricard Lanata, Senior Advisor, Directorate of Treasury, Ministry of Economy and Finance, France FR

Professor William Rees, Professor Emeritus (human ecology, ecological economics), University of British Columbia CA

Professor Rupert Read, Professor, University of East Anglia UK

Dr Terry Rankin, Activist, Retired US

Dr Francis Putz, Researcher/teacher, University of Florida US

Dr Marion Princaud, Founder of Waste Hunter, Waste Hunter FR

Dr Sally Prebble, PhD Clinical Psychology, University of Auckland NZ

Dr Emmanuel Prados, Head of the INRIA research team STEEP, INRIA FR

Dr Igor Polskiy, Board member, GEN-Russia RU

Dr Max Pinsard, Manager, Low-tech Lab Montreal CA

Dr Marie-Claire Pierret, Researcher in geosciences, University of Strasbourg FR

Dr Clifford Pickett, Jr., Molecular Biologist, Swarthmore US

Professor Claire Petitmengin, Professor, Mines Telecom Institute, Paris FR

Professor Christopher Peet, Professor of Psychology, The King's University, Edmonton, AB, Canada CA

Professor Sylvain Payraudeau, Professor, ENGEES, Strasbourg, France FR

Professor Yin Paradies, Professor of Race Relations, Deakin University au

Dr Lilli Papaloizos, Lecturer, University of Basel Switzerland FR

Dr Geremy Panthou, Lecturer/Researcher. Fields: Climatology/hydrology, Universite Grenoble Alpes FR

Dr Michael Ortega, Research Engineer, CNRS FR

Dr Sarah Ollier, Researcher, Loughborough university UK

Dr Magali Ollagnier-Beldame, Researcher, CNRS FR

Dr Timothee Nicolas, Researcher, CNRS FR

Professor Vinh-Kim Nguyen, Professor, Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies Geneva CH

Professor Marie Wilson Nelson, Professor Emerita, Integrated Studies in Teaching, Technology & Inquiry, National Louis University US

Dr Chris Murray, Emeritus Staff Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA US

Dr David F Murphy, Academic Lead, Initiative for Leadership & Sustainability (IFLAS), University of Cumbria UK

Dr Anne Munro-Kua, Cheras, AMK Transformations MY

Dr Tadzio Mueller, Climate Justice Analyst, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung DE

Dr Susanne Moser, Director, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting US

Professor Andy Morse, Professor of Climate Impacts, University of Liverpool UK

Professor Bronwen Morgan, Professor of Law, UNSW Sydney AU

Professor Paul Morgan, Professor, West Chester University of Pennsylvania US

Dr Patricia Morgan, Research Associate, UNSW AU

Dr Claude Monteil, Teacher-researcher, University of Toulouse, France FR

Dr Lauren Mohn, Visiting Assistant Professor, Swarthmore College US

Dr Michelle Merrill, Founder and community organizer, Novasutras US

Professor Dominique Meda, Full Professor, University Paris Dauphine-PSL FR

Dr Josie McLean, Principal and Founder, The Partnership Pty Ltd AU

Professor Ben McCall, Professor of Sustainability, University of Dayton US

Dr Aimee Maxwell, Psychologist, Deep Adaptation AU

Dr Emilie Mathieu, Postdoctoral researcher, CNRS FR

Dr Andrew Mathewson, Biologist, University of Washington US

Dr Stephen Martin, Visiting Professor in Learning for Sustainability, University of the West of England Bristol UK

Dr Fran Martin, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter uk

Professoer Laurie Marrauld, Professor Assistant in digital and resilient health management, EHESP FR

Dr Elise Marquis, Marine Environmental Consultant, Freelance FR

Dr Philippe Marquet, Associate professor, University de Lille FR

Dr Clemence Marque, Pharmacist (PharmD), Adrastia FR

Dr David Mark Welch, Senior Scientist, Marine Biological Laboratory US

Dr Lara Mani, Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge FR

Dr Stefano Mammola, Researcher, Finnish Museum of Natural History FI

Dr Irene Malvestio, Postdoc, Universitat de Barcelona IT

Dr Christian Mahieu, Researcher, ANIS-Catalyst FR

Professor Thomas Love, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Linfield University US

Dr Pascal Lorance, Scientist, Ifremer FR

Dr Jonathan Logan, Climate Strategist, Futurist, Attorney, National Mobilizer, Extinction Rebellion America (USA) US

Dr Sabahat Lodhi, Teacher, Head of Science, BBIS DE

Dr Alessia Lo Porto - Lefebure, Dean for Academic Affairs, EHESP -French School of Public Health FR

Dr Vicki Little, Scholar, educator, Monash University Malaysia MY

Dr Evelin Lindner, Founding President, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies NO

Dr Joel Levey, Founder, Wisdom at Work US

Researcher Nolwenn Lesparre, Researcher, CNRS FR

Dr Cathy Lemer, Coach et Chef d'entreprise, Elevatio FR

Dr Jorge Leandro Rosa, Researcher and writer, Institute of Philosophy, University of Porto PT

Professor Eva Lantsoght, Professor, Universidad San Francisco de Quito NL

Dr Auriane Lamine, Associate Professor of Labour Law, Universite catholique de Louvain AT

Dr Daniel Lacour, Physicist, CNRS FR

Dr marc lachieze-rey, Research director (retired), CNRS FR

Dr Wolfgang Knorr, Research Scientist in Climate Change, Lund University GR

Dr Peter Kindfield, Founder and Lead Teacher, Hilltop Education Connections US

Dr Adrian Kendry, Visiting Professor of Economics, Security and Peacebuilding, University of Winchester UK

Professor Sean Kelly, Professor and author, California Institute of Integral Studies US

Dr Tom Kelly, Executive Director, UNH Sustainability Institute US

Dr Minna Kanerva, Senior researcher in sustainability science, University of Bremen DE

Dr Peter Kalmus, Climate scientist, Various US

Dr Mike Joy, Senior researcher/ecologist, Victoria University HK

Professor Aled Jones, Professor, Anglia Ruskin University UK

Dr Clara Jodry, Associate professor, UNISTRA AZ

Professor Robert Jensen, Emeritus Professor, University of Texas at Austin, USA US

Dr Nico Jenkins, Asst Professor of Philosophy and Critical theory, Maine College of Art US

Dr Jamilia Jeenbaeva, Founder, senior expert, Dialecticon Climate, ELEK Dilgir (Ecological Lectoria) KG

Professor Sophie Javerzat, Professor of Genetics, University of Bordeaux FR

Dr Francois Jarrige, Historian, Universite de Bourgogne FR

Dr Wes Jackson, President Emeritus, The Land Institute US

Professor Ruth Irwin, Professor of Education, RMIT University AU

Dr Gwenael Imfeld, Citizen and researcher in biogeochemistry, research director at CNRS, CNRS FR

Dr Justine A Huxley, London, St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace UK

Dr Jean-Michel Hupe, Researcher in political ecology, CNRS IT

Dr Jean-Michel Huctin, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Unversity of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines FR

Professor Laurent Houssiau, Professor in physics, University of Namur BE

Professor Lummina Horlings, Professor Socio-Spatial Planning, University of Groningen, The Netherlands NL

Professor Mark Hixon, Hsiao Endowed Professor of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii US

Professor Krista Hiser, Professor, University of Hawaii System US

Professor Stuart Hill, Personal, Western Sydney University AU

Professor Bertrand Hespel, Professor, University of Namur BE

Professor Ruben Heleno, Professor, University of Coimbra, Portugal PT

Dr Stepanie Heil, Engineer, Linkoping University, Sweden SE

Dr Juan Jesus Haro Mora, Review Analyst in Genetics, None US

Dr Yves Handrich, Researcher, The National Centre for Scientific Research (France), FR

Dr Caspar Hallmann, Research, Radboud University NL

Professor Laurie Guimond, Geography Professor, Universite du Quebec - Montreal CA

Dr Nicolas Gratiot, Senior scientist, Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement, France FR

Dr Elena Granda, Researcher, University of Alcala ES

Professor Pierre-Henri Gouyon, Full Professor, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle FR

Dr Alain Girault, Researcher, INRIA FR

Professor Gael Giraud, Professor, Georgetown university FR

Professor Richard Gill, Emeritus professor of mathematical statistics, Mathematical Institute, Leiden University NL

Dr Marie Gevers, Researcher, Universite de Namur BE

Professor Tim Garrett, Professor, University of Utah US

Dr Tomasz Ganicz, Assistant Professor, Technical Univeristy of Lodz PL

Dr Katy Fox, Ecosocial Designer, Mycelium Design BE

Professor John Foran, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies, UCSB US

Dr Gwen Fischer, Volunteer, Deep Adaptation Forum US

Professor Tina Fields, Professor of Ecopsychology, Naropa University US

Professor Isabelle Ferreras, Professor, University of Louvain AT

Dr Serge Fenet, Maitre de conferences, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1 FR

Dr Stephane Faure, Post-doc, CNRS - LPCNO FR

Dr Louise Farquharson, Assistant Research Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks US

Dr Sherry Falsetti, Clinical Psychologist, Enlighten Mind Body Wellness LLC US

Professor Carr Everbach, Chair of Environmental Studies; Engineering Professor, Swarthmore College US

Professor Susan Empson, Professor, University of Missouri US

Dr Scott Elrod, Associate Director of Licensing, Stanford University US

Professor Jane Elliott, Professor of Sociology, University of Exeter UK

Dr Hans Eickhoff, Investigator, Degrowth Network Portugal PT

Dr Natalia Eernstman, Senior lecturer, Plymouth College of Art UK

Dr Edina Eberhardt-Toth, Enseignante-chercheure en finance et gouvernance socialement responsables, ICN Business School NL

Dr Sophie Eberhardt, Researcher, Lepac FR

Professor Denis Dupre, Professor of ethics and finance, Grenoble Alpes University FR

Professor Marc Dufumier, Emeritus Professor, AgroParisTech FR

Dr Fae Dremock, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, Ithaca College US

Dr Elizabeth Downing, Climate educator, Awakening Wisdom Yoga and Meditation US

Dr Gregory Derville, Maitre de conference, Science politique, Universite de Lille FR

Professor Nicolas Dendoncker, Professor of Geography, University of Namur BE

Dr Laurence Delattre, Assistant Professor, University of Lille FR

Professor Olivier De Schutter, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food, UCLouvain IE

Dr Gabriel Davies, Research Associate, Durham University NI

Professor Hamish Cunningham, Professor, University of Sheffield UK

Dr Elspeth Crawford, Retired lecturer, University of Edinburgh UK

Dr Bruno Corbara, Maitre de Conferences Ecologie/Ethologie, Universite Clermont Auvergne FR

Dr Claire Collot, Neurobiologiste, Industrie pharmaceutique FR

Dr Yves Cochet, Former Minister of the Environment (France), Institut Momentum FR

Dr Floriane Clement, Research Fellow, INRAE FR

Dr Humphrey Chris, Senior Scientist, ETH Zurich Center for Development and Cooperation CH

Dr Francis Chopin, Lecturer in Structural Geology and Igneous Petrology, University of Strasbourg Fr

Professor Mariana Chilton, Professor & Director, Center for Hunger-Free Communities, Drexel University US

Dr Mark Chater, Independent writer and researcher on education, Independent UK

Dr Mark Charlesworth, Programme Leader - Geography, Bishop Grosseteste University UK

Dr Ian Chapman, Senior Lecturer in Business and Sustainability, University of Cumbria UK

Dr Gauthier Chapelle, Independent researcher, GIRAF BE

Dr Kai Chan, Vancouver, UBC CA

Dr Tobit Caudwell, Teacher, Universite de Bourgogne FR

Professor Alexis Catanzaro, Professor in Management and Entrepreneurship, University Jean Monnet FR

Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor and Professor, Winchester University UK

Professor Julian Carrey, Professor in Physics, INSA Toulouse FR

Dr Hedy Bryant, Facilitator and educator for living systems informed practice., HARK Facilitation Services AU

Professor Jason Brownlee, Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin US

Dr Lajos Brons, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Lakeland University Japan JP

Dr Clare Breteau, Post-doctoral researcher, Universite de Caen FR

Dr Ann Braun, Independent consultant, Development Evaluation | Monitoring & Evaluation Support NZ

Dr Elizabeth Bragg, Ecopsychologist, Sustainable Futures Australia AU

Dr Martin Bowen, Physics Research Director, CNRS FR

Dr Dalila Bovet, Ethologist, Universite Paris Nanterre FR

Professor Dominique Bourg, Honorary Professor, University of Lausanne CH

Dr Charles-Andre Bost, Director of Research-Senior Scientist in environmental sciences, CNRS FR

Dr Frederic Boone, Researcher in astrophysics, Institut de recherche en astrophysique et planetologie (IRAP) FR

Professor Betsy Bolton, Professor, English Literature and Environmental Studies, Swarthmore College US

Professor Blaise Boles, Professor, Kirkwood College US

Dr Sebastien Bohler, Editor in chief, Pour la Science FR

Dr Jennifer Bissonnette, Interim Director, Nature Lab, Rhode Island School of Design US

Dr Adrien Biassin, Researcher, LUMIA FR

Professor Martine Benoit, Professor, Universite de Lille FR

Professor Jem Bendell, Professor, University of Cumbria UK

Dr Benjamin Belfort, Assistant professor, Strasbourg University FR

Professor Aurelien Barrau, Professor of astrophysics, Universite Grenoble-Alpes FR

Dr Phoebe Barnard, Affiliate Professor, University of Washington US

Professor Ugo Bardi, Professor, University of Florence IT

Professor Bobby Banerjee, Professor, City University of London UK

Dr Carolyn Baker, Author, Life and Leadership Coach, Carolyn Baker Education Services US

Dr Genevieve Azam, Economist, Jean Jaures University, Toulouse, France FR

Dr Adele Aubrey, Partnerships and Programmes Manager, University of Manchester UK

Dr Grete Arro, researcher, Tallinn University EE

Dr Alexandra-Ellen Appel, Activist, Greenpeace US

Dr Kelly Anthony, Teaching Professor in Public Health, University of Waterloo CA

Professor Ira Allen, Associate Professor of Rhetoric, Northern Arizona University US

Dr Elena Albrecht, Plant researcher, Private FR

Dr Michael Albert, Lecturer, SOAS University of London UK

Professor John Adams, Emeritus Professor of Organizational Systems, Saybrook University US


References in the letter


Mostly these links are to news stories about research, and the academic papers are referenced within these stories.


1) Jackson, R B, P Friedlingstein, R M Andrew, J G Canadell, C Le Quéré and G P Peters (2019), Persistent fossil fuel growth threatens the Paris Agreement and planetary health, Environmental Research Letters, Volume 14, Number 12 

2a) Science Alert (2020) Scientists Warn Multiple Overlapping Crises Could Trigger 'Global Systemic Collapse' (sciencealert.com) 

2b) Kalmus, P. (2020) With global heating, expect inferno seasons in the American West, https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-09-12/climate-change-wildfires-california-oregon-heat 

3a) Servigne, P. and R. Stevens (2020) “How Everything can collapse. A Manual for our Times, Polity Books, London. 

3b) Andreotti V. et al (2020) Preparing for the end of the world as we know it | openDemocracy 

4a) Vice (2020) British Military Prepares for Climate-Fueled Resource Shortages (vice.com)

4b) Vox (2020) How the Pentagon plans for climate change - Vox

5) Cassely, J.-L. and Fourquet, J. (2020). La France : Patrie de la collapsologie ?. [online] Fondation Jean Jaures. Available at: https://bit.ly/37jzvOv .For a press dispatch in English, see https://bit.ly/2XKNWaU 

6) The Guardian (2020) Climate crisis leaving 2 million people a week needing aid – Red Cross | Environment | The Guardian

7) The Guardian (2020), Meet the doomers: why some young US voters have given up hope on climate | Environment | The Guardian

8) Bendell, J. and D. Cave (2020) Does anticipating societal collapse motivate pro-social behaviours? (iflas.blogspot.com) 

9) Carr, K. and J. Bendell (2020) Facilitation for Deep Adaptation: enabling loving conversations about our predicament - Insight (cumbria.ac.uk) 


Professor Jem Bendell of the University of Cumbria is one of the signatories. He explains:

“Over 250 scientists and scholars have issued a warning to humanity that we need to make the increasing disruption from climate change a focus of research and policy. We come from dozens of countries and subject disciplines and perceive a resistance by the establishment to serious engagement in adapting to the increasing disruptions to food, water, health, and the economy. It is time to listen to the scholarship and try to reduce harm from societal disruption and even collapse. I believe the growing movement for Deep Adaptation to societal breakdown can be part of that agenda.”

Total number of caveats upon signing:

Dr Wanchat Theeranaew: Our civilization is much more fragile than we believe. We are now entering the change of Earth System toward a new equilibrium. This alone will be extremely harmful to our civilization since all of our infrastructures were constructed based on stability.

Dr Wolfgang Knorr: This is not a statement of preference for any particular viewpoint within the broad debate of the Climate and Ecological Emergency, but rather an expression of a wish to broaden the debate as far as possible.

Dr Gwen Fischer: Climate disruption is happening and people's lives are unraveling.

Dr Mark Charlesworth: Having made clear that societal collapse cannot be dismissed in Charlesworth M and Okereke, C (2010) Policy responses to rapid climate change: An epistemological critique of dominant approaches, Global Environmental Change, 20(1), 121-129 

Dr Phoebe Barnard: We can be prepared, or caught unawares.  Discussion and preparedness for a full range of possibilities is essential, especially where partial (or even temporary) societal collapse will widen existing inequalities.

Professor Ira Allen: Failure to consciously negotiate what is, in effect, already a staggered collapse of the various systems that support humans' current forms of life will allow those most concerned with profiting off of this ruination to succeed, further immiserating the many.

Professor John Adams: We can no longer afford to govern through cognitive dissonance.