Thursday 11 November 2021

Hot Air from Glasgow Means it's Time for Radical Leadership - say over 200 scholars

Over 200 academics from around the world have criticised the ‘corporate-capture’ of the Glasgow climate summit and are calling for a Real Green Revolution to soften the breakdown of societies. After the UNFCCC COP26 Draft Overarching Decision was released, they signed a public letter. The full list of signatories from more than 30 countries follows below. Follow reaction via:  

The letter is titled: ‘An International Scholars’ Warning on the Corporate-Capture of the Climate Agenda and Need for a Real Green Revolution’ and appears in The Independent newspaper:

Earlier this year, the official international summary of climate science announced we face increasing disasters and disruptions, with the most vulnerable suffering the most and soonest. A leaked report from the same UN process identified the need for a transformation in our economic systems for a meaningful attempt to limit loss and damage.

Yet at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, no plan for a justice-based economic transformation was launched. Worse, voluntary business commitments distracted from the economic policies necessary to reduce atmospheric carbon and prepare for worsening disruption. That is despite decades of voluntary initiatives not delivering significant impacts on the climate. It is both unscientific and unethical to deny that our economic system is at fault, so must be transformed to reduce climate risk and adapt to the difficulties. To ignore that reality, plans are afoot to waste huge sums of money on energy-hungry yet atmospherically insignificant carbon capture machines.

Political leaders could instead level with their populations about necessary changes in industries and lifestyles. Respecting climate justice, they could take immediate steps to reduce inequality both nationally and globally – key for any changes in livelihoods to be fair and lasting.

We are hundreds of scholars from dozens of countries, who are grieving the situation but determined not to ignore it. We believe that the corporate capture and failure of COP26 clearly show that people in communities and organisations must now lead our own emergency response. That includes coordinated radical policy advocacy from outside of a corporate-driven system, for a Real Green Revolution that will significantly reduce and drawdown emissions, regenerate nature and help us adapt. It also includes growing community-led Deep Adaptation efforts independently of governments and transnational corporations.

The hot air from Glasgow means it's time for more honest and radical leadership. We must call out the fantasy that dangerous global heating will not get worse or that the largest corporations will come to our rescue. When we escape such delusion, we can contribute to a different way forward - one we hope governments will join when they escape the constraints of business-as-usual.

Sample signatories: Dr. Malika Virah-Sawmy, IAAS-Potsdam, Germany and MauritiusProfessor Dr. Jem Bendell, University of Cumbia and co-editor Deep Adaptation, UK; Dr. Yves Cochet, Former Minister of the Environment, France, Institut Momentum, France; Professor Eva Lantsoght, Professor, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador; Professor William Rees, Professor Emeritus Ecological Economics, University of British Columbia, Canada; Dr. Aurelien Barrau, Professor of Astrophysics, Universite Grenoble-Alpes, France; James Engell, Professor, Harvard University Center for the Environment, US; Professor Yin Paradies, Professor of Race Relations, Deakin University, Australia; Dr. Rupert Read, University of East Anglia, UK; Dr. Igor Polskiy, board member, GEN-Russia, Russia; Dr. Carola Kloeck, Assistant professor, Sciences Po Paris, France; Dr. Lajos Brons, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Lakeland University Japan; Dr. Morgan Phillips, Director, The Glacier Trust, UK.

Meet the signatories

Dr Malika Virah Sawmy is from Mauritius, and for a decade worked on sustainable development in Africa, with WWF, UNDP and others. Now she is on the board of the Deep Adaptation Forum, which focuses on collapse readiness. She hosted an emotions sharing space within the blue zone at COP26: 

"I grieve that neither the climate revolution nor the participation revolution will happen in the intergovernmental sphere.  At a time of crisis,  I am in pain that COP26 is being felt by the global South as the least inclusive COP.  A 21 year old Latvian  shared her wisdom with me at COP26. " I see that we cannot change decision making here (at COP26)", she said, "but we can escape the delusion that they will do it for us. We can return to our communities open eyed and contribute from the ground to a new climate revolution".

Professor Jem Bendell teaches a sustainable leadership course at the University of Cumbria and has over 100 publications on the topic of corporate sustainability. He led the team that drafted the letter:

“For decades, since 1995, I promoted voluntary corporate alliances for sustainability. Today it’s concerning to see them used as an excuse for government inaction on the kind of economic transformation needed to save lives as our climate goes crazy. Those of us who have experience in corporate sustainability and responsible finance know that despite decades of effort it has not significantly reduced the destruction of our planetary home. Those efforts could only ever be a complement to bold government action to redesign the basics of our economy, including banking and corporate law.”

Professor Bendell is now the publisher of the Deep Adaptation Quarterly, which explores readying for societal disruption and collapse. He continues:

"I think it is time my colleagues in the corporate sustainability field say publicly what they know privately. Which is that our economic system is at fault for the climate and ecological crisis, and whereas voluntary responses won't transform everything sufficiently, they can distract us from challenging power. Let's not be complicit in the lie that survival through reform is possible. Executives can keep improving their organisations, but not pretend that's the answer to our predicament. Instead, we can join efforts towards a Real Green Revolution. We can then open up to learning what kept us so cautious for so long and learn from the people and knowledge we previously ignored."

Dr. Virah-Sawmy at COP26, third from left, with colleagues after facilitating Deep Adaptation sessions for delegates. Free of copyright or credits. 

Full list of signatories in alphabetical order

'The International Scholars Warning on the Corporate-Capture of the Climate Agenda and Need for a Real Green Revolution' is a public letter released on Friday November 12th 2021. All the following persons have PhDs or professional doctorates. Their institutional affiliation is shown for information only, as they all signed in a personal capacity. The letter is now closed to new signatures. If you have a doctorate you can consider signing the ‘International Scholars Warning on Societal Disruption and Collapse’, via

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

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

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

Alexandra-Ellen Appel, Personal capacity, Greenpeace, US

Karen Atkinson, Research Associate, University of Liverpool, UK

Adele Aubrey, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester, UK

Susan Bailey, Senior Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, AU

Bobby Banerjee, Professor, City University of London, UK

Wolmet Barendregt, Assistant Professor, Eindhoven University of Technology, NL

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

Franz Baumann, Visiting Research Professor, New York University, US

Jem Bendell, Professor, University of Cumbria, UK

Geoff Berry, Ecophilosopher, International Ecopsychology Society, AU

Gerd Bongs, Food chemist, Dr Gerd Bongs Scientific Consulting, DE

Dalila Bovet, Ethologist, Universite Paris Nanterre, FR

Martin Bowen, Physics Research Director, CNRS, FR

Clara Breteau, Post-doctoral researcher in geography and environmental aesthetics, Universite de Caen, FR

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

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

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

Daniel Buckles, Adjunct Research Professor, Carleton University, CA

Tony Budak, Hubbard, TimeBank Mahoning Watershed, US

Colin Butler, Honorary Professor, Australian National University, AU

Shelagh Campbell, Professor Emerita, University of Alberta, CA

Valentina Carbone, Professor, ESCP, FR

Hamilton Carvalho, Doctor, USP, BR

Eric Cavalcanti, Associate Professor, Griffith University, AU

Nicolas Ceasar, Head of Coaching Faculty, NatWest Group, UK

Pierre Ceccaldi, R & I Consultant, Freelance, FR

Gauthier Chapelle, In-Terre-dépendant researcher, GIRAF, BE

Peter Choate, Professor Social Work, Mount Royal University, CA

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

Karen Cohen, retired Public Health Physician, New Mexico Department of Health, US

Claire Collot, Neurobiologiste, Industrie pharmaceutique, FR

Mickael Coriat, Astrophysicist, IRAP - University Toulouse 3, FR

Lilas Courtot, Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL Cancer Research, UK

Travis Cox, Chair, Masters in Ecopsychology, Naropa University, US

Stef Craps, Professor of English Literature, Ghent University, BE

Elspeth Crawford, Retired lecturer, University of Edinburgh, UK

Michel Cucchi, Assistant Director, University Hospital of Lille, FR

Hamish Cunningham, Professor, University of Sheffield, UK 

Marc Deconchat, Senior scientist, INRAE, FR

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

Michel Dobrijevic, Astrophysicist, Universite de Bordeaux, FR

Elizabeth Downing, Climate educator, US

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

Hannah Dugdale, Professor of Evolutionary Medicine, University of Groningen, NL

Sophie Eberhardt, Researcher, Lepac, FR

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

Natalia Eernstman, Senior Lecturer, Plymouth College of Art, UK

Markus Egermann, Head of Research Area "Sustainability Transformations in Cities and Regions", Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regiional Development, DE

Hans Eickhoff, Investigator, Degrowth Network Portugal, PT

Duane Elgin, Co-director, Choosing Earth, US

James Engell, Professor, Harvard University Center for the Environment, US

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

Alison Farmer, Change Manager, Independent, US

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

Tina Fields, Professor of Ecopsychology, Naropa University, US

Rachel Forgasz, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, Monash University, AU

Frank Frantisak, Retired, CA

Tomasz Ganicz, Assistant Professor, Technical University of Lodz, PL

Bruno Gayral, Researcher, CEA-Grenoble, FR

Richard Gill, Emeritus Professor of Mathematical Statistics, Mathematical Institute, Leiden University, NL

Barry Gills, Scientist, University of Helsinki, UK

Alix Goguey, Associate Professor, Grenoble Alpes University, FR

Anthony Goodchild, Veterinary Epidemiologist (retired), Animal & Plant Health Agency, UK

Joyce Green, Professor, University of Regina, CA

Caspar Hallmann, Research, Radboud University, NL

Trevor Hancock, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria, CA

Stephen Healy, Honorary Senior Lecturer, UNSW, AU

Stephanie Heil, PhD, Research Engineer, Linkoeping University, Sweden, SE

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

Krista Hiser, Professor, University of Hawaii System, US

Wendy Hollway, Emeritus Professor of Psychology, Open University, UK

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

Nick Hostettler, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Mario Huettenhofer, Chemist, University of Konstanz, Germany, DE

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

Ruth Irwin, Professor of Education, RMIT University, AU

Robert R. Janes, Independent archaeologist, Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice, CA

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

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

Jeremy Jimenez, Assistant Professor of Education (Foundations and Social Advocacy), SUNY Cortland, US

Dr Rebecca Johnson, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, UK

Etienne-Pascal Journet, Researcher in Agronomy, CNRS, FR

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

Darlene Juschka, Associate Professor, University of Regina, CA

Peter Kabachnik, Professor of Geography, College of Staten Island, The City University of New York (CUNY), US

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

Chrislain Eric Kenfack, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Alberta, CA

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

Carola Kloeck, assistant professor, Sciences Po Paris, DE

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

Julie Lavie, Researcher in Genetics, University of Bordeaux, FR

Charles Le Feuvre, Deputy Executive Director, Psychology for a Safe Climate, Melbourne, Australia, AU

Karine Leblanc, Researcher in Oceanography, CNRS, FR

Jonathan Leighton, Executive Director, Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering (OPIS), GR

Greg Lennon, Scientist, CarLen5050, US

Joel Levey, Founder, Wisdom at Work, US

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

Irene Malvestio, postdoc, Universitat de Barcelona, SP

Panos Mantziaras, Director, Fondation Braillard Architectes, Geneve, FR

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

Thomas Marois, Senior Lecturer, SOAS University of London, FR

Clemence Marque, Pharmacist (PharmD), Adrastia, FR

Philippe Marquet, Associate Professor, University of Lille, FR

Miguel Martinez Ramos, TEU, Universitat Jaume I, ES

Thierry Masson, Researcher (Mathematical Physics), CNRS, FR

Pascal Maugis, Researcher, LSCE, FR

Stella Nyambura Mbau, Climate Resilience consultant, LOABOWA, KE

Deena Metzger, Teacher/Writer, Dare, US

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

Susanne Moser, Ph.D., Director, Susanne Moser Research & Consulting, US

Eleonore Mounoud, Associate Professor in Organisation Studies, CENTRALESUPELEC, FR

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

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

Wolfgang Nitschke, Senior Scientist, CNRS, FR

Henrik Nordborg, Rapperswil, OST Ostschweizer Fachhochschule, CH

Elisabeth Oelmann, Consultant for Internal Medicine, Pharmaindustry, UK

Leif Ohlsson, Peace & Development Researcher (ret.), Peace & Development Research Institute, Uni of Gothenburg, SE

Adi Ophir, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University, Visiting Professor of the Humanities, Brown University, US

Miguel Pajares, Social anthropologist, University of Barcelona, ES

Michal Palasz, Assistant Researcher, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, PL

Geremy Panthou, Climatology Lecturer, Universite Grenoble Alpes, FR

Lilli Papaloizos, Lecturer, University of Basel Switzerland, FR

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

Richard Parncutt, personal, University of Graz, Austria, AT

Ronald Parry, Concerned scientist, Rice University, US

David Peters, Emeritus Professor Integrated Healthcare, University of Westminster, UK

David Phillips, Professor, University of Southampton, UK

Morgan Phillips, Director, The Glacier Trust, UK

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

Catherine Price, Clinical Psychologist Registrar,  Child Development Service, AU

Aleksis Pirinen, PhD in AI, Lund University, SE

Igor Polskiy, board member, GEN-Russia, RU

Charlotte Portelli, Sustainable Program Officer, Auraimpact, MX

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

Marion Princaud, Founder, Waste Hunter, FR

Sally Prebble, Clinical Psychologist, University of Auckland, NZ

Laszlo Rampasek, CEO, OurOffset Nonprofit LLC, HU

Terry Rankin, Activist, Retired, US

John Rapko, Writer/Lecturer, College of Marin, US

Rupert Read, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia, UK

William Rees, Professor Emeritus Ecological Economics, University of British Columbia, CA

Philippe Ricordeau, public health doctor, retired, FR

Bernardino Roca, Infectious Disease Physician, Hospital General Universitario of Castellon, Spain, ES

Philippe Roche, Researcher, CNRS, FR

Jane Rogers, Professor Emerita, XR Activist, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Peter Roopnarine, Curator, California Academy of Sciences, US

Shawn Rosenheim, Professor of English, Williams College, US

Pauline Rummel, Postdoc, scientific employee, Georg-August-Universitat Goettingen, DE

Sparsha Saha, Lecturer, Harvard University, US

Noel B. Salazar, Professor in Social and Cultural Anthropology, KU Leuven, BE

Steven Salmony, Pittsboro, AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population, US

Geoffrey Samuel, Emeritus Professor, Cardiff University, AU

Thibault Sana, Researcher, INRAE, FR

JP Sapinski, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Universite de Moncton, CA

Joachim Schwartz, CEO, alex2020 GMBH, CH

Hans Schaefers, Professor, University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg), GE

Johannes Scheppach, Doctor, Charite University Medicine Berlin, DE

Pierre Yves Schobbens, Professor, University of Namur, BE

Pablo Servigne, Doctorate of Science, Université libre de Bruxelles, FR

Orrin Shindell, Professor, Trinity University, US

Kirsten Shukla, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Oxford Health NHS Trust, UK

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

Martin Siefkes, Research Associate, University of Technology Chemnitz, DE

Pritam Singh, Professor Emeritus, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK, UK

Clelia Sirami, Researcher in ecology, INRAE, FR

Richard Smart, Geotechnical Engineer, N/A, AU

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

Ashley South, author, researcher and consultant., Chiang Mai University, TH

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

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

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

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

Brian Stewart, Professor of Physics, Wesleyan University, US

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

Cedric Sueur, Professir, Université de Strasbourg, FR

Heather Sullivan-Catlin, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York - Potsdam, US

Frederic Sultana, Research for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Retirement, FR

Lars Tranvik, Professor, Uppsala University, SE

Elia Valentini, Senior Lecturer, University of Essex, UK

Jan van Boeckel, Professor art & sustainability, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, NE

Els van Ooijen, Psychotherapist, Nepenthe Consulting, UK

Charles Vanwynsberghe, Associate Professor, ISEN Yncrea Ouest, FR

Madis Vasser, Advocacy expert, Estonian Green Movement, EE

Gwen Vaughan, Founder, The Living Earth Foundation, UK

Bruno Villalba, Professeur science politique, AgroParisTech, FR

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

Fleur Visser, Senior Lecturer Physical Geography, University of Worcester, UK, UK

Linda Vogelsong, Founder, WovenStory Productions, US

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

Ruth Wallen, Co-Chair MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College, US

Arthur Weaver, independent scientist, no affiliation, US

Martin Weinel, Research Associate, Cardiff University, UK

Dietmar Weinmann, Physicist, CNRS, DE

Carol Wellwood, Botanist & Agroecologist, Freelance, UK

Russell West-Pavlov, Professor, University of Tubingen, Germany, DE

Sarah Williams, University Lecturer, University of Cumbria, IE

Marc Wilson, Retired psychologist, AU

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

Jason Wirth, Professor of Philosophy, Seattle University, US



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