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“The Four Rs:” A Framework for Inquiry

In 2018 Professor Jem Bendell explained the mainstream research and policy community on adaptation to climate change is based on the assumption that our current society can continue, rather than collapse. He wrote of “deep” adaptation to distinguish conversations based on acceptance of the likelihood or inevitability of near term societal collapse due to climate change.

Deep Adaptation offers four questions to help guide our inquiry into what kind of adaptation may be appropriate for our lives:

  • Resilience: what do we most value that we want to keep, and how?
  • Relinquishment: what do we need to let go of so as not to make matters worse?
  • Restoration: what could we bring back to help us with these difficult times?
  • Reconciliation: with what and whom shall we make peace as we awaken to our mutual mortality?

With these ideas – and with the values of compassion, curiosity, and respect – we are embarking on a collaborative journey of understanding.

We have learned that the best way to cope with the realization of collapse, and the difficult emotions it brings up, is to connect with other people. It is a great comfort simply to know you are not alone in your awareness, and that there are other people who have wisdom and experience to share.

As a further starting point, we recommend Jem Bendell’s blog post The Love in Deep Adaption.

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