Extinction Rebellion protests: Scientist claims social collapse is ‘inevitable’

Extinction Rebellion has coordinated protests throughout the UK to draw people’s attention towards a climate “crisis”. Last week, protesters were successful in stalling road and rail traffic by shutting down major bridges and standing on top of a DLR carriage. While they halted traffic, protesters hoped people would think about their impact on the environment and the way the planet is heading as climate change develops. One leading climate scientist has claimed climate-induced societal collapse is “now inevitable in the near term”.

Dr Jem Bendell, a professor of Sustainability Leadership with the University of Cumbria, penned a paper last year which drew on the risks posed by climate change.

In his paper titled ‘Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy’ Professor Bendell analyses climate science and comes to some alarming conclusions.

The professor outlines how humanity is now heading for probable “environmental catastrophe” with very little hope of preventing it.

He says the next logical step for humanity is adaptation.

Professor Bendell writes: “Disruptive impacts from climate change are now inevitable.

“Geoengineering is likely to be ineffective or counter-productive.

“Therefore, the mainstream climate policy community now recognises the need to work much more on adaptation to the effects of climate change.

“That must now rapidly permeate the broader field of people engaged in sustainable development as practitioners, researchers and educators.“

“In assessing how our approaches could evolve, we need to appreciate what kind of adaptation is possible.

“Recent research suggests that human societies will experience disruptions to their basic functioning within less than ten years due to climate stress.

“Such disruptions include increased levels of malnutrition, starvation, disease, civil conflict and war – and will not avoid affluent nations.

“This situation makes redundant the reformist approach to sustainable development and related fields of corporate sustainability that

has underpinned the approach of many professionals.”

Professor Bendell’s alarming conclusion warns vast swathes of the population are at risk from devastating shortages.

He urges future approaches to climate science which focus on reducing harm.

Dr Bendell concludes: “Instead, a new approach which explores how to reduce harm and not make matters worse is important to develop.

“In support of that challenging, and ultimately personal process, understanding a deep adaptation agenda may be useful.”

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