Deep Adaptation

Something I haven’t paid much attention to recently is the Deep Adaptation arguments. I think it originated with a paper by Jem Bendell. The reason it’s of current interest is because of a critique called the faulty science, doomism, and flawed conclusions of Deep Adaptation. There’s also a response from Jem Bendell.

Having now read the Deep Adaptation paper, I think the critique is pretty spot-on. The Deep Adaptation paper literally claims that climate-induced societal collapse is now inevitable in the near term. The justification for this includes the impact of losing Arctic sea ice, the release of methane from clathrates and hydrates, and that climate change could become non-linear. Almost all of this is either exaggerated, confused, or based on a cherry-picking of the scientific evidence.

I think this is all rather unfortunate, because I do think that we may not be paying enough attention to the possibility of there being societal tipping points. However, this should be based on considering all the available evidence, and should – ideally – be motivated by a desire to avoid these potential tipping points, or minimising their negative impact. A key thing to bear in mind is that future climate change depends pre-dominantly on future emissions (with some caveats). If we were at the stage where some kind of major societal collapse were becoming very likely, then we could still try to take drastic action to avoid this, rather than simply promoting a narrative that claims that it’s now inevitable.

In some sense, this seems broadly equivalent to the typical techno-utopian narrative; don’t worry, technology will save us, as opposed to, don’t worry, there’s nothing we can do. These narratives never seem to really grapple with the complexity of these issues, or recognise that we are still very much in a position where we can influence the outcome. We can actively do things that will allow us to better cope with the changes we are going to experience, and what we do will also determine how much climate change we will have to face. In my view, narratives that suggest that some special technology will magically save us, are no more helpful than narratives that suggest that some kind of societal collapse is now inevitable.

What I find slightly disturbing about the Deep Adaptation movement is that it appears to be associated with retreats where they

will support peaceful empowered surrender to our predicament, where action can arise from an engaged love of humanity and nature, rather than redundant stories of worth and purpose.

Not only is there little evidence to support a claim that societal collapse is now inevitable, but the people who will suffer most – especially if we do simply give up – will be those who can’t afford to spend 900 Euros to reflect on their predicament at a Greek holiday resort.

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56 Responses to Deep Adaptation

  1. You (all, not you specifically) have sown the wind. Now reap the whirlwind.

  2. Actually, Tom’s comment is quite a nice illustration of the general climate change debate. It’s a win-win for those who don’t think we should do too much to address climate change – let’s call them Lukewarmers. If they turn out to be correct, then all of us who’ve spent time highlighting that this is an issue that we aren’t taking seriously enough were simply being alarmist. If they turn out to be wrong, then it will still be our fault for somehow enabling those who exaggerated the risks. etc. Taking responsibility for your own views is something only other people should do.

  3. dikranmarsupial says:

    “You (all, not you specifically) have sown the wind. Now reap the whirlwind.”

    just when I thought it was safe to bring out my irony-o-meter again…

  4. RickA says:


    I think you are right on on this post. Of course, that is because I agree with you 100% on this issue.

    The sky is falling – the sky is falling – that is what it sounds like to me.

  5. jacksmith4tx says:

    Another ‘we are doomed!’ article that misses the point. Not to down play 1st. order effects like rapidly changing the chemical composition of the air and water but the stuff we actually will have to adapt to are the 2nd. order effects like ocean dead zones, collapsing insect populations and over population.
    NOAA just updated their latest ‘ecoforecast’ and I see scant evidence things are getting better.

  6. Jeffh says:

    Excellent post ATTP. But the truth is that ecosystems across the biosphere are in trouble, and although the damage humans have done to them is not irreversible, three things are working against us. They are all closely interconnected.

    The first is time. Scientists have warned for decades that humans and nature are on a collision course, but, aside from some pedantic measures, little has been done to change course. We are not only approaching crucial tipping points, but we have probably passed several already. Our limited understanding of complex adaptive systems works against us in this regard

    The second is that the current dominant political system – neoliberal capitalism – is incompatible with an environmentally sustainable future. The system is hard-wired to maximize profit and investor’s returns. It has obscenely concentrated wealth and increased social injustices. Replacing it is imperative, but I see no signs of that happening. Instead, we careen onwards, seemingly oblivious to the consequences if BAU.

    The third is that people in much of the world are embracing populist right wing regimes that pay lip service to the environment. The Trump administration, desperate to lure back corporations that profted from outsourcing (offshoring) to poor countries desperate for foreign investment during the neoliberal era, is eviscerating laws protecting nature, biodiversity and human health. Climate change and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems are irrelevant if they conflict with short-term profit.

    The sky in some ways is indeed falling but much of humanity is oblivious to it. Hope is a good thing, but it can also blind us to the scale of the predicament we are facing. The warnings are daunting but right now I am not optimistic that we will collectively rise to the immense challenges facing us. As a scientist I make this point clear to my students and my colleagues.

  7. jack,
    Not quite sure what point you’re making, but it’s possible for things to not be getting better and for collapse to not be inevitable.

  8. dikranmarsupial says:

    The retreat sound more like a “disengaged theoretical love of humanity and nature”.

    I know I go on about the golden rule a fair bit, but this seems quite difficult to reconcile with that AFAICS.

  9. Jeff,

    Hope is a good thing, but it can also blind us to the scale of the predicament we are facing. The warnings are daunting but right now I am not optimistic that we will collectively rise to the immense challenges facing us. As a scientist I make this point clear to my students and my colleagues.

    Yes, I agree. I think we do underestimate the scale of the problem and I’m not wildly optimistic myself (I will say, though, that we may be on trajectory that *could* avoid some of the worst outcomes). I do think we have to be realistic about the challenges, but they’re still – IMO – challenges, rather than insurmountable obstacles.

  10. “especially if we do simply give up” is almost correct. We see the long term problem but only appear to implement 0.1% per annum solutions to date. So that ‘simply giving up’ is not quite the same thing as giving it lip service and then doing almost nothing substantial.

    Think of it as The Lost Cause: Part Deux …

  11. Eventual_Horizon says:

    It’s inherently problematic to assert you know the future and there’s no question Deep Adaptation is guilty of drawing some lines between dots and with ample hand-waving proclaiming “we’re doomed!” At the same time is his position worthy of that much more ridicule than politicians who still talk about 1.5C? How realistic is 2C at this point? Consider…

    IPCC SR 1.5 suggests there’s likely not more than 0.5C of additional warming to come from existing emissions + loss of aerosols. More recent research by Samset puts loss of aerosols to equal 0.5 to 1.1C of additional warming. The globe is warming at between 0.2 to 0.3C per decade. It’s hard to imagine in any plausible scenario this century that we don’t go over a budget equal to a couple decades of current emissions.

    Is the 1.5/2C discussion not itself a bit farcical? Does it not deserve some ridicule of its own?

  12. notabilia says:

    Excellent corrective comments from Jeff h and eventual.
    Like with all matters in the public spheres these days, it’s probably best to be unaligned and hostile to all: Schellenberger, Bendell, IPCC, Jeff Gibbs, Heartland Institute, Naomi Klein – just go down the lines of fantasists or pie-makers and curse a shot, corporate-owned chaos of yammering.
    Bendell makes a pretty poor rebuttal to the specific charges, saying nothing about the sea-level rise or methane gun demolition by the dutiful, classroom-bound gradgrinds of the anti-Bendell letter.
    Yet these earnest higher-ed “activists”make poor truth-tellers. They claim to be part of Extinction Rebellion, yet they don’t think there’s any extinction afoot. They claim all sorts of success for their “movement” of XR, toppling governments left and right, but that’s farcical. Nothing seems to have moved on the Mauno Loa observatory except more uptick in the CO2 needle. XR is not dedicated to “halting greenhouse gas emissions” – they all use phones, computers, wear shoes, all fossil-fuel produced products they have and will do nothing to “halt.”
    The three anti-doomists are not members of “the scientific community” – there is no such thing, it’s all balkanized and insufficient. Where is the sociology of existing social power in their bizarre claim to be able to organize a “revolution” to stop fossil fuel extraction and production?
    Julia Sternberger, evidently a mentor to these tyros, and thanked by name, penned a much different clarion call recently, calling forth the spirit of Rosa Luxembourg to rally all of humanity about this sort-of-emergency. Yeah, sure, that’ll do it.
    It’s RCP 6.5 at least, without a single mechanism in sight to lessen the damage from the common human urge to grab more. Thanks to ATTP for trying to highlight the opposing strains in this largest of global problems, but these have been dismal arguments on all sides.

  13. Ben McMillan says:

    Some of the ideas of “deep adaption” that aren’t self-indulgent mournful navel-gazing actually seem pretty sensible.

    “… It brings us to a second area of this agenda, which I have named “relinquishment.” It involves people and communities letting go of certain assets, behaviours and beliefs where retaining them could make matters worse. Examples include withdrawing from coastlines, shutting down vulnerable industrial facilities, or giving up expectations for certain types of consumption. The third area can be called “restoration.” It involves people and communities rediscovering attitudes and approaches to life and organisation that our hydrocarbon-fuelled civilisation eroded. Examples include re-wilding landscapes, so they provide more ecological benefits and require less management, changing diets back to match the seasons, rediscovering non-electronically powered forms of play, and increased community-level productivity and support.”

    Not all of which I agree with, but certainly arguable.

  14. jacksmith4tx says:

    Anybody here ever read “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman?
    His insight on human perceptions of risk and reward was inspired in part by the famous psychological ‘Marshmallow Test’, AKA delayed gratification which was later refined to 2 axioms:
    “System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control”
    “System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations”
    Everything about our consumer culture reinforces System 1 behavior and is why adaption will always be the preferred response to long term threats like climate change IMHO.

  15. Jack,
    Yes, I read that a couple of years ago.

  16. Willard says:


    Please acknowledge that you’re [fixed -W (2020-12-15)].

  17. Things seem good here in SW Washington. No concerns except too much heat, too many police and too much covid if I wander out and mix with the locals. Gas prices are down and campgrounds are open, so I am looking forward to getting out for camping trips as soon as I shade this darn cold that has me coughing and struggling with occasional fever spike and lots of aches and pains.

    Some folks look at the bad news on the climate and our species’ inability to change our consumptive economic trajectory and get discouraged and need a little down time. The truth is that things are just not that bad. Even the Covid thing that looks very bad is probably just a flash in the pan. A vaccine is coming, it’s not the end of the world. I just watched President Trump show the Fox news guy Wallace that the US death rate from covid is one of the lowest, I think it might be the best? People get all freaked out about it and act like it’s really bad here in the US, but that’s only true if you cherry pick and use the Johns Hopkins numbers. The US death rate is not scary at all if you look at the European CDC charts. Thanks for suggesting that we take a beat and not get too excited about cherrypicked numbers and analysis.

    I think things are going to be fine. I think hope is a wonderful thing. I agree that we should not be wildly optimistic, that’s just silly, but I think we should be plain old optimistic because lots of us firmly believe that we are on or can get on a trajectory that avoids the worst outcomes, and that includes a lot of the best scientists in the world. That works for me! We got this, don’t fall for the gloom and doom stories. Near term collapse? No way, it’s likely we are on a trajectory that avoids the worst outcomes and some folks say we haven’t even gotten started yet. Think how fast we will handle this problem when we buckle down and get to work.

    Lighten up, smell the roses!



  18. David B Benson says:

    Here are over 200 links to articles making some point related to excessively fast temperature change:

  19. From that Eurotrash article …
    “Fortunately, “nonlinear” does not mean “unstoppable,” even by this casual definition. Coronavirus spread exponentially at first, but in most countries social distancing has now begun to reduce the rate of infection so that, with persistence and luck, the number of new infections will begin to reduce exponentially. The spread and containment of coronavirus has been a nonlinear process throughout, but, as countries like South Korea and New Zealand have shown, it can still be controlled.”

    Hmm, no ,,,

    To get to a true exponential decay you have to introduce a noise floor, for EU that noise floor is currently y’ = y – 115, in other words, a point where deaths reach an asymptote of 115 deaths/day, ad infinitum.

    Elsewhere, it is looking pretty grim …

    Effin’ cherry pickers left out China, Taiwan, Iceland, …

    I will take a WAG of a death toll north of ~2.5 million on day 366 (2021-01-17).

  20. EFS,
    Sure, but the point they’re making (which I agree with) is that non-linear doesn’t mean that you can do nothing to stop/influence it.

  21. ATTP,

    Why even write a response to that deeply flawed Deep Adaptation paper? And such an overly wordy response at that. I actually did not know of the existence of that paper prior to you bringing it up. I am pretty sure that I can slice n’ dice their response just as they did to that Deep Adaptation paper, as it just uses another set of somewhat less questionable assumptions Zero sum game. Nothing gets done in the meantime.

    I’m pretty sure that right now I am very much more concerned with BLM and COVID-19. RIP John Lewis.

  22. “366 (2021-01-17)” should be “366 (2021-01-22)” above.

  23. EFS,
    Well, my blogging strategy is to simply write about what I happen to find interesting at the time. However, I think the DA has had quite some impact in the UK and so there is merit to there being a response.

  24. Well, this does not help …
    Facebook overrides fact-checks when climate science is “opinion”
    Social network still has trouble separating “opinion” from disinformation.

    “The line has been clear as mud, so far, and Facebook has at least twice overturned the rulings of climate scientists who determine content to be partly or fully false. The first time, a group that partners with Facebook as one of its fact-checkers—Climate Feedback—marked a 2019 Washington Examiner op-ed as false. A climate-change denial organization, the CO2 Coalition, complained to Facebook about the fact-check, and the content warning was then removed.

    More recently, an article about climate change published by The Daily Wire, a right-leaning site that generates very high traffic on Facebook, also earned a “partly false” rating from Climate Feedback. The author of the Daily Wire article publicly complained about being “censored,” and Facebook staff reviewed the fact-check. Popular Information obtained internal Facebook documents showing that the Facebook staff agreed with the “partly false” rating. An email thread that alerted high-ranking company executives to the kerfuffle showed that the fact-checking and communications teams apparently wanted to leave it alone, but the policy team said its “stakeholders” thought the fact-check was “biased.” The notice no longer appears on Facebook shares of the Daily Wire story.”

  25. Steven Mosher says:

    we needs lukealarmism

  26. Chubbs says:

    Lukedoomers – whatever happens happens

  27. Jeffh says:

    Smallbluemike, saying ‘things are not that bad’ depends on your perspective. For oligarchs and the wealthy classes, things for the next decade are looking positively rosy. Thereafter…. hmmm. For the rest of us, not so much, and for the poorest things are looking grim.

    For biodiversity, however, ‘things are that bad and getting worse’. The human assault on nature is continuing to accelerate, with collapsing populations of insects, birds, mammals, fish, and an array of other taxa a looming catastrophe, given that the are the working parts of our ecological life support systems. Your hope needs an empirical foundation. I am afraid there really isn’t one.

    We are most certainly on a worrying trajectory. Ripple et al’s 2017 Bioscience paper revealed that with clarity. Collapse? A distinct possibility if we do not change course. Given how locked in we are to neoliberal capitalism and all of its trappings, there is little doubt that things are going to get worse before (or if) they get better.

  28. JeffH – yes, I agree that it is possible to see our current path as a worrying trajectory and biodiversity is taking a beating in our time, but I am looking at what ATTP stated above:

    “I think we do underestimate the scale of the problem and I’m not wildly optimistic myself (I will say, though, that we may be on trajectory that *could* avoid some of the worst outcomes). I do think we have to be realistic about the challenges, but they’re still – IMO – challenges, rather than insurmountable obstacles.”

    then we can stop and reflect a bit.

    I think we need to be realistic and face the challenges of climate change. I think it is certain that the DA folks have overstated the case when they say that societal collapse is inevitable. That strikes me as wildly pessimistic. I am striving to be realistic about our trajectory. I am frankly pessimistic about our species’ ability to respond to climate change and avoid societal collapse, but I don’t think collapse is inevitable. I seek to integrate my views on ecological destruction and the habits of our species into a happy life.

    As I read and scan through the deep adaptation discussions, I think a lot of those folks are choosing to be wildly pessimistic and to integrate that view about ecological destruction and societal collapse into a happy life. I think they should dial it back a bit and choose simple pessimism instead of wild pessimism, but that’s just my opinion and reflects my choices. All beings seek happiness.



  29. notabilia says:

    Small mike, that FoxNews tidbit you relayed is the best. The US might be the world’s worst as far as governmental COVID response goes, a mass murder machine par excellence, but as long as enough morons watch this channel dedicated to fostering nightly stupidity, all’s well!

  30. Don’t forget to be truly alive in each present moment. You are in danger and eventually you will die.

    Things are good in SW Washington today. The temp is down a bit from yesterday and that’s a relief. The week in the Mediterannean with the deep adaptation folks sounds wonderful to me and the price isn’t bad. They ask you to travel with as light a footprint as you can manage and you are expected to clean your room before you vacate. This sounds so responsible and appropriate if you are needing a vacation to unwind and commune with folks who are grieving a bit about the damage we are doing to the planet. I think a lot of the focus on the DA work is not about hammering away at the overstated message of inevitable collapse, but is about living now, in the manner that we choose because it feels right to us. Some folks like to play spot and punch the hippy. I think the DA movement is an easy target for that game. As long as it is just a blog slap, I don’t care too much. I don’t think that’s not going to leave a mark on me.

    “There is a story Pema Chodron cites in the middle of her book, Comfortable With Uncertainty, that sums up perfectly the notion that we should live in the moment. “A woman is running from tigers,” she writes. There is no escape but to go over a cliff via a hanging vine. The woman swings out over empty space, free from the pursuing tigers now above her, only to see another group below her, seemingly waiting for her to fall. She sees a small mouse begin to gnaw at the vine, and in the moment, realizes that her life is in grave danger. Her attention is distracted by a cluster of wild strawberries growing on the cliff face next to her. “She looks up, she looks down, and she looks at the mouse,” Chodron writes. “Then she picks a strawberry, pops it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.” Even in the midst of danger, of extreme emotional distress, we must live in the moment. We must forget the tigers waiting to devour us and focus on the sweet beauty of what we have right now.”
    I think it makes sense for us to enjoy our lives and use our time to reduce the speed of the environmental collapse and to persuade others to join with us on that endeavor. I would choose that path if I was certain the societal collapse is inevitable. I choose that path in my present state of uncertainty about societal collapse.

    There is a film clip of Gandhi arriving in Southampton, England in 1930 He was swamped by reporters and one of them asked, “Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of modern civilization?” Gandhi replied, “That would be a good idea.”

    That guy, real smarty pants, wasn’t he? but his point remains, what makes us so certain that how we live is “modern civilization?” What makes us certain that it should not collapse. If it is really just a bit of a cocked-up mess of economics, theology and power politics, maybe collapse is in fact inevitable. Mayans? Collapsed. Romans? Collapsed. We are like fish in water. Fish don’t think much about water, it’s kind of taken for granted. Don’t forget to enjoy your moments. Or punch a hippy. It all pays the same.



  31. BBD says:

    ATTP sez:

    Taking responsibility for your own views is something only other people should do.

    In a nutshell. Refusal to be accountable. Power without responsibility. Weaponised hypocrisy. Hence the ‘cancel culture’ discussed in the previous thread. Holding people accountable for their speech and its potential consequences magically becomes ‘cancel culture’ as the greasy, worn victim card is played yet again.

  32. Steven Mosher says:

    Good one chumbs.

    One problem with moving the overton window is that some folks will decide it’s hopeless and jump out.

    Raising concerns ( I choose this word carefully and avoid the term fear) in the public is a tough
    titration job. Same with pandemics.

  33. jacksmith4tx says:

    It’s disgraceful how the renewable energy industry is propped up by climate alarmist and their radical socialist enablers in government.
    “Top Ohio lawmaker charged with accepting $61M bribe in scheme to pass nuclear bailout”
    I’m on tender hooks waiting for Michael Shellenberger’s impassioned defense of this staunch pro nuclear freedom fighter.

  34. Joshua says:

    It would be nice.

  35. OT for here but I keep getting Judith’s banhammer for no readily apparent reason, and this venting may be best done here than there in any case.

    brandonrgates | July 22, 2020 at 3:23 am |
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.


    > If I’m not mistaken, Don was in these threads around four years ago predicting something like 95% support for Trump in the black community for the 2020 election campaign.

    He’s a poseur. No need to fact check him, his arguments fail on logic alone. Hits all three C’s of Contrarianism on any and every issue: Dumb, Disinterested, Dishonest.

    But you know what, Thugs all always look the same to me.

    Chin up. Cheers.

  36. > One problem with moving the overton window is that some folks will decide it’s hopeless and jump out.

    I’ve been accumulating popcorn futures since at least 1988. Before the Coz was cancelled, he made this great joke about jumping up in the air just as the plane was about to crash. There’s a certain appeal.

  37. David B Benson says:

    jacksmith4tx — Any other sources for your report?

  38. jacksmith4tx says:

    David B
    Ohio House speaker, 4 others charged in ‘largest bribery, money-laundering scheme’ in state history
    “Householder, former Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges, lobbyist Neil Clark, lobbyist and Ohio Civil Rights Commission member Juan Cespedes and political consultant Jeff Longstreth were also arrested in connection to the investigation.”

  39. Jeebus. I’ve always thought DeWine was a standup guy event when I didn’t agree with his politics. I like him a ton right now. If there’s any hope for the Republican party to return to some semblance of good governance, this proud Ohioan would love to see it come from my home state.

    At the national level, go Biden. Right up the Repug’s collective cornholes.

  40. Joshua says:

    Off topic –

    Brandon –

    I am wondering if Judith really has stumbled upon a bottomless well of pompous gits, or whether somehow they get recycled under different incarnations?

  41. I don’t see any conspiracy in what Judith does. My opinion is that she’s earnest but terribly misguided, and that denizens have used that malleability against her. I’d most trust Willard’s eye on this, especially since I’m currently (and gloriously) ethylated out of my skull. Until anon.

  42. Joshua says:

    Brandon – I wasn’t being serious thst it’s Judith’s doing. She just brings them out of the woodwork.

  43. OT for here but I keep getting Judith’s banhammer for no readily apparent reason, and this venting may be best done here than there in any case.

    The same thing happens to me.

    I’m pretty sure it’s just the WordPress filters, because it tends to happen only with controversial subjects ( which are the ones we want to talk about ).

    Those things used to be just keywords, but I suspect there’s AI behind it now.

    It is annoying, but it’s probably the infrastructure of the blogs.

    More troubling is the same things social media do, and more troubling still,
    how google filters your results.

  44. We measure COVID-19 in hours-days-weeks-months (and eventually years sans a cure).
    We measure climate change in years-decades-centuries-millennia (and longer given time itself)

    one hour/one year =1/8766 =1.14E-4
    one day/one decade = 24/87660 = 2.73E-4
    one week/one decade = 168/87660 = 1.92E-3
    one month/one century = 1/1200 = 0.92E-4
    one year/one millennia = 1E-3

    So arguably, the median temporal scale between COVID-19 and climate change is at least three orders of magnitude (to perhaps four orders of magnitude).

    One is a disease while the other is anything other than a disease. Although, I do consider humanity a disease relative to Earth’s natural ecosystems (e. g. an Earth in harmony without humanity).

    So the problem, as I see it, is not what does humanity do about climate change, but what does the rest of the Earth do about humanity.

    Oh and I wish that climate science junkies would stop making comparisons between COVID-19 and AGW, as there can be no comparisons between things that operate on such fundamentally different time scales …

    We are now almost one month into exponential growth of COVID-19 for the World (between 70-80 days doubling time, as the dotted line flattens we approach exponential growth, positive slope is sub exponential, negative slope is super-exponential). The UK modelers fiddled while the World burned. 😦

    And a cure, a vaccine, for COVID-19 is even more orders of magnitude easier to concoct than any solution for AGW will ever be. Just another bogus fallacy of the COVID-19 to climate change comparisons.

  45. Chubbs says:

    This morning ExxonMobil is worth $185 billion, down roughly 50% in the last decade, vs Tesla at $295 billion. The exact positioning of the Overton window may not matter much if the foundation is cracking.

  46. Joshua, even I like having fans. From time to time. Not so often you’d notice.

  47. Ben McMillan says:

    Ørsted, which got out of oil+gas a few years ago, is probably the utility most heavily involved in offshore wind, is worth $57 billion now.

    The weight of the money swinging behind clean tech is going to see a pretty big political shift, and this has already started happening in certain places. Will be interesting to see how much oil+gas gets wiped out by the current crunch.

  48. izen says:

    Deep Adaption sounds like a constructed meme.
    Alternative might be Wide Adaption, Broad Adaption, Profound Adaption, Vast Adaption, Extreme Adaption, Unending Adaption, Complex Adaption, …
    I am unconvinced the qualifying adjective adds much beyond a rhetorical flourish.
    So the suspicion arises that it is in support of an agenda of change that is mmore than just reactive, incremental alteration of the status quo.
    There may be a valid argument for such, but it is unclear this is made by these advocates beyond the rhetoric.

    It seems increasingly likely that COVID19 will impose a ‘deep’ adaption to social norms for the foreseeable future. Even with the rapid roll-out of an effective vaccine an ongoing degree of social distancing and epidemic preparedness looks inevitable as a necessary response to the continued presence and impacts of this virus and the probability of further infectious agents. Without a change in social hygiene customs the wide global mobility of goods and people carries too great a risk. Especially as antibiotic resistance becomes a potential problem.

    But at least we now have a better grasp of how much climate change we will need to adapt. Even if the actual regional and social impacts are still uncertain.

    “It seems like such a simple question: How hot is Earth going to get? Yet for 40 years, climate scientists have repeated the same unsatisfying answer: If humans double atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) from preindustrial levels, the planet will eventually warm between 1.5°C and 4.5°C—a temperature range that encompasses everything from a merely troubling rise to a catastrophic one.
    Now, in a landmark effort, a team of 25 scientists has significantly narrowed the bounds on this critical factor, known as climate sensitivity. The assessment, conducted under the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and publishing this week in Reviews of Geophysics, relies on three strands of evidence: trends indicated by contemporary warming, the latest understanding of the feedback effects that can slow or accelerate climate change, and lessons from ancient climates.
    Either way, the report has a simple takeaway, Sherwood says: A doubling of CO2 all but guarantees warming of more than 2°C. “Three major lines of evidence are all very difficult to reconcile with the lower end of climate sensitivity.””

    Click to access WCRP_ECS_Final_manuscript_2019RG000678R_FINAL_200720.pdf

    ● We assess evidence relevant to Earth’s climate sensitivity S: feedback process understanding, and the historical and paleo-climate records.
    ● All three lines of evidence are difficult to reconcile with S 4.5 K.
    ● A Bayesian calculation finds a 66% range of 2.6-3.9 K, which remains within the bounds 2.3-4.5 K under plausible robustness tests

  49. Ben McMillan says:

    More on energy corruption in Ohio:

    Question is how much the energy transition is being help back by utilities in the US. Would certainly help to partly explain the slow movement in a country that has some of the best wind+solar resources in the world.

  50. David Appell says:

    That article in The Ecologist wasn’t very impressive. It thought it was discussing science but didn’t discuss any. It cut Bendell all kinds of slack but no one on the other side. It took societal collapse as a given. It attributed motives to academics that made the author look desperate. I hope this wasn’t the best the Deep Adaptation field can do.

  51. David,
    Yes, the ecologist article was very odd. In particular the comment that “First and foremost, Deep Adaptation is robust and motivating science because it is not a research paper but a new social movement”.

  52. Pingback: Societal collapse | …and Then There's Physics

  53. Pingback: 2020: A year in review | …and Then There's Physics

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