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Could this protect us from climate change?

Words by Smiley Team

From a high flying career in the world of finance, Cat Turner suddenly plummeted into an inexplicable depression that changed her life. It led her to pursue a community ethos she believes is vital to overcoming the challenges of climate change, as proposed by the Deep Adaptation movement.

Cat began joining environmental organisations such as Friends of the Earth, as well as Christian charities to switch away from the individualist life she had previously led. 

Through speaking to eco-conscious people, she was recommended a paper by a professor of sustainability leadership, Jem Bendell. His insights introduced her to the Deep Adaptation network and forum, which quickly struck her as a brilliant idea and for which she now works as a staff member. The Deep Adaptation framework provides four Rs to consider. It asks us to Restore what's life-giving, Relinquish what isn't, live with Resilience, and Reconcile with change.

“Deep adaptation is not about preparing to live on top of a mountain with a gun as some might think,” she explains to Smiley News. “Rather, it's about doing inner work that will enable you to become the kind of person who's useful to a community.”

By “useful” she implies being able to support others wholeheartedly without conceding to selfish motivations. 

She adds: “I mean being willing to share what you've got, willing to take on suffering so that others don't have to, or willing to give your best coat to someone who doesn't have one, rather than just the one you are going to chuck away anyway.”

[Discover other stories of individuals and groups driving climate action to overcome the challenges of climate change]

To encourage one another to embody these values, members of the Deep Adaptation network attend sessions where they share emotions, practice active listening and connect with the environment.

Their aim is to prepare personally and collectively for the challenges society will face due to climate change. This is based on the likely impacts of global warming above 2℃ that we have already locked in, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As an attempt to prepare for this change, it is a great source of optimism for Cat.

“I found a lot of hope in Deep Adaptation,” she says, “not so much hope that we will always be able to choose between a latte or a cappuccino each morning, but actually rather that we might learn to become the kind of human beings that we were always meant to be.”

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Support the Deep Adaptation movement to prepare people mentally for the impact of climate change. Donate to the Deep Adaptation Forum.

SUPPORT: If you’re interested in attending sessions with Deep Adaptation or supporting their work, find out how you can help.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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