In 2018, one study on climate change broke ranks by integrating a range of sources to conclude that the situation was far worse than the official consensus was letting on. It went so far as to warn about widespread societal collapse. A banker for almost 30 years, it troubled me enough to give up my job and become an activist to raise the alarm. But now, five years on, Professor Bendell’s new paper drills down through the climate crisis to focus on food security and makes me want to start a farm.
My first seedlings appear (Image: T. Larkum)
His original paper was supported by some climatologists and earth system experts but criticised by others. That debate helped bring attention to how the climatology establishment had tried to avoid sounding too alarmist or impractical; a reticence that had already been documented by top scientists, including James Hansen. As Bendell describes in the preface to the new paper, the perspective of generalists who integrate findings from multiple scientists may not always be welcomed. My key take away from such debates was that by previously accepting the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), people like me had been working toward sustainability with the dubious assumption that there were decades of normality within which to act.
Sensing how bad the climate predicament had become, in 2018 I needed to meet other people with this same awareness.