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Climate Q&A with Jem Bendell

Who is definitely one of my favourite voices in this area, and from whom I am learning a lot.

Discusses quite a few things that some of the good posters here on 5F have brought up several times, including %age of CO2 in the atmosphere, influence of the oil lobby, the hockey stick, COVID models and climate models, and a bunch more.

Very informative and well worth the read

PS Evvy, I downloaded the new paper you linked to on solar influence but haven’t had time to read it properly. I will do so and post my thoughts for the (nonexistent?) odd poster who might be interested in them.

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Bookmarked for further investigation, thanks Aly. I like how Jem B. takes care to spell out that authoritarian tendencies being adopted by, or in the name of, environmental campaigns are deservedly being criticised but that linking the two, as a way to discredit environmental concerns, is an unfair tactic.

I don’t think he mentioned 15-minute cities but this is not a remarkable concept. Where implemented (and often it’s a case of signposting where resources are in your area, and how to get to them) this could obviate the need for “just hop in the car” mentality and 2.4-car families.

But it is being seen as sinister, aimed at re-enacting lockdowns, which is crass. I recall posting a critical response to the Canterbury travel zones proposals, particularly their tendency to separate the working-class neighbourhoods on the perimeter, from the expensive and quaint parts of the cities where the comfortably-off live, and the University precincts (where public transport is very good btw). Political control has changed and the scheme is under review, as reported here. Note that the photo caption referring to construction of a new ring road is incorrect: the ring road already exists and has done for a very long time.

Bendell’s characterisation of Al Gore was enjoyable, dismissing his “capitalist technosalvationist rhetoric”.

I think I have mentioned before, though possibly not, Joanna Macy’s ideas, which appeal to me given her Buddhist grounding. A. Succitto has also written and spoken very clearly on similar themes. The popular Buddhist publications like Tricycle have been banging on in their bourgeoise way for many years, the air of smug “we know better” condescension is not a winning read. (This applies to the whole publication.)

Macy can easily be googled, the following is a decent sampler:

Sucitto has written at book length on the subject, where he has the space to really unpick things, but this article is not bad at giving a sense of where is coming from:

[when using] resources wisely; he or she reflects that every material thing comes from the earth, not the shop; furthermore that everything thrown away goes back to the earth –the source of food, air and water.


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thanks @KarenEliot - great comments.

spot on. Holding the “both-and” thought in our minds is more important now than ever. For example:

  • The GICS are using fear of the climate change future to drive through anti-democratic and authoritarian controls - yes…
  • The climate really is changing in a way that threatens billions of (human and non-human) lives, and our current global emissions/pollution are a major part of the reason why.


  • The vaccines were untested and are causing great harm - yes. Also:
  • The GICS found a way to massively profit from anti-democratic and authoritarian decrees - yes
  • Covid is a serious disease that killed a lot of people (and still is likely to do so).


I will definitely read through your links above - thanks for posting.


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Hi folks, I have not read any of Jem Bendell’s material yet, what I did just now was to search for information about his CV - and one item stuck out on this site:


In 2012 he was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.

Has he denounced that relationship?


yes. It is definitely worth reading what Jem has written on this and other issues.

He also approached Jeffrey Epstein to get funding at one time. He talks about that episode in one of his videos that I posted here. And denouces himself for even trying that.

He has a good bit of integrity our Jem…