About Us

 

HEART stands for Hertfordshire Enabling and Adapting for Resilience Together.

Our Story

We are a group of Hertfordshire residents who accept that societal collapse is possible, likely or inevitable in our lifetimes, or is already occurring. We are committed to contributing to local community resilience, both practically and emotionally. 

We seek to inform and support local leaders in political and local community organisations, and encourage them to be curious and open minded about collapse and its implications. 

We also seek to demonstrate and share the values of Love, Kindness, Empathy, Collaboration and Community in all that we do.

What do we mean by collapse?

We define collapse as the failure of our current political, economic and societal systems, which are no longer fit for purpose and whose side-effects are causing collapse of our life-support systems. Western civilisation is already failing to fulfil its promises of progress and growth.

Essentially, we have exceeded the ‘carrying capacity’ of our planet, and need to prepare for a different way of life.

We have historic debt levels, a dire economic outlook, are experiencing vital resource depletion, and are witnessing a disturbing shift in politics and belief systems.

As the consequences of the ecological and climate crises accumulate, in particular mass migration, food and water security, and infrastructure breakdown, we expect an increasing loss-of-faith in the current system and uncertainty in the future, leading to eventual collapse.

What comes after this collapse in the current system, or develops alongside it, is up to all of us.

Slow, then fast…

It’s probably reasonable to assume that collapse won’t happen all at once – it will be patchy and messy, and depend very much on where we live.  There are already several regions in the world that are in obvious collapse.

Because of globalisation, inter-connectedness and just-in-time systems, if we do nothing, there will come a point where systems fail to function.

What does collapse look like?

In one sense, look around you! 

Collapse can be defined as severe discontinuity of all systems and infrastructure.  To some extent, we’re seeing this now in the midst of the COVID pandemic. 

Collapse can refer to social and political systems, and/or environmental collapse.

Environmental collapses that are already in process include:

  • 9 of the 15 global tipping points have already been reached, and we are racing towards the others (see here in Resources section)
  • The collapse in bio-diversity, nature, river and ocean systems (6th mass extinction), including the collapse of coral reefs
  • The collapse of the Arctic ice shelf and sea ice, leading to sea level rises, which will increase warming by reducing the albedo effect, and impact severely on coastal cities
  • The collapse of harvests in various parts of the world
  • The collapse of a stable ‘Goldilocks’ climate (not too warm, not too cold) we have enjoyed for thousands of years

We believe that the current focus on climate mitigation – whilst necessary – often neglects the need for urgent adaptation and preparation.  Baroness Brown, Head of the Adaptation Committee inside the UK’s Climate Change Committee, recently described Adaptation as “being the Cinderella who never gets to go to the ball”.

Mitigation is about anything we do to ‘turn things around’ so that we achieve our carbon-emissions targets. That’s important, in that there are mitigation strategies that will at least avoid making things worse, or slowing down the worst effects.

Adaptation refers to those things we do to prepare for the conditions that we know are coming, but most people are still in denial about.  Good examples are building sea-walls, changing buildings to cope with rising temperatures, food and water security, and re-wilding or permaculture to reduce current soil depletion.  This could be called ‘Outer Adaptation’.

DEEP adaptation is about asking some fundamental and profound questions about who we are, what’s most important and how we choose to live now. It includes psycho-spiritual approaches that deepen our resilience. And starting now to build resilient, adaptable and deeply connected local communities.  This could be called ‘Inner Adaptation’.

Deep Adaptation includes the 4R’s of Resilience, Relinquishment, Restoration and Reconnection/Reconciliation.  Here are the 4R questions:

Social and Psychological Factors include the collapse of:

  • The socio-political contract
  • Trust in political systems and politicians – perhaps even the breakdown of democracy
  • Trust in science and scientists
  • Neo-liberal capitalism and our current economic system
  • Old stories of progress and infinite growth
  • Certainty about the Future
  • The idea that current social injustices can be allowed to continue, e.g. BLM
  • The possible rise of authoritarianism

We believe that the current focus on climate mitigation – whilst necessary – often neglects the need for urgent adaptation and preparation.  Baroness Brown, Head of the Adaptation Committee inside the UK’s Climate Change Committee, recently described Adaptation as “being the Cinderella who never gets to go to the ball”.

Mitigation is about anything we do to ‘turn things around’ so that we achieve our carbon-emissions targets. That’s important, in that there are mitigation strategies that will at least avoid making things worse, or slowing down the worst effects.

Adaptation refers to those things we do to prepare for the conditions that we know are coming, but most people are still in denial about.  Good examples are building sea-walls, changing buildings to cope with rising temperatures, food and water security, and re-wilding or permaculture to reduce current soil depletion.  This could be called ‘Outer Adaptation’.

DEEP adaptation is about asking some fundamental and profound questions about who we are, what’s most important and how we choose to live now.

You can watch Professor Jem Bendell here talking about the new book (July 2021), edited with Professor Rupert Read:  “Deep Adaptation:  Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos”.  This short video clip was released on 4 July 2021.

Deep Adaptation includes psycho-spiritual approaches that deepen our resilience. And starting now to build resilient, adaptable and deeply connected local communities.  This could be called ‘Inner Adaptation’.

Deep Adaptation includes the 4R’s of Resilience, Relinquishment, Restoration and Reconnection / Reconciliation. Here are the 4R questions:

RESILIENCE

What is it that we most value and how can we keep that?

Relinquishment

What can we get up in order to not to make matters worse?

Restoration

What can we bring back that has been lost?

Reconciliation  / Reconnection

What can we do to make peace with, love and support others? How can we live with love, joy and peace?

You can find out more about Deep Adaptation here:

https://deepadaptation.ning.com

FAQ

By focusing on climate adaptation and not mitigation, it sounds like you're just giving up?

Answer goes here.

How are you different from transition groups?

Answer goes here.

Why are you focusing on local community resilience, don't you want to fight for global justice?

Answer goes here.

What comes next then?

Answer goes here.