Along with mitigation, adaptation is a term that has been used widely by the United Nations since 2000 to avoid discussing the politics of oil, capitalism, and fossil fuel extraction and combustion.

As an official international goal of climate action, adaptation means preparing capitalism for an increasingly unpredictable and volatile climate. As with mitigation (see below), the idea is that the climate is a kind of “nature” unrelated to “society” that can only be fully understood by professional scientists. So, as the climate changes, political leaders will consult with these scientists on the best ways for societies to adjust so that oil-dependent capitalism can continue.

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