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kib
11-12-13, 1:15pm
Has anyone heard of or been following Guy McPherson? He was a professor emeritus at U of Arizona who actually quit because he felt he was being so discouraged from presenting his environmental findings to his students.

His work / words are definitely not for the cheery optimists among us. In a nutshell, he feels that the planet may actually be unlivable for humans within a few decades, among other things he feels his research points to imminent collapse of the arctic infrastructure that drives our climate conditions.

I found his work fascinating - scary and hopefully wrong, but nevertheless fascinating - because it made me stop and ask myself "if he's actually right, how do I want to organize my life?" That's probably a question I should have been asking anyway, but this certainly put a new spin on it. I found a sea change in myself about activism, paradoxically Guy has reassured me that what I should be focused on is finding peace with myself, not the rest of the world.

His blog, Nature Bats Last: http://guymcpherson.com/

and a youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFY31MIubG4 (this is a really long one, it's his address at Bluegrass Bioneers last year.)

He has also made a movie about his choice to "retire" from the world, Somewhere In New Mexico Before The End Of Time. I haven't been able to find a free source for that.

pinkytoe
11-12-13, 1:42pm
I haven't heard of this person but will check him out. Currently reading a book called Countdown by Alan Weisman about facing the future. According to him and the evidence he gives, sheer overpopulation will cause our demise in the near future. There are just too many of us on this planet to feed and provide for. But what can one do...? I try not to dwell on it. Obsession with negative thoughts even if they are real is not a good way to exist.

bae
11-12-13, 2:03pm
Our planetary civilization is based on practices that are not sustainable long-term with today's technology.

And our population continues to grow, and our lesser-developed areas seem to insist on developing.

Our civilization's infrastructure is quite complex and interconnected, and seems to me to not be particularly resilient to failures.

Thus, I suspect "something" really bad will happen "someday" if we continue on our present course. I don't think this makes me a "doomer", just an engineer/realist.

I prepare as best I can for the future, while enjoying the moment.

Choose the form of The Destructor...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d8/Stay-puft-marshmallow-man.jpg

puglogic
11-12-13, 3:19pm
I agree with him, kib, especially the part about focusing not on saving the world, but on your own life & peace of mind. I try to do things that make me feel like a good world citizen, and I know I influence others when they see that, and of course I vote and express my opinion in political events like open houses. But that is all I can do. I know we are heading into a very different world from the one I grew up in, one that might be very unpleasant for a lot of people. But if I let myself go there, I think it's counterproductive.

So I am on a moratorium from reading Guy McPherson, or Derrick Jensen, or Dmitri Orlov, or Richard Heinberg, or James Howard Kunstler.... does not fit my vision of how I want to spend my time. I already know what's coming, and I know we can't turn this ship fast enough to avert it. As Jensen says, though, "Life is still really, really good."

Spartana
11-12-13, 3:21pm
Our planetary civilization is based on practices that are not sustainable long-term with today's technology.

And our population continues to grow, and our lesser-developed areas seem to insist on developing.

Our civilization's infrastructure is quite complex and interconnected, and seems to me to not be particularly resilient to failures.

Thus, I suspect "something" really bad will happen "someday" if we continue on our present course. I don't think this makes me a "doomer", just an engineer/realist.

I prepare as best I can for the future, while enjoying the moment.

Choose the form of The Destructor...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d8/Stay-puft-marshmallow-man.jpg

Hmmm.. since your "Destructor" is full of trans fats and high fructose corn syrup he will be banned soon. We are safe for awhile longer from total destruction :-)!

I also haven't heard about this guy...Guy, but as a doomer-wanna-be-but-just-too-damn-cheery I look forward to reading his stuff. I personally thing humans may make some inroads towards a more sustainable lifestyle before any impending crash, but will it be enough? Doubtful. Especially since we seem to be growing globally into a mass feeding frenzy of consumerism. No more Black Friday after Thanksgiving - heck just keep all the stores open all the time! Christmas and other holidays are sure to follow.

Gardenarian
11-12-13, 3:37pm
Thanks for passing that on Kib. Sad, true.

kib
11-12-13, 4:38pm
May be it just took a guy with a sign saying "the end is near" to make me accept my own mortality. And I really never thought before about the possibility of the world ending before my natural lifespan was over.

What I was trying to say is that even as I consider this idea, I find myself ... ok with the possibility. I've always believed in the serenity prayer (Grant me the courage to change the things I can ... ) , and if he's right, this definitely falls under "the things I cannot change".

For the record, I don't think all doomers are depressed, I'm personally Less unhappy since I found what I consider "the wisdom to know the difference". Surf on, Dudette!

Spartana
11-12-13, 4:44pm
That's good to know that I don't need to dress in all black and spend my life weepy :-)! I look at the end of the world as all the more reason to have fun, do good deed and eat whatever the heck I want! oh yeah...and surf with the dog :-)!

ApatheticNoMore
11-12-13, 4:44pm
As for not saving the world, it seems to me sometimes you already have the most narrowly focused on strictly thier own lives, passive and submissive, "don't make waves" people ever to exist anywhere almost (or close haha), and to tell them that what they really need is to be more so ...

But I do suspect that while that is the culture, those who get in trouble psychologically for trying to save the world aren't that way. They care TOO much and try too hard without having whatever psychological equiptment is needed to take that in stride.

Though that sort of serious pessimism I lack the easy ability to handle well. Maybe everyone does. But in my case it's certainly not because I'm a optimist! I'm completely "the worst must be true" type and pretty much always have had a tendency to dwell on pretty dark thoughts and get too easily stuck in dark emotions (seeing the tragic in life comes like breathing). Why must it be true? Well duh, because it's horrible. It's horrible and so noone wants to talk about it and that's why it must be true. Duh ...

kib
11-12-13, 4:59pm
:) I do get that, I have a much easier time believing anything terrible I hear than anything that seems excessively positive.

I have no idea if his theories are correct, the numbers appear to add up but there's always something else to consider. The thing that struck me about GM is that he really believes the research he's done, and that has prompted him to change to an extremely environmentally responsible life, and to be much more involved in loving kindness and an integrated community with his neighbors. In other words, hearing and believing 'the worst' inspired him to become a better and happier person, not someone off the deep end with bitterness or grief or fear. I found that part of his message really inspiring.

bae
11-12-13, 5:03pm
The thing that struck me about GM is that he really believes the research he's done, and that has prompted him to live a life off grid and much more involved in loving kindness and an integrated community with his neighbors, in other words, hearing and believing 'the worst' inspired him to become a better and happier person,....

The thing is, why wouldn't you want to live like that *anyways*? End-of-the-world-doom, or not?

kib
11-12-13, 5:07pm
I do, I do! I just thought the perspective was a nice change from

A. nothing is wrong, please keep you head in the sand and have another I-Pad,
B. everything is wrong, please panic, protest, freak out ... and have another I-Pad.

bae
11-12-13, 5:08pm
I do, I do! I just thought the perspective was a nice change from

A. nothing is wrong, please keep you head in the sand and have another I-Pad,
B. everything is wrong, please panic, protest and have another I-Pad.

C: Live every moment as if it is your last! Have another I-Pad! :-)

puglogic
11-12-13, 5:20pm
For the record, I don't think all doomers are depressed, I'm personally Less unhappy since I found what I consider "the wisdom to know the difference". Surf on, Dudette!

More power to you, kib. fwiw, I'm one of the most upbeat doomers around. Yes, things are bad and are going to get worse, maybe terminally worse. But dude, there's a Flicker outside my window right now making those wonderful loud chirping sounds and flashing his red underwings as he bounces around. Life is amazing.

kib
11-12-13, 5:35pm
:-)

best to do your walkabout in the winter, Bae ... and maybe leave that inedible I-pad at home.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUO23Y179pU

ApatheticNoMore
11-12-13, 5:50pm
Sometimes I think doomsterism has a self-focused element, thinking one is so special as to be the last generation of humans ever and not many many more after one is gone. Of course the facts may very well work out that that is the case :\. Maybe Guy McPherson is right.


"Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.*

No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them"

* yes there are ipads! They're new, we didn't always have ipads!

Rogar
11-12-13, 7:29pm
We humans seem to have developed some sort of homo sapien centric view of life on earth as if we've been here forever, will be around just as long, and through some religious references are the custodians of the earth and given dominion over it. I'd like to think that we are spiritual beings if not slightly divine, but in terms of our planets history we are just one very short snapshot among many climates and life forms. Like John McPhee said, "Consider the Earth's history as the old measure of the English yard, the distance from the King's nose to the tip of his outstretched hand. One stroke of a nail file on his middle finger erases human history."

I remember in an interview with Jensen where someone asked him why, if he had such a dismal outlook for the future, he didn't just end it all. His reply was because he was enjoying the fight. I can't judge if living in a mud hut off the grid is the only way to enjoy the fight, but think living in a community as an example for others and picking out some area or areas of specialty to be part of change might be another way to enjoy things.

puglogic
11-12-13, 7:53pm
Reminds me of the book Ishmael, Rogar. The jellyfish view of evolution, which I always enjoyed: http://www.oocities.org/friendofishmael/ishmael/three.html

catherine
11-12-13, 8:11pm
(Me beating dead horse about Charles Eisenstein):

I just finished reading his latest book, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible. In it, he really speaks to the hope beyond the mess we've created, and gives us the baby steps to get us going now.

I loved the book, and recommend it.

PS, yes, I loved Ishmael, too.

Yossarian
11-12-13, 9:17pm
he feels his research points to imminent collapse of the arctic infrastructure that drives our climate conditions.

Do you know when he predicted this? A lot of people have been eating crow this year for this given the recent Arctic rebound. Who knows what happens in the long run but at what point do false predictions undermine the thesis?

kib
11-12-13, 9:36pm
Thanks Catherine, I hadn't heard of it so the horse wasn't entirely expired!

Yos, arctic warming was one of a number of trigger points that he feels are beyond the point of no return. I am no expert on what is happening to the climate. There are people who predicted a rebound if the motion of the gulf stream or other "belts" cease, that we'll wind up freezing to death rather than melting. Maybe neither. For me, this latest prediction ... it turned my anxiety about the doomer outlook on its head. It can't get much worse than "only 17 years left", right? So if that's the reality, well ... I'm going to get out there and love what we have left.

jp1
11-14-13, 11:53pm
This thread reminds me of an interesting book, The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. It talks about what might happen on earth if people were to suddenly disappear. He looks at various places on the planet where humans have retreated or have installed very destructive or potentially destructive human activities. For instance he looks at what nature's doing around Chernobyl and on some greek (?) island that has been dehabited by humans due to war creating a "no society" zone (my term, not his). At Chernobyl life has gone on. On the greek island things like resort hotels are rapidly falling to bits and will be subsumed back into the earth within a very short time frame. Areas that will likely be more scorched earth, according to the author, are places like the refinery area south of Houston. Without people to keep things on track, if it's not shut down prior to our departure, the whole thing will likely have a cascading failure resulting in a massive massive fire unlike any that's been seen before.

I tend to agree that humans are on a collision course with the reality of earth's limits. However, I also tend to believe that life will go on without us. Global warming, assuming the science is correct, may cause our demise or at least seriously reduce our numbers, but ferns and other rainforest plants that love warm, moist climates will become much more numerous and eventually suck up the extra carbon dioxide we've created and eventually the planet will cool. Along the way the remaining plants and animals will continue to evolve to work best in the environment that exists over time.

Gregg
11-15-13, 10:18am
As it stands now humans need the Earth to survive. Not so much the other way around.

I went through a stage where I started 'prepping' for the worst. The problem is deciding which cataclysm is the most likely to get you. As soon as I'm bunkered in deep enough to survive the zombie hoards that silly Yellowstone super volcano would blow and wipe out all life on Earth. Dang.

With everything I've read and heard my own very unscientific conclusion is that no one knows what's going to happen. We know the world (as we know it) will end some day, just not what day that will be. That segues nicely to knowing that I will die some day, just not what day that will be. With that in mind the only logical way for me to live is to think the day after tomorrow will be my last day. I tried living as if today would be, but that was exhausting and stressful so I now give myself a weekend. The to do list for my last day(s) is pretty short. Tell DW and the kids I love them. Laugh. Cook good food for people I care about. Watch the sunset. Listen to at least one song I've never heard before (thank you NPR). Don't trash the world. Anything beyond that is just gravy. I managed to do all that yesterday and plan to again today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow...

catherine
11-15-13, 10:28am
..With that in mind the only logical way for me to live is to think the day after tomorrow will be my last day. I tried living as if today would be, but that was exhausting and stressful so I now give myself a weekend. The to do list for my last day(s) is pretty short. Tell DW and the kids I love them. Laugh. Cook good food for people I care about. Watch the sunset. Listen to at least one song I've never heard before (thank you NPR). Don't trash the world. Anything beyond that is just gravy. I managed to do all that yesterday and plan to again today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow...

Nice, Gregg. Reminds me of that story about St. Francis--He was out hoeing his garden when he was asked what he would do if he knew the world was going to end the next day. His response was, "I'd finish hoeing the garden."

Rogar
11-15-13, 11:10am
With everything I've read and heard my own very unscientific conclusion is that no one knows what's going to happen. We know the world (as we know it) will end some day, just not what day that will be. That segues nicely to knowing that I will die some day, just not what day that will be. With that in mind the only logical way for me to live is to think the day after tomorrow will be my last day. I tried living as if today would be, but that was exhausting and stressful so I now give myself a weekend. The to do list for my last day(s) is pretty short. Tell DW and the kids I love them. Laugh. Cook good food for people I care about. Watch the sunset. Listen to at least one song I've never heard before (thank you NPR). Don't trash the world. Anything beyond that is just gravy. I managed to do all that yesterday and plan to again today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow...

That's excellent. I might have to print it out and post on my refrigerator. I would also add a recommendation to The World without Us. It was very good.

Here is a quote I like by the photographer, Guy Tal:

I fear that future generations will judge us harshly for our failure to place proper value on wilderness, diversity, open space, spirit, solitude and other treasures of the natural world still available to us today. May they at least know that some of us tried.

Lainey
11-15-13, 8:53pm
The "prepper" side of me was interested in the news of those unfortunate typhoon victims in the Phillipines trying to cope with their disaster. Since I have a box of disaster prep items like crank-up light, crank-up radio, jugs of water, etc. I thought I at least have the basics. However, I didn't think of how easily that box and those water jugs would be crushed in a house collapse or swept away in a cataclysmic event.
Watching kids in the Phillipines combing through debris trying to find some canned food was heartbreaking.

Ultralight
7-13-15, 6:32pm
I am totally and completely new to Guy McPherson. I heard about him only a few days ago.

His message resonates with me, distressing as it is. But there is some comfort in the idea of letting go.

My concern is that "abrupt climate change" does not mean "abrupt extinction." What I am getting at is that if McPherson is right about 2030, give or take, being our terminus then there is way, way too much room for human suffering in there. That distresses me profoundly!

bae
7-13-15, 7:21pm
My concern is that "abrupt climate change" does not mean "abrupt extinction." What I am getting at is that if McPherson is right about 2030, give or take, being our terminus then there is way, way too much room for human suffering in there. That distresses me profoundly!

Derrick Jensen argues in his Endgame books that the ethical thing to do is to dismantle civilization ASAP, in order to reduce the total net suffering over time.

Ultralight
7-13-15, 8:37pm
I read both volumes of Endgame. Haunting, scary stuff.

Williamsmith
7-14-15, 8:32pm
Derrick Jensen argues in his Endgame books that the ethical thing to do is to dismantle civilization ASAP, in order to reduce the total net suffering over time.

Have your heard if Derrick Jensen has volunteered to be the first one to go?