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Thread: For the doomers among us: Guy McPherson

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    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    For the doomers among us: Guy McPherson

    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.
    Last edited by kib; 11-12-13 at 4:39pm.

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    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.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    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...


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    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."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    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...

    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.

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    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    Thanks for passing that on Kib. Sad, true.

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    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    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!

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    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 :-)!

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    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 ...
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    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.

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