I was interviewed for The Refreshment Center’s radio show on Friday, 1 February 2013. The interview is embedded here, although most of my interview was lost to a techno-disaster. I’m scheduled for another visit in a few weeks.
Below I include two short clips used in the making of Michael Sosebee’s forthcoming film, Somewhere in New Mexico before the End of Time. I don’t know whether these clips will be included in the final version of the film. If you’d like to support the creation and distribution of this film, please give me a shout via email (email@example.com).
The following two publications are available in print media, and I have an essay in each of them:
McPherson, Guy. 2012. A life out of empire. Pages 481-487 in Keith Farnish’s book, Underminers: A Practical Guide for Radical Change. Published under a Creative Commons License. Electronic copy is here. Kickstarter campaign for printing and distribution of this book is linked here.
I’ve posted the following information at Joe Romm’s website, Think (sic) Progress (sic). Most of this information is old news to readers of Nature Bats Last, and I posted the information in the form of comments to two essays (one here, the other here). I posted comments because an earlier comment cited my work (actually, work in which I was citing others) and in response, Joe referred to my comment as “Tin-foil hat stuff.” As he’s done in the past, Romm blocked my comments. Were I a conspiracy theorist, I’d suspect him of being a disinformation specialist.
According to informed analysis of BP Energy Outlook 2030, we’re headed for a planet 4 C warmer than we experienced at the dawn of the industrial revolution by 2030. Or maybe it’s 6 C, depending on our collective greed. In any case, the projection is less dire than the one foreseen by Paul Beckwith. The report concludes peak oil was a red herring, which it wasn’t and isn’t, but it’s clearly too late to ward off human extinction in the near future. As we’ve known for many years — in this case, the relevant article from the Guardian is more than four years old — on a planet 4 C hotter, all we can prepare for is extinction. Although these two reports are found in the mainstream media, I’m sure forthcoming comments will accuse me of heinous behavior, to which I will readily admit with ample doses of shame and humility.
The co-founders of 350.org, including James Hansen and Bill McKibben, are ignorant or disingenuous with the very name of the organization. I’m guessing they’re lying because surely they know about these two tidbits:
1. Only complete economic collapse prevents runaway greenhouse, as pointed out by Tim Garrett in a paper published in Climatic Change in 2009.
2. About the same time, a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicated Earth’s atmosphere will not experience carbon dioxide levels below the current level for at least the next thousand years. In other words, 350 ppm is hopium of the worst kind.
We’re done, and even the Obama administration knew it way back in 2009. The AOSIS briefing linked and described here was clear about 350 ppm as a death sentence.
I’ve been accused of shouting “Fire!” in a theater. I plead guilty, but the world is on fire and, like most mainstream scientists, you’re taking the approach of too conservative (hence, lethal). Calling me irresponsible for reporting relevant information is exactly the response I’ve come to expect from people who are neck-deep in denial. Such comments remind me of a prescient line from George Orwell: “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.”
Reality is finally catching up to my decade-old prediction about human extinction. Abundant details can be found in my many essays (this one provides a recent overview). Instead of turning away from data and models, I take my advice from Carl Sagan. As such, I refuse to dilute the truth for the sake of comfort: “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”
. . .
For me, one of the particularly bothersome aspects of our climate-change predicament is the relentless bargaining by people who should know better. Somehow, I doubt we’re going to live underground, in the dark, and manage to grow food and generate water for ourselves. Then there are those who believe collapse will accelerate global warming. Could be, although I doubt it would accelerate the extinction crisis, environmental decay, or myriad other predicaments in which we’re enmeshed. And I can hardly imagine a situation worse than the one we’re in — except, of course, the forthcoming climate-driven extinction event — and yet we add to the worsening predicament every day.
By what mechanisms does climate change become climate chaos? Rapidly increasing temperature, along with rapidly increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide has two primary impacts of note. Firstly, the resulting ocean acidification is likely to kill nearly every marine species, including phytoplankton (i.e., food and half the planet’s oxygen). Secondly, the resulting extremes in temperature likely will kill nearly all land plants (i.e., food and the other half of Earth’s oxygen). Additional concerns include wet-bulb temperatures high enough to induce death in mammals (the large-bodied ones will go first, and the tropics will be impacted before the temperate regions), loss of planetary ice (never mind albedo, I’m thinking about fresh water throughout the world’s temperate regions), and the millions of tiny organisms comprising living soil that will be unable to migrate rapidly enough to keep up with changes in temperature and moisture.