A Response to My Critics and Further Adventures in Ecuador

I continue to receive abundant criticism for driving an automobile and taking flights on commercial airlines. These critiques obviously originate from caves to which water is carried via gourd from the nearby stream and the only meat is derived from insects.

As I’ve explained for many years, I will gladly stop participating in fossil foolishness when these enterprises reach their overdue end. If my lack of participation in these activities would terminate car culture and airline culture, I would’ve stopped years ago. Actually, I did, for about two years. Sadly, the beat goes on.

Conservation is largely irrelevant, as explained by Jevons’ paradox, the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, and reality. Not surprisingly for people born into this culture, the irrelevance is lost on the culturally conditioned masses. Indeed, conservation in this culture is another attempt, among many, to bring austerity to the masses. Perhaps you could join me in driving up the price of oil instead of furthering civilization by doing the opposite.

On my recent travels, airplanes with empty seats were in the solid majority. The airline death spiral continues.

My power to induce change is, to quote Kurt Vonnegut, “like a banana cream pie three feet in diameter dropped from a stepladder four feet high” (my power continues to make such a difference). Yet, driven by my inner teacher, I foolishly forge on. The quest costs money, of which I have little. It attracts deniers and trolls, of which I’ve attracted many. Contrary to the lunacy I’ve heard and read, I’ve no motive beyond the evidence and no desire to see our species driven to extinction.

Scientists put their ideas on display. They expose their concepts, hypotheses, and forecasts to scrutiny, specifically to further discussion. As with other scientists, my ideas are intended to reach a large audience, specifically to expose them to critical review.

I will discuss my ideas with anybody who will listen and many who won’t. I have agreed to debate H. Leighton Steward on the topic of climate change (see below for information). I was asked to debate James Hansen on the topic of abrupt climate change leading to human extinction: I agreed immediately, and I’ve received no response.

With respect to my prediction of near-term human extinction, I’d love to see evidence refuting my conclusion. Thus far I’ve received only disparaging comments and ad hominem assaults. I’ve yet to see anybody launch a rational attack on the evidence, although disparagement of me and several other scientists continues unabated. When the science cannot be refuted, the obvious step is to attack the scientist’s credibility.

As nearly as I can distinguish, these attacks primarily originate with city dwellers. Launching their attacks from the source of the predicament, these critics fail to acknowledge their own complicity while basking in the belly of the carbon beast. Sucking at the teat of empire, they cannot grasp how their comforts could possibly be viewed as detrimental. Yet subsidies allow them to remain car-free while they occupy inexpensive houses heated and cooled with inexpensive electricity, drink inexpensive water piped into their homes, eat inexpensive food in neighborhood restaurants, and pay a pittance to have various sources of waste hauled away from their tender eyes and noses. When asked, most of these folks claim they’ll do something when it matters. Something important, no doubt, like recycling.

But I digress. On the topic of evidence, please consider, for example, the overwhelming evidence regarding the firing of the clathrate gun. Critically important papers have appeared in Science, Nature, Geophysical Research Letters, and Global Policy, as well as from NASA’s CARVE project, but there has been no general scientific acceptance and reporting of this major phenomenon.

The notion of near-term human extinction is anathema to mainstream climate scientists, including the likes of James Hansen and Michael Mann, among the most famous climate scientists in the world (links for all the following statements can be found in my climate-change summary and update). Paul Beckwith, for example, forecasts 6 C temperature rise within a decade and 16 C temperature rise within two decades but distances himself from the notion of human extinction. An engineer and physicist, Beckwith apparently doesn’t realize human animals require habitat to survive. A quick peek into my email in-box indicates Michael Mann — among the most revered climate scientists in the world — was unaware that a 1.95 temperature rise is guaranteed with collapse of industrial civilization until I brought Clive Hamilton’s 2013 analysis to his attention. He still clings to the idea that 2 C is the ecologically important threshold we must not cross, contrary to 24-year-old information from the United Nations Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases. James Hansen, perhaps the only climate scientist more famous than Mann, only recently realized 1 C was the threshold not to be crossed, and he still promotes nuclear power plants, even though they are known to be carbon-generating environmental disasters. Apparently enabling our addiction to electricity is more important than slowing the omnicide generated by industrial civilization.

The train not only left the station, it fell off the trestle. Now we’re simply contemplating who gets the best view before the train hits the bottom of the rocky canyon. According to David Wasdell’s May 2014 analysis, which includes a critique of the IPCC’s ongoing lunacy, “equilibrium temperature increase predicted as a result of current concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gasses is already over 5°C.” I see no way for humans to survive such a rise in global-average temperature, and it’s baked into the proverbial cake.

If only I’d offer a civilized path forward, I’d be popular. If I promoted false hope, contrary to abundant evidence, I’d be able to make a living by speaking in public to sold-out crowds. If I’d finish each presentation with three tasks everybody can pursue, I’d be featured on the mainstream nightly news. Alas, no dice. Evidence is priceless.

In the spirit of all the scientists promoting their own careers, here’s my list of three relevant tasks to pursue to solve our climate-change predicament:

1. Don’t just do something. Sit there.

2. If you care about the living planet, take steps to terminate industrial civilization.

3. Look inside yourself.

The video embedded below is derived from a presentation I delivered in rural Ecuador on Friday evening, 16 May 2014. The video was shot and edited by Pauline Schneider. You can support Pauline’s work by clicking here.

The trip to Ecuador brought mixed feelings. The natural beauty is stunning. The dependence on industrial civilization is, too. Ecuador has access to sophisticated technology and infrastructure, including hydrofracturing and refineries. Even small villages rely heavily on modern, truck-based importation of food and other “necessities” for everyday life. Contrary to the typical Western approach, most Ecuadorian people with whom I interacted are content to pursue joyful, simple lives rather than an abundance of money. Sadly, though, there is little evidence that many of these people will survive collapse of American empire (for example, their official currency is the U.S. dollar, and typical billboards tout the same two soft drinks battling for American minds mouths).

Guy’s Collapse Talk in Ecuador from Pauline Schneider on Vimeo.

I spoke in error in the video. OPEC was formed in 1960, not 1973. OPEC first exerted significant power in 1973.
_______

4 June 2014, Wyoming, debate with H. Leighton Steward, who often represents the fossil-fuel industry. Read about Steward here.

Wyoming debate flyer

Comments 151

  • “..that it’s obviously it’s my programming.”

    Start to 3:13

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8x73UW8Hjk

  • Lidia,
    Good comment.Xraymike at The collapse of Industrial Civilisation site in his Business as usual on a dying planet post included a recent speech by the pope ,lamenting the loss of biodiversity.You probably saw it.I placed a comment on it there,fairly similar to yours here.
    One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the cognitive dissonance.A pious lecture about our responsibility to care for other life forms on the planet,when the principal reason the extinction rates are so horrendous is our burgeoning population,(still around an extra 80 million each year),which the catholic church throughout its history has done everything within its power to encourage.

  • I count 15 straight days above 22 C for Sydney, and ticking.

    ‘Sydney’s Mercury Rising: Part one’

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/sydneys-mercury-rising-part-one/64526

    “Winter is only a week away, but it definitely doesn’t feel like it is looming just around the corner.

    With a week to go, Sydney’s daytime temperatures are currently sitting at an average of 23.07 degrees, the warmest May days on record and nearly four degrees above the long term average. Taking into account the current forecast maximum temperatures until the end of the month, the previous record is likely to be broken. A record, which was set in May 1958 with 22.66 degrees.

    Daytime temperatures have been particularly warm as a quasi-permanent high pressure system over the Tasman Sea has kept any cold front at bay, bringing plenty of sunshine to warm up the land. In fact, May 2014 has been a record breaking month when daytime temperatures are considered. Today, the Harbour City will see its 15th consecutive day over 22 degrees, extending the May record set in 1978 and 2007 with nine days.”

    The ‘evidence’ just keeps mounting…
    Not all smooth with just a warm beginning to winter.
    Some fruit trees need the cold to fruit-Apples, Pairs etc.
    When the temps remain height through winter, by by fruits of certain varieties, excepting those grown in Domes I guess.

    Tom

    Riots?
    Yes we are in the thick of our own slide into inverted totalitarianism here in Afraidia. But like Yoda says, “Always in motion is the Future.”

    Never know, maybe Afraidians, deep down, just wont go that far.
    We will see.

  • repeated messages about consciousness

    All messages fall short: consciousness cannot be grasped. It is the grasper that is never the grasped. All that is grasped is grasped through it; there is nothing that can grasp it except itself.

    But when the grasper is the grasped, the grasping, grasper or grasped all meld into one: there is neither grasping, nor grasper nor grasped.

  • And …
    ‘Sydney’s Mercury Rising: Part two’

    http://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/sydneys-mercury-rising-part-two-/65116

    “For Sydneysiders, warmth has become the new black, something that we all welcome as Vivid lights up the city.

    The May warmth has only been a continuation of the temperatures we have been experiencing since 2012: 2013 saw the warmest winter and the warmest spring and although the past two summers have not set any record, they have lingered one degree above the norm.

    Moreover, January 18th 2013 registered a new record maximum temperature when the mercury at Observatory Hill reached 45.8 degrees. Fourteen stations across the city reached at least 45 degrees on that day, with the coolest being Terrey Hills (43.9 degrees) and the warmest being Penrith (46.5 degrees).

    Autumn (or the lack of) 2014 is likely to be the warmest autumn on record with a combined temperature of 20.35 degrees (nearly two degrees above the norm) registered so far combining minimum and maximums. Once again, clear skies have driven the warmest daytime temperatures on record with an average of 24.56 degrees above the autumn long-term average. This is nearly half a degree warmer than the previous record set in 1958.”

    And a jetstream that shows great amplitude, whilst some fracturing:

    http://data.weatherzone.com.au/data/hourly/images/synoptic/wz_syn_aus_d0_640x480.jpg

    Afraidia is set to get Afraider
    ;(

  • The Diner and NBL experienced a Service Outtage today due to exceeding our bandwidth. They both go down together because we dropped NBL onto our space as a Gift to Guy, to keep information flowing outward.

    I got Support to turn us back on until I can get the billing situation resolved and Buy a Bigger Boat.

    http://lessenthesuck.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/jaws-bigger-boat.jpg

    Also, Guy, Monsta and me got together for a Podcast today, we should have it ready in post production in week or so, depending on Monsta’s time availability. Also have a Podcast with Jason Heppenstall from 22 Billion Energy Slaves that has to get edited first. Monsta does the Audio on the Collapse Cafes, I do the Audio on the Rants. Time consuming stuff.

    RE

  • Robin Datta,
    I’m not sure if I’ve grasped that.

  • Guy, I thought you and Michael Mann were more or less similar. How do your views differ?…anybody care to share?

  • Jack, Thom Hartmann interviewed Mann immediately after interviewing me on his “Conversations with Great Minds.” I blew him away, and he was seeking comfort in a reputable source. The attendant essay was titled, “Hope Dies Last.”

    Mann told Hartmann 2 C is the target we need to avoid (cf. 24-year-old United Nations report). And we’re on track to hit 2 C in 2036. He was clearly unaware of the U.N. report and also Clive Hamilton’s analysis regarding collapse of industrial civilization taking us to 1.95 C in a matter of days.

  • @Queenie (Marian Veverka) Says “Who can say where we went wrong? Is there any place, any movement of people, any laws besides that of gravity that we should have known, but didn’t discover until after they were broken?”

    The peasants and peons (um, that would be 99.99% of us) have always been operating in the dark. The Mexican-American war in 1846 was nothing more than a land grab, one that a few moralistic NE states opposed to the point of threatening secession. The Spanish-American war was deemed that “splendid little war” since it afforded the USA an international footprint at nominal cost. Little wonder that Hawaii flipped almost instantaneously to territorial status simply because we needed a coaling station to support the Philippines.

    Then we have the creation of the Fed in 1913, and the manufactured entry into WWI in 1917. And the list goes on, and on, and on …

    The small fry have always been worked; they’ve never had enough information to form a reasoned opinion, and even if they did, they’re shouted down by the 99% who believe what the propaganda masters are telling them.

    So no, don’t worry about where we went wrong – it’s always been in the cards. After all, to paraphrase: “ours is not to question why, but to do & die”.

    That’s why I advocate a grey man strategy – once you catch up, you realize you don’t have a chance. So, why not just hide in plain site until the SHTF?

    http://www.survivalthinktank.com/2011/11/grey-man-directive.html

  • TR, while I enjoyed watching True Detective after one of your (?) previous comments, I’m all of a sudden not so sure whether it was all that great.

    As you may have noticed it does touch on some ideas outside of the mainstream but it presents them in some disconnected and inaccurate manner.

    I would not expect Robin to say something like “… programmed with the total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody.”, this is just somehow off.

    Comparing this to old fashioned eastern block propaganda I have to say that I like it less, in my past people at least knew what was forbidden and tried to look for some tiny pieces of information between the lines, now it is just weaseled into our brains in some foggy way.

  • B9K9,
    William Burroughs left a while ago, but I’m pretty sure he would have:
    called you a Factualist…and
    offered to buy you a beer.
    ———————

    Sahila,

    Other species DON’T have more offspring than their environment can support…

    I wasn’t a biology/ecology major but I’m fairly certain that plenty of other species do exactly that.

    As Dan Rowan used to say on Laugh In, “Smoke ’em if you got ’em.”
    —————————

    Godofredo,

    If you do not have children, and I am talking about the average persons, what will be left on earth after your death?

    Maybe:
    a) The personal memories of the people you have known, some of whom will have liked you, loved you, respected you, or all of these.
    b) Your writings, music, art, scientific or spiritual discoveries.

    Why do developed countries preach about population control to the less developed countries?
    1) Famous bank robber Willie Sutton is (incorrectly, according to Snopes) credited with answering the question “Why do you rob banks?”
    with “Because that’s where the money is.” For better or worse, there are more people in the less developed countries. That’s where the population is.
    2) Because if developed countries preach at the less developed about population, they (stupidly) feel less need to preach to their own citizens about over-use of resources.

    Well, as long as you have them…

  • Good mornin’ ever’body!

    http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2014/5/23/world-trade-suddenly-slumps-just-forget-escape-velocity.html

    World Trade Suddenly Slumps (Just Forget ‘Escape Velocity’)

    The US economy, and by extension the world economy, is desperately waiting for the spring escape velocity to finally kick in. This American phenomenon has been forecast to occur for six years in a row now, with the prior five forecasts having turned out to be just a mix of political wishful thinking and unfettered Wall Street hype, followed by a shrug and an “ah shucks, maybe next year.”

    So while we were still waiting for the escape velocity, world trade, one of the major indicators of what’s going on in the globalized economy, has descended into a very unpropitious slump. [read it]

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.ca/2014/05/large-falls-in-arctic-sea-ice-thickness-over-may-2014.html#more

    Large Falls in Arctic Sea Ice Thickness over May 2014
    [not lookin’ good]

    http://news.yahoo.com/u-faces-higher-food-price-inflation-2014-led-141513395–business.html

    USDA warns of sticker shock on U.S. beef as grilling season starts

    On this Memorial Day, may we remember a pleasant idyllic scene from our youth when the death of the environment wasn’t so far advanced (and we were innocent and devoid of any premise from which to suspect anything other than the Garden of Eden or paradise from Mother Nature).

    I sat on a hill overlooking a field to watch a sunset in the 1960’s (I did this often, sometimes with one or two others). It was so quiet you could hear the buzzing insects heading home for the night. The sky and clouds were the most beautiful shades of light-infused transitioning hues and the most fleetingly iridescent colors it gave me the chills in awestruck wonder. When I came back to the present, I didn’t know how long I had been in that reverie but it was a most blissful ‘escape’ (more like an mental escapade) where I didn’t have a body or mind but just WAS. It took me a while to even move, thinking about the experience – I was there, I was ‘IT,’ or more accurately I ‘became’ such a part of all this that there was no separation (even by contemplation since I was completely immersed in the experience and ‘unconscious’ of anything happening to a ‘me’)and it was ‘me’ as much as I was ‘it’.

    i’d appreciate hearing some of your experiences that effected you (in any way). I completely enjoy coming here to this site and reading all our viewpoints, checking out what we link to and getting to know you all in this way.

    Thanks for bein’ there everyone.

  • infanttyrone, Yes, teach your children well. However, it was “Wooden Ships” which has haunted my memory all these years waiting for the other shoe to drop. It is in free-fall now.

  • Other species DON’T have more offspring than their environment can support…

    Au contraire, all species have more progeny than the environment can support. Only replacement numbers survive to adulthood when the population is stable: the rest of the young die prior to reaching adulthood.

    With controlled mortality for human infants and children, even replacement numbers of human progeny (two per couple) will consign vast numbers of those progeny to the dieback as the bottleneck is approached, and ALL of them to the dieoff of NTE if the bottle is capped.

    Those who have emotionally assimilated the concept of a forthcoming dieback or dieoff would not advocate procreation.

  • I’ve posted a guest essay. It’s here.

  • Since August 10th, 2012 I have been predicting that the sea ice will be completely gone from the Arctic by the end of this years [2012’s] melt season. Here are presentations that lead me to conclude this…

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/arctic-sea-ice-minimum-2012/comment-page-4/#comment-246983

    For the record; I do not think that any sea ice will survive this summer.

    Paul Beckwith Facebook post, March 19, 2013

    Any predictions for 2014? LMFAO

  • Benjamin, you’re an inspiration.

    All the most honest truth seekers
    say that we have become the Earth’s wreckers.
    Life is good and were fucked,
    so good-bye and good luck,
    cuz’ the future couldn’t look any bleaker.

  • Guy, without reading Clive Hamilton’s book I’m wondering whether the statement:
    “Clive Hamilton’s analysis regarding collapse of industrial civilization taking us to 1.95 C in a matter of days.” should rather read “taking us to the warming potential toward 1.95C in a matter of days.”

    Looking at:
    http://meteora.ucsd.edu/cap/pdffiles/Hansen-04-29-05.pdf

    One can find that the 40year lag is mainly due to thermal inertia of the oceans which would lead me to think that getting rid of aerosols will cause the associated temperature change 40years later as well.

    The reason should be that the change in heat input happens in the same part of the system as for the other forcings and the heat capacity of the oceans is the main delay element that comes after that.

  • kt256, sulfates are acting like an umbrella. They are constantly added to the atmosphere via combustion of fossil fuels. They constantly fall out, too. But when we stop adding them, the umbrella is removed and the planet warms to 1.95 C in a matter of days. A significant change in global temperature was measured on 14 September 2001, presumably for the same reason, three days after U.S. planes were grounded.

  • From what I also gathered from:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081231/full/news.2008.1335.html

    we would be comparing daily temperature averages (over land ?) to annual global temperature averages. I’m not really happy with this.

    Still why shouldn’t the atmosphere heat up/cool down quickly, especially since it is heated/cooled over its entire depth while having lower heat capacity. Then again I have to wonder how the ocean is supposed to influence the global temperature averages.

    While I feel I need to understand far more about the topic to be satisfied, it has become somewhat obvious that we are screwed in a fiendishly complex system.

  • Who asked Guy “to debate James Hansen on the topic of abrupt climate change leading to human extinction”? Guy says: “I agreed immediately”. Who did he inform that he agreed? It’s all a bit vague.

  • Landbeyond, I’ve been asked by two people — neither of whom I know beyond the Internet — to debate Hansen. Apparently they approached Hansen separately. I know nothing else, and I’ll not reveal their names.

  • No problem with leaving a little carbon footprint by travelling air or car when this technology “hits the road” it will all make up for it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU#t=188 ……………………………NOT!

  • Laurel, great rant! Thank you!!
    ————–
    For the fine humans on dancebackthesea’s “I’ve Been Studying Climate Science Since 1978. An Introduction” forum link:

    I’m not on the forum yet, so I’ll leave a quick note here. Thank you for sharing your stories, especially about your decisions not to reproduce. I’m 58 and made the decision at 14 to forgo bringing babies to this planet. It is probably the only plan of action I’ve taken in this life for which I haven’t had a twinge of regret.

    For now, I’ll leave one of my favorite, short poems about life. I love Larkin’s droll world-weariness. And he had no children, of course.

  • the recent discussion re. procreation, pros and cons, in a world facing doom, brings to mind the opening lyrics of this old great bee gees song:

    I can think of younger days
    When living for my life was everything a man could want to do
    I could never see tomorrow
    I was never told about the sorrows…

  • @Damnthematrix

    Perhaps you don’t mind being lied to, but I definitely do, and I expect that most other people do as well. I find your suggestion that we should not mind being lied to because it presumably does not matter a bit bizzare.

    I passionately agree with Carl Sagan that “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” To me, that means, most importantly, not lying to myself. Whether I agree with how the universe works, whether I like it or not, and whether I insist in a grandiose, childish, god-like way that things “should” or “must” work differently than they do does not matter one whit. Nature really does bat last, all of the narcissistic, self-centered human hubris notwithstanding.

  • “I’ve yet to see anybody launch a rational attack on the evidence”

    Oh, come on, Guy. Have you been living in a monastery? I’m sure you well know of the examinations of your climate change update post by Scott Johnson on Fractal Planet and Michael Tobis on Planet 3.0, and I’ve seen others. Your comment reminds me of the climate change deniers who, despite frequently being given evidence of warming and the impact of human emissions, constantly bleat that there is no evidence that human activity has any impact. Of course there have been rational criticisms of the evidence you present. That you choose not to engage with those criticisms perhaps says more about the confidence you have in your conclusion than what the actual evidence shows. You’ve never even explained why the evidence you present leads inevitably to the conclusions you reach. If you’d really rather reach different conclusions then please re-examine your evidence, check that you’ve interpreted the research correctly, and show the route from the evidence to NTHE, rather than just telling people to look at your climate change update post, over and over.

  • The key word, Tony, is rational. I’ve seen irrational, emotional attacks, but nothing rooted in reason.

  • Guy, they seem rational to me. What, in particular, leads you to think they are irrational and not rooted in reason? Why don’t you point out the irrationality to those authors? From what I’ve seen they seem to be clear headed folk, not prone to irrational outbursts (well, maybe Tobis might go over the top sometimes but his critique seems to be grounded in reason). I’m sure that one or both of them would like to be corrected, if they are wrong. Both are scientists (not climate scientists, necessarily), after all.

  • @ Tony the Troll

    Here you go again with your favourite attention-seeking game.

    Why don’t you pay some attention to Bud Nye’s fantastic responses to Johnson and Tobis ?

    Oh, yes, of course, you are incapable of making connections, you can only think in the simplest linear terms, the idea that we are dealing with a system where everything connects to everything else is too much of a stretch for your brain to comprehend.

  • Ulvfugl, which Bud Nye comments, and where? Bud has written many comments on Fractal Planet but I’m not sure which one addresses my points. You seem to think that provided we don’t think about the (climate change) facts that we know of through research, but instead think of the facts as we’d like to perceive them, then we’d have a much better grasp of reality. I’d have to disagree. Guy likes to use “facts” in his presentations and the update but it’s not clear that they are indeed facts, backed by science, as multiple critiques appear to show. If you don’t like science, that’s up to you.

  • Tony says, “I’d have to disagree. Guy likes to use “facts” in his presentations and the update but it’s not clear that they are indeed facts, backed by science, as multiple critiques appear to show. If you don’t like science, that’s up to you.”

    Peer reviewed papers from scientific journals and institutions of the highest order speak for themselves, validity wise.

    Tony, it appears that you have no idea of how science presents its findings. If Guy’s evidence was wrong, he would not be joined by 97% of climate scientists in claiming that climate change is real. If in your own mind, you can’t use the evidence to evolve a probability for NTE, that’s your business. But you’re opinion is only your opinion. Your statements here are really quite foolish. As the evidence mounts, I have begun to classify you as a ‘fool’. I’m sure that you don’t think you’re a fool but the evidence is clear.

    (This probably won’t be seen. There is a mix up somewhere that prevents me from posting on the main blog. If someone sees it and likes it. Maybe you’ll copy and paste it there for me? ;) ) Thanks!

    Happy to oblige, Kirk. Saves me the bother of getting sucked into Tony’s game.

  • Godofredo

    Thank your for rising in defense of having children, and for explaining your POV, which I share. Very eloquently said, as usual.

    And likewise, Pauline, Sahila and others I might have missed.

    In the 1980’s when my children were born, this anti-reproduction sentiment that’s so popular here (especially among non-parents, for whom this is no doubt a great opportunity to remind everyone of your service to the planet) was already in full swing, although most people still thought we had a future.

    Still, it was a different time. Now, my children seem to be in no hurry to reproduce, and I understand why they or anyone else might decide to forgo parenthood, for all the reasons mentioned by those who think it’s a bad idea.

    I too have four. If we had stopped at two, the world would have had to do without one gentle-hearted artist and one excellent jazz vocalist. Therefore, I do not apologize.

    Dr.Guy. Please fly anywhere and everywhere they will let you speak, and keep speaking. It is important work that you do.

  • Lidia

    If you have children with a specific purpose, to transmit your experiences, and what you have learned, and what you believe is a way to make this world better, then having them has a long term “good” purpose. It makes sense. It has to be said that the number of children is limited (one or at most two).
    If you do not have children, it will be difficult for you to note that your children take whatever you show and teach them, as the absolute truth. This situation is so outstanding that makes an enormous difference when it comes to transmit and teach valuable concepts. It is by far the most effective and durable way to transmit knowledge. That information will last longer than your life, and it will be taken as a basis, by your children, and they will add to that basis their own experiences, and lessons, when they grow up. Filtered in a great manner by the filters you gave them. So their children will have the added experiences , and knowledge of the grandparents, and their parents. And even from older generations.
    For this process to work at best, parenthood has to be taken as the paramount responsibility of your life, at least while your children are at home. Then you will very much “free again”, although parenthood lasts your whole life. When they leave home, it becomes a more distant and less demanding task.
    It has been always clear to me that my children owe me nothing, they are free to do whatever they want. It was my choice to have them. If you have been a dedicated parent, they will act, when adults, very much within the limits and codes you have given to them with love and care during their childhood.
    I hope that when I become old, and become a problem for them, euthanasia will be an available option.
    My mother never liked parenthood. She was a lawyer, and for her, her work was her passion. It was her reason for living. It was a crisis for her when she was unable to continue. Because of aging. She became a grey person, without something to do. Unhappy.
    It has also to be said that she was not a successful lawyer, she was a minor one. Always dealing with simple causes. When she died, I have to say that most of what she did while alive, got lost. Vanished. Nothing of her work can be classified as a lasting thing. But she had children, and some of her very basic codes were taken by us. Looking to the life of my parents I have concluded that their working life was almost for nothing. But my brothers and me are something that may make sense for my parents having existed. I did not asked to be born, but once I was, then, things change, and at least to my point of view, we have to use our life as a mean, as a tool, to, mainly, make in some way, of this world a better place. And as the task will last longer than my life, somebody has to continue, with the same codes, my children.
    A sad conclusion about our IC is that most of the activities (jobs) are meaningless. They do have a reason just because the IC needs that activity to operate. Like a lawyer, a doctor , a clerk, a taxi driver, etc… They are just pieces of a machinery. The activities that have some meaning, and may last after your death, are mainly the creative ones (paint, sculpture, writing, engineering when it is related with developing new things, philosophy, filming, architecture). Teaching is another activity with meaning, although not being a creative one. Of the rest, nothing lasts. They make sense to you, and to some other persons in the moment, for a moment. You die, and whatever you have done in your life gets lost.

    You wonder what I am offering with my children, well, simple, a possibility to see a minor change in this world, pointing towards a better and durable way of living.
    I do not encourage my daughters to have children, more than that, I told them that two is a reasonable number, given the world situation. I do encourage them to give their children durable values, and show them the way to have a better way of living, away from consume.
    I am not catholic, I do not believe in God. I am in favor of abortion (when makes sense).
    Having no religion have forced me to look for another values, and reasons for my life. That is why the question of meaning makes so much sense to me.

    About suffering, that is a very relative concept. Children have an enormous and remarkable capacity to deal with what may seem to adults, a condition for suffering. Because they are born and live in those conditions. They do not know another life, do not know another world. Whatever they do, wherever they live, is just the way it is. You make a mistake, when from your point of view qualify something as suffering. Because you make a judgment based in your very personal experience and point of view.

    After decades of carefully watching the machinery of our IC, I have concluded that the whole system is wrong, and that the only way to change it, sometime in the future, is by having a few children, and carefully giving them the needed values, so they can continue the task. I have personally made big efforts to change things within my reach, and have sadly concluded that is a task that will take a long time, beyond mi limits of life. But I will keep on doing my best, as long as I can.

    To artleads

    I agree with you about not following, that is what I have been doing so far. With my life, and carefully giving the same values to my daughters.
    My point about children is that we have to deal with the changes required (becoming wiser), and the limits imposed by nature. So we have to find a way to balance those two situations. How to become wiser, without destroying the biosphere. Without children there is no way to cumulate experiences, and provide an effective way to change, because the process will take more than a human life. Limiting the number of children helps, but not because we need urgent changes, that is a reason to stop having a few babies. We need them, but we have to prepare them for what is expected.
    The primitive sate is something that seems to be a need, but I guess we cannot go back to a fully primitive way of living. There are experiences and knowledge gathered along our failed experience of IC, that have to be considered. I have been looking for a possible way of living that, healthy combines both realities, the technology experience, with the risk of collapsing the biosphere. And sits somewhere in the middle. It is a very complex matter. But I can´t imagine a life in a fully primitive state, because what we know cannot be so easily forgotten. We will not be starting from scratch. And, if we do start from scratch, probably, we will follow the same path. That is why we have to avoid loosing the experience of IC.
    The role of children, and the way we can continue without IC are matters that worry me very much. I often give some time to think about it. I already know that the preppers approach is not the solution. I believe we need something durable, a whole new concept.
    If I can do something for the future generations, that is to try to devise a possible way of living, in balance with our human nature, and the biosphere.

  • Ulvfugl, it can be hard work debating with you. Yes, Guy has good evidence. It is available to everyone (though some require subscriptions). The quality of the evidence can be debateable but I’m not so much concerned with Guy’s evidence as the way he’s interpreted that evidence. For you, it seems (and perhaps Guy), it’s enough to simply pile all the evidence together on a table or in a football stadium and then declare “there, look, that proves that humans will become extinct in 2 or 3 decades (for you, it might be several more decades). The evidence only constitutes proof if it can be shown to lead inexorably to the conclusions that Guy places on it. So far as I can tell (and I read much of what he writes and listen to much of what he says), he has never shown that. Please, if you know of such a line of argument then point to it, because Guy seems very reluctant to do so.

    I have pointed to at least two critiques of Guy’s evidence but Gut simply dismisses them as “not rational”, without explanation. That is not a good way to persuade anyone of a position.

    Evidence can also be overturned with subsequent research. A good example is the oft quoted disappearance of 40% of phytoplankton since 1950, based on Boyce, et al (2010). There was a lot of scientific criticism of that research, and Boyce’s team did more research (2014) which resulted in a far less clear picture of phytoplankton’s demise, with a third of oceans showing increases and the other two thirds showing far less declines than they first thought. So the evidence can change over time, so decaling human extinction by mid-century on the basis of an interpretation of current evidence doesn’t seem rational. The picture can change.

  • Tony, I’ve presented the overwhelming evidence for a near-term rise in global-average temperature to at least 4 C by 2030. I’ve repeatedly explained the mechanism by which this leads to human extinction. You can’t seem to see a pattern in the dots I keep connecting. Rather, you resort to invoking the disparaging, poorly referenced, non-scholastic self-proclaimed scientists who attack me instead of the evidence.

  • Guy, you’ve presented evidence. A few points on the evidence: firstly, your interpretation of some evidence doesn’t match that of others who’ve looked at the same evidence. Why should your interpretation be taken as accurate rather than others’ interpretations? I include myself in those others, as I’ve examined most of your positive feedbacks, in a lot of detail and many don’t seem to match your interpretation. I’ve pointed out others critiques, which you dismiss as irreational, rather than engage with them. Secondly, I haven’t seen how the evidence leads to the conclusion you reach. Thirdly, as I pointed out, evidence can always be overturned by later research (e.g. the phytoplankton demise), so, even if your interpretation of the current evidence is correct and your analysis of those interpretations is correct, we may still not end up at 4C average warming by 2030 (now only 16 years away), because the evidence on which you base your conclusions may be superceded (in both ways). At the very least, it would be great if you could engage with Tobis and Johnson to show where their crtiques are wrong (by showing what they’ve written is wrong).

  • @ Eddie

    If we had stopped at two, the world would have had to do without one gentle-hearted artist and one excellent jazz vocalist. Therefore, I do not apologize.

    No doubt they are both lovely, but this seems an incredibly lame argument.

    How many gentle artists and jazz singers does ‘the world’ NEED ? They are both a luxury, an indulgence.

    The whole of life on Earth is about to crash because of this astonishing belief that humans are entitled to indulge themselves in any way that they wish, and it must be okay.

    It’s not that you need to apologize. Wtf difference would that make to anybody or anything ? It’s just the shocking mismatch between the reality of our predicament and your cultural values.

    You know, the laws of physics and biology don’t care whether you like jazz or art or children or whether you feel good or bad about what you have done.

    The trouble is, fairly thoughtful and responsible people who consciously decide not to have any children just make space for batshit crazy and reckless people to have even more.

    Quiverfull authors such as Pride, Provan, and Hess extend this idea to mean that if one child is a blessing, then each additional child is likewise a blessing and not something to be viewed as economically burdensome or unaffordable. When a couple seeks to control family size via birth control they are thus “rejecting God’s blessings” he might otherwise give and possibly breaking his commandment to “be fruitful and multiply”.

    Accordingly, Quiverfull theology opposes the general acceptance among Protestant Christians of deliberately limiting family size or spacing children through birth control. For example, Mary Pride argued, “God commanded that sex be at least potentially fruitful (that is, not deliberately unfruitful)…. All forms of sex that shy away from marital fruitfulness are perverted.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiverfull

  • Tony, why would I bother engaging with irrational people? The tone of my critics indicates they’re interested only in attacking me, not pondering the evidence. They write off all the self-reinforcing feedback loops as a future issue, not currently of concern. How did they reach that conclusion, if not via denial?

    I have work to do. These characters are irrelevant distractions from that work. So are you.

  • ulvfugi

    “How many gentle artists and jazz singers does ‘the world’ NEED ? They are both a luxury, an indulgence.”

    No doubt you are correct that the world can only support so many artists, but too many artists isn’t the nature of our problem. And your statement is a personal value judgment.

    As you succinctly pointed out:

    “The trouble is, fairly thoughtful and responsible people who consciously decide not to have any children just make space for batshit crazy and reckless people to have even more.”

    This is right on the mark.

    In the 1980’s when my wife and I were of childbearing age, I viewed collapse as a problem of the distant future, not one I’d have the pleasure of experiencing in my own lifetime. But I did know that whether I had one kid, two kids, or more, that the population of people of my age, social position,intellectual capacity, etc. was already going DOWN, and that the people you described above would win the reproductive wars handily. This bothered me and still bothers me. So I actually felt quite okay about bringing some nurtured, aware, thinking children into the world. I still do, for the reasons elaborated by Godofredo.

    And exactly what effect will it have, this decision by today’s morally responsible first worlders to NOT reproduce? I suspect that that the consequences, if they do have a chance to really manifest, will be negative rather than positive. And if they do not get to manifest (because we are all pushing up daisies) then it’s rather moot.

  • Eddie

    Moot?
    I guess, aware people are not common people.
    And, one person may make a big difference. Just take a look what Guy McPherson has done.
    If your children are nurtured aware, prepared to think, they will become in some way natural leaders in their communities, just because they will have inside of them more powerful tools to decide, in the “right” way.
    In the apocalyptic catastrophe ahead, millions will die. Hopefully, some of our children will be able, to somehow, survive. And if they do, they will make a difference in any scenario.
    In this situation about having children, those who didn´t, ok, nothing to do. For some it is too late.
    But people like you, who did, and gave them values, can be at least in peace, because in your children there will one tiny seed that things may be better, sometime in the future.
    Because this tragedy was not created by us, there are two choices, one to be taken, in relation with the future. To have children, or to not have.
    I am one of those who believe that we must have some. And give the the basic guides of our limits as humnas, and what is wrong and right.
    If one of your children is a jazz singer, that is not relevant by the way. Because this is not about making of our children the champions of the anti-crisis activism. That we all know is not going to solve the problem. It is a matter of vision, values and attitudes. And after collapse, any previous activity you were doing being part of IC will be irrelevant.
    For the time being, keep on guiding your kids, as long as you can. You being older, will have always a farther horizon of sight, and will always be able to give them guides on things it will take longer time for them to note and see.
    Forget about others. Or at most, suggest that to have (a few) children may be the right decision.
    As I said in my essay, we should stop thinking as “we”, and forget about the rest. We need each other, but each one of us has to find our own way. Anarchy in some way.
    Instead of becoming followers, or try to convince the rest about your truth, so your truth to become “our truth”.
    Being alone, let you look carefully for what you really need, and the help you need. Make your way, along the way. When I say “alone”, I mean with your family.

  • Guy,

    Tony, why would I bother engaging with irrational people? The tone of my critics indicates they’re interested only in attacking me, not pondering the evidence. They write off all the self-reinforcing feedback loops as a future issue, not currently of concern. How did they reach that conclusion, if not via denial?

    I have work to do. These characters are irrelevant distractions from that work. So are you.

    A very disappointing response. In what way are those critics irrational? Just because they point out defficiencies in your argument? Because what they say does not reflect the research you link to? If the latter, in what way is your interpretation better, and how?

    You say you don’t like the conclusions you’ve reached but you refuse to engage with critics when engagement is possible and easy. You claim to be ready to debate with someone (Hansen) who you label as a liar. You seem to have double standards and we’re still no clearer on whether your interpretation of the evidence is correct or how those pieces of evidence lead to near term human extinction.

    Fortunately, for you, you have plenty of people willing just to take your word or follow the same apparent logic (I say “apparent” because the logic hasn’t been forthcoming) that compiling enough worst case evidence is all that’s needed to prove that what hasn’t happened before sill happen now, and within a few decades (the extinction of all life – except maybe thermophiles).

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed that one day you’ll engage with your critics instead of just dismissing them all with a wave of your hand, and claiming that none of them are rational, without any explanation.

    Gaddamit, I like you, Guy. I admire you for what you’ve done. But you are so damn frustrating in clinging to your beliefs without debating with others who’ve examined the same evidence and reached different conclusions.

  • Tony

    I guess what you pretend does not make sense.
    It is even worse than proving a conspiracy.
    Because there is no way to know TODAY if you, Guy McPherson, or other, is right.
    No matter the technical level of the discussion, it will be in the end, a matter of perceptions.
    Even having solid data, the conclusions you can get from the same data will differ from one to another.
    Besides, in any case, with the available data, we cannot predict an accurate future, and always the margins will be broad.
    The problem is still too complex, to get really useful information today.
    Finally, to predict the behavior of the climate of a certain area of the planet in specific, will be still difficult, so there will be no information to answer the basic questions.
    When, and how, here or near. Or far, and then how far.
    Maybe within a few years, a serious discussion may take place.

    For the moment, the choice is simple, believe in what seems to be more correct based in your own judgement.

  • Godofredo,

    That’s fair enough. The difference between us all believing what we think the evidence points to and Guy believing what he thinks the evidence points to is that Guy actively spreads his view to as many people as he can and it sways some of them.

    Personally, I agree with most of what Guy writes, except his view of what the evidence shows, in terms of the impact of life on this planet (not that I think there won’t be any impacts, as there already are). I which he wold engage with others who have examined his evidence and reached different conclusions, because, maybe it might wake more people up to his view or he, himself, might alter his view. The latter would be the best outcome for everyone, I think.

  • The latter would be the best outcome for everyone, I think.

    HAHAHAHAAAA…..

  • For certain there was a fool exactly like Tony Weddle, way back in ancient Greece, who said exactly the same about Socrates.

    If only that man would just shut up and stop reminding everyone about these troubling matters we could all have some peace and not need to worry.

    You’re just an attention-seeking troll, Tony, who pretends you want answers to questions.

    You’ve revealed your true position repeatedly, as you do now. You really are so desperate to stay in denial, all you want is for Guy to stop spreading this upsetting alarming message.

    Every time you come here you try to undermine his credibility any way that you can. You are slimy, creepy two-faced and duplicitous, pretending to be a supporter and admirer, whilst sneakily attempting to suggest his conclusions are all incorrect.

    You’ve done it so often that everyone that’s been here a long time knows exactly what you are, and what you are like.

    Yes, I know exactly what you’ll say. You just want to debate the science, blahblahblah. You are a liar.

    You are a painting by numbers ‘scientist’. You have to be told that number three means blue before you can fill in the sky with colour number three. Because you are clueless. Unless someone comes along and tells you the number you’re stuck, you just sit there, fucking gormless, incapable of thinking for yourself.

    Same goes for that Johnson. Linear, reductionist, left-brain technicians, who are incapable of understanding anything unless they are spoonfed and it matches what’s stated in the text book.

    Guy doesn’t need to do that. He knows what colour the sky is, without having to look up a chart to see what colour it says for number three.

  • Tony, here’s one example — from among many — why I will not engage with those self-proclaimed scientists. Tobis won’t even address the firing of the clathrate gun, except to say it’s too slow to matter. He merely writes it off as irrelevant in the near term. He does not and will not address the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Johnson parrots his ludicrous claim.

    You keep raising the same issue, Tony, instead of dealing with reality. I won’t address these people because they’re not worth my time. I’ll not stoop to their level. A formal debate is another matter, with these fools or Hansen. But I’ll not waste my time writing about them, hence bequeathing upon them some credibility.

  • Tony

    Ego as always?.
    The irrelevant issue of I am right, the other is wrong.
    Given the available data.

    If Guy McPherson is right, we will be dead within a few years, if Guy McPherson is wrong, we will not.
    In between, and ample space.
    If you feel you are right, then, have your own forum, and give the picture you are seeing.

    An even, accepting NTHE, the process timeline and specific situations along the way, are impossible to predict with reliable certainty, to make of it useful information today.
    All predictions of the future based on available data can only provide a fuzzy picture of the future. So fuzzy that in the end is up to the viewer what it shows. Keep in mind the geographical differences, that will make a difference too.

    Then it is the economic collapse, an issue with its own development timeline and impacts.
    And then Fukushima, Wipp, and other radioactive hot spots.
    Then possible wars, that are always around the corner.
    To focus on climate change only, is leaving too many important issues that are relevant enough to have worldwide consequences, each one big enough to change our current way of living.

    I personally share Guy McPherson´s general view of our future, knowing that we are far from having enough data to be totally sure about it. I leave space for uncertainties. And the unexpected.

    To me, the issue after all, is not who is right. It is mainly how we should live to avoid this situation. What should be our role as humans as part of the biosphere, I mean as intelligent beings, if ever in the future some people survive, something highly impossible, but not totally impossible.
    Because what we have done so far, our codes, and rules, clearly show that at least they have to be revised, and maybe suffer a substantial/radical change.