Mailbag: Planning to Escape

But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.

~ Junot Díaz


I appreciate the courage you have to share your perspective despite the bleak outlook. I live the rest of my life attempting to create community taht has even a hope of living sustainably. Much love, Brother.

Thank you. Good luck to us all.

There’s a good chance I’ll be on a speaking tour in your area this spring or summer. Please stay tuned to the Coming Events tab at It’d be nice to meet you.


Thanks, man. I spent a half hour thinking about a lecture I heard.. how you’d rather spend the last days in an environment of peace rather than… civil unrest and trajedy. I dont disagree. But i have to wonder.. what can i do to undo the damage? You see.. we have 7 billion people X 168 hrs per week… we have a TRILLION man hours per week.. we could, if we would, use our ingenuity to heal the Earth, act as medicine… cradle to cradle design… tom brown jrs tracker school.. full systems thinking.. I think we have a shot. If in wrong we all die anyway. Could we not at least come up with an effort that even if it fails would be a win-win-winfinite solution? Please don’t lose hope. If I lived another 60 years in service to the Earth and people, my life will not have been a waste.


I’d love to think you’re correct. There’s no evidence to support the idea that anything will improve the situation. Indeed, “doing” got us here.

I understand that. It’s appreciation for the intelligence that was already here before we “improved” upon it that we need to work on. Perhaps we could learn to listen.

I see nature literally as intelligence unfolding. Man arrogantly paves over it. At some point though, it seems that a man of society may have this perspective and the power to protect nature.

What if we lived in groups of 50 to 150 and worked night and day to heal the mess we have made? I would do that. I believe in intentional communities. I believe it’s worth a shot to make a template that maybe, just maybe we can show a higher quality of life while having a positive net effect on the environment.

Many outcomes are possible. Some are more likely than others.

Have you ever lived that way? I have, and it is not easy. I doubt you could find a few thousand people who would willingly live in that manner.

I have indeed. Not far from you. 2.5 years at Terra Sante 25 mi southwest of Tucson. Bruce.. and solar Bob and tom mendola… met Dr andy weil… you probably know some of those people or their friends.

It was a great experience. I helped put in a garden, lived in a beautiful semi-underground earthbag home… the Dome….thermoregulating… peaceful… i moved to SF 6 years ago with my girlfriend in an attempt to make money to get land to make a similar community. We came out here with $800. Much struggle. Robbed twice. Got an RV. “Homeless” 5 out of 6 years while working 75 hours a week to live in an RV. Finally bought a house 2 mo ago. I would have been happy with a 1/4 acre that we’re legally allowed to park on. Had to buy an entire house so that we’re allowed to stay on it. Much struggle. Not losing hope.

Intentional communities… i think we can make progress. Please keep the faith or rekindle the faith. I know you go by evidence… but let me remind you of an image of grass growing through sidewalk cracks… they never necessarily had proof they could make it but had courage to heal, to express life. Your true nature is to overcome obstacles so that happiness may take place. The will of life has intelligence on its side. Love wins. Grass grows.


7.7 billion people chasing money so they can escape. What could possibly go wrong?

The old illusion could go wrong as we find out it doesn’t work. We have no choice but to wake up. It’s hard to have a million people shift direction, but community gardens are a good start. Have you been to Terra Sante?

Is this Guy or someone on his behalf?


Do you believe I have a staff? I’ve been to TS. I’ve seen dozens of intentional communities. I lived in one. Apparently you’re unfamiliar with my freely available work.

A little. Despite evidence of ICs being able to make “enough” of a difference, do they not seem like the best course of action? Also, can you point me in the right direction? There are many people let’s say, in the middle of idaho or Nevada that might live sustainably. And it’s fine for those dozen or few people but to have attained critical mass is the name of the game. I am in the bay area, san Francisco in hopes to make something that can drastically shift how we are doing things. In the final analysis, it just has to be, “enough”.

Do I believe you have staff? Maybe. I do not know. Besides. Nice to meet you. And don’t give up hope.

I’ve been hope-free for years. It’s liberating. It’s far better than delusion.

Do you think intentional communities are a viable option even if it is 1 in 1000 who are willing to live that way? I believe. It isn’t a hope to me. It just makes sense.

Viable for what?

Most people won’t. I have no delusions about that. But of the people who would?

Two things: 1) sustainable so as to do no further damage. 2) enough to live lobg enough to heal damage that has been done.

This civilization, like all preceding ones, is inherently unsustainable. Intentional communities are a form of greenwashing. It’s far too late to heal the planet we’ve trashed. Earth is in the midst of abrupt, irreversible climate change.

I respect your expertise. Given that, though, is there anything i can do better with my life than support any intentional community or make another? I’m all ears.

The certainty of death, coupled with the absurdity of life, helps me live with urgency and authenticity I am asked nearly every day for advice about living. I recommend living fully. I recommend living with intention. I recommend living urgently, with death in mind. I recommend the pursuit of excellence. I recommend the pursuit of love. It’s small wonder I am often derided, mocked, rejected, and isolated by my contemporaries in the scientific community.

In light of the short time remaining in your life, and my own, I recommend all of the above, louder than before. More fully than you can imagine. To the limits of this restrictive culture, and beyond.

For you. For me. For us. For here. For now.

Live large. Be you, and bolder than you’ve ever been. Live like you’re dying. Because you are.

I respect that. But why not fail on the side of a community garden, a wood stove, knowing our neighbors, cleaning up the water and leaving the place better than we found it? Ive met a few people over the years who not only would do that but spent their lives already having done so. May your garden flourish, the wood in your stove crackle, have warm company, knowing you did your best in service to others. I’ll be around if you want a friend.

Knock yourself out. I did all that, and far more. It cost me everything except my integrity.



Dear prospective supporters,

I am working with a small group of organizers to create a spring speaking tour along the Pacific coast of the United States. It will include the area between the San Francisco Bay Area in California and Portland, Oregon. The tentative schedule has me starting in the Bay Area in mid-April, 2019 and using personal automobiles and the AmTrak train to proceed from there to Portland in early May, 2019.

My existing supporters, organizers, and hosts need additional support to make this tour happen. Can you help?

We need hosts in several locations, including Monterey, San Francisco, the East Bay, Marin County, Ashland, and Eugene. Hosting is needed for speaking venues as well as housing for me and my partner and videographer Pauline along the route. We are also requesting financial support to cover airfare and local travel expenses.

As you probably know, I never charge for my events and I rely entirely on the generosity of folks like you to continue spreading this important message. If you are willing to assist, please reach out to me at I will work with the tour organizers to put your generous support to good use.


Thanks to my all-volunteer booking team for seeking additional volunteers in support of my speaking tours. If you would like to host me in your area, please send me a message at

Recently published:

McPherson, Guy R. 2019. Only Love Remains: Dancing at the Edge of Extinction. Woodthrush Productions, New York.


Pauline Panagiotou Schneider and Guy R. McPherson. 2018. Revised Second Edition of Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time. Woodthrush Productions, New York.


Mugs, tote bags, iPhone cases, tee shirts, and other pragmatic goods affiliated with the latter book are available here. I do not earn money from these items. Indeed, they have returned far less money than it cost to create and distribute them. I list them at the bottom of posts in this space in support of my artistically inclined partner, who created them.