The case against going extinct soon due to extreme climate change & human impacts. Science journalist Scott K. Johnson and counter-culture podcaster KMO. Radio Ecoshock 140917
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Last week, Dr. Guy McPherson predicted humans will go extinct by 2030. Now science journalist Scott K Johnson and counter-culture podcaster KMO explain why they disagree. It’s bad, but not that bad.
SCOTT K JOHNSON “HOW GUY MCPHERSON GETS IT WRONG”
In last week’s Radio Ecoshock show, Dr. Guy McPherson explained his scientific reasons why he thinks humans will become extinct before the year 2040. He outlined a combined ecological collapse, already on-going in the extinction of other species, a dying ocean, the prospect of abandoned or failing nuclear plants, and the over-riding shift of Earth’s climate.
McPherson is a Professer Emeritus in natural science from the University of Arizona. He has collected masses of scientific papers, news articles, and statements to show the worst of all worlds developing.
Our next guest says Guy McPherson is wrong. Scott K. Johnson describes himself as “a geoscience educator, hydrologist, and freelance science writer contributing at Ars Technica.” His personal blog is at fractalplanet.wordpress.com. An article there has become a focal point for people questioning McPherson and the whole idea of near-term human extinction. It’s title is “How Guy McPherson gets it wrong”.
Scott K. Johnson
I begin by clearing on thing up. Some supporters of McPherson seem to think that anyone who disagrees with him is a climate denier. Scott Johnson is not. He thinks climate change is a clear and present danger to us all.
Although not strictly speaking a scientist, Johnson has plenty of academic training, with a specialty in hydrology. He is a teacher, and as he says, a science journalist.
But Johnson does see a strange parallel between Guy McPherson’s approach to facts, and the way climate deniers tend to use them. Scott says it involves cherry-picking some parts of a paper or report, without consider the rest of it, or even the conclusions reached by the author(s). Johnson notes that McPherson is caught in a double-bind. On the one hand, he presents his array of reasons why we will go extinct as based on science. On the other, he dismisses scientists who don’t agree with his bleak prognosis as being too afraid to talk about the awful truth they know.
I point out to Scott that I have talked with scientists, often after an interview, who will say privately they are more worried than they admit publicly. That does happen. But that doesn’t mean that all scientists are afraid. We have plenty of outspoken scientists, and I haven’t found any that publish peer-reviewed papers who say we will become extinct in the next 25 years.
We discuss the central role played in Guy’s dating scheme, the time of our extinction, by a single “paper” (which turns out to be just a blog post) by Malcolm Light of the Arctic News. I’ve written extensively about the unreliable nature of Malcolm Light’s pretty wild prediction, including the very month and year all humans will be gone from the Northern Hemisphere.
In what looks like a scientific paper, complete with complex graphs and charts, we find this stunning announcement: “The absolute mean extinction time for the northern hemisphere is 2031.8 and for the southern hemisphere 2047.6 with a final mean extinction time for 3/4 of the earth’s surface of 2039.6.“
Well that’s pretty precise isn’t it? In August 2031, say goodbye for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. There is a lot in this article. I won’t call it a scientific “paper” until I can find evidence it was peer-reviewed or published in an official journal.
This reminds me more of religion than science. If you haven’t already read that piece, please check it out here. I won’t go over all that again, except to say it’s a very weak spot in Guy argument, and he’s sticking to it.
One thing alarmed me talking with Scott. He’s had emails from spouses or relatives of people who made major life changes – quit their jobs, their relationships, or sold off their possessions. They seem fixated only on everything about our up-coming demise as a species. It seems like a kind of parallel to religious conversion, or maybe the most extreme preppers.
Guy is also aware of the mental health risks of considering our extinction. He told us last week it’s been hard on him personally. His blog “Nature’s Bat’s Last” has had a warning, right on top, “Contemplating Suicide? Please Read This”. As I say to KMO, I sometimes worry about the negative impacts of Radio Ecoshock as well. I try to balance the really bad news, at least a little, with some more positive lifestyle changes that can help us personally, and help the planet too. As you will know by the end of this program, I am not ready to grieve for the future, and in fact, I will never give up.
Download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with Scott K. Johnson in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
ANOTHER CRITIC: MICHAEL TOBIS
Another key part of Guy McPherson’s case for our near-term extinction is the long list of positive feed-back loops (37 by his last count). I’ve said to Guy and to others, I think he’s performing a service to us all by repeatedly bringing these to our attention. Guy also points out these feed-back loops can interact with each other, making climate change worse and faster. True enough, I think.
But a retired research scientist from the University of Texas has looked at all these positive feed-back loops, and say they cannot possibly amount to human extinction in the 2030’s. They are bad, but not that bad.
Michael Tobis blogs at Planet3.org. He’s active in the Global Warming Fact of the Day Facebook group. His detailed examination of the extinction-level possibilities of feedback loops is found here.
First of all, once again, Tobis is not a person who downplays the developing impact of climate change. He’s obviously deeply worried about it, and follows the science closely. It’s just that he sees nothing scientific in the claim that positive feed-back loops add up to our extinction, much less our extinction in the next few decades.
One place I’m not sure about Tobis’ argument is the way he seems to discount the interaction between feedback loops. He says they are “additive” rather than “multiplicative” the way McPherson claims, and makes a big deal about that. Maybe. But if one feedback loop, like Arctic fires, feeds another, like darkening snow on Greenland, I don’t have much trouble seeing the result could be larger than the sum of it’s parts. You need to check this out for yourself.
One thing for sure, as I point out in this radio interview: Guy McPherson does not give us the whole picture when he fails to tell us about negative feedback loops. These are the “brakes” in the natural system which can limit runaway climate change (so far). I’ve run into one recently, which you’ll hear about in an upcoming show. That is the way Boreal forests, once burned, are less likely to burn again within a few decades, even if they regrow. There is a limiting factor at work, a negative feedback loop. Our picture of science is not complete without these, and we need to hunt for them as hard as we do positive feedback loops. Otherwise we are just in the business of frightening ourselves.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
I’ve just realized I said Malcolm Light’s essay about flaming death and our extinction is posted on the web site of AMEG the Arctic Methane Emergency Group. Actually it is found on the Arctic News blog. Bloggers Sam Carana and Malcolm Light were part of AMEG, but left over a year ago. AMEG and Arctic News are separate.
I was also puzzled last week to hear Guy McPherson say University of Ottawa climate scientist Paul Beckwith predicts we will see warming by as much as 16 degrees Centigrade in the next couple of decades.
The exact quote from Guy McPherson on the Radio Ecoshock show last week:
“The likes of Paul Beckwith, for example, that we are headed for the abyss. Although Paul would not use those words, and perhaps doesn’t even believe that we are headed for our own extinction, even though he predicts up to 16 C temperature rise within a couple of decades, and that prediction was made more than year ago…. “
I checked this out with Paul Beckwith, and here is what he told me in an email, quote:
“During the past, around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago the Earth periodically cycled between cold glacial conditions and much warmer temperatures in so-called Dansgaard-Oeschger Oscillations (DO oscillations). Typically the temperature rise was 5 to 6 degrees C over one or two decades. The temperature would stay high for a century to millennia and then drop down again. However there was one case where the temperature rise was 16 degrees C over a few decades. This data was obtained from the Greenland Ice core records. Thus, the climate of the Earth has undergone very rapid temperature swings in the past, and is therefore capable of such changes again. I have also said that I think we are presently in early stages of abrupt climate change, and could see temperature rises of
5 to 6 degrees in a decade or two.“
That the end of a quote from scientist Paul Beckwith. You can see the difference from what Guy McPherson told us. Guy was careful to say UP to 16 degrees, but we are left thinking Paul predict that WILL happen. He says it has happened in the geological record, and we are on the brink of some kind of jump in global mean temperatures, perhaps 5 or 6 degrees in a decade or two. That’s far more than most scientists are willing to suggest, but I think Guy took some liberties to say Beckwith absolutely “predicts” anything like 16 degrees will happen. The picture we get is different from what the original scientists said in full, leaving us with in incorrect
impression. That’s why we have to be careful with Guy’s communication of what the science says.
In a post on this Radio Ecoshock blog for last week’s show, Guy then wrote this:
“Beckwith incorrectly believes (1) the U.S. will employ its military to cool the Arctic when the situation becomes obviously severe, and (2) humans will survive a 16 C rise in temperature. Believe his fantasies if you like. I prefer reality.“
The U.S. military may well act to cool the Arctic. They just sent troops to fight Ebola in Liberia, so it’s not inconceivable that after a climate panic, the Pentagon will be called to fight climate change.
The second part of that statement, that Beckwith believes humans will survive a 16 C rise in temperature is just ridiculous. Again, I checked with Paul Beckwith. He did not say that, and does not believe that. Frankly, I find it strange that Guy McPherson makes such statements, that can easily be checked and found out. Who is believing in fantasies, and who in reality?
KMO – host of the C-Realm Podcast
In my opinion, you haven’t tasted alternative media until you’ve tuned into the c-realm podcast. Host KMO holds in-depth conversations with an amazing roster of serious guests, some of them very well known. And by the way, “c” stands for consciousness.
Maybe it’s serendipity, maybe it’s a strong movement in the counter-culture. But completely independently, KMO and I were both preparing shows on the growing number of our listeners asking whether we humans are about to go extinct. That’s mostly in response to presentations and speeches by Dr. Guy McPherson, formerly a Professor of natural sciences at the University of Arizona.
KMO is one of the pioneers of podcasting, starting out around the same time I did, in 2006. He’s now at almost 500 podcasts. I’ve listened to dozens of them, as KMO goes in-depth with some really great minds. KMO was early into Peak Oil, and now into climate change as well. He’s interviewed all kinds of doomers – but he thinks McPherson has gone too far. He contacted me, after reading my criticism of using Malcolm Light as a credible source. Our discussion will be jointly broadcast on Radio Ecoshock and on the C-Realm Podcast. Members of the C-Realm podcast can also hear another hour of our chat, on a wide range of topics, in the members-only “Vault”.
KMO knows Guy McPherson more personally than I do. He first met Guy when McPherson was pretty certain Peak Oil was going to bring down civilization as we know it, really soon. That may have been one of the reasons McPherson chose to leave the University of Arizona and develop his self-sufficient homestead. When the oil-based civilization kept going, KMO saw Guy McPherson switch to climate change as the reason the evil empire was going to fall.
Incidentally, KMO offers some real wisdom here, when he says if you are waiting for, and expecting, the rest of the world to admit they were wrong, and you were right all along…. don’t. It’s never going to happen. I agree.
We have a spirited conversation about what the whole near-term extinction movement means. Does it fit within our culture, rather than being the end of all culture? How does this end-of-days group compare to others, like the early Christians, of the Seventh Day Aventists (who had to keep moving the final date forward, when it didn’t happen as predicted..)?
Download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with KMO in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
WHO IS RIGHT?
Well there you go, first a program making the case that we will go extinct, and now two voices who disagree. Of course, you will make up your own mind.
At this point, it’s impossible to prove who is right. As you can tell, in my untrained opinion, which isn’t worth any more than yours, our problem is not that we risk near-term extinction, but that we will have to struggle on for generations, through a terrible shift in our climate, a growing shortage of energy and materials we now take for granted, and the general degradation of the natural world, including the extinction many species. That is bad enough.
There is no way to prove Guy McPherson wrong, except waiting until 2030. It comes down to who you want to believe. And whether he is “right” or “wrong” I think Guy deserves to be heard. It is worthwhile chasing down his references, so long as you remember there are other valid points of view.
It’s also my hope this debate will stick mainly with the science, rather than personal attacks, and whether we “like” Guy McPherson (or Alex Smith) or not. We are all under a lot of stress. I’ve heard some climate scientists act badly from time to time. So do politicians, lawyers, teachers… all humans. Let’s stick to the arguments and facts, as well as we can.
I can’t explain why I believe humans will continue, and even find pockets of happiness in the decades and centuries to come. Maybe I should just cite this blog entry as though it were science? (Smith, 2014)
I can’t even explain why, in the face of scary news all around, I feel happy most days.
It’s harvest time, and our kitchen and canning pots are flooded with food. I get to phone up some of the brightest minds in the world, and talk with them, on your behalf. Computers let me write the music I’ve always dreamed of. My family is doing well. Maybe I’m a simpleton?
Some people say I should be grieving, but I feel joy. Others say we should give up, and right from my core, I say “Never!“
I’m Alex Smith. Thanks for listening, and thank you for caring about our world.
The last two weeks were especially great! Excellent questions and very enjoyable responses and discourse. Im sure Guy probably gets frustrated at the response response, but then it's pretty impressive that he is as calm as he is. Personally, I believe he provides an excellent service. Someone needs to be in the "what if" category, and absolutely believe it to be convincing. His lectures should serve as a means to ensuring we do something about a possible outcome like the one he predicts. I do agree that it does make you want to give us sometimes, but then, when framed against this week's conversations, it does make you want to be a bit more vocal and "do something".
The march was mentioned next week. KMO's girlfriend's concerns were well attributed. People who are interested in that should read Christopher Hedge's piece about that on Truthdig (The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals) . Speaking of… any change you could interview him? That would be incredible. It is apparent he has great concerns about the environment of the future, and should fit in nicely with the conversion. Just don't bring up Kevin O'Leary.
You and Guy offer great insight. I'm very pleased I found both of your sites. I think I found Guy's from your interview actually. Personally, I suspect that Guy might be correct. If not 100% annihilation, perhaps the vast majority… eventually. Industrial civ will most likely crack or collapse under the various global pressures (book: Commonwealth) and that will probably push up the temperature by a couple degrees over night (aerosols). It's the sudden changes that are hard for the planet to deal with, and thats when environmental affects really take hold.
All the best ~ …JavaK
Excellent comment. Thanks JavaK.
I have approached Chris Hedges, but he hasn't accepted yet. It's possible he consider this show "too small".
I've also reached out to Naomi Klein on her new book, but despite some back and forth, still no agreement to an interview.
There is a pecking order in the media. Thank goodness most people won't give climate scientists much more than an audio bite. I let them talk, and I haven't had a 'no' yet from a scientist.
Beckwith told me directly, to my face, that he believed we'd survive a global-average temperature rise of 16 C. Alex, your continued disparagement of my work, which cites the work of many others, is profoundly unprofessional and disingenuous.
Your approach is clear: Find anybody to disagree with the science, and claim they're disagreeing with me. You prop up the credentials of Scott Johnson and KMO are not scientists, but they aren't scientists, they don't cite any science, and they disparage my work based on opinion, not fact.
KMO uses an incorrect title for me, and you don't correct it. I'm not a former professor.
I'm starting to think you have an agenda, Alex. Sadly, science doesn't seem to be part of it.
Please see Charles Eisenstein article, the end of war…
I don't disagree with the science, Guy– I disagree with you. That should be very clear.
And if you've bothered to actually read my post, you'll know that I cite rather a lot of published science to that end. I've pointed out many instances where the science you "cite" actually says something much different than what you claim it to. Buyer beware.
(I'm not aiming to start a comment argument here, but I felt compelled to point out the above.)
What if GM is only half right? This still seems like a dire situation. Even if some of the projections turn out not to be, I feel we would be better off if we would have half the concern that this might be the result if we keep running civilization at the current rate.
Guy – whoever said what, we can both agree that humans cannot survive a 16 degree C rise in global mean temperature.
My "agenda" is clear: to attempt to present both sides of a very important argument. The first show developed your case, the second the case against, and the listeners can learn and make their decision.
Although I'm not sure we have to decide anything. I think the key here is explore the extremes of climate change, the risks we face, and the leading edge of climate science.
As I've said several times, I think your update, and the links you provide, are a very useful jumping off point. But we all need to be prepared to use our brains to judge what conclusions mainstream science offers (such as the IPCC) and what other scientists outside that process have to say as well.
At some point, we don't have to be scientists to make up our own minds.
Please point out any errors at Nature Bats Last, Scott. I will correct them.
In exchange, I'm hoping you and Alex will correct your errors. You can start with my title. But you won't, because you want to denigrate me and my work.
I hope I got your title correctly during our first interview. I missed what KMO said about it (it's tricky recording and interviewing at the same time).
Just tell me what the correction should be, and I will highlight that in this blog, in the "Department of Corrections" segment.
Has anybody here actually watched the Beckwith videos? In this one, from October 2012, he anticipates up to a 6 C temperature rise within a decade or so: http://youtu.be/zw1GEp8UBj4. And, from December 2013, he describes up to 16 C temperature rise in less than two decades: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38jhK0hADQo. In both cases, he uses the past as analogs for the near future, unless I'm misinterpreting them. Am I?
In both cases, he uses the past as analogs for the near future, unless I'm misinterpreting them.
Paul describes the magnitude of D-O events (which, by the way, reflect Greenland temperatures, not the magnitude of average global temperature change) in the past. It is obviously incorrect to call that a prediction for the next 20 years.
D-O events seem to relate to slowdowns in the circulation of the Atlantic as freshwater input to the North Atlantic made the surface water less dense. If you want to claim that's underway, you'd probably want to cite observations demonstrating that. There are physical reasons to think that the same sort of event isn't possible today, e.g. http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/04/bering-strait-influences-abrupt-changes-in-ocean-circulation/
Did you bother to watch the videos? Beckwith specifically refers to global average temperatures rising 16 C in fewer than 20 years.
Oh right. According to you, that's impossible.
Interesting series of posts by Guy McPherson there. They hardly incline one to question the general thrust of the interviewees. I've spent some time reading all that NTHE stuff and I find the weird, cultish, in-groupishness of it all pretty repellent. And as for suggesting there might be alternative views which are valid, though less outlandishly extreme, that's (thank the Lord) instantly dismissable as just so much 'hopium' (and whoever thought up that little neologism should be executed for crimes against language).
Did you bother to watch the videos?
I did. I also know something about what I'm saying.
The temperature estimates come from Greenland ice cores. Those are local temperatures. When Paul refers to these numbers as global temperature increases, he is either misspeaking or mistaken.
In my opinion there's no point trying to convince people beyond presenting the abundant evidence. I've already done that, and they deny the evidence. Johnson doesn't believe the clathrate gun has been fired!
This is a great and important discussion.
To use a metaphor: it is as if we are in bumper-to-bumper traffic moving 75 MPH on a crowded freeway – like a fast moving traffic jam. The fog is clearing and up ahead we see the wave stop dead with a crash- mangled cars and smoke and fire, but we are still moving together fast, we let off the gas, but nobody else is slowing down. We are still moving too fast. Everyone can see the crash ahead, we all see that we cannot avoid the huge crash,,,,,
… but the mass media voices on the radio don't say much about it, or don't report it at all, or say it is not going to be so bad, not everyone will be dead or injured.
My comeback is, we can see the fires, and heat up ahead, and we know we will be involved very soon. How do we know that an unavoidable bad crash will not kill most of us? How could we possibly know?
The global warming climate doom ahead is not direct, it is indirect. Like the Ebola plague which was revealed by drought, then crop failure, then famine, hunting food to sustain, eating rotten meat from long dead animals and then getting Ebola. That's not a direct event in a climate model, but it is triggered and exacerbated by climate changes. It is just systems thinking. An inch of sea level rise (inevitable in 10 years) is tremendously disruptive to systems.. it salinates our groundwater, which we use for irrigation. It chokes agriculture in vast areas. This is happening now in the Nile delta areas. Heatwave climate models read by agricultural scientists suggest that 70% of current agriculture will not be able to pollinate because heat in the year 2030 will be too much. (sorry, it was a series of UW lectures). In another college lecture, plant biologist openly derided Monsanto's promise to make heat tolerant plants.
I am really pleased that this discussion is happening, because Guy jumps to conclusions too quickly, but we just don't know yet that everything will be OK. But it is a naive counter-argument to deny systems thinking could make for very dire survival challenges. And just because we don't yet know the links, we should not say that the crashes to come will not be that bad.
Guy is a violent catastrophist, but the essential actions may unfold slower. Geologist know of isostatic rebound, after ice is removed from a large land mass, it moves up, as if to float, we just don't know how fast and how violent it will be.
We should be more eager to discuss possibility and plausibility in climate models.
Thanks for these discussions.
"One thing for sure, as I point out in this radio interview: Guy McPherson does not give us the whole picture when he fails to tell us about negative feedback loops. These are the "brakes" in the natural system which can limit runaway climate change (so far). I've run into one recently, which you'll hear about in an upcoming show. That is the way Boreal forests, once burned, are less likely to burn again within a few decades, even if they regrow. There is a limiting factor at work, a negative feedback loop. Our picture of science is not complete without these, and we need to hunt for them as hard as we do positive feedback loops." Alex, I think this passage is indicative of how screwed we actually are for a couple of reasons that jump out. I don't agree with everything Guy says, but consider, nobody needs to HUNT for the amplifying feedbacks, there are so many of them, and they are so potent that they DWARF the initial forcing from anthropogenic CO2. The mere fact we have to "hunt" for negative feedbacks demonstrates that, such as they exist, they are vanishingly insignificant compared to the exponentially rapid amplifiers in the system. Earth always slips swiftly from a cold to a hot equilibrium, and very slowly in the opposite direction, precisely because the amplifying feedbacks in warming dominate. Second, the example of the forest fires is kind of analogous to saying, that it doesn't matter that the corpse is on the table because it can't die again. YAY! But that's just my little joke. In more general terms, and here I part company with both you and Guy, I see climate change as only ONE SYMPTOM of ecosystem collapse. It is surely a very devastating one, but even without it, humanity is a cancer on the planet. We are consuming, destroying habitat, overfishing, polluting and poisoning the air, soil and water quite literally just as fast as we possible can – and there is NO indication at all that we will wind up any differently than the deer on St. Mathews Island as a result. We simply don't have it in our DNA to rein in our appetites, our consumption, and our reproduction. So while I see nothing wrong in being happy (especially since those of us who indulge in reading on computers are the beneficiaries of both energy and human slaves) in the meanwhile. But the truth is, like Wile E. Coyote we have already plunged over the cliff, just a lot of us haven't realized it yet. And no, it is a prediction that has absolutely nothing to do with religion or cults. It is based on irrefutable, irreversible trends and a view of history unclouded by wishful thinking (or hopium, a perfectly legitimate coinage IMO).
Gail, when you say
"I see climate change as only ONE SYMPTOM of ecosystem collapse" – I absolutely agree.
Even without climate change, we are overfishing and trawling the sea bottom dry. The bees, the low-level ozone pollution which you record, and so much more.
At times I stress out about not being able to cover more, to get well beyond climate change. But it's just an hour a week, and to my mind, a relatively stable climate is fundamental to so much else.
Thanks Alex, I didn't mean to imply your show is inadequate in any way, I think it's great. I'm just suggesting that humans are on a death march, period. The climate ultimately seals the deal, certainly, and in that sense is worthy of a primary focus, but as the primary focus for survival it falls short, since it enables many people to think 1. we have more time than we do, which is where the tar sands, stranded assets, divestment strategy comes in; and 2. we can get out of this mess by substituting fossil fuels with so-called clean energy. There is no such thing as clean energy, it all entails high environmental costs. Drastic reduction in consumption and population might have at least staved off the worst if we had enacted stringent limits 40 years ago or so. Meanwhile the illusion persists that we still have time.
Alex, you state: "There is no way to prove Guy McPherson wrong, except waiting until 2030." I disagree. If it can be shown that he is not basing his prediction on science, then it becomes nothing more than a guess. He is still claiming that "the clathrate gun has been fired", but he cannot cite a single published scientist, including field researcher Natalia Shakhova and her colleagues, who will say that it has. When a claim is made that cannot be supported, it follows that any subsequent arguments need not be taken seriously, especially when they concern something as momentous as near-term human extinction.
Note that no one here disputes the broad nature or the great seriousness of the problems we face. One of the regrettable results of Guy McPherson's activities in spreading his extinction fixation among the public is that it distracts attention from those problems and encourages those who hear him to give up hope, or to succumb to despair.
Maybe that is your reaction. I would rather know the truth even if it meant my eventual death. As GM relates in his programs, we all will die, it’s how you choose to live that is important.
Writing for the 3 September 2012 issue of Global Policy, Michael Jennings concludes that “a suite of amplifying feedback mechanisms, such as massive methane leaks from the sub-sea Arctic Ocean, have engaged and are probably unstoppable.”
There you have it. A refereed journal article concluding the clathrate gun has been fired. Will it be the final nail in the deniers' coffin? Undoubtedly not, even though it follows years of overwhelming evidence in similar fashion.
Alex, thank-you for another great podcast. You and KMO are Wednesday favorites for me. Climate change is a frightening subject for all of us believers. It is difficult to understand the deniers. Surely they must see the changes happening around them. Are they so afraid of a possible carbon tax they will throw the planet under the bus? Namaste,Deborah D. Summerville, SC
"…He is still claiming that "the clathrate gun has been fired.."
Well, it has. The oceans are warming, and that IS GOING TO melt the clathrates. It HAS TO, because the oceans will continue to warm even more, there is nothing to stop it.
You can quibble about how quickly the methane will be released (not just the clathrates but the melting permafrost and dying forests), but there really is no question that it WILL be released.
Based on my research of human nature, power, systems theory, etc. over the past 20 years or so, I tend to identify with the Guy Mc position. However, I have fun thinking about how we could have avoided the ugly landscape we now have and the the less than hospitable future that we now face. We would certainly have to be less anthropocentric than we are now. I'm also not sure that it involves extensive online discussion/confrontation about just when our demise will occur. Those who bother to think about these things — regardless of where you fall with respect to the time frame of our demise — should realize that you represent less than 1% of the population…
I envision a campus/college network where there are no cars or bureaucracy and where residents could move around to avoid the Magic Mountain (Mann) effect. It would be top quality — think Esalen Institute (without the bureaucracy) — and be able to produce and process gourmet food. BTW, I'm reasonably serious about making this happen.
Thanks to Guy for getting the message out and to Alex for his mediation…
In memory of Dan Treecraft…
Matt in Spokane
P.S. I've noticed here in Spokane that many of us who think that we humans are done are those who chose not to have children. Any thoughts on this? Cause or effect? Does having offspring lead to denial?
"Does having offspring lead to denial? "
Our guest last June, George Marshall quoted polls showing the people most likely to deny extreme climate change are young mothers. It makes sense.
Gail's comments "nailed it" to my view of things, although I'd say ecosystem collapse is more a symptom of climate disruption.
Either way, in pretty much every way possible the planet is deteriorating from human presence. Our population is greater today than it has ever been, and looks certain to increase indefinitely until massive plagues, famine or war come into play.
As for NTHE, it's one tough enough to connect the dots and accurately forecast the future.
But predicting the "when" is many times more difficult than foreseeing the "what". For example Malthus and Ehrlich weren't necessarily wrong in what they predicted, just when they predicted it to happen. Their "whats" got dismissed b/c their "whens" were wrong.
Whether Guy is right or wrong about the 2030 thing, humanity is clearly on a completely unsustainable path in many ways and shows no sign of the ability or will to address or correct its ways. How far off the multiple storm clouds facing us are is anybody's educated guess at best, but there can be no doubt those clouds get bigger and closer every day.
Hi Alex, while I appreciate some of what you bring up, as well as the differing opinions added to this discussion, I think it might add further clarity to apply the same stringent 'responsibility' measures you and your guests hold Guy to.
You state that we are not doomed, that we will not go extinct ( certainly not by 20 years from now), that the oceans are not dying, and that methane releases are absolutely not a going concern.
So can you reference which scientific peer reviewed papers, journals or interviews with mainstream scientists you used to arrive at these absolute conclusions? Or is there a chance you suffer from the same human flaws you speculatively use to excoriate Guy for?
This all gets curiouser and curiouser, but I would love to gain access to irrefutable proof that all of the above claims you make are true per the scientific community and share in your joy. Otherwise I remain a person who is sure no one knows for sure what will happen, however, the scientific community agrees it is a dire and unpredictable reality, and so we may very well be doomed. The jury is out and if that isn't a good reason to give Guy a respectful ear, shared human failings aside, I do not know what is.
I think your show would not fall into the very trap you have done a gentle character assassination against Guy for if you kept this in mind.
"It is based on irrefutable, irreversible trends and a view of history unclouded by wishful thinking (or hopium, a perfectly legitimate coinage IMO)."
And there you go. These ultra-doomers (who, interestingly, seem to count very few actual scientists among their numbers) are in sole possession of The Truth and to question The Truth is to commit heresy. Nothing cultish or religious about the way you deal with or defend your beliefs, is there.
Oh please, Guy McPherson, are you still citing that article in "the 3 September 2012 issue of Global Policy" as evidence of the clathrate gun having been fired? It has been pointed out to you that:
1. There was NO SUCH ISSUE of that journal. You mean the Feb 2013 issue. The date you give is when the article was first published. Why have you not corrected your records? This basic error is not untypical of McPherson's standards of research.
2. The article by Michael Jennings does indeed refer to "massive methane leaks from the sub-sea Arctic Ocean". It says nothing about hydrates, and nothing about extinction. To suggest that this is "A refereed journal article concluding the clathrate gun has been fired" is laughable.
Michael Jennings actually spoke about Arctic methane emissions later, here on Radio Ecoshock, where he specified that methane is coming from the permafrost, something that is well-known to real scientists. Again, Jennings did NOT mention methane hydrates; he did NOT mention extinction.
We need the work of real scientists like Jennings, warning us of just how bad future scenarios may be. What we do not need is promoters of cult-like beliefs in unproven extinction dates cluttering up serious debate on climate change.
"The date you give is when the article was first published. Why have you not corrected your records?"
Because it's already correct, as you point out with your absurdly Orwellian statement.
As already mentioned in this space, no mainstream scientist will mention extinction. They like their jobs. But there's no surviving a rapid rise in planetary temperature to 4 C above baseline. And 4 C is locked in, soon.
The clathrate gun has been fired, as clearly demonstrated by abundant evidence. To deny this evidence is truly inane at this point, and just what I expect from you many others.
Clathrate summary: http://shift-magazine.org/magazine/feedback-loops-a-death-spiral/
Thanks for the link and the consideration.
My broadest point is that McPherson is not "like" a denialist. McPherson IS a denialist. The phenomenon of denialism has a long history in the interface between science and society; anti-Darwinism being the earliest clear example. When people don't intuitively agree with science, many of them cast about for reasons to disbelieve it. They cherry pick evidence that supports their position and ignore that which doesn't. Then they claim that the evidence supporting their own position is overwhelming.
Regarding feedbacks, certainly they can be coupled in complex ways. One feedback can ameliorate or exacerbate another, though formally you have to put even more information paths in the model for that to work.
But they can't literally "multiply" in the way McPherson advocates. If they could, one negative feedback, no matter how tiny, could reverse the stability of the whole system by multiplying all the feedbacks with a negative number.
You'd end up with a system whose stability depended on whether the number of negative feedbacks were even or odd. It basically turns into a mathematical monster that bears no resemblance to what scientists call a model. In short, that idea is not useful.
If you are talking about whether a system is or isn't stable, you have to go with the mathematics of stability, with which McPherson appears to be unfamiliar. No crime in that unless you bluster your way to scaring the pants off people. Which maybe ought to be a crime. It certainly strikes me as reprehensible.
As the article pointed out, I am very concerned about our future and unhappy about our trajectory, but it seems to me that the way through is to use the best possible information. Science is not infallible, but the consensus of the professional community is by definition the best you can do at any time.
I am happy to report that McPherson (along with Beckwith and Carana and that whole gang) is totally off the reservation. You should no more attend to them than to Tony Watts. We have to give up on carbon. If we don't, the ecological stresses will continue to mount.
Gradually on human time scales, though abruptly on natural ones. Indeed it is exactly the mismatch of time scales that makes this problem so hard for us to deal with.
"Writing for the 3 September 2012 issue of Global Policy, Michael Jennings…". I repeat, there was NO SUCH ISSUE of that journal. Giving the date of first publication elsewhere as though that is the same thing is no way to reference an article. Didn't you used to be an academic? Correct your records before sending someone else on a wild goose chase.
So, "no mainstream scientist will mention extinction". I'm sure there are plenty of mentions of the possibility of human extinction in the scientific literature. Indeed, given a sufficient timeframe it is practically guaranteed. But only Guy McPherson is making a name for himself by touring the planet claiming to know in which fast-approaching decade extinction will occur; only Guy McPherson tells parents that their infants have no chance of seeing their 30th birthdays – a disturbing message for many.
How can McPherson be so sure? Because "[t]he clathrate gun has been fired, as clearly demonstrated by abundant evidence"; abundant evidence of a specific nature, however, that he never produces. His only source appears to be the blog post, referred to in the main article, by retired petroleum geologist and geoengineering enthusiast Malcolm Light.
To accept this evidence would be truly inane. Go home to your goats, Guy McPherson, and leave the science to the scientists. Your credibility is crumbling, and not before time.
I started a group on Facebook called The Panic Room. (Don't freak out Michael it's meant ironically) precisely to provide a safe haven for people to discuss the multi-faceted subject of extinction…in whatever timeframe. I was tired of attacks calling us Cassandras things like "reprehensible" and worse. Biologists agree that the sixth great extinction has begun. Only typical human hubris and a religious faith in technology could lead anyone to believe that our species will escape the fate we are inflicting on all or nearly all the others. Whereas climate change is expected to accelerate and perhaps finalize this new age of the Anthropocene, what is driving it right is the usual mundane habitat destruction, pollution, and extraction. Anyone who would like to check out TPR drop me a line.
Gail Zawacki, please reflect on what you wrote about McPherson's claim that "the clathrate gun has been fired.." You wrote:
"Well, it has. The oceans are warming, and that IS GOING TO melt the clathrates. It HAS TO, because the oceans will continue to warm even more, there is nothing to stop it."
Tense, Gail, it's about tense; do you see? I imagine most of us here feel like Cassandras, but unlike McPherson we don't make stuff up in order to draw special attention to ourselves.
I'll have to let Guy clarify that but to me there is no inconsistency, rather, perhaps, a weakness in what is merely a metaphor. I take "has been fired" to mean that it is now inevitable that the bullet is going to exit the chamber. The velocity is unknown.
Consider today's statement from Michael Mann, surely one of the world's best known and most respected scientists. Notice the 3 ESSENTIAL actions he prominently lists that we MUST take. Although he says "we CAN do this" the fact is, we WON'T. So according to Mann, we will have runaway warming. And it's not because Guy is "making himself important", either. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/the-gathering-storm_b_5849986.html
No, Gail, you are being overly generous. It is not merely a metaphor (except that there is no actual gun). McPherson writes in his "Climate-change summary and update":
'Malcolm Light concluded on 22 December 2013, “we have passed the methane hydrate tipping point and are now accelerating into extinction as the methane hydrate ‘Clathrate Gun’ has begun firing volleys of methane into the Arctic atmosphere.” According to Light’s analysis in late 2013, the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere will resemble that of Venus before 2100. Two weeks later, in an essay stressing near-term human extinction, Light concluded: “The Gulf Stream transport rate started the methane hydrate (clathrate) gun firing in the Arctic in 2007 when its energy/year exceeded 10 million times the amount of energy/year necessary to dissociate subsea Arctic methane hydrates.”'
That is what he is insisting on, with no evidence. That is what he uses to draw attention to himself and NTHE and away from real information such as that you cite from Mann. I hope you can see the difference in approach and in validity.
"Consider today's statement from Michael Mann, surely one of the world's best known and most respected scientists. Notice the 3 ESSENTIAL actions he prominently lists that we MUST take. Although he says "we CAN do this" the fact is, we WON'T. So according to Mann, we will have runaway warming"
This is a fantastic example of the kind of wildly fallacious reasoning acolytes of this millenarian death cult engage in. Michael Mann makes a statement. You add a 'fact' of your own to it (and one offered up as if it's some unarguably fundamental feature of reality when it is nothing of the kind) and then you attribute your own perverse interpretation back to the original author. It's just absurd. It wouldn't really matter if (a) your beliefs weren't so toxic and (b) (and this is obviously an entirely personal reaction) you, and McPherson, and as far as I can see, all the others in the cult, weren't so insufferably smug and self-congratulatory about all of this.
Very embarrassing answers from Guy here. When someone is not prepared to concede any statement they make is wrong or debatable, you can be sure that they have lost the plot and aren't interested in actually seeking accuracy or reasonableness.
Contrast his comments (including petty complaints) with those of Scott Johnson and Michael Tobis. The contrast is marked.
And what always amazes me, about people like Dan, is that they behave exactly like deniers in making the most virulent personal attacks on the integrity and motives of those with whom they disagree. It's a time-honored tradition, known as shoot the messenger.
Instead of discussing the issues, they heap insults on individuals (about whom they know nothing.) Perhaps out of respect for Alex's normally civil forum, Dan left the "C" word off after "Toxic", which was how I was recently described on the Internet. It's become a running joke at The Panic Room, because it betrays a total lack of understanding and compassion for those you describe as a cult. For a little insight I would refer you to my essay, http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-fine-frenzy-universal-dance-of.html
Aside from all that the main point is that no one has challenged the fact that we are in the sixth mass extinction. This is as much a consensus among biologists as climate change is among climate scientists. No one has proposed why humans should be exempt from this cataclysm which is happening far far faster than any of the prior global events.
And what Dan really should have addressed is, just how accurate is what I said – ithat we won't undertake the actions Mike Mann says we MUST in order to avert runaway warming? One of the three is that globally we must start reducing emissions NOW.
Just check in with me in six months and we'll see if that indeed happened.
I can dig out the article if you want where Corinne Le Quere said, in 2009, that if the negotiations at Copenhagen were to fail – if the world didn't agree to binding limits AND follow through, then it would be too late to avert catastrophic climate change.
That was five years ago and everything is much worse now. It doesn't matter of course how much so-called green energy you add. It only matters how much dirty energy is reduced.
It can't remain 5 minutes to midnight forever. Meanwhile try to be polite while the flames and the floods rise around you.
Submitted without further comment:
From Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
When [James P.] Kennett analyzed fossil shells from the Santa Barbara Basin using mass spectroscopy, large spikes in methane appeared coincident with periods of abrupt climate shift [Dansgaard–Oeschger interstadial events]. The American Geophysical Union published a book on what Kennett calls his clathrate gun hypothesis in 2002 (3). Kennett acknowledges that the potential climate-shift role of methane clathrates, the more technical term for hydrate, was and remains controversial. “Methane hydrates have and will continue to play a key role in climate change,” he predicts, “[but] the climate community has largely not accepted the idea of a role.”
Kennett believes that the greatest potential of rapid methane release into the atmosphere is from sediments under the ocean, not in wetlands as others propose. He explains that estimates suggest up to 11,000 gigatons of methane hydrate reserves versus 5 gigatons of reserves of all fossil fuels. “There are arguments about almost everything in this field because it's so young,” he says. But Kennett sees methane studies as outside-the-box thinking, saying, “Eventually, it's likely to be seen as part and parcel of global climate change through time.”
3. Kennett JP, Cannariato KG, Hendy IL, Behl RJ
(2002) Methane Hydrates in Quaternary Climate Change: The Clathrate Gun Hypothesis (Am Geophys Union, Washington, DC).
Dan, you are being a little unfair to Gail here. The Mann article used the phrase "runaway warming" without elaborating. When Gail says "the fact is, we WON'T [act as the article advocates]" she is clearly stating a personal (and not hard to justify) opinion. The consequent "runaway warming" is just as clearly an extension of that opinion, and not attributing anything new to the original author.
This expression of an opinion is very different from the fallacious claims made by McPherson when he speaks authoritatively of his audiences' impending demise as objective, proven, scientifically guaranteed fact.
1. Let's keep it sweet. We're all in this together.
2. There is the possibility that the clathrate gun may be smashing ants with the hammer of god.
3. Gaze at the stars and then reassess the importance of life as we know it.
4. Ah, tragedy.
Kennet's hypothesis is no longer current. It was refuted by isotopic evidence in ice cores.
Here's the latest on carbon feedbacks. It is really a very bad situation, but it is not as bad as McPherson et al want us to think for some reason.
Here is a current estimate that just came to my attention:
See figure S-7 in particular.
Present day anthropogenic emissions are 6 Pg/a so numbers bigger than 3 are bad and bigger than 6 very bad. In the worst case (high human emissions and high sensitivity) the earth will eventually match our emissions rather than absorbing half of them. And in that scenario, the feedbacks do continue for a long time after we stop emitting. Very scary.
But these events don't kick in for several decades and while terrible are not cataclysmic. There's nothing like a Paleocene-Eocene boundary catastrophe in the cards. (PETM) I don't know why McPherson not only wants us to believe this, but also wants us to join him in his smug conviction that it's too late.
I became completely jaded with McPherson when he started flying around the world to hold sparsely attended, poorly filmed gatherings. Why would he do this if, according to him, it is already too late to stop our demise? Besides his gaining ego satisfaction from the attention and creating a personality cult in the process, the only point I can see for this wasted effort is that it has enabled him to escape his dreary existence at the “mud hut,” which is not an accurate description of his household anyway. This man is such a natural at hyperbole.
Secondly, it has always puzzled me why a supposed expert (Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) would choose to settle in New Mexico. Even I, a non-scientist, have always known that area was going to run out of water in very short order, NTE or not.
Also, why does he not ever address overpopulation head-on? Since great suffering is in the immediate cards, according to him, then the best recommendation for humanity would be to stop reproduction entirely and now. He demurely (with no active participation) became a member of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement's FB site but seems very afraid to offend his fans, many of whom are hard-core "professional" parents, so he remains mute to appease them. He's not as radical as he thinks. Again, if he believes we're done for, why doesn't he make an effort to stop unnecessary future misery or at least bring it up occasionally?
Now I consider McPherson a dark source of comedic relief for myself, not for the many he depresses and demoralizes while speaking down to them with the meaningless, vague “live a life of excellence" or "we're living in a time of hospice." On the other hand, I suspect that his disciples, most of them aging, financially comfortable, and non-expert in hard scientific knowledge, acquire peace of mind from his beliefs: By accepting that all effort to save the planet is for naught, they are off the hook and can live as comfortably as they always have in a consumerist world, including McPherson himself, who relies on and spends a great deal of time with the monetarily secure. Plus, they have the additional bonus of being able to pat themselves on the back for being so-called realists, superior outliers, forward-thinking iconoclasts without having to lift a finger.
Is the planet in dire trouble? Yes. Is it sensible to accept McPherson's opinion as the only option? No.
Ha, it is comical. No sooner than several people post in a civil manner about issues than along comes someone who vomits personal vitriol. I don't agree with every one of the amplifying feedbacks on Guy's list, but I also think some are left off (like trees dying from ozone, meaning wildfires and the loss of a significant CO2 sink.) but even without including the most controversial parts (for instance I am not nearly convinced that all nuclear power plants melting down will be a global existential threat) there is enough on the list that is not controversial to lead one to conclude that the survival of humity is highly unlikely in some near term timeframe. Droughts, floods, erratic temps and sea level rise will lead to drastic reductions in food and to the ability to transport it. Ditto for medicine and maintaining the grid. The displacement and famine of billions of people will cause the living to envy the dead so much that when exactly the last human succumbs to intolerable heat is pretty academic.
That most people still have not given up idling (drive thru's, after school pick-up) and power mowers / blowers for their lawns is all the evidence I need that we will NOT address the CO2 problem in a timely manner (or the coming energy crunch). The fruit doesn't hang much lower than that, but we can't be inconvenienced to pick it.
So regardless wether the clathrate gun has been fired or how fast world temps rise, here are two predictions with a general time frame included:
1) we will see the day when cars are used more for shelter than transportation
2) we will all end up broke and hungry
The NTE theory refutes the human experience. It's WAY outside the boundaries of knowledge that can be readily accepted. All we have for a measuring stick is the re-creation of the historical record and the interpretation of the data (which are subject to widely differing interpretations), which then conveys a whole lot of predictions (and more interpretations), and these predictions are then further subjected to constant revisions as things progress (or not).
The point being – it's not "fixed" or absolute or immutable. But it is often passed off that way – which is an error (and series of assumptions) and conveys more then it "should". Science is SUPPOSED to make revisions and corrections as necessary, otherwise it would not be science.
This is not the same thing as first-hand knowledge or experience (which isn't "scientific"). We tend to believe (and trust) what we either can or have experienced (and what we're willing to learn), it's more "true" and "feels right" then what is unknown (or being constantly revised). Our natural objections to projections outside of life experience have to be taken into account. There is a gigantic gap between what science tells us and what we "believe". I doubt that they're ever fully in agreement (but perhaps they are for some few people).
The persuasion of theory vs. experience and vice versa does not invalidate the other. In fact, both could be true, and both could be wrong. Or only one and not the other is true. But we don't know which with absolute certainty (and should admit that) and without constant investigation and reinterpretation and revisions. Both are subject to gained experience (and learning).
For this reason, it is not relevant "which is right", because this seeks an "absolute" here and now – and that is an impossible task (on this subject). Nobody "knows" the whole of the future despite the claims otherwise. We have neither lived nor experienced the future, or any of the projections being made, nor have we fully comprehended all the science (and Earth systems) and associated ramifications, or have any knowledge of other events that might occur (such as volcanic eruptions impacting outcomes).
In fact, the whole debate of who is right becomes meaningless in the end. This is a red herring, a distraction and debate that distracts listeners from the deeper and far more important message that needs to be conveyed (while we still can).
That message is simple enough – we're (all) in deep trouble, every living entity on the planet, humans caused it, now what do we propose to do about it, if anything?
Those are the relevant topics for discussion.
I do not agree with the hopelessness NTE conveys. It's the wrong message at the wrong time. We should be focusing instead on how to get out of this mess we've caused (even if we are "destined" to fail).
This adopts both positions of science and the human experience, and is the best course (and only course imo) of action for humanity.
Or we can dwiddle away whatever time is left.
Michal Tobis, is your smug conviction it won't happen working well for you?
It is insane that either extreme is barfed up against the backdrop of the other as if that proves something useful for any of us at this point.
I wonder if barfing up extreme conviction against another's opposite extreme conviction can be added to the positive feedback list?
Q-Who needs extinction or non-extinction so badly that anything important is set aside?
A-The fossil fuel industry.
I've got to agree with what Survival Acres said, so well. Nobody knows the future.
Really I'm kind of humbled by the quality of the posts on this blog.
We may not see human extinction in our lifetimes, but we are well on the way to termination of civil society and, thus, a technologically advanced existence…
And as one who has been a fan of the exponential function since my first encounter with it, I think it is grossly under-implemented with respect to the interaction of possible positive feedbacks.
Gail, if you think some of the comments here are full of vitriol, will you not check out many of Guy's so-called responses to his critics? Not just here but in other places. He often dismisses them as fools but carefully avoids addressing their points, except tangentially. Even here, he seems to get more wound up about being called a "former professor" than about the substantive points raised. The responses are embarrassing to anyone who has, or had, any admiration for any of his work or actions. He's a likeable fellow but seems to have now abandoned any serious consideration of the science.
SA defines the essence of the problem with these words…"NTE theory refutes the human experience. It's WAY outside the boundaries of knowledge that can be readily accepted." I agree with this. Humans cannot imagine the world without them, so they refuse. They stick their fingers in their ears and scream la-la-la-la as the evidence mounts that we alive in this moment have the unique vantage of viewing all history from the peak of everything anthropogenic. We can see the downslope if we choose, but most do not. Really, most cannot.
I have seen Guy be impatient, testy, stubborn and respond curtly, but I have never seen him spew the epithets and insults and character assassinations at others that I have seen him receive here and other places. Even something as contemptuous as "get back to your goats" – I've never seen him respond in kind. Maybe you can point to an example.
And as far as serious consideration of the science well, anyone who follows the archdruid and his magic and homeopathy really ought to think twice before leveling that charge.
I also agree with chipshot. I was following up on some of Michael Mann's other articles and the one just prior was written about his family vacation to Yellowstone. Did they get there from PA by walking or horseback? Not to pick on him because the only climate scientists I know of who have pledged to reduce their own carbon footprint are Alice Bows and Kevin Anderson. The rest are praying for a mythical technology that will enable this party to continue.
Not to pick on him because the only climate scientists I know of who have pledged to reduce their own carbon footprint are Alice Bows and Kevin Anderson. The rest are praying for a mythical technology that will enable this party to continue.
There are thousands of climate scientists around the world. I would not pretend to know (and judge) all their minds and actions like that.
I should have been more specific and said "pledged publicly to eschew air travel". And more generally called for a reduction in leving standards in the wealthy nations.
I highly recommend this easy by Dave Cohen which explains why that will ever happen… http://www.declineoftheempire.com/2014/09/adventures-in-flatland-part-ii.html#more
Guy often calls his dissenters fools and remarks that he wouldn't waste his time answering. He also lies about others whilst claiming others lie about him. Let's take Guy's comments here.
"Scott Johnson and KMO are not scientists … they don't cite any science and disparage my work based on opinion, not fact". That is a lie. Scott Johnson made this clear but Guy doesn't respond to the points.
He politely asks for errors in his analysis to be pointed out on his blog but Johnson and Tobis have pointed out many errors on their own blogs. Guy doesn't want to bother answering there (though I think he has commented there, without addressing any points) so, instead tries to pretend that he's being reasonable but insists that they go to his blog as though he can't enter an address in a browser.
He accuses Scot and Alex of wanting to denigrate Guy and his work, which is another lie. All they want to do is address Guy's analyis and hold it up to scrutiny, nothing to do with the man. At the same time, he complains about Alex getting his title wrong – a trivial point.
He lied about Beckwith forecasting a 16C rise within two decades (i.e. the next two decades) in his interview with Alex, misrepresenting what Beckwith said but never apologised for that.
He never engages honestly with critics because that would mean admitting he got something wrong. Instead, he accuses them of denying the evidence or misrepresenting what they've said or written.
He finds a single peer reviewed article claiming that the clathrate gun has been fired and colcludes that it must be correct, since it conforms to his own view. However, it was just opinion, not fact, as he likes to disparag other people for.
"Because it's already correct, as you point out with your absurdly Orwellian statement." Absurdly Orwellian statement? A polite put down? Actually, the commenter he was referring to was correct. Guy has done this before, which has led me on a wild goose chase a few times. He finds an published paper on-line and claims it was in an issue of a journal that matches the date of online publication of the article, when either no such issue exists or when the paper was actually printed in another edition.
He often talks about "abundant evidence" for some statement but, at best, provides one piece of arguable evidence or points someone at his blog repeatedly.
One of his comments was removed here, so he must have violated some rule of etiquette.
On this YouTube video, he calls a commenter "ignorant". Also in those comments, he's said,
"Scott Johnson doesn't produce any evidence countering my conclusion". A lie he repeated in more comments.
"You're anonymous, irrelevant troll and denier."
"clueless, anonymous trolls"
"Some people are not worth my precious time"
"The stupid from you is so profound it hurts. I've decided to leave you in your own delusion with a line from George Carlin: 'Never argue with an idiot.'"
Guy may not have descended to the level of some commenters but his responses are often equally as insulting and trite. That you can't see that suggest you're also not willing to take in criticisms of Guy's argument, such as they are. They seem to amount to no more than "because a lot of climate science papers have mentioned possible positive feedbacks, humans will go extinct within 25 years or so. Do you really find that convincing?
By the way, you clearly haven't read Greers articles on magic from your off-hand remark about it. However, if he believes in homeopathy (I don't recall his admitting that), I agree with your obvious opinion on that. Also, good link to Dave Cohen's work. He has it sussed.
While no disciple of anyone, having followed Ecoshock and Nature Bats for years, I was surprised at how personally I took Janus' comment that "On the other hand, I suspect that his disciples, most of them aging, financially comfortable, and non-expert in hard scientific knowledge, acquire peace of mind from his beliefs: By accepting that all effort to save the planet is for naught, they are off the hook and can live as comfortably as they always have in a consumerist world, including McPherson himself, who relies on and spends a great deal of time with the monetarily secure. Plus, they have the additional bonus of being able to pat themselves on the back for being so-called realists, superior outliers, forward-thinking iconoclasts without having to lift a finger."
That's a classic ad hominem attack. So is most of the rest of the post, even though A) In public communications McPherson has a hard time stepping out of his role as professor, and B) I was surprised when he moved to NM too. The comments in general are rife with personal digs, and in that I suspect personal motives not reasonable discourse.
I hope Janus enjoyed writing that post. Sometimes I take great pleasure in chopping apart a fool's worldview. But I try to remember that it's the very definition of cruelty, and I do my best to choose other pursuits.
I don't know when humanity will "leave", and I hope that McPherson's data IS fudged to be "doomer-porn". But while I'm not a scientist, I sense that McPherson is rational and genuine, and that his professional studies have given him a keen ability to look at the dozens of diverse studies coming in and form broad conclusions. While he is by no means the "best" brain on the block, his presentation and citations *on the whole* are compelling.
I'm saddened by the comments that disparage him for stating that, to paraphrase, "by reviewing a big pile of literature I've concluded NTHE is baked in and we may want to deal with this honorable." Duh. I hope he's wrong, but even so this does not induce me to fatalism and I don't think he suggests it. The fact is, *I* am going to die, and I'm of an age that I can imagine this happening in a very real time frame. This certainty (much more certain than NTHE) has not caused me to give up on living, nor will it. Why disparage the message with a red-herring conclusion?
That said, anyone who just got a full interview on Radio Ecoshock with excellent questions, no time limit, no interruptions, played in full has no business calling Alex Smith "disingenuous". Kudos to Alex to interview a guest he respectfully doesn't fully agree with. That he filled the next episode with critics is a genuine work of balance. I hope Alex understands that Guy is under a lot of stress for his message, but I hope Guy finds more compassion for those who are honestly skeptical and even for those who just don't care to think of such things objectively. Note that none of these comments were directed at co-guest Carolyn Baker.
Guy, ask Carolyn how she'd of handled this bunch — don't just complain about "a conspiracy". Humans are self-absorbed enough to kill off the planets capacity to support us. Thanks for enlightening us. But to expect such idiots to here the news and then accept it like the weather report?
Alex, thanks again for your great interviews.
Sofistek, can you point to the "single peer reviewed article claiming that the clathrate gun has been fired". I'm not aware of any that actually assert that.
Earlier, Guy said:
"Writing for the 3 September 2012 issue of Global Policy, Michael Jennings concludes that “a suite of amplifying feedback mechanisms, such as massive methane leaks from the sub-sea Arctic Ocean, have engaged and are probably unstoppable.”
There you have it. A refereed journal article concluding the clathrate gun has been fired. Will it be the final nail in the deniers' coffin? Undoubtedly not, even though it follows years of overwhelming evidence in similar fashion.
Guy thinks that this is proof positive that the clathrate gun has been fired.
Gail, no one said "get back to your goats". In my reply to his comment addressed to me wherein he claimed that I deny evidence I advised him to "Go home to your goats", since there he would be doing something positive, rather than skipping from one venue to the next, spreading bad science and frightening the emotionally vulnerable.
On McPherson's own site a commenter named Eric, who made it clear that he believed climate change is humanity's "BIGGEST issue", politely pointed out a number of factual errors in his "Climate-change summary and update. Four days later, someone asked if McPherson intended to respond. Less than two hours later, McPherson replied:
"I will not take time to deal with Eric the denier. No amount of evidence will convince deniers of anything, so I’ll not waste my time. If you’re interested in evidence, there’s plenty in this post to support all I’ve written and said."
That's a classic "overwhelming evidence (which I will neither elaborate on nor defend)" McPherson response. Gail, loyalty is an admirable quality, but there comes a time when you need to recognize the indefensible.
I also used to think Guy rational and genuine. I had the greatest respect for him. But his repeated refusal to engage his critics seriously, instead of dismissing them as deniers, has definitely lowered his reputation and makes me think that he is neither rational nor genuine. He claims to want to be proven wrong but his actions suggest otherwise.
Although he doesn't promote fatalism or giving up, his message can clearly have that effect, if taken on board. He often says something like "you're damned if you do and damned if you don't, so do", which is no different from ending it with "so don't". In the face of extinction by 2040 something, any response is valid.
Excuse me, but if they don’t believe the factual evidence presented, I think this makes them deniers.
Especially when they do not present any evidence of their own and just say, “no it’s not”.
sofistek, if you look about 8 comments below the one by McPherson you cited, you'll see that I reminded him that while the article in question (apart from not being in the location he gives, since that location does not exist) refers to "massive methane leaks from the sub-sea Arctic Ocean", it does not mention hydrates or extinction. Ergo, it is not talking about "the clathrate gun".
It's necessary to understand that there are two possible sources of methane from the sub-sea Arctic Ocean, the permafrost and methane hydrates, known as clathrates. Methane from permafrost is a serious climate change issue, and the subject of debate, but its existence is not disputed. Melting clathrates, should there be such a thing in large quantity in the location posited by some, could be devastating, releasing great quantities of methane in a short period. This is the scenario – "the clathrate gun" – allowing human extinction by 2030. However, there is no peer-reviewed science asserting that the "gun" has been or will be fired.
You will see that in McPherson's reply the only relevant words are "no mainstream scientist will mention extinction". So, he can't deny what I pointed out, and his only defense is to suggest that the article implied what he claimed it concluded.
This is part of McPherson's technique, to imply that others are saying what they are not: here, inferring that a reference to "massive methane leaks" confirms what he wants you to believe. It won't wash with real scientists of course, but it's good enough for his followers and the kind of audiences he targets.
One can speculate about McPherson's motives. The important thing to take away from this is: do not believe anything Guy McPherson says.
Well, I thought it might be interesting to look at the words of Scott Johnson and see how they've held up over the past months. Then tell me that anything he says is to be taken with anything other than a smirk and a grain of salt.
SJ 02/20/2014 at 4:12 pm
“Hansen is certainly right. I do think we’ll see a significant carbon emissions reduction over the next several decades. Renewables are booming, population is stabilizing, efficiency keeps increasing, natural gas is bumping coal in the US (which gets us started in the right direction), and I think public opinion is near critical mass in the US and past it elsewhere. China and India are very important, and China recognizes the problem and is already wrestling with the growth/pollution dilemma. I honestly see positive signs in many places. It’s not ideal, but it’s not nothing.”
And how is it helpful to fill adults with fairy tales. We’re a culture more concerned with entertainment than with reality.
The points Scott raises above give us a view into how his mind processes the physical world around him which is why we must be very careful in accepting even his most rational points. Even situations where we have consistently taken the wrong path he manages to twist into claiming we’re moving in a positive direction. Now that takes skill or denial. He sees positive signs where they don’t exist and projects positive futures based on wishful thinking, not on facts.
Unfortunately for Scott the opposite of all he stated is true. We’ve gone backwards over the last 40 years. Shifting baselines have made near impossible for most people to even know what has so radically changed around them. Things have gotten worse.
Scott seems to have forgotten what path we’ve been on for so long, but just in the past 60 years there have been so many instances of being told we’re moving in a positive direction when in reality we were being lied to.
– Nuclear energy would be free.
– That dropping the atomic bomb on Japan saved American lives (the number of American lives saved has grown ever larger with the passage of time).
– The number of deaths from Chernobyl was minimal.
– That cigarette smoking is good for us (have we forgotten those commercials featuring physicians touting the health benefits brands provided).
– That GMO crops are safe for humans even though all we have to go on is a 90 day Monsanto trial approved by the FDA.
– That the Green Revolution was successful. Yet, in 1972 when population was 3.5 Billion around 500 Million were in some form of food insecurity. Now with population at 7.2 Billion, 1 Billion are food insecure, so there’s been no change in the percentage of people who are food insecure. Rarely in MSM are the consequences of this revolution mentioned: that a larger numbers of people suffer from food insecurity, the ever increasing number of dead zones in the ocean due to run off, the expanding plastic gyres around the globe, rapidly depleting aquifers creating Dust Bowl like conditions, and having to use ever increasing amounts of chemicals to produce food.
Let’s look at some of the areas Scott claims we’re making positive movement in:
– Renewables are booming. If they are what does it mean. Can we run a civilization needing infinite growth on them? Aren’t renewables are nothing more than a fossil fuel extenders? Don’t we barely discuss the damage done in the mining, extraction, and processing to build these renewable? Three cheeers for the work of Ozzie Zehner, all those who continue to bring up this point and all those posters on the Oil Drum over the past decade focusing on this.
-Population is stabilizing. How can it be stabilizing with an ever increasing number (that we are going to have to feed while massive droughts are occurring) being report? Was John stating that the percentage of increase is dropping? So what? A lower percentage on an ever increasing base number does not indicate a stable population. We continue to use diminishing or severely damaged resources (soil, water, etc, etc) for those alive on the planet.
Hey, did you all see the recent article that said they were wrong about population and that we’re now heading for 11 Billion by 2100, at minium (well for those who beliefve we’re headed in the right direction and not for a collapse or NTE).
Doesn’t Scott understand how the exponential function that Albert Bartlett talks about at work here? We're in overshoot. There ate too many of us while crowding out all the non-humans. How many earths would we need if we all lived as we do in the USA (5% of the world using 25% of the resources)?
– Efficiency is increasing – Is Scott familiar with Jevon's Paradox? With our increasing efficiency we’ve only been using more resources.
– Natural Gas – How are we heading in the right direction with natural gas? Is that the right direction when Natural Gas falls off a cliff without much notice? Have you read Richard Heindberg and do you think he's reporting facts?
– Public Opinion – Which opinion of the public are we talking about here? Is this the same public opinion that was against the war in Iraq? Has public opinion had much influence in punishing anyone for the economic debacle of 2008?
Public opinion from a culture where 1 out of 4 think the sun revolves around the earth and are more interested in the Super Bowl than Edward Snowden doesn’t provide me with much confidence. A recent article in LA Times indicates American's have low and declining reading proficiency which gives me pause as to what the opinions you refer to are even based on.
What good is the public opinion if the public doesn’t understand that we live on a planet with limited resources? That despite all the constant talk about growth, growth and more growth it isn’t possible to have infinite growth. What exactly does the public want and what are they willing to do to address these issues?
Historically we've had campaigns that manipulate our understanding. In years past we’ve had Hearst, today we have the Koch brothers. They’ve all used techniques and methods espoused by Edward Bernays and others. BBC documentary film maker Adam Curtis has produced a series focusing on the impact these campaigns have had over the course of the 20th century.
I support that Scott is asking questions; that he is looking through the Climate Summary so thoroughly. We all should be critical thinkers.
However, if Scott is claiming we are moving in a positive direction in areas where we clearly are not then what does this say about his analytic skills or ability to be objective.
Scott seems to have a predilection for being too optimistic and looking at the positive whether there is supporting evidence or not. This sounds like "The Secret" to me. There are numerous pieces on the dangers of positive thinking by such authors as Chris Hedges, Karen Armstrong, Barbara Ehrenreich, and this piece on the Naked Capitialism Blog called “Positive Thinking is Bad for You.” Perhaps those who are rushing to support Scott should reacquaint themselves for this phenomenon.
Alex, will probably just tell me to take a breath again and close with his "Cheers" line. Why does it seem so passive/agressive to me. Must be something in the water I drink.
All good points PMB. Thanks for adding to the discussion.
Of course, you're right. Perhaps I should have modified my comment to reflect the fact that McPherson does tend to be sloppy in interpreting climate research. If no climate scientist would admit to the clathrate gun being fired, McPherson dismisses the obvious possibility that it, therefore, hasn't been fired, instead going for the non-sequitur that it must have been fired if no publishing climate scientist would say that it has.
I often see too much optimism in Scott's remarks but at least Scott tries to stick to the science, most of the time. His criticisms of Guy are based on an assessment of the science that Guy supposedly presents.
I agree that Scott has no basis for his optimism. To add to that, China, which is supposedly growing in awareness, actually just overtook Europe in per capita emissions. For a country of 1.3 billion (?) people, that is scary, indeed.
But Guy not only skimps on the science but thinks journalistic opinion pieces are proof of something. Still, we shouldn't have to wait too long; if humans will go extinct in the northern hemisphere by around 2030, we should be seeing a big population reduction well before then. If we reach 2020 and still don't see populations bombing, you can be fairly sure that Guy got it wrong, IMO.
sofistek, I concur with what you say about Scott, from what I've seen of his views. He's entitled to his opinion, and it may have a lot to do with the academic and intellectual milieu in which he finds himself.
With McPherson, we don't have to wait until 2020. I see too many people saying that time will show whether he was right or wrong. If we should happen to go extinct by 2030, for whatever reason, it will not change by one iota the lack of evidence, today, for McPherson's position. Baseless predictions can turn out to be accurate by pure chance.
On the debate between Guy and Scott, I suggest you have Naomi Oreskes on your radio talk show
Here is an interview with Naomi Oreskes that your listeners on the Guy/Scoot debate should listen to:
Very true, Graham.
Wow, not much to add to all of this other than we are all in basic agreement that we are all in deep trouble… Be that extinction or "just" war and famine… Thank you all for caring and peace to you all
"I don't disagree with the science, Guy– I disagree with you." ~ Scott Johnson
"When Paul refers to these numbers as global temperature increases, he is either misspeaking or mistaken." ~ Scott Johnson
In a sense, we're already dead in this sociopoliticultural Matrix, this Plato's Cave.
We've lost our bands, our tribes, and we've lost our way.
We've decoupled ourselves, and our systems, (financial/economic/nuclear, etc.) from reality, from nature, from community.
Fundamentally-unethical/corrupt legal systems have been set up that uphold, by force, land and resource grabs of and for those with more dubiously-acquired money than others.
As for Guy's quoting Ed Abbey sometimes, well, if we're all anarchists by nature, we have created open air prisons around ourselves that we call nation-states… crony-capitalist oligarchies.
NTHE is already here because of the zombies lending legitimacy to our prison officials we call politicians and their weapon-toting thugs.
Over at PRI (Permaculture Research Institute [of Australia]), there's a recent article that says that Tokyo is contaminated with radiation from the disaster at Fukushima… This is just one, if very fine, example, in full view, of 'our' beloved governpimps' work.
NTHE may prove to be the shining example, and final, slowly slid-in nail in the coffin, of the paradox of the human for its capacity for complexity getting the upper hand in the end.
(Some people like SJ appear to be fiddling while Rome burns.)
With regard to Hansen– assuming the (former?) NASA guy– I seem to recall him advocating nuclear energy. (Yikes. Nuclear ostensibly requires tax-theft, never mind that 'it's too cheap to meter'.)
My alternative ethical currency is on Guy and such outfits as Deep Green Resistance and Permaea. Even if he's wrong– whatever that even exactly means– he appears as part of the critical mass we need to help stop the inertia of this insane mrunaway train, full of sheep and/or zombies, or something.
It's like that online comic-strip, "What if it's all a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?".
Glomerol, Guy can't become part of some critical mass "to help stop the inertia of this insane runaway train" if his message is essentially we're all doomed no matter what we do, because all responses to his message are equally valid. This is why he needs to get the science (or his interpretation of it) right. It doesn't seem (yet) to end inevitably in NTHE, as he claims (but has never shown).
The hold that McPherson has over some people is strange. I wonder if McPherson himself has been surprised by it.
"Even if he's wrong–" You can see quite a lot of this.
'It's like that online comic-strip, "What if it's all a hoax and we create a better world for nothing?".'
No, it isn't like that at all.
The “hold” GM has over some people is not strange, it is a rational interpretation of data. Sorry all you deniers do not have any peer reviewed scientific evidence to back up your claims so you attack the messenger and people who agree with the data.
"Guy can't become part of some critical mass 'to help stop the inertia of this insane runaway train' if his message is essentially we're all doomed no matter what we do, because all responses to his message are equally valid." ~ sofistek
Could you please clarify your reasoning? Responses to different messages will be contextually different and responsive. NTHE may very well prove to be a good tack to take, reverse psychology and all that, and also since it is a different tack.
In any case, if you take a look around, Guy seems to have already broadened this crucial discourse and shifted the narrative.
He's here 'and there and everywhere', and as the subject of SJ's Fractal Planet article to boot…
That's pretty good, Guy, if you are still reading. ^u'
"This is why he needs to get the science (or his interpretation of it) right."
Yes and no, such as if he is quoting Paul Beckwith, verbatim.
While I agree that Guy should at least make a best effort possible, there's the keyword being 'possible'. In Guy's case, what with what may be on his plate, he may already be fulfilling that.
"It doesn't seem (yet) to end inevitably in NTHE, as he claims (but has never shown)."
I like how you added 'yet' in parentheses, almost as though, by the time you and/or others 'come around', even less will matter than already does.
From what is understood, not too long ago, climate models didn't factor in some kinds of feedbacks 'yet' either. And now, apparently, suddenly it's 'Oops, things are happening faster than we/our limited models predicted!'
Again, Guy's tack, for all its quibbling niggles by some of you lot, feels right, if only in the spirit of erring on the side of caution, and quite the caution it is– NTHE. You can't get more cautionary than that! lol
And most, if not all, of us on here are chiming a similar cautionary note anyway.
You could say that Guy's just pumping up the volume and maaayyybeee cheating and lying a little. Some forms of cheating and lying are of course fair and ethically required in some contexts.
"The hold that McPherson has over some people is strange." ~ Graham Wells
Well you can hold me too if you wish. But I naturally respond to certain kinds of holds.
Anyway, aside from the fact that Guy's kinda cute 😉 the hold he has on me, if there is to be one, is, rather, symbolic or vicarious of the hold that mother earth has on you, me and everyone else.
For PMB (from Fractal Planet blog):
"After all, the shallow coastal areas that people are worried about *are* ice-free in the summer. Why should that have no significant effect, but removing the last ~4 million km^2 of sea ice in the middle of the Arctic Ocean *suddenly* flip a switch?" ~ SJ, (from Fractal Planet blog. Select 'older entries')
"I think it might be called a tipping point? Like maybe the straw that breaks the camel’s back?
From what is understood, open arctic water is far more heat-absorbing than arctic ice. Once we get that, then what? Also, I would like to inquire how much fossil fuels have been burned since humans began burning them, and what kind of an explosion might that be in a relative geological time-frame sense (IOW, the blink of an eye.)?
What’s that kind of explosive energy like? If it’s relatively large, like, say, a meteor impact that finished the dinosaurs, do we really believe that nothing’s going to happen?
I am unsure we really need to be scientists to figure what kind of scales we’re talking about…" ~ Glomerol
There was no reply by SJ at the time to my response.
How fast is science and responsive government action by the way? Faster than a climate-change bullet? This also assumes appropriate and effective action regarding the bullet as opposed to mostly greenwashing.
"I can assure you there wasn’t any science in that debate." ~ SJ
"…I would wager that more inaccurate sentences were spoken than accurate ones during that event." ~ SJ
"This was the one with H. Leighton Steward, right? I’m not sure you could pay me to watch that thing…" ~ SJ
"I will never argue that ignorance is preferable to knowledge." ~ SJ
"I am unsure it matters anyway… Science might look good on paper, but it falls apart in the hands of humans.
All the science in the world and look at the mess." ~ Glomerol
When I say that all responses are valid, I'm referring to Guy's message that NTHE is assured. He doesn't quibble on that. Maybe he sometimes gives a little glimpse of a possibility of maybe avoiding that most final of outcomes but he sure pushes it as a certainty. If it's a certainty, the it really doesn't matter what the response to the message is. It's not a cautionary tale, it's near term human extinction by mid century. Could that certainty prompt one to try to act in a way that considers future generations? I suppose that's vaguely possible but it's at least equally possible that it might prompt an attitude that one might as well continue as "normal", because it won't matter, soon.
Yes, I included a "yet" because more is being learned about the climate every day. Guy claims that he's the only one who knows it all (because knowing it all is required to know that the timeline ends by mid century); I'm not aware of anyone else claiming NTHE (other than Guy's followers), especially now that Malcolm Light's article is known to be based on flawed data.
Like McPherson and many of his fans you have abandoned science, leaving you to believe anything you fancy. That makes rational discussion impossible.
It's really very simple if you can step outside of the ubiquitous conviction that humans are the crown of creation or indeed anything special at all. John Gray, Straw Dogs: "The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialisation, “Western civilisation” or any flaw in human institutions. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate. Throughout all of history and prehistory, human advance has coincided with ecological devastation." As far as the notion of NTHE goes, it simply isn't now and never will be of any significant impact on human behavior or attitudes, so whether it encourages some to defeatism and others to activism is moot, merely an academic point to argue about while the runaway train continues on course towards the cliff, ever accelerating. As collapse proceedes, far more people are going to turn to idiotic religious beliefs than ever will understand ecocide, and the rest will simply ignore and deny until the very end. http://www.theonion.com/articles/71-billion-demonstrate-in-favor-of-global-warming,36984/
" It's not a cautionary tale, it's near term human extinction by mid century." ~ sofistek
Where did 'tale' come from? A Freudian slip? Because the only other place where it was found previously-mentioned was this fine quote from PMB about Scott Johnson:
"And how is it helpful to fill adults with fairy tales. We’re a culture more concerned with entertainment than with reality.
The points Scott raises above give us a view into how his mind processes the physical world around him which is why we must be very careful in accepting even his most rational points." ~ PMB
My contention, again, is that we already are essentially dead. (I mention CRASS' 'You're Already Dead' song on SJ's blog regarding this, incidentally.)
We've become, in part, in effect, infantilized, and more or less don't know how to grow our own food, make our own clothes, or build our own shelters, or even raise our own children in these crony-capitalist-corporate-gutted mall-fringed pseudo-communities, while we continue to degrade our options for survival, such as toasting other, and potentially keystone, species, as we sit on one thumb with the other in our mouths.
NTHE has already begun from a shifting baseline/boiled frog/death-of-a-thousand-cuts standpoint.
Some people's questionably-useful qualms aside, Guy et al still seem to be batting for the right team, and to need support, and a reduction in in-fighting to boot.
I suggest we consider sucking some things up and letting them slide and/or approaching some kinds of things somehow differently. We might do better, or end up going the way of Michael C. Ruppert before out time.
If we want to nit-pick, how about with members of the so-called 1% or .1%, their governpimps and/or their police/military thugs? Tax revolt. Establish safe houses. Join DGR.
Hi Graham Wells…
"Science (from Latin scientia, meaning ‘knowledge’) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe…
Since classical antiquity, science as a type of knowledge has been closely linked to philosophy. In the early modern period the words ‘science’ and ‘philosophy of nature’ were sometimes used interchangeably. By the 17th century, natural philosophy (which is today called ‘natural science’) was considered a separate branch of philosophy.
In modern usage, ‘science’ most often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge, not only the knowledge itself. It is also often restricted to those branches of study that seek to explain the phenomena of the material universe… over the course of the 19th century, the word ‘science’ became increasingly associated with the scientific method itself, as a disciplined way to study the natural world, including physics, chemistry, geology and biology…
However, ‘science’ has also continued to be used in a broad sense to denote reliable and teachable knowledge about a topic, as reflected in modern terms like library science or computer science. This is also reflected in the names of some areas of academic study such as ‘social science’ or ‘political science’." ~ Wikipedia
This 'enterprise' or 'way of pursuing knowledge' may prove slow, inadequate, problematic and even dangerous, given current and/or potential ecological bullets.
Again, how fast/appropriate is this scientific methodology in some contexts, and in the control the governpimps have on it?
IOW, 'science' is not necessarily rational or reasonable in all contexts.
"One thing I would say about the prospects for government action. Governments are crowds. They are reactive not proactive. And essentially it means that whatever they do, they're… extrapolating past trends forward and not anticipating trend changes.So that's like driving your car, flooring it, while looking only looking in the rear view mirror. It's practically a guarantee of a really nasty accident. Plus the people who are in power tend to have the most invested in the status-quo. They tend to have benefitted greatly from that. These are not the people you are going to look to to change that kind of system." ~ Nicole Foss
"The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself… Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable…" ~ H.L. Mencken
"In modern usage, ‘science’ most often refers to a way of pursuing knowledge, not only the knowledge itself. It is also often restricted to those branches of study that seek to explain the phenomena of the material universe… over the course of the 19th century, the word ‘science’ became increasingly associated with the scientific method itself, as a disciplined way to study the natural world, including physics, chemistry, geology and biology…"
Yes, that is how I used the word.
"After all, the shallow coastal areas that people are worried about *are* ice-free in the summer. Why should that have no significant effect, but removing the last ~4 million km^2 of sea ice in the middle of the Arctic Ocean *suddenly* flip a switch?" ~ SJ, (from Fractal Planet blog. Select 'older entries')
One would think that additional warming of the arctic and its water and reduction of the albedo of the sea ice would affect things rather unpredictably/dynamically, such as water salinity, density, flow, height, temperature (and affect the column of water above your methane) and the land, local climate and weather patterns and sea-life in the areas.
"…I also know something about what I'm saying." ~ Scott Johnson
I feel better already. 😉
Seriously though, specialization (such as in, say, hydrogeology), seems rather deliberately myopic and/or unholistic and is yet another concern I and many others have about how we've configured out culture. It is like monoculture in the face of so-called superweeds; built-in vulnerability and lack of redundancy; or lack of genetic variability/diversity.
Speaking of which, and from what is understood, Guy has a background in Natural Resources and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, which seems a little less myopic and more multidisciplinary where specialization is concerned.
"Yes, that is how I used the word." ~ Graham Wells
That's not all that was written, Graham.
It's "7.1-billion-demonstrate" not "71- billion". Not being picky; it changes the implied meaning of the headline. A funny piece, and as so often with The Onion it makes its point well.
It's not clear (to me) whether you accept "the notion of NTHE" as presented by McPherson, or acknowledge that his arguments do not stand up to scrutiny. Whether "it encourages some to defeatism and others to activism" is not moot to the apparently growing number affected by it.
"That's not all that was written, Graham."
That seemed to be the only part requiring comment, Glomerol. The Foss quote I agree with. Is there a specific point you would like addressed?
Graham, do you not understand the difference between the 7.1 Billion in the headline to the article, and the ABBREVIATED url link that leaves out the dot as assigned by the great intertubus is the ethernet?
I do not accept all of the links in Guy's list as accurate, however, I do agree and very much admire him for putting for the idea that the amplifying feedbacks in the climate system are already overwhelming the initial anthropogenic forcing of greenhouse gas release…and I respect him for his courage and fortitude in presenting the case for NTHE.
NTE for many species is already accepted by biologists, there is no debate about that. Numerous species have long since been driven to extinction by humans, starting with the megafauna 10,000 years ago appx., and since then the 6th mass extinction is well underway and ongoing and unstoppable.
In contrast to Guy I tend to lean in two different directions than he does (to the extent I understand his positions). 1. I think the anthropogenically driven mass extinction was inevitable. Humans are a plague species and are hardwired to consume and grow to the detriment of other forms of life and ultimately our selves and 2. I tend to see this as more of an ecological issue, and climate change as merely one symptom of overshoot and collapse, not the primary driver. I suppose I could add 3. I see no benefit to dismantling industrial civilization as advocated by DGR and supported by Guy. When IC collapses which it is certainly on the cusp of doing from multiple failures, this will only accelerate the destruction, not lessen it. Without any laws at all, people will strip the earth of anything they can burn or eat. Personally I am not looking forward to that.
"Graham, do you not understand the difference between the 7.1 Billion in the headline to the article, and the ABBREVIATED url link that leaves out the dot as assigned by the great intertubus is the ethernet?"
No (or should I say NO), I was not aware of that. Seems scarcely believable.
So you agree with, admire and respect aspects of what McPherson is doing.
Your third paragraph is indisputable.
While the term "plague species" seems unnecessary (we are a part of nature), it seems that your point in which it appears is very likely true. And yes, I think economic collapse is likely to forestall the worst of AGW by preventing extraction of most fossil fuels.
But sorry, I still don't know whether you accept McPherson's prediction of NTHE.
Arg. "Scarcely believable?" GRAHAM the DOT in the URL would lead to a non existent link. The DOT was automatically removed in the URL and is has NOTHING TO DO WITH the headline of the parody.
"But sorry, I still don't know whether you accept McPherson's prediction of NTHE."
I don't think it matters HOW SOON humans go extinct. They will and very soon, if there are any survivors, they will envy the dead.
This circumstance will certainly occur within the natural lifetime of my children and their age cohort – ages 1 to 35.
"And yes, I think economic collapse is likely to forestall the worst of AGW by preventing extraction of most fossil fuels."
But extracting fossil fuels, and AGW, are not the worst impacts humans are having on the rest of life of the planet.
Eating and polluting, logging and fishing, paving and tilling and agricultural burning and acidification of the soil, water and air are, in the short term, what is killing life on earth right now. AGW has yet to kick in with ferocity in other than a few localized extreme weather events.
Don't read anything into my use of the word "tale". I was merely referring to my understand of what you were saying about Guy's message. He's not asking for caution, he's saying that the world is about to end (for humans and most species). For him, it's not a matter of let's change our behaviour to avoid the worst case as the worst case is now assured.
I agree that Guy is "batting for the right team" but his message doesn't necessarily encourage others to join the team because, as I've said, any response to NTHE is equally valid.
Gail, I think many (all) animal species are hardwired to grow and consume, if the resources are there to allow it but usually there are dampening pressures (like predators, weather, etc.). Remember that humans experience little growth for most of their existence.
If industrial civilisation is dismantled, the means to strip the world of anything would be greatly diminished. I look forward to that.
The human population has been growing exponentially ever since we discovered fire. Industrial civilization isn't going to be "dismantled" – it is going to crash violently, and then with 7 billion unleashed and unrestrained we can demolish what is left of the living biosphere quite nicely without the the benefit of advanced tools. Remember the entire east coast of the US was denuded of trees without chain saws, and almost all the whales were extirpated with only sailing ships. Without modern agriculture, people will eat every animal and bug and worm they can find – and without oil, gas and coal people will burn every tree for heat and cooking and light. Not to mention that when society collapses, horrors such as rape, torture, infanticide and cannibalism will go unpunished and be rampant. I can't imagine why anyone would look forward to that.
"GRAHAM the DOT in the URL would lead to a non existent link. The DOT was automatically removed in the URL and is has NOTHING TO DO WITH the headline of the parody."
Okay, Gail, OKAY. It was a MISTAKE on my part. I was WRONG. I SHOULD have realized.
"I don't think it matters HOW SOON humans go extinct. They will and very soon, if there are any survivors, they will envy the dead.
"This circumstance will certainly occur within the natural lifetime of my children and their age cohort – ages 1 to 35."
The above means that you don't accept McPherson's prediction regarding NTHE, including whether humans are certain to go extinct. It leaves the question of why you seem so reluctant to say so directly. Perhaps McPherson regards all expressions of doubt as apostasy now, and banishes the guilty from his online domain.
"But extracting fossil fuels, and AGW, are not the worst impacts humans are having on the rest of life of the planet.
"Eating and polluting, logging and fishing, paving and tilling and agricultural burning and acidification of the soil, water and air are, in the short term, what is killing life on earth right now. AGW has yet to kick in with ferocity in other than a few localized extreme weather events."
Current use of fossil fuels multiplies by many times those "worst impacts" that concern you; and the human die-off that will follow economic collapse will serve to reduce them further. Not much we can do about AGW that is "baked in".
Gail, guys, there's Permaculture and Transition and we would likely do well/better to expend our last minutes, if there are to be those, on this planet to spread those words if we care.
If the NTHE doom-a-licious scenario is a reverse-psychological-cum-motivational kick-in-the-pants to some, then so be it.
Cuba's Special Period seems to have done quite well, despite the pain. Sure it's warmer, but then so are earth bermed/set-into-the-hillside passive solar places… filled with people from empty unsustainable/developer-schlock/mcmansions/cookie-cutter dwellings that have in part been dismantled for materials for the better dwellings.
Use your imaginations. Necessity is the mother of invention, and there are many necessities, yes?
Gail; while people are desperately burning and eating this and that, they will also, neck-and-neck, likely be succumbing to disease, strife and starvation, etc., at least given particular scenarios, none of which necessarily seem written in nihilistic stone anyway. (Lovely pic with the fox by the way.)
Of course it's what we DO about things and how we do them– perhaps along the lines of how schools of fish move (murmuration?)– that determine, and will determine, the outcomes.
That said, since we all seem to be relatively on the same page, it is suspected that we would do well to ignore some of our niggles/split-ends and see if we can 'beat the system' which many of us are already upholding with every last breath. What do you think?
What are we doing? Some places are chilly and some people need help… Anyone have a warmer nicer place with some organic food to share? Then add it to the hyperdemocratic decentralized country, Permaea for example. Sharing is caring.
While doom and gloom is all fine and nice 😉 and while I can take some pleasure out of some of its tunes, say, so is responding to, rather than just reveling/wallowing in it and/or making excuses.
Permaea is at Permaculture Global.
It doesn't matter whether Guy is right or wrong. He cuts through the noise and gets heard. I came across Guy because he had the most interesting title on a page of youtube suggestions: "Near Term Human Extinction". Seemed crazy but I thought, why not? And I was introduced to a confident, thoughtful, roundly-informed individual, aware of and integrating multiple aspects of science and social issues. Calling out the popular icons of climate science for being too conservative in their projections. Since then, getting to the bottom of the reality of climate change has been my over-riding passion. To the great detriment of the rest of my life!! Well, it wasn't much anyway. LOL
At the time I came across GM, I was an avid ars reader. But I noticed a decided nonchalance in their climate change articles. Everything's OK. Attention paid to the lesser issues. Safe discussion. In short, see Chomsky on manufacturing consent—his critique (with Ed Herman) of education, the media, and the intellectual elite. (Or, see this Wikipedia entry on The Propaganda Model: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_model ) This then led to immoderate, provocative posts on ars comments pages and a private discussion over issues and facts with Scott Johnson, and finally, Scott announced to me that he would be starting a blog to expose the mistakes
and bias in GM's essays.
Since then, much has happened in the world of science and on the planet Earth. Climate change continues apace,
faster and faster. The feeling that originally spurred GM to action and speech. The feeling that every time you
turn around it's worse than it was. That's what is true about Guy. That is what he gets right. The rest, to me, is immaterial. If he cherry-picks, misrepresents, errs, lies… it doesn't matter. You will find the same sorts of things in Scott's critique and discussion. Everyone is biased. But GM does bias better than most. LOL
DO YOUR OWN DUE DILIGENCE.
“However clear or simple be it,
Finder or doer alone may see it.”
— J.W. von Goethe
"Keep thine own counsel"
— W. Shakespeare
I still love GM and I don't forget who it was that opened my eyes and put me on the climate change learning path.
GM reminds me in some ways of the Unabomber, a prophet who resorted to terror.
He also reminds me of a girl I knew who told the truth with lies.
There's been a tipping point in opinion. Everyone knows the situation has become critical. We don't know exactly how critical, but chances favor the worst.
It would take a lot to extinguish all human life. But ALL civilizations have died. Heinberg makes this point in some of his videos. Not all cultures, mind you, but all civilizations. Noam Chomsky is listening for the death knell:
"It is not pleasant to contemplate the thoughts that must be passing through the mind of the Owl of Minerva as the dusk falls and she undertakes the task of interpreting the era of human civilization, which may now be approaching its inglorious end."
When I first came across GM's NTHE video, it was unique, different. Now there are scores if not hundreds of all kinds of extinction and disaster videos on youtube. GM was the leading edge.
http://www.onthemedia.org/story/staring-abyss/ and http://www.radiolab.org/story/dust-planet/
Janus, sweetheart, I presume you had to post twice to get the system to cram all those words in? Is Guy really worth that much effort for you? Wow! ^u^
You might do well to consider getting out more or something, in part because Guy may be missing from that tree you're barking up.
You might find a squirrel, though, that have, incidentally, gotten along fine and this far with some nuts and without science. 'u^
gail zawacki said…
Oh the things foxy chicks make me download. I'm such a pushover for foxy chicks. ^u'
I guess some of us can leave the question of Guy's halo, and whether the hut is actually a hut and made of mud (or straw bale), to Graham et al while the rest focus on less important issues. lol
Yes, Glomerol, let's focus on anything except what remains of McPherson's credibility.
Many people's (often-manufactured) 'credibilities', including your's and janus', might go well with a side-order of red herring and grain of salt.
Still attempting to divert attention from the shaky foundations of your hero's credibility? McPherson and his predictions are the topic of the show, remember?
I don't need to explain to you what a red herring is.
Mr. McPherson's academic background shows that he has achieved accreditation in Range Science and Forest Resources – in other words he has a lot of expertise that could make a one-person difference in the world. As such it is a shame that the message he carries is nihilistic – that essentially the best one person can do today is accept the truth of the death of the species, rather than attempt improvement. A shame to squander the expertise one actually has in order to foster hopelessness in an area where one actually may lack the expertise to see clearly. Hopium or not, it seems like the definition of defeatist behavior to me.
"I get to live, and my message encourages others to live with urgency. Ditto for my liberation. The shackles of culture are meaningless. The absurdity grows ever more profound."
Hmmm…"live with urgency"? Does he mean his followers' predilections toward popping antidepressants, birthin' babies, and buying all the consumer products they can before the apocalypse? Let's remember that as spoiled mainstreamers, they haven't known true suffering, only the invented kind in their minds that drives them to buy Carolyn Baker's overwrought triteness for instant soothing, at least until they have to bludgeon a neighbor for a can of beets.
And "the absurdity grows ever more profound"? Why that is the only honest assessment of his work that I've seen from him in years! I certainly encourage him to continue along this path of truth. It'll help this woman, for example, who wrote on his New Zealand FB site, "I already know things are seriously bad – how is the idea of human extinction in two decades going to help me work to make a difference?" No response from McPherson, of course. She's just getting in his way.
Now here's a human with a much better attitude. Why, as a comfortable first-world citizen, he is positively enjoying all the doom with the added benefit of having to do nothing constructive since we're already done for!
"I got to meet Guy in Monterey in May, and hang out together for a few days with him and Peter Melton and James, and at the end of the week take him to the airport in San Jose. When he comes back to California in November I’ll travel around with him for a week or so and go to his presentations. I like being a Guy McPherson groupie– all of us laugh a lot. And there’s this feeling of shared understanding, that helps some part of me inside relax, because I know they know. My growing understanding/acceptance of NTE has changed the experience of everything–life and friends and Nature and this moment."
I have discovered an interesting blog by a woman who figured out McPherson years ago. Charming responses by McPherson are included, along with surprising commentary by his nephew Court Merrigan.
That was Part I. I also recommend Part II, which begins:
Recently I wrote about my awakening from doomer porn stupor. This week, I would like to talk about positives in the doomer community. Stuff that keeps me hanging in with this at times panic stricken, over-the-top folk.
There are two good things I can think of off hand. First, the doomer community is past denial and awake. They see the clusterfuck of crises heading our way and don’t flinch. It can be pretty cool to hang out with people who do not require tutoring or persuasion regarding the predicaments we face. and continues – The second good thing is… a lot of doomers are doing something interesting, useful and catching. Whether learning to keep chickens, putting food up, cultivating old timey skills, or starting local currencies and barter, doomers have a lot of nifty projects going, projects that will, in a pinch, come very handy. They are learning and sharing skills and ways of being useful at any time life must pull back and decomplexify… and it looks like that time is now.
This has been quite a train wreck of a discussion. I know we all care about the state of the planet and cannot deny that the current state of things is leading to a dark future. Attacking Guy McPherson is a popular and fun thing for deniers to do I have noticed, but sadly it does not stop the arctic ice from melting or the oceans from heating up, and it will not stop the methane clathrates from being released from the ocean and the permafrost. If it would, I would be denying everything Guy is saying along with the jokers at this blog. Guy will likely be wrong about it happening in 2030, I would not be shocked if it happened sooner, much sooner. McPherson is one of the most caring and humble men I have been around, and the attacks I see on him here are pathetic, none of the keyboard warriors attacking him know him very well at all, or care to. I'm a bit surprised Gail or McPherson gave this blog their time
Cheveyo Lone Eagle,
Would you think that a caring and humble person would react to criticism by slinging insults (see Janus's last but one post for an example)? Would you expect such a person to reject all opportunities to calmly discuss the science that he says leads to his conclusions?
I certainly wouldn't. His attitude towards anyone who doesn't agree with him 100% is unconscionable.
Janus, I checked out the flyer for his New Zealand visit. It says that he is an "internationally renowned climate scientist". I don't think so; except in his own mind, perhaps.
McPherson has a long history of denigrating all those who disagree even mildly, and then attempting character assassination by twisting their words to discredit them. For instance, even mention financial crisis and be met with how you'll obviously be counting your gold while ordinary people starve due to climate impacts. He and his increasingly strident group of acolytes spend their time attacking others, calling them stupid, ignorant, liars and self-serving environmental neanderthals.
There is no such thing as an intellectual disagreement with McPherson. Any disagreement is treated as religious heresy. NTHE is a doomsday cult of personality, which, as been observed above, gives people the perfect excuse to do nothing. Anyone who suggests what can be done is accused of peddling hopium. The adulation is clearly addictive for McPherson himself. The amount of ego involved is staggering.
I can't think of a more counter-productive thing to be traveling round the world doing than generating nothing but fear and despair, while disempowering people completely. I am sad that more people in New Zealand, where I live, are about to be sucked into this downward spiral. I have already seen the toxic effect it has had on so many people of my acquaintance all over the world.
it's a terrible thought that citizens of New Zealand, home of unique natural beauty and bastion of conservation, could be convinced by Guy's Earth Memorial Service to just roll over and stop making an effort. I hope at least one or two people show up at his speaking gigs to ask a few tough and well-informed questions instead of swallowing his slideshow.
Indeed, Nicole. I was certainly taken in by him as a genuine person who had the courage of his convictions by choosing a tough lifestyle change because of what he'd discovered his previous life had done to future generations. I still respect him for that but I'd imagined that he was prepared to be open minded and think critically about this stuff. But looking at that link provided by Gail, earlier, he's been attacking people for the slightest disagreement for as long as I've known about him.
Fortunately, he doesn't seem to garner too big of a following though those who do worship him do so with an unnerving vigour and just as myopically. Oddly, there are many followers who don't see NTHE as inevitable but say that is a small point. A bizarre position.
I would have probably gone along to listen to him, if I didn't have to spend 2 hours in a car to do so, just to ask awkward questions. But it's just not worth it.
Very hastily-thrown-together updates on the fun and games of Dr. Doom, Inc.:
His latest NBL post has "abundant" (a word he criminally overuses) material to concern us all.
McPherson's introductory quote for an amateur film about the romance of hopelessness: "Pauline Schneider’s film, 'Going Dark,' is embedded below. Password is Going Dark. Please support her efforts at the tip jar. She’ll not recover her costs, much less earn money, so you needn’t worry about her becoming financially wealthy on this effort."
As usual, he talks down to regular folk with this smooth disingenuousness. Of course they shouldn't worry about her wealth: She already has it. This person owns a house worth over half a million dollars in one of the most expensive counties in the country while traveling extensively without full-time employment. McP knows his credulous acolytes won't bother checking background information first before handing over government fiat. On the Fundly site alone, $4,125 has been raised towards a $10,000 goal.
Next on the agenda is his visit to Paul Henry's show in New Zealand. I liked this: "Yes, McPherson will show up for a wake at a funeral (apropos for one who thinks about death constantly) if he can gain an audience. Unemployed, he's always available anytime, anywhere. The genuine scientists are actually working in the field. The planet is in trouble, folks, no denying that; however, paying attention to this unbalanced soul is not the way to proceed."
And I loved this (I think she is reading this blog…just like McPherson**): "Some of his past predictions: peak oil hit in 2005 with complete societal collapse by 2008; dark ages by 2012; stone age by 2018. Wow, I'm sure he's right this time! And his blog, Nature Bats Last, has some heartwarming posts like "Contemplating Suicide? Please Read This" and "Why We Should Welcome Our Demise–and Soon!" And here I wondered why he has NO research articles peer-reviewed by real climate scientists concerning near-term extinction. I think he's having a very public nervous breakdown (he does quote Nietzsche a lot, a telling sign, haha!)."
Next, poster fun!
Noticing the whimsically punctuated and capitalized content of both advertisements in general, we should take note of this particular example, presented as sloppily as his own belief system, in the first poster: "…where he has [had] taught for over twenty years…is also an internationally reknowned [renowned] climate scientist…speaks out about…his own research [well, the research of others that he aggregates in an extreme cherry-picking style much like right-winger Matt Drudge of "The Drudge Report"].
It ends with the request*** for money that we have come to expect from McP and Company: "this tour is completely self funded. if you would like to donate, please visit…"
**The elegant McP also keeps up with Fractal Planet: "In this space, you claim you don’t deny the possibility of abrupt climate change. That’s impressive since it’s clearly under way. But when you’re fawning to Scott Johnson on his website under another name, you deny abrupt climate change." 10/20/2014
***Euphemisms abound, such as tipping or crowdfunding, but let's call it what it is: old-fashioned begging. I'll give my cash to the truly needy, thanks. The world is saturated with genuine suffering.
I see GM is going to be doing grief counseling sessions next month in the San Francisco Bay Area. Well, he is fully qualified after his weekend-long course in grief counseling. He messes you up, then he counsels you – the full package. ("Donations are greatly appreciated for all sessions!")
He's off to "Australia’s sunshine coast" next spring, and somewhere called Being World (the link doesn't seem to work), Switzerland next June, so he must be expecting the planes to still be flying by then.
Here's a fun read: http://robinwestenra.blogspot.com/2014/10/guy-mcpherson-lecture-in-auckland-new.html
Regardibg that "guy-mcpherson-lecture-in-auckland", perhaps Dr Leuzinger was asked to be a stand-in co-presenter at the last moment, and didn't have time to prepare to counter McPherson's well-practiced patter. GM had a lucky escape; he's not ready for a serious debate with a serious scientist.
And he is wrong about methane. It is climbing at a slightly slower rate than it did up to about 2000, but resumed rising around 2006, after a short period of stability.
The guy who commented at the end of that piece is also stating that the extinction rate of 200 a day (that Guy uses all the time) is a fact, when it was an estimate. There have been other estimates since the UN one and, though all are worrying, none state the rate as a fact but give a range. The rate could be a lot less but still 10s or 100s times the background rate. Guy doesn't care about stating something that isn't (known) fact as fact.
Well his comments in any context have the same catch-phrases in them such as "200 species a day" "refereed journals" "reinforcing themselves and each other" etc. – just all based on the theory that repeating these phrases enough in enough different places makes them factual. Stinks of political stump speeches except that he's not running for any office I know of. Just being able to get a reaction out of people doesn't make what you're saying true.
Amateur filmmaker's message on her Vimeo site (notice the whining at the end that peeks out from the loving restraint beforehand!):
"If you enjoyed this film, don't forget to tip! Many people helped participate and donated their time (babysitting my child and pets), money (thank you!), and craft to make it. It was a labor of love [,] and the donations received to help make it were wonderful but barely covered the cost of the equipment."
Help her out, McPherson minions! Gosh, how is she going to afford that upcoming vacation?
Speaking of vacations… A handler has set up his begging bowl on Givealittle to pay for McP's current NZ escape from the tedious "mud hut." They're both giddily enjoying their adventures (it's fun to tell folks that they're going to die soon and their children/grandchildren will live short lives of torturous misery!!). Here's a verbatim quote from McP's newest bosom buddy/handler on FB: "Were having a ball, we're pretty cheerful doomers, even the DJ thought so."
This merry effort has garnered $935 NZD from those too ignorant to know better. As the description says: "The purpose of this tour is to raise the alarm and inform people of our dire circumstances." Good times!
Oh, no! Nicole Foss blocked from Robin Westenra's blog!! Can she recover from this?
I think Robin did her a favor. Nicole was letting the Westenra and McPherson double act get under her skin, and you know what they say about arguing with idiots.
Another McP comment: "Nietzsche’s maxim comes to mind: 'What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.'" (Actually, considering McP's reputation, I think it is "What doesn't kill me kills me.")
Scott Johnson's excellent, concise critique: "Do I really need to explain, yet again, why it’s not good to have someone telling people that all the climate scientists know we’re all about to die, and there’s nothing we can do about it, so you might as well retreat to a hut in the woods to buy a couple years time before the radioactive zombies (artistic license) get you? When that story is just bullshit? And we are instead at a critical point, needing to push for change? And a number of people are being sucked into whirlpools of panic and depression, believing the bullshit this person presents as common fact?
He’s not 'almost right.' He has painted a green sky with spiky, metal clouds. Blurring isn’t the problem. This argument is beyond ridiculous. It’s like defending someone proclaiming that an asteroid will destroy life on Earth next Tuesday by saying, 'Hey, at least he’s reminding people that asteroids exist.'"
Another disingenuous McP statement: "… I do like the person I see in the mirror. I dropped out of empire because I don’t believe in empire. Although I had no influence, and continue to have none, my conscious (sic) is clear. I continue to practice and promote a gift economy, rather than grubbing for fiat currency."
Another McP comment: "With respect to my views on climate, they are supported by abundant science.” (Arghhh!)
I'll leave you with the best representation of the sacrifices made by Our Man in New Zealand, a photo of him sitting by a typical fan's swimming pool, eating cake, without his crucifix:
McPherson: I continue to practice and promote a gift economy, rather than grubbing for fiat currency."
McPherson: "I accept gifts of fiat currency"
Really I hope blog comments will regain their focus on the scientific argument for or against an early extinction.
I get that some posters don't like Guy's approach, but do we need to shoot the messenger? I encourage people to stick to the argument, rather than going after Guy or his followers personally.
Alex, if the messenger continues to misrepresent the science, continues to misrepresent others, refuses to debate those with serious criticisms and continues to refuse to explain why the evidence actually points to a definite ending of most species by mid century, then people are justified in shooting the messenger. "Not shooting the messenger" only applies to someone who is passing on someone else's message. Guy is not doing this; he is passing on his own message. He should explain himself (he's had many years to do this) or shut up.
Readers may be interesting in this email that I received in response to my last comment. It claims to come from Guy R McPherson but surely an emeritus professor wouldn't use such language, would he?
I don't misrepresent the science, asswipe. That's you.
Think we'll survive a 6 C rise within a decade, as Paul Beckwith does? That makes you as ignorant as him with respect to biology.
Go fuck yourself, Tony. And shut the fuck up for a change.
Note the misrepresentation of Beckwith's position.
Alex I understand your impulse to want to referee the conversation and I don't think you are incorrect that it's good to stick to the original argument. But I wanted to point out to you that I really don't think this episode of your show was solely focused on "the scientific argument for or against an early extinction." A sizable portion of it also focused on McPherson's history, character, and possible motivations behind his current dogma. As such, comments specific to these elements are relevant (though some of them may be a bit more snarky than is strictly useful).
Just an update on my exchange with Guy. Aside from the insults, he insisted I apologise for claiming he misrepresented Beckwith's position. I contacted Beckwith and discovered I'd pretty much got his position accurate; that he thinks surface temperatures could rise that quickly, based on paleo-climate data (though, elsewhere, he's been careful to say that future research might invalidate that other research – or reinforce it), not that he's saying it will rise that quickly over the next 10 years.
Guy then claimed he always uses the word "could" when referring to Beckwith's position. However, I pointed Guy to a recent talk he made, in which he didn't use the word "could" but did use the word "prediction" (about 23.5 minutes in). So he may believe he represents Beckwith's position fairly but that's not what the record shows. Guy didn't respond to the point except to claim that I misrepresent his views and that his patience is wearing thin.
Oddly, he referred to Paul Beckwith as probably the leading authority in the world on Arctic methane and its effect, which was a bit of a surprise to me. He may be right but I wouldn't have thought so.
Make you're own judgement.
Guy, if you think this misrepresents you, then please be specific about what is being misrepresented and why, rather than descending to insults, which seems to be your normal mode of response, these days.
Janus, do you have a link for that "conversation going on at Voluntary Human Extinction's public FB site"?
Janus, thanks for the quick reply. When I go to the link I can't see the post you mention. I have to go back to 8 October for the first mention of McPherson. Perhaps it's been deleted?
I'm just curious about whether it actually is his property that's up for sale.
There are certainly legitimate grounds to criticize Guy's theory, just like any theory. But whether he is selling his property, or not, is so immaterial, that it is kind of creepy. In fact this obsessive fascination with his personal life is so gross, I wonder where you draw the line? Do you want to sniff his panties too? Stop with the personal attacks, why don't you, and stick to the issues, which happen to be very serious, unlike your adolescent stalking.
I guess that the way Guy treats his critics encourages the sorts of behaviours you mention, Gail. If he could act maturely in his dealings with those who criticise his ideas, then maybe others would treat him with more respect.
It's a shame that it's impossible to get a sensible discussion with him about his ideas.
Just now I listed those two blog posts from NBL that contained interior and exterior photos of the "mud hut," guessing they would mysteriously disappear. Our genius didn't let me down. GM deleted them within minutes, definitively declaring ownership of the advertised property. This isn't amusing anymore: This man needs help.
P.S. Hat tip to an activist friend who is taking an interest in McPherson's character.
In an email Guy McPherson claims I am encouraging negative comments about him. I am not encouraging such comments and need to insist we stick to publicly provably facts in posts here.
Not unrelated, Guy also tells me he is consulting a lawyer about this blog. He demands that I remove posts which 'slander' or 'libel' him.
So we need to set some ground rules:
1. posts can quote published material, as long as they include sources and preferably links others can follow
2. as Guy is a public figure, fair comments on his writing, blog statements, and filmed statements are acceptable. Comments about others who are not public figures, including his wife and any other family, are not. On those grounds, I have removed one post.
3. As a very busy volunteer, I cannot check up on every statement made in this blog. Please take extra time to state your sources. You are responsible for what you publish. I am not a news organization with a full-time fact checker.
4. As one example, if you are quoting an email received from Guy McPherson, please also send me a copy complete with the header and routing, so we can be sure Guy actually said that.
5. Even better, why don't we stop quoting private correspondence? I have received harsh criticism from Guy by email, but don't publish them. I think we should stick to public statements.
6. At some point, we may have to agree that all that needs to be said has been said. If people want a long-running blog or Facebook page to carry on questioning Guy and his motives, I suggest others set one up. Personally, I have to move on to other radio shows, and can't keep up with this continuing debate.
What do you say Graham, Janus and others? Can you set up a different place to have this discussion?
I thought the earlier posts in this thread were the best – debating whether there is evidence for near term extinction. Then it became some sort of psychoanalysis of Guy and his motives – a trend I'm not comfortable with.
While I publicly disagree we will go extinct by 2030, I'm saddened that Guy feels he needs legal help. Our discussion shouldn't come to that.
Let's wrap this up and take it to another place.
I've just watched a new video by Paul Beckwith about abrupt climate change. Guy clued me in on the appearance of the video. Thanks, Guy.
In it, Paul states that more and more research appears to point to abrupt climate change happening now. He wouldn't be surprised if the average global surface temperature rose by 5 or 6 degrees centigrade by the mid 30s.
This isn't a clear prediction (perhaps partly because Paul expects action to avert the worst impacts) but I can see that it's as close to a prediction as any scientist is likely to give, so I'd concede that to Guy. However, it still isn't an actual prediction that a 5 or 6 degree rise will happen and I hope Guy modifies his characterisation of Beckwith's position to that given by Paul himself in his video.
I do agree with Guy, though, that humans won't survive an average rise of 5 or 6 degrees (especially as that is likely to translate to 8 to 10 degrees over land), at least as widespread as we are now but total extinction would clearly be a possibility in that scenario, given the likely impacts on the rest of the ecosystems that support us as well as the impacts on us directly.
Whether that rise will happen, however, is unknown, at this point. Let's hope for a rapid decline of industrial civilisation (a decline which is inevitable, anyway) to make such an abrupt rise less likely.
Alex, you've been more than obliging in letting this thread continue. I think it's been a public service, but there's no reason you should suffer any negative consequences because of it. Regarding 'slander' or 'libel', it's my understanding that truth is the crucial element, but I understand why you felt the need to remove a number of posts.
Your ground rules are very reasonable. If everyone complies with them I for one would appreciate your keeping the thread open. If someone wishes to set up a "Facebook page to carry on questioning Guy and his motives" it might be a good idea. I wouldn't know how to go about it.
Yes, this has been a public service. Some fires of awareness have been lit within my particular environmental circles, at least.
Now it's time to concentrate on those who don't roll over, exposing their bellies, dying slowly. I'm extremely pessimistic about our future with the juggernaut coming at us from all fronts, and my opinion of the human race is rock bottom, but Chris Hedges never enervates me, despite his equally negative viewpoint. He is a teacher, enhanced by his top-flight education and life experience. He can pack more information into a few sentences than anyone else I've heard speak.
If you haven't seen this 2012 interview, 3 hours that fly by, you're missing out on a treat.
And this latest quick, pithy one –"Interview with Chris Hedges at The Earth at Risk 2014 Conference and the moral imperative of resistance thru non-violent direct action and mass movements of sustained civil disobedience to dismantle industrialized civilization."
Closer to my neck of the woods, these activists are the real deal, not the pampered, easily manipulated actors at Occupy Wall Street , for example.
Nothing is set in stone. Nobody, and I mean nobody, knows how this will play out.
I am a young mother. I actually had a short conversation with Guy over facebook, about his findings etc. Look I am not stupid, or a sheeple, etc. I do find it incredibly heart wrenching, sad, depressing, etc that my son will not be able to grow up and explore the world like I was able to. Children are such beautiful creatures, they learn so quickly, and grow so fast. And they are so filled with innocence, and kindness. So yes,as much as I want to think that none of this will come to pass, I am also an open minded thinker and observer. I see the destruction that has been caused to our beautiful earth, as much efforts as I who came from a mother who always tended to her trees and gardens with such care and love, others didn't and now we have irreversible damage. Yes, it hurts my heart more than anyone will be able to know that my son, and our beautiful earth and animals, and plants won't have a much longer future. Live while you can, and hope that your end doesn't have much suffering, I hope to have my son in my arms and my husbands around us.
By all means keep an open mind. There are certain to be a few surprises in the future and it almost certainly won't go exactly the way Guy has predicted, though a much impoverished future seems pretty much assured.
I don't currently have a FB account, but I may have to sign up again since I'll be retiring shortly with a full pension (I didn't even have to beg for it!). Graham, you may want to take a look at the FB VHEMT page.
Janus, I'm familiar with VHEMT and their FB page. They make a good deal of sense.
There's a discussion going on there. Also, on NBL.
You guys sound just like climate change deniers, "Can't happen, Won't happen" yet you admit Nuclear weapons and war possibility-uh just what do you think from that? And considering what is going on in Ukraine could be very real. And how do you reconicle the recent change of the Doomsday clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, citing climate change and Nuclear war as threats to extinction.
Just who, and what, are you referring to? It doesn't take denial of climate change to deny human extinction by mid-century. It doesn't require a belief that nuclear war or nuclear meltdown will have little impact to assert that we don't know how the nuclear issue will play out. Citing the Doomsday clock is not proof. Referring to increased tensions with Russia is not proof.
What many here are saying is that McPherson has not made the case for near term human extinction (indeed, he goes further in that all life will be extinguished, except, maybe, thermophiles).
"Can't happen, won't happen" is in your mind, not what anyone has written.
Sofistek, well maybe it is a matter of personal interpation. You need to listen to the latest RadioEcoshock with Michael Mqnn, who pretty much recited all the same data as McPherson as reasons for alarm and concern and says we are at the tipping point now. Though Mann does not cite extinction, but tipping point to what? If we are not going down a Highway to hell then why the alarm?
People who Poo Poo Guy Mcpherson are like Climate Change Deniers. They cite that Mcpherson is cherry picking data, massaging data, coming to erroneous conclusions, well I have been in many climate change debates online and that is exactly what deniers cite concerning climate Scientists, that they don't know the future, that they have agendas.
They keep talking about McPherson as a Religion well I have heard Climate Change deniers say the very same thing.
The fact is NOTHING IS BEING DONE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE BUT TALK. NOTHING WILL BE DONE.
Thanks for the tip about Michael Mann's interview; I'll take a listen.
I agree with your last line. What I don't agree with are McPherson's conclusions, partly because he has NEVER provided the line of reasoning that goes from his presentation of the science (some of that presentation being debatable) to near term human extinction. I doubt whether many here think it's going to be a ride in the park and tipping point refers to having set in motion some process that can't be stopped until natural negative feedbacks start to make themselves felt (which could take thousands of years), but it doesn't mean that the only end point of that process is near term human extinction. McPherson can't see the future in detail, no-one can. He believes in his message (apparently) but that doesn't make it true; it makes it his belief.
You have to ask yourself this. What are the elected Represnstives do not believe in Climate Change, the Senator in charge of the Science commitee in the Senate is a climate Change denier, Imhoff. Imhoff has heard hundreds of Scientist including Hansen and Mann testify, Yet he says climate change is a hoax. All you have do to is say climate change on a general internat page and the Skeptics come out, Hoax.
So it is not a far leap to see that NOTHING IS GOING TO BE DONE, AND IF NOTHING GETS DONE, THEN WE IS FUCKED.
At least McPherson isn't being delusional in thinking that something will be done when nothing will be done. That spells disaster.
So you can nitpick McPherson all you want, but in reality the situation looks bleak.
Yup, we're fucked. The nit-pick with McPherson is that he thinks "fucked" equals "near term human extinction". So far, I don't think that has been anywhere near proven. Like McPherson, you seem to think that anyone who disagrees with McPherson's conclusions must be a climate change denier or must think that we can sail through what's coming.
What does a belief in near term human extinction lead to? Well, just about anything you decide to do with that belief is valid. I don't really know what McPherson expects people to do with the message he delivers, other than the vague hope that people will do what they love and pursue a life of excellence. That doesn't necessarily translate into doing anything to help or promote mitigation, however slight. It doesn't necessarily translate into being as prepared as one can be to get through the coming bottleneck, if it doesn't lead inevitably to the death of all humans and an uninhabitable planet.
By the way, the climate change denier senator is James Inhofe.
Well first allow me to clear up some confusion, I am not saying that these guys in the Radioshock show are like climate change deniers, I am saying they use the same verbiage, I have heard deniers tell me that Climate Science is a Religion many times. That is what was said more then once in the show. I have had deniers says nobody knows the future thus there is no proof in climate change predictions.
They use the same verbage as climate change deniers and don't even realize it.
I don't like this use of "belief".
I prefer conclusion then belief.
The data from IPCC and from Shakova is pretty indictive. The ice melting on the arctic leads to a conclusion not a belief.
A belief would be that when the ice melts unicorns will float down fromt he sky. That is belief.
A conclusion is that if the Ice or air conditioner quits working then you get hot. LOL
Sorry about the misspelling of the Senator's name Imhoffe. probaly still get it wrong. Anyhow I disagee with McPherson leading a life of excellance summation, I think it will be a fire in madhouse not a "Lovecircle".
I think Guy came to this live lives of excellance BS because people kept saying, What do we do, What do we do?
See I look at it like a Dr giving a Terminal cancer diagnose-he just tells you the truth. What you do with that truth is your own choice and beeswax.
Guy went off the rail after attending the grief workshop. And trying to deal with peoples grief on the matter.
So I would put to you, then what do you suggest be done? I'm -for geoenginerring myself. What do you propose?
Sorry about the misspelling of the Senator's name Imhoffe. probaly still get it wrong. Anyhow I disagee with McPherson leading a life of excellance summation, I think it will be a fire in madhouse not a "Lovecircle".
I think Guy came to this live lives of excellance BS because people kept saying, What do we do, What do we do?
See I look at it like a Dr giving a Terminal cancer diagnose-he just tells you the truth. What you do with that truth is your own choice and beeswax.
Guy went off the rail after attending the grief workshop. And trying to deal with peoples grief on the matter.
So I would put to you, then what do you suggest be done? I'm -for geoenginerring myself. What do you propose?
Yes, the melting Arctic leads to the conclusion that there will be an ice free Arctic in summer (and, perhaps, year round). What it doesn't do is lead to the conclusion that humans will become extinct in a couple of decades. That "conclusion" is more akin to a belief. Even more of a belief is that all life will become extinct (with the possible exception of thermophiles) due to warming. There is no precedent for that in the history of this planet.
(The senator's name is Inhofe, not Imhoffe)
So, you don't agree with Guy as to leading a life of excellence and love until the end. My point is that Guy's message leads to no particular way of dealing with it (if you're convinced that it's true). That may be irrelevant, of course, but Guy is not just telling "the truth", he's telling his view of the world. No-one – absolutely no-one – knows how this will play out, other than in a very rough way (massive change and pain over the next few decades to centuries). But Guy doesn't engage with critics and is as sure as a preacher is that his message is the whole truth. So why is he spreading this message? Just because he thinks it's the truth and that people ought to know? But why? There is no point to people knowing that whatever they do is now irrelevant. Guy must be on something to hope that the message leads to people filling their remaining time with excellence and love. But he's a bit smarter than that, so what is his motive? Maybe we'll find out some day.
You said there is no precedent for all life going extinct with exception of thermophiles, Are you overlooking the Permian Mass extinction? 95% of all life on the planet went extinct? And during the Permian there weren't 400 Nuclear Power Plants around the world going china syndrome and melting down bathing the environment in ionzing radiation. I don't know what else you conclude from that other then this will be even a bigger hit on lifeforms then the Permian.
As far as the motivation for Guy telling people this bad news. How about just the simple motivation of the truth, that people deserve the truth no matter how bad.
Would you want your Dr hiding or minimizing a diagnose of a terminal brain cancer from you? Some people might but some people want the truth.
The first thing people ask Doctors in such a situation is "How long Have I got Doc?" The Doctors give their best estimate, rare cases people outlive the guess Doctors give them, sometimes it is less then the estimate that was given.
That is the simple answer that you put, why? Well because people deserve the truth.
Now what you do with that truth is up to you, but then Guy gets peppered with demands from people like you what should we do? And that is where I think Guy went off the rails, He was accused of just dumping the bad news on people and walking away, so Guy attends the Grief workshop and trys to become the hospice Dr. Personaly I think he should have given the diagnose and just told people what you do is up to you. but then people get surly and angry and want to punish the messenger. Whatever the case the why is as simple as that. He is giving the world population a terminal diagnose based on the data just like a Dr who looking at a tumor brain on an xray or cat scan whatever would do.
To put it another way if I went to a Dr and he say you got lung cancer and I ask you got anything to back that assertion, he say no…just a hunch. Well that would be absurd. But if the Dr shows me the xrays, blood tests, Cat scan et al and it is confiremed by other Drs, in this case AMEG, Shakova, Beckwith and others well there you go.
We are in third or fourth stage lung cancer, and we haven't cut back on smoking are not taking chemo so the disease will more likely take it's course on us.
Now are the black Swans such as Geoengineering? Well yeah, Bio Char and other treatments, but so far I don't see it happening at scale. Look anything is possible, Space Aliens could come and tell us how to get out of this mess, but that is very low probability.
To conclude on this, you may not like or agree with Guy's message ok fine start telling the population of the world to stop burning fossil fuels now.
But for me I appreciate at least one Scientist telling the truth and not minimizing how bad a situation we are in.
In the Permian mass extinction, it is thought that over 95% of sea species went extinct and two thirds of land species went extinct. That is explicitly NOT the same as extinction of ALL species or of all species except thermophiles.
The hypothesis that 450 nuclear reactors melt down all together is just an hypothesis. I've no doubt (which is a belief) that some or all of them will do over some period of time but we don't know how many and over what period of time, so that limits the potential impacts. Equally, not all parts of the world will be impacted the same way.
The comparison of Guy's message to a doctor telling a patient of a terminal illness is not valid. Not in the least. To Guy, not only will the listener die in the next two decades, so will all of his friends and family, including children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. There are some ways to prepare for the end, with a terminal illness (including getting one's affairs in order, saying goodbye to loved ones, etc). Perhaps we can all say goodbye to each other but there is really no comparison between the two.
"People deserve the truth". Really? Whose truth and why do they deserve it? But it's not the truth, it's one guy's interpretation of what the future holds based on his interpretation of the science. His interpretation is debatable and can't be stated to be the truth.
I don't ask Guy what we should do but I do question his motivation for spreading a message that he must know is just one interpretation. If he doesn't know this then his "conclusion" is definitely akin to a "belief". Just like holders of religious beliefs, Guy is convinced, in his own mind, that his interpretation of what the science is saying is absolutely right and all who question it are deniers.
Beckwith, AMEG and Shakhova do not agree with McPherson, so I don't know where you got that. Yes, Guy uses those people as some kind of evidence but he misrepresents them if they also think that life on this planet won't last beyond a few more decades. Heck, Shakhova even acknowledges that there is not enough data to conclude that the clathrate gun has fired, which Guy has been convinced of for years. There is little to back up his view and certainly no continued uptick in methane concentrations.
So, just to repeat: Guy is not telling the truth; he is telling how he sees the future unfolding. If you choose to believe him, that's up to you. But it isn't the "truth", since no-one can see the future.
Well then obviously we are at loggerheads then. We will have to agree to disagree.
But then I would put to you just how do you think this situation with Climate change is going to resolve? The Goverments are doing nothing, the People don't believe in climate change, so do you expect it just to magicaly go away? LOL
I don't see that happening myself but if you want to dream, well that is your perogative.
Given that no significant action will be taken to halt emissions, warming will continue for a very long time. I don't know if we'll get even more abrupt warming than we're seeing but I suspect not (at least not for several decades). However, I expect increasingly extreme events (both in frequency and strength). I expect some places will become, essentially uninhabitable and millions, eventually billions, will have to move. I expect wars to be fought over resources, including land, and for retribution. It will be very ugly and very destructive.
This is just my opinion, of course. Other paths are also a possibility and one thing is certain: I will be proven wrong, as the real future unfolds.
Unfortunately, I agree with Sofistek's reading of our future.
I'm not sure of the timing, but I expect we will go through a period of population decrease. There will be wars between displaced people and those living in their destinations.
I do think we will see at least one abrupt climate change, likely by 2030, probably spiked by a periodic change in ocean circulation. But also, as economic impacts of climate dig in, there may be less industrial activity (as happened in the former Soviet Union) – and therefore less global dimming from pollution. That too could add perhaps a half degree warming, in a matter of months.
Despite all this, I do not believe humans will go extinct this century. So we have to keep trying to save what is left of the future for our descendants, and for all the other species.
Ha! Who are you talking too? I'm the most ecological boy on my block. Yes, I have done the Electric bike, Solar panels on my house, Rainwater collection, system, Garden and planted trees! And I'm doing Bio Char this week.
You seem to have the impression that I say we should just shit in our beds, in our kitchens-I never said that.
With that being said you demonstrate the narrow focus that Scientists and most people show. Climate Change/Global Warming is not the only way man can go extinct.
We are in a proxy war with Russia Right now. Each side with thousands of new and improved nuclear weapons that could make the rubble in your city bounce more then once. So silly person you don't think humanity will go extinct 100 years from now, how about next week if someone mess's up and press's the red button that ends civilization on this planet? That could happen any time pardner. LOL
I'm not sure what you think you were responding to, valhala. No-one has suggested the things you claim (like "just shit in our beds" – though doing that in our garden beds after appropriate composting is definitely a good idea).
Of course we are facing multiple predicaments now. Any one of them could lead to extinction eventually. Some could even lead to it very soon. All will lead to bad outcomes, no doubt about it. Extinction tomorrow or within a few decades? Well, then you're in "conclusion" territory. Could happen but definitely not guaranteed.
Shit in our beds is just slang for polluting the enviroment ie FuckUshima for example.
China Diplomat just told US to back off of Russia.
In fact on a post to Guy's Youtube channel I asked him what his opinion on the war drums being beat in Ukraine. He didn't respond. The fact is most people field of vision is small. You don't take into account other things like Nuclear war. You say Guy is wrong, that humans won't go extinct LOL. It is looking likely everyday that nuclear war may beat out Guy's prediction of Human extinction.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists cited both Nuclear War and climate change as their reason for moving the hands up on their Doomsday/Boomsday clock.
Yeah it is hard to imagine cities being annhilated. It is so hard to wrap ones mind around we just dismiss it yet it is very possible.
I suggest if you want to keep your sanity for what little time you may have left that you move on to more pleasant reading. LOL
Please don't put words into my mouth. I did not say "Guy is wrong". All I've said is that Guy hasn't made the case (IMO) for his view and he does sometimes misrepresent the science (IMO). He may be right but it doesn't look like it. You are just the same as Guy; you think if you come up with enough ways that humans could become extinct, that will make it a certainty. It doesn't. Guy may be right in his conclusions but he hasn't made the case (IMO).
Of course I can imagine cities being annihilated; in fact, I think it's a certainty that they will be, but how that comes about, and how quickly, is open to debate and we will never know, until it happens.
This certainly has parrels to climate Change deniers. If you have argued with Climate change deniers as I have that is the same thing they say. Well you haven't made the case that Cliamte change is AGW or the planet is even getting hotter, then they go on citing this and that and that Al Gore is a demon blah blah blah.
Then you realize you are wasting your time arguing with them because no matter what evidence you present they are already locked into their notions that Climate is a Hoax and in your case that Guy McPherson has not made his case.
Ok then the only thing left with the likes of your or climate change deniers is to see how events play out.
Then we will see who was right.
The difference between me and climate change deniers, when I say that the case hasn't been made, is that I've actively looked for and asked for an explanation from Guy as to why the things he lists in his monster climate change essay lead inevitably to almost human extinction within a couple of decades. I haven't found one and Guy has never answered my requests about that. If you think the case has been made, I'd be keen to see what that case is. Just saying "look at all these positive feedback loops, surely that must lead to NTHE", is really not an argument at all, even if Guy's presentation of those feedbacks is correct.
So, when I say he hasn't made the case, it's not that I simply wish it wasn't so, as climate deniers do, I have looked and asked but have never seen how the science leads inevitably to NTHE. If you can point to such a rationale, then I'd be happy to check it out.
Yeah I see your point, Unlike deniers who have aleady closed themselves off and no proof would make any difference you are open to proof for Guys assertion, you just want more then a handfull of people with that conclusion. Now I know you are going to say Guy is the only one makeing the assertion, well he has a list I think on his webpage of well known people some Scientists and some not who have come to the same conclusion.
One of the top of my head is Noam Chomsky.
I think the climate change battle is lost. I like to compare it to WW2. First off the effects of climate change has been know since the late 1950's. Scientist have testified in Congress at the time that in the future mitigation will have to be done.
In WW2 the US was attacked and immediatly declared War. Immedaigly the populatce went into war mode with men joining military in masse, Children collecting scrap metal, Auto factories converted to war materlials, SCientist, Movie stars, well just about everybody was contributaing to the war effort.
The goverment allocated whatever funds needed for the War, they certainly didn't give Bankers all the money like they today.
Now in comparison it would be if the US was still arguing if there was a reason war, Some say there isn't some say there is, Well with that kind of Inertia we would be walking around now saying Heil Hitler.
If we had done something similar to WW2 for climate change I think we would have half a chance, but I think even if we did it is too late now. We have squandered any lead time so now it is just a losing battle.
Just to clarify, valhala, it would not concern me too much if Guy was the only one making such claims, provided he showed his workings (i.e. how the science leads to the conclusion). If that was shown and was sound, then I'd accept it but I'm still waiting for that rationale.
Thanks for seeing the difference between deniers and myself. Heck, I've also had my fair share of run-ins with deniers. As you say, they are closed off to argument.
Well as we both know after many run ins with climate change deniers and endless citing of Scientific papers, Data Sets, Sattelite photos, Ice core samples noting makes a dent with them. You got the same bogus claims that the Scientists are bought off by the Oil companies as insane as that sounds, that according to Fake "Lord" Moncton Climate Scientists are closeted Communists, it's the Sun. Co2 is good for plants therefore the more the better, LOL the endless list of wrongheaded psuedo Science craps is mind boggling and you just end up giving up. So again if you can see that there is no winning here, that lends credence to nothing will be done the Climate will tip and we are done. I don't think I even need Guy Mcpherson to figure that out.
Oh yeah, but it depends on what "we are done" means.
It means try making your melted Ice Cream go back to it's frozen state after it has melted to goo on a hot day in July. Once the Arctic goes we are done. I am writing this now with a foot of new snow outside my door in Lousiville Ky. on March 5. I have never seen it do this by March 5. It looks like mid January outside.
Something is very wrong.
It isn't necessary for scientists to proclaim "it's too late, we're going to go extinct" in order to understand that is the case. All you have to do is look at how much they say we must reduce – and remove – CO2 emissions in order to avert an uninhabitable climate, and compare it to what we actually are doing and are capable of doing (nothing). Alex's latest show features Nick Breeze's video, and it's all right there, especially if you factor in the information in my comment:
Trees of all species are dying prematurely right now, all over the world, well in advance of intolerable temperature rise. Nitrogen precursors leading to ozone pollution are invisible – but highly toxic to vegetation. We are losing the forest sink already and this is going to rapidly accelerate the climate change predicted by models because none of them take pollution into account.
That's up to you, Gail. Personally, I'd prefer to see some scientific rationale behind such a conclusion. I think there is already enough science to tell us it's going to get really bad but NTHE is a step too far, in my opinion; and who knows what black swans there will be in future? NTHE might become VNTHE or it might become VLTHE. No-one knows and I think that is the main point here; no-one knows.
Sorry but is just an easy cop out to say well we don't know "exactly" how this will pan out. No we don't. But that does not mean that the prognosis is not correct.
If your Doctor informs you have a battery of Medical studies that you have lung cancer and tells you, you have 6 months to a year to live. Well yeah there could be Black Swans, Space Aliens could land on the planet and have a cure for lung cancer. but it is highly unlikely.
Guy is right about the fact that each and every one of us has a 100% certainty that we will expire, ie die.
Guy gives a range of 2-20 years. Yeah I guess he should add barring black Swans like Space Aliens coming to save us. LOL
I sometimes wonder if you've read previous comments. It's not a cop-out, it's the truth: we don't know how this will pan out. The ONLY thing that looks certain is that we'll continue damaging our environment and that the deterioration will cause everyone a lot of pain and probably many premature deaths (and an increased rate of extinction), via the four horsemen. Guy could be right but only by coincidence, since he has not mapped out how the science (i.e. what we have a high confidence of) leads to the conclusion he's come to. I thought we'd pretty much nailed that but apparently not.
Hey Sofistek, You can't even see you doing the same thing you are accusing of…making a prediction. Ok we don't know the future so how do you know the Climate Change deniers won't be right and it will just be business as usual in 20 years? LOL
Well there is a reason why you know the deniers are wrong it is the Scientific data and how the data fits in reality. So probability would be a better conclusion.
The probability is upwards of 99% that Guy is right, there is a 1% probability that Artificial intelligence will come up with a feasible solution, say Carbon Nanotubes that suck up all the Carbon in the atmosphere and expel it into space. Or Space Aliens come in the nick of time and save our sorry Ass's. Or God stops the climate from tipping and says to humans I was fucking with you guys so you would get your shit together on the planet I gave you.
You keep going in circles with this, saying we have certainty that Guy is right, but then you go to say thing are going to get quite bad due to climate change. Well as you say you cannot foresee the future you can only make an educated guess with some scientific predictions such as Ice melts when it gets a certain temperature.
You need to look at this statistically or as a probability and I think Guy has plenty of scientific data to back up his assertions of Human extinction in 2-30 years.
I'm not really making predictions. The reason we can say with near certainty that a dire future awaits for all is that climate change and environmental degradation is already wreaking havoc in some areas. It really doesn't take much to extrapolate, given that "we" aren't doing anything about mitigation.
Please show your working in reaching a conclusion that there is a 99% probability that Guy is right (I assume you mean his "conclusion" that near total extinction will occur within two or three decades). That is much more of a prediction than I've put forward. Guy has no scientific data that I've seen to "back up" his conclusion. Sure, he has pointed to scientific data backing his views but, as I'm mentioned numerous times, he hasn't showing how those data lead to NTHE. Some places will likely become uninhabitable, or have ecologies severely stressed, on a BAU path but extinction is another matter.
I hope this is clear, because you keep coming back with the same stuff, over and over. I'm probably done on this thread, unless you have something new.
Humans may or may not go extinct but the auto industry and its 'products' certainly is.
Within ten years there will be no cars, no fuel to run them, little in the way of 'money' to pay for them. Money will be spent on food and other necessities.
Most moderns will think the world has ended with no cars …
I suggest everybody go see the latest Mad Max Movie "Fury Road" to get a glimpse of the future when the light go out.
valhalla56, "Mad Max Fury Road" is bound to be more entertaining than a McPherson video – and about as informative. 🙂
Thank you for correcting the spelling of "vahalla," Graham: Details are important in science, language, and character analysis, as we both know.
And as this scientist knows too:
Janus, I don't think I purposely "corrected" the spelling. People can spell their handles how they like.
You may not know that McPherson himself linked to that article. He provided the kind of comprehensive refutation of the content we've come to expect – seven words. His admirers complemented this critique with, e.g.: "[the author] is an idiot using half truths and lies to try and make his points lol". You can see it here (the 7 words are just below the video):
Graham, So many are always myopically focused on one particular topic or subject when coming to your conclusion. What I am getting at is that you folks seem to agree that the environment is degrading terribly and there is no doubt about that. Well if one was a climate change denier they could use the same logic you apply to Guy McPherson, you are making baseless suppositions. You know the typical climate change denier BS that Man has little impact on the planet, you are just hyping up the So called "Climate Change" so you can tax us more.
Back to my original point about you being myopically focused on Guy's assertions of death by Climate Change/Global warming. Well that isn't the only thing going on that could bring an ELE. Extinction Level Event. Since the 1950's according Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists we have existed under a Sword of Damocles, the Sword being atomic weapons and lots of them that could pretty much kill most humans if not all on the planet.
The "Bulletin" in moving up their famous Doomsday clock to I believe it is 4 minutes to midnight have cited Nuclear war and climate change a real possibility for our future.
The Nuclear war can happen any time. One minute your typing on a blog the next you are vaporized into loose atoms. What a way to live knowing that your life can be extinguished anytime because some Asshole in Russia, China, Israel, UK, France, Pakistan, India decided Fuck those bastards.
So as far as I am concerned everyday we have dodged a bullet with our names on it.
I was only joking about the Valhalla business, Graham, and made a typo myself for good measure!
During the last six months, I've been involved with a couple of activist groups, on and off the computer, and I'm pleased to say that McPherson doesn't muster much interest. In one large climate-change group, I've mentioned him sporadically and rarely does the conversation last for more than a few comments. With information readily available on this site, Fractal Planet, RealClimate, Neven's Arctic Sea Ice Blog, etc., plenty of people are willing to be informed, unwilling to go into hospice as of yet.
Yes, valhala, but irrelevant to 2040 NTHE, the topic of this discussion.
Janus, McPherson appears to appeal to a particular, quite numerous psychological type, and I wouldn't expect to find many of them in activist groups. McPherson gets invited to enough places, and his name and/or message appear frequently enough to suggest he's having an effect, though the size of that effect is not easy to assess.
Yes, information is readily available, but you know how people are.
Oh really Graham, well check this link out. enormous methane plumes, well geyser videoed on a Candadian Golf course. the methane is venting freely now. Look at this and realize we are done. McPherson is right an possibly conservative in his time frame.
Wow! That's quite spectacular, valhalla. Indicates only that methane had accumulated below that pond, though, nothing more. We know that methane is in the ground in many places; that's why it's called natural gas. If it suddenly started happening all over the place it would be different, but this is just a curiosity.
valhalla, if "methane is venting freely now", why don't we see it showing up at measuring stations? Is there some magical sink which is removing it? If so, then there isn't yet much of a problem with methane as a GHG. Remember though, that McPherson claims that the methane gun was fired in 2007. So you can't claim that he's right, when methane is only increasing at the rate it was near the end of last century, or even a little more slowly. McPherson is wrong on that and, likely, wrong on NTHE by mid-century.
Since McPherson offers a mode of living and thinking in which folks don't have to do anything at all but compliment themselves for avoiding "hopium," I can understand his popularity for those who can't give up their comfortable lifestyles but need to see their choice in a positive light. His preaching "it's too late to change our downward course" is perfect for those who need an excuse to do nothing. I've said all this before, but there's nothing new to add since his cold, little world is rigid and unchanging (except for the fact that we're all going to be dead in 18 months, haha!).
I'll check in again 18 months from now, but before I go, I'll leave this comment from NBL…some fans do wake up:
"Guy, for what it’s worth, a little more doubt (humility) about your certainty of NTE in 20 years would be refreshing (keeping in mind that you were wrong about your assessment of the collapse of human civilization); you were wrong (or at least regretful) about leaving the university; you were wrong (or at least regretful) about creating a homestead; and you were wrong in accepting the 40-year lag time previously espoused by 'science.' I’ve noticed that you updated your presentation with the shorter CO2 time lag, and I’ve heard you say many times 'mistakes have been made.' However, these mistakes don’t seem to inform your certainty about NTE. Ahh, well."
Janus, would you mind saying who wrote that comment, and under which NBL article?
Thanks for this space, Alex, and your excellent work.
This is the best comment from NBL I've ever seen and pretty much all anyone needs to know about that group:
"The irony is that if what McPherson says is accurate, receptivity to his message is completely irrelevant, and if it’s inaccurate, receptivity to it is destructive. It’s amazing to me that this blog gives the message that there’s no hope, it makes no difference what anyone does or does not do, doom cannot be forestalled, and thinking otherwise makes you a fool or a knave. And then: 'Oh, by the way, think before you kill yourself.'"
Graham, a friend e-mailed that quote to me, but now it can't be found since McPherson probably deleted it. Apparently, the beginning of the comment contained a reprimand concerning McPherson's rudeness toward RE of Doomstead Diner (something about a doomer poll) and the fact that McP wasn't exemplifying love, which is all that remains, ya know.
Thanks, Janus. I left three comments on the two most recent posts at NBL less than 24 hours ago. They were all "awaiting moderation". They have all disappeared. Maybe it's been decided that just a few critics will be allowed to comment, for the sake of appearances, and any others will be excluded. Or maybe it's just a technical glitch or three….
Janus, that quote is still there. It was from a comment by "Joe D" under a May 15, 2015 piece headed "Interview in Zurich, Switzerland".
Funny how some surprising things get through the censoring process.
Graham, maybe it's easier to comment on the forum instead of the blog. I'd be very interested to read what you have to say. Tony's excellent post was accepted there (with zero acknowledgment, of course):
"In Guy's latest Edge of Extinction video, he mentions a quote by Gerardo Ceballos, though doesn't give an exact quote or where the quote is reported. However, he paraphrased the quote as 'this great extinction event is going to wipe out a lot of species; first among them will be Homo sapiens.' The only quote I could find that was near that was from a BBC article, which quotes Ceballos thusly, 'If it is allowed to continue, life would take many millions of years to recover and our species itself would likely disappear early on.' Which doesn't seem to be what Guy stated and certainly not saying that NTHE will happen.
The quoted study also mentions that the rate of vertebrate extinction is likely up to 100 times the background rate. This is way, way short of the 200 species a day that Guy likes to claim.
It's also interesting that the title of Guy's video is 'Science Catches Up With Reality,' when he has constantly claimed that science already showed reality to be NTHE. I wonder if science will fall behind again, as this title implies it has done before. Science is never settled and I'm sure there will be surprises both for the deniers and for Guy's conviction about NTHE."
Vertebrates are the least of the extinctions going on. Amphibians are by far the worst off and then there are plants too. Re read what you wrote.
Janus was quoting my forum post (though the forum seems to be dead now). Do you have a reference for your claim that vertebrates are the least worst off in the current extinction event? Yes, Guy like to often claim a rate of 200 per day for all species but that is just a guess and based on very little research. Later research tends to downplay the current rate, though it is very difficult to pin down. I don't think "200 a day" can be supported by science (yet).
I'm not Tony, but thanks for the compliment! I was also labeled gay by a longtime McP supporter on FB because of my interest in him (sadly says a lot about those he attracts). But for argument's sake, if I were bisexually inclined, I would never subscribe to the polyamory viewpoint, otherwise known as cheating. I had the good taste to pick a quality woman decades ago and honor and love her. As Paul Newman wisely said, "Why would I go out for a hamburger when I have steak at home?"
I perused McPherson's "Desconstructing [sic] 'The Newsroom' Video Clip" and noticed his announcement: "Those of you seeking a response from me at the NBL Forum will be [sic] continue to be disappointed. I’ve never visited. I doubt I will." Looking at the majority of the content, I understand perfectly.
As a rebuttal for Guy McPherson, this fails miserably.
The only real evidence this educator gives for refuting the work of Guy McPherson is that he's not heard anybody else talking about this. Guy is the first.
Yes Graham, Whatever who cares. I'm partying fuck you guys we are dead.
Tom, try checking out some of the links (to Johnson's blog and to Tobis's blog) if you want more thorough rebuttals. Guy hasn't answered any of the criticisms specifically; probably because the criticisms are correct.
Interesting…looks like Daniel, a former loooooong-time fan, has awakened:
March 30th, 2016 at 6:52 pm
Thanks for the considerate response. Allow me to clarify a few things if you will. I by no means think Guy is currently “making a fabulous living”, in fact, I’m sure just the opposite is true, which is why he most likely wishes he had never walked away from empire in the first place, and that’s just one of the problems I have with Guy, which I believe I’ve reiterated several times now.
I’m particularly keen on the role money plays in our lives, and while you may not think it makes much of a difference as to what someone says while they’re high on the hog, compared to what they say when they’re no longer, I however very much do. If someone’s ethical stance is married to how much money they have in the bank, how much integrity do they actually have? In fact, Guy no longer even advocates living simply.
Now as to “mistakes being made”, who here hasn’t made endless mistakes? That’s not the issue; it’s our ability to admit and learn for our mistakes and Guy seems to be someone who is not only incapable of admitting his mistakes, but seems painfully removed from being able to learn from them. And Guy doesn’t seem to have learned a thing from his past failed predictions, especially given thousands of people committed the same error. Wouldn’t you think that should at least merit an essay that explores humanity’s nature in making false assumptions and how that might be affecting our current understanding of NTE? But all we get from Guy is “mistakes were made”. Ever heard what George Carlin has to say about those who use that very term; it has something to do with BS.
Remember Tom, Guy is the only person who has toured the world telling people they’re all going to be dead in fourteen years with virtually zero evidence to back that date up, other than the use of Light’s shabby unscientific paper. And in spite of all the things Guy has gotten right, you honestly don’t see a problem with that?
Now as to who is or isn’t “going off the rails”, or maybe something closer to the point: who believes they’re in a position to know the difference? Am I “harboring a personal grudge” as you claim, or am I pointing out something so obvious, it hurts us all to look at it, because we’re all too invested in believing “we” somehow know more than we do, especially Guy?
We are all adults here, or at least most of us. This is an open forum, and if people think we can’t openly question someone who claims to know when life on earth ends, then I suspect those very people have let their emotions get the better of their critical thinking.
No scientist worth his/her merit would have used Light’s date of 2031.4 to advocated NTE, yet Guy very much does and it’s been the crux of his presentations from the start, therefore, isn’t it valid to question Guy’s merits? Because while Guy claims the evidence backs him up, where’s the evidence we’ll all be dead in fourteen years? There isn’t any, and that’s why it’s not about the evidence and it very much about vanity and Guy’s claims to the contrary.
And one more thing, almost all of Guy’s credibility results from his Ph.D—we are meritocratic society after all—even though that same doctorate has allowed him to repeatedly make massive mistakes, yet, here we are, still giving him the benefit of doubt, because………………well, he must know more than us because he is an “expert”.
Tom, Guy hasn’t a clue to as what’s going to happen or when, any more than anyone else, we just want to believe he does and ultimately that’s the problem here. If we question ourselves long enough, eventually it becomes clear that none of this has anything to with whether or not Guy is accurate, and has everything to do with “us” believing anyone has the ability to be accurate in regards to such a highly complex system.
I like this too for a lot of reasons…and it's good advertising for Radio Ecoshock!
People.. Sofistek, Noel, I pray you guys shut up already about Guy. Jocular mood aside, I feel I’m going to have to go on and say what I think and just be plain rude. I feel nothing but contempt for your pathetic nitpicking and idle bickering. Guy is just a guy with an opinion based on his interpretation, I repeat, his interpretation of available scientific evidence. He’s not a loon and he’s entirely entitled and invited to speak his opinion as outspokenly as he’s sees fit just as you’re entitled and invited to stop speaking so damn much. When people have a view, an opinion, a belief, a conviction or whatever, it’s only natural that they believe in it most deeply and maybe (why the fuck not?) also go around the world to let others know. They’re also entitled (why the fuck not?) to aspire and day dream that others will acclaim them and look up to them as brave heroes for their truth- telling and iconoclasm. It’s natural and human that we of the homo callidus like self-worth and recognition immensely; even us doomers. Let’s show some understanding, some bit of ”compassion” for the beliefs and persuasions of just another human existence which, regardless of whether NTE happens or not, is unique, one of kind and transient in the world. I wish to remind you of this: scientifically educated folks are irrational apes too. Take Michael Tobis for instance and the heaps of BS he spews in his ”refutal”. In order to polemicize against Mcpherson he even manages to say that if all arctic ice melted that wouldn’t accelerate warming.
Methane leaking out of the arctic is very real and very credible threat. All the evidence and counter-evidence presented by professionals on the matter writing for AMEG and Sam Carana’s blog is solid regardless of what Scott Johnson et al. say.
Climate change has theoretically at least the potential to wipe us out. We cannot survive a 6C or higher degree rise in global average temperature whether it takes place within a few decades or centuries or millennia. If it happens and it could theoretically happen, we’re done for. Heat is an ice-cold killer (pun intended). Period.
To be honest, I find what McPherson says about love and excellence to be trite bullshit but that’s the least of my concerns because the science and the points that he presents to us in his missive are really OK. Extinction or not however, modern human civilization won’t outlive the century. What it takes to understand that is the following: basic (very basic) knowledge of the trends in energy and consumption as well as the anthropogenic ecological and climatic impact. That means the vast majority (in the very least) of the human population will die in a holocaust without parallel in our history as a species which will happen in THIS century and not the next. Mainstream scientists refuse to accept that and they do so not out of grounds of ”evidence” or intellectual superiority as they like to believe but for far more banal (and human) reasons.
A remarkable historian wrote: Hoffnung und Angst versperren den Einblick in die menschlichen Dinge, dabei läßt sich die Hoffung viel schwieriger als die Angst überwinden.
Climate scientist Paul Beckwith takes issue with recent claims that humans will go extinct in as little as 18 months! The predicted year stated at 2035, then became 2025, and now… it’s anything you want?
First off, let me thank Alex Smith for such an insightful in depth program looking into claims of human extinction. Your program, Ecoshock, is quickly becoming one of my favorite go-to sources for climate change news. I too have looked with skepticism on Guy’s claims of extinction. I haven’t looked into the data as much as Scott Johnson and others, rather my skepticism is from Guy’s propensity to go on the attack against anyone who disagrees with him. That’s a big flag for me. Anyways, I was wondering were that leaves us in terms of potential warming scenarios by 2100. The show mentions 4C, coming from the IPCC, but in the intervening time between when this show came out and now, some peer-reviewed scientific papers have come out showing substantially higher rates of warming by 2100. Here’s one that came out in 2016 showing that global temps could possibly warm as much as over 7C by 2100 because as the globe warms up it is more sensitive to forcings and subsequently temps could rise much quicker than the IPCC estimates. Here’s the Independent article with the scientific paper linked inside of it. Would Scott or Alex care to comment on it?
Thank you and please keep up the excellent work Alex!
Wow, egg on your face journalist Scott K Johnson.
Methane bulges in Siberia are bursting.
Well, after all, you are not a scientist.
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