#128 | This Is Probably It: Put On A Good Face, Time Is Short w/ Guy McPherson

Professor Guy McPherson returns to the podcast to discuss abrupt climate change, the systems that govern human behavior, the collapse of industrial civilization, and why “this is probably it” for the human species.

In this conversation, we discuss the “Blue Ocean Event,” an event that entails an acceleration of irreversible changes in our global climate system. When the “Blue Ocean Event” occurs (possibly as soon as this year) as a result of global warming, the Arctic region will have little-to-no ice cover, and as a result, the Arctic Ocean will begin to absorb substantially more heat from the sun, vastly accelerating the rate of warming in the Arctic region, and consequently for the global climate system as a whole. An ice-free Arctic will generate conditions that extend far beyond industrial civilization’s ability to adapt, and will likely lead to the economic and social collapse of our civilization.

We then explore what humanity should expect to occur after the collapse of industrial civilization. Collapse will lead to a severe reduction of fossil fuel consumption, and as a result, to the immediate diminishment of the “Global Dimming” effect, in which particulates flung into the Earth’s atmosphere from decades of fossil fuel use will begin to settle, resulting in an abrupt rise in global average temperature, likely leading to the near-term extinction of the human species and the mass death of countless other living beings on this planet.

We discuss these concepts, as well as the nature of our economic and social systems, human nature, living without leaders, and what it means to live in a time of radical and accelerating change. 

Guy McPherson is a public speaker, researcher, author, and professor emeritus of natural resources and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona. 

Episode Notes:

- The introduction features audio from my recently released TEDx talk “Forging Connections In Perilous Times.” Watch the talk here: https://youtu.be/nLxrd7_ga60

- Keep up to date with Guy McPherson and his work at his website: https://guymcpherson.com

- Subscribe to Guy’s YouTube channel “Nature Bats Last” here: bit.ly/naturebatslast

- Follow Guy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Guy_McPherson

- The song featured in this episode is “The End of the World” by Patti Smith from the film mother! Source: https://youtu.be/euym9xVlR5E


#68 | Guy McPherson: On Abrupt Climate Change, Loss of Habitat, And Making Life Suck Less

This episode features a conversation with Guy McPherson, conservation biologist, social critic, and professor emeritus at the University of Arizona. Guy has become known, in recent years, for his lectures and writings on abrupt climate change and the loss of habitat for the human species. Guy has, and continues to, "connect the dots" regarding the scientific evidence surrounding runaway climate change and the various tipping points and positive feedback loops leading to an uninhabitable landscape for much of the life on this planet.  Guy is currently on a speaking tour though the Midwestern United States, and was kind enough to let me pick his mind on his work, as well as his thoughts on the controversial article put out in the most recent issue of New York Magazine titled "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells. We discuss the response to this piece, as well as Guy's direct influence on the final product. 

We also get into what it means to carry this knowledge, and he and I converse on the difficulty of integrating this frame of thinking into everyday life. Once you know, you can't un-know. 

Guy's message at the end of all this is to recognize that we don't know how much time we have to live the lives we have been given. What is happening with our climate and our planet is well beyond anyone's control at this point. So, live fully. Attend to those those around you. Make plans, but don't attach yourself to the outcome. Practice compassion and love as fully as possible, which is easier said than done, of course. But as in all things, we must "Let go, or be dragged."

Episode Notes:

- Thank you to  Jordan Thornquest of Thornquest Studios for letting me use his space and for his assistance with the recording and production of this episode. Check out Jordan's work and upcoming events at jordanthornquest.com

- Check out Guy McPherson's work on guymchperson.com, where you can find updates on upcoming speaking events, his writings and essays, as well as an archive of his interviews and lectures. 
Here is a link to information on his Midwest speaking tour: guymcpherson.com/coming-events/

- The article discussed in this episode "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells can be read here: nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html

- Guy's response: guymcpherson.com/2017/07/todays-feature-story-in-new-york-magazine/

- This episode features "Tiptoes" by Daedelus and "Helplessness Blues" by Fleet Foxes.