McPherson, Guy Ph.D. — Near Term Human Extinction Part Two

Posted on September 22nd, 2015 in Air Pollution,American Society,Environment,Science by LeGov

In this, part two of our series on near term human extinction, we continue our conversation with Dr. Guy R. McPherson, Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. Professor McPherson is co-author with Carolyn Baker of “Extinction Dialogs:  How to Live With Death in Mind.” McPherson presents what appears to be overwhelming scientific evidence that our environment is headed for a swift apocalyptic collapse. This is the most disturbing conversation that I have had in past 25 years as host and producer of Radio Curious.

That said, imagine the human habitat in which we all live changing so rapidly that life as we know it is extinguished. Temperatures that are getting hotter than ever, decades long droughts, catastrophic fires, melting polar ice, rising sea levels, and unprecedented winter storms are expected to radically limit food production and availability of potable water.  Not only is this extinction likely, it is occurring every day. “How to live with death in mind” is the goal; living with urgency is the practice. 

In part one, Dr. Guy McPherson discusses the rise of global temperature by more than 1 degree centigrade, the likelihood of a continued global warming trend in the future and some of its affects on our planet.  In this, our second visit with Prof. McPherson he explains how this small rise in global temperature is leading to a large scale mass extinction on earth. Recorded on September 14, 2015, while he was traveling in New York state, we began I asked him what abrupt extinction will look like and what will occur that will end human life on earth.

The books Dr. Guy McPherson recommends are “Ms. Lady Bug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time,” by Pauline Panagiotou-Schneider and Guy McPherson.  He also recommends the books by Edward Abbey.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part one and here to listen to part three–a conversation with “Extinction Dialogues” coauthor Carolyn Baker.

6 Responses to 'McPherson, Guy Ph.D. — Near Term Human Extinction Part Two'

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  1. Bill said,

    on September 22nd, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    at 8:15: “Termination of the heat engine known as the global civilization” Termination is the wrong word (the end of) it doesn’t make sense. He must have meant “Culmination”.

  2. Karina said,

    on September 22nd, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    OMG, Barry… that was indeed very scary and disturbing! It was also the best simple explanation of what drives climate change and why 1ºC is such a big deal that I have ever heard.

    Lots of food for thought… I do agree with him, tho, that living as tho we don’t have much time left and being fully present to each day and each moment is the best way to live, no matter how long you have.

    About 72,000 years ago, a super volcano erupted in Indonesia and geneticists think most humans died off, leaving perhaps only a few hundred or a few thousand related humans left – a major reason there is not more genetic diversity. Maybe some of us will survive after all… will they have learned anything?

  3. Mary said,

    on October 4th, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Barry, Thank you for having the courage and fortitude to bring this material to the radio audience. I’ve been moved and grief-stricken as I listen — and read the book. And lonely, as I try to digest the message. Not many people I know would be interested in hearing about this horror, let alone discussing it.
    If there is a group or some individuals wanting to share the process of digesting this material, I would appreciate hearing about them.

  4. Eric said,

    on October 8th, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Wow! Those few of us who heard this are walking around with a far more immediate sense of imminent death than I, personally, have had up to now.

    No, Bill, he didn’t mean “culmination”. He did mean “termination”. He makes it clear that he sees this as so improbable as to be impossible, practically speaking.

    If it were possible, it would produce those rapid warming effects he describes. Since it isn’t possible, we are experiencing all the dire effects he describes — and we’ll wind up just as we shall as a result of civilization’s heating effects. He doesn’t mention any way of preventing the sudden buildup of abruptly ceasing the current pumping of particulate matter that currently acts like “an umbrella”. He doesn’t because there isn’t any.

  5. Mary said,

    on October 9th, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    As I’ve been living with this new perception for a while, I find myself dreading, not my own death, but rapid deterioration of society–the laws, government and social rules that keep us safe are all based in the belief that there is a future. Without a future for the human race, I imagine we will be living in a world like Lord of the Flies — chaos and all the worst that the human being can be. I don’t think I want to be there.

  6. godfrey said,

    on January 21st, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Thank you for interviewing Guy so courteously and facilitating him conveying the information clearly. This was certainly disturbing to listen to and factually based. I am glad to know the highly probable outcomes for our life support systems and am adjusting my life accordingly. Thank you again

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