Dr Guy McPherson - Collapse, Disruption, Runaway Greenhouse Gases and Ecological Overshoot

Interviewed by Tim LynchOctober 22, 2014
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As a global community, we currently face vast challenges. We collectively depend on shared resources including clean water, energy, a just economy, access to food and the Internet. However, these assets are threatened by economic, political,and social systems that do not support what’s best for the vast majority of people or the natural world and in many ways they are not interested in changing their business model of growth for growths sake.

Yet, representing transition towns, eco-villages, small business cooperatives, spiritual communities, seed sharing networks, local currency practitioners, gift cultures, civic society, these new movements across the planet are the counterculture of today.

Initiatives and events like these give us great hope and encouragement that transformation is indeed occurring at every level of the human story: individual, institutional and collective.

OK this is the upside …

Standing for and having to fight for our planets integrity, our biosphere is increasingly becoming a huge challenge, because the status quo only wants to push commerce, growth and utilise resources where ever they can obtain them. And after fighting for decades and you lose every week, the few wins the ecological movement have success with, are eventually relegated to being basically meaningless.

In 1972 a report came out called Limits to Growth, one of the scientists behind it said at the time humanity had reached 85% of earths carrying capacity and that today we are around 125% and every month we delay in getting back within acceptable limits, erodes Earth’s further ability to tolerate us.

Note that in 1980 the global population was 4 billion and today 2014 it is 7.2 billion, all striving to better themselves.

This interview with Guy McPherson also covers a planetary perspective that focusses on avarice and sociopaths as they are linked to service to self.

We here in the first world where we are relatively well off, the higher echelons of power have become addicted to money and power, how it can be used and what it can buy, and this is quite pronounced here in NZ. The ones with the money are not interested in any social change, and thus they vote for and continue the status quo …  as they value money more than they value lives …

One definition of our civilisation is that we must go faster and grow faster and we do, speedily rushing to who knows where?

How do we overcome this sociopathy called industrial civilisation? It is becoming apparent to many deep ecologists that we let it go terminal … due to its momentum and that the bulk of the first world has voted for material everything. Note, that conservative governments are in power, in NZ, Australia, Britain, and Canada with the bankers running the Democrats in the USA as they are essentially joined at the hip with the Republicans  and so we are all lock stepped to follow the financial path to take the fruits of our civilisation now and extract as much satisfaction out of every moment of indulgence …

So we are so embedded within the system, and it is the system that is the problem … a runaway train …Tweaking the system is not going to fix the problem, the system is the problem.

Tim Garret a professor at the university of Utah seven years ago put out a paper stating - only the collapse of civilisation will prevent runaway  climate change. Since that time scientists have found 40 self reinforcing feedback loops on the climate change front. But will we make the changes required?

People will go to war to keep their RV’s, their indulgences and their steaks on the table every night. Too many are addicted to their desires. We have become walking desire bodies … consuming our planet, thus consuming the future …

We cannot turn away from these on going disasters of every day … there are consequences.

We are still driving to extinction 200 to 250 species a day … yet because they are out of sight they are out of mind too.

And people say to Guy, yeah … but it is only insects and stuff, just the little things, well the little thing matter, (don’t they in your life?) Where do you think we get pollination from … for the food we eat, where do we get decomposers from, those biota that breakdown the vegetation to compost etc?

That the level of awareness of main stream society is so low, that the level of action is essentially non-existent.

When we take in all the factors that drive the economies and their relationship to the ecology that supports all life, and the unsustainability of it all, we see it’s fundamentally, a corrupt system.

Scientists in still learning about our geophysical system that there is a 40 year lag between C02 and temperature rise and as a result of inaction, we are in danger of being … done!

As a society there is little we can do, however as a localised community we can come together as a smaller cell and work towards more sustainability, resilience and self-reliance as a durable organism. As  individuals we can take personal responsibility for our thoughts and actions and get to grips with reality and let this wash over us and then stand in our power, relying on our own values and virtues that we have
been imbued with. The buck stops with us at a grass roots level.

Guy goes on to say it’s an amazing time to be alive and to be alive at all.

What do we need to survive and thrive … clean air, water, food chain and shelter and the means of maintaining our body temperature and … community … when our intent is to make a viable contribution to work and play together by combining the 3 first attributes we will actualise, community.

Not only to marvel at our life, and that of the magnificent biosphere that we are embedded in, and to stand for the biota that we also share both breath and DNA with and stand up and defend the species that make up the symphony of life, which we collectively are driving to extinction.

We also cannot now depend on mainstream media MSM  and we are all becoming citizen journalists and we are also documenting our demise. Along with the demise of all biota and our living planet.

With the possibility of only a couple of decades of relative living, how are we going to turn this all around? It also means coming to grips with out own mortality.

Our addiction to electricity in the first world has got us all hooked. We can not do without our hot showers and electronic gadgetry and this is keeping us on the umbilical cord of the corporations, same for telephones and web services. Solar energy localised can assist in sorting this out, though there is a cost.

Also, chasing Facebook and Twitter is an astonishing high priority for a number of people.

Covering inertia, when something is not moving, but once we get things rolling, that is when we start to get momentum …

Climate change is like a soccer ball that kicked along the ground at turf level, friction slows the ball down, but the ball (our planet) can be said to have been kicked off the cliff and there is no friction there and the ball is in a free fall situation and it’s not the fall that will stop us it is the sudden stop at the bottom. And it is this sudden stop and in relationship to society that will end our addictions to possibly oil, digital information in some countries, electricity and possibly food chains that are globally traded.

Covering the Occupy Movement and shocking revelations, some positive actions by Transition towns growing their own food. Note that Florida has passed a law making it illegal to live off the power grid. You cannot harvest rainwater from your roof in most of Western USA and use it for yourself. There are many municipalities in the USA where you are not allowed to grow your own food in your front yard. Further signs that the corporate machine is running the show. Facebook is 60% owned by Goldman Sachs … they control social media that’s why I get so few hits on FB. Have you noticed that you are only communicating with a small select group on FB?

This interview also covers the findings at a hacking conference in the Netherlands. That if you intend to live outside of the corporate system in the US it will not be a comfortable place to live.

That industrial civilisation over time has allowed values and virtues to day across the board within our communities and sociologist have noted this and written about it, but to no avail.

The key is people, communities of families interacting together, now and connecting … live here now, in the spirit of relocalisation.

Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell.  And that is where we are on earth …  and we are not contemplating the consequences. Capitalism is a pathology, it is not an economic system – community does not come closer as a result of capitalism.

Look beneath the surface and actually look to see what is going on.

If you think the economy is more important an the environment, then try holding your breath whilst counting your money …Lets focus on whats primary, air, water food and especially people and the ability to maintain the living planet. Not the monetary system that allows us to degrade the living planet.

Professor Emeritus of conservation biology from Arizona in the USA, plus NZ sponsor Kevin Hester.

www.GuyMcPherson.com - Nature Bats Last.


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Tim Lynch

Tim Lynch, is a New Zealander, who is fortunate in that he has whakapapa, or a bloodline that connects him to the Aotearoan Maori. He has been involved as an activist for over 40 years - within the ecological, educational, holistic, metaphysical, spiritual & nuclear free movements. He sees the urgency of the full spectrum challenges that are coming to meet us, and is putting his whole life into being an advocate for todays and tomorrows children. 'To Mobilise Consciousness.'

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