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Former U. of Arizona prof: We must destroy modern civilization to save Earth from global warming

Kirsten Andersen Kirsten Andersen Follow Kirsten

A former professor at the University of Arizona is so convinced that global warming is ruining Earth that he’s proposing a desperate plan to save the world: Destroy human civilization as we know it.

Guy McPherson, who left academia in 2009 for “ethical reasons,” says humanity will be extinct by 2030 no matter what we do, so for the sake of the other species on Earth, we must “terminate industrial civilization” and abandon the modern technology that gives us electricity, worldwide mobility, clean drinking water, and medical care; to say nothing of the creature comforts of modern life.

“I think there’s ample chance we can save the living planet, but not our species. … Some people think that this whole thing is about us,” McPherson told the Paul Henry Show in New Zealand last week, during a tour to promote his new book Extinction Dialogues: How To Live With Death In Mind. “We just showed up… I don’t think this is about us, I think it’s about the living planet,” McPherson said.

Although McPherson makes a significant portion of his living peddling climate hysteria online, high-speed internet connections, computers and iPhones are not part of his view of the future.  Instead, he argues, we must look to “indigenous” people with their mud and straw huts and hunter-gatherer lifestyles as an example of how to live out our final days on Earth.  Indeed, McPherson himself claims to live in “a straw house in the middle of the woods surrounded by animals” and says that nothing short of the total collapse of human civilization will slow the imminent destruction of our world. 

“I work toward collapse,” McPherson says in an essay on his website. “Largely unafflicted by the arrogance of humanism, I work on behalf of non-human species. Industrial civilization is destroying every aspect of the living planet, and I know virtually nobody who wants to stop the runaway train. Yes, collapse will kill us. But our deaths are guaranteed regardless, unless I missed a memo.”

If McPherson’s perspective seems lacking in optimism, you’re not wrong.  He and his followers in the “near-term extinction” (NTE) movement derisively refer to hope as “hopium,” and accuse mainstream environmental scientists whose studies point to anything other than imminent apocalypse as “deniers.”  Some observers in the scientific community have referred to the NTE as a “death cult,” a criticism so common that McPherson has pinned a disclaimer at the top of his website saying that while he does not advocate for or against suicide, he urges those who contemplate it to “re-consider.”

It’s tempting to dismiss McPherson as a crank, but much of the rhetoric coming out of President Obama’s administration in recent days has echoed the professor’s paranoia regarding climate change.

At a recent UN summit on the climate, Obama described climate change as the most imminent threat facing the world today – more dangerous than terrorism, instability, inequality, and deadly diseases like Ebola and Enterovirus D-68.

Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Obama said that he believes "there is such a thing as being too late" – and insisted the world must "move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate while we still can.”

And at a State Department reception to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha, Secretary of State John Kerry said that climate change, not Muslim extremism, was at least partially to blame for the deadly actions of terrorist groups like ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, and Boko Haram.

“The extremism that we see, the radical exploitation of religion which is translated into violence, has no basis in any of the real religions,” Kerry told a group of Muslim leaders. “There’s nothing Islamic about what ISIL/Daesh stands for, or is doing to people.”

Kerry said that the real reasons behind Islamic terrorism are economic, driven by weather conditions he attributes to global warming.

“[C]limate change … is profoundly having an impact in various parts of the world, where droughts are occurring not at a 100-year level but at a 500-year level in places that they haven’t occurred, floods of massive proportions, diminishment of water for crops and agriculture at a time where we need to be talking about sustainable food,” Kerry said.  “And in many places we see the desert increasingly creeping into East Africa. We’re seeing herders and farmers pushed into deadly conflict as a result.”

Despite the Obama administration’s feverish devotion to the global warming narrative, the scientific data backing it up is less than compelling.  In fact, scientists are currently scrambling to explain why there has been no recorded warming of the Earth in the last 18 years.  They have so far come up with 52 possible reasons for what they’re calling the “pause” in global warming, ranging from low solar activity to “coincidence.”

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