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Guy McPherson

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Global warming

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Guy McPherson is Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. An author, blogger, and parallel universe version of Bjorn Lomborg, McPherson theorizes that runaway climate change constitutes a near-term human extinction event primarily due to "the consequences of taking down more than 200 species each day: at some point, the species we take into the abyss is Homo sapiens".[1] McPherson has gained a cultishly persistent following in the deep ecology/"doomer" fringe of the hard green movement. His blog is called Nature Bats Last.

According to McPherson, current climate data collected from Science, Nature, and many organizations such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research, United Nations Environment Programme, and International Energy Agency, demonstrates that it is far too late to cut down on carbon emissions and mitigate the 40-year[2] global warming process; accelerating climate feedbacks could cause a global average temperature increase of between >1° and >6° Celsius. This could begin to make humanity extinct by 2030 at the earliest. McPherson cites Paul Beckwith as saying that the earth could warm by 6°C in a decade. McPherson believes that warming of 4° to 6° C will result in "a dead planet".[3]

Contents

[edit] Criticism

Analysis of the data by knowledgeable science educators such as Scott K. Johnson[4] and working scientists such as Michael Tobis[5] shows that McPherson wildly distorts climate science -- especially developments about methane emissions from the Arctic -- to support his conclusions. They also refute his claims related to runaway climate "feedbacks" as, variously, "not fast enough", not meeting the technical description of positive feedbacks, or actually constituting negative feedbacks. Additionally, Tobis points out that some of McPherson's statements -- such as one nonsensical prediction of chain nuclear meltdowns -- have literally nothing to do with climate science.

McPherson also claims that the United States government, and virtually all high-profile scientists and activists (like James Hansen), know we are beyond the point of no return, but are purposefully making conservative predictions to mislead the public. Radio host Alex Smith explored the problematic reasoning and possible motivations behind McPherson's nihilistic views[6] and also researched dubious sources of the purported extinction date[7], on the weekly Ecoshock program.

A quick review of any of the comments McPherson et al. make on critical articles, or the edit history of this very page, reveals that McPherson and his followers are quick to react to criticism with the predictable set of ad hominem attacks ("white male science," etc.) rather than with rational, peer-reviewed, or otherwise widely accepted scientific arguments. McPherson himself -- again, see his apparent attempts at vandalism[8] -- admits to cherry-picking data that support his views.[9]

[edit] Fellow traveller

In an interview, both Guy McPherson and Paul R. Ehrlich claimed that the world was losing its ecosystems in an unprecedented way. Paul R. Ehrlich claims that our survival chances are at maximal 10% -- Guy McPherson calculates less than that. Ehrlich previously made failed predictions of global famine in the 1980s; that should give you a good indication of the reliability of McPherson's even more pessimistic outlook.

[edit] Works

  • Ecology and Management of North American Savannas (1997)
  • Applied Ecology and Natural Resource Management (2003)
  • Changing Precipitation Regimes and Terrestrial Ecosystems: A North American Perspective (2003)
  • Killing the Natives: Has the American Dream Become a Nightmare? (2005)
  • Letters to a young academic: seeking teachable moments (2006)
  • Living with Fire: Fire Ecology and Policy for the Twenty-first Century (2008)
  • The Planner’s Guide to Natural Resource Conservation: The Science of Land Development Beyond the Metropolitan Fringe (2009)
  • Walking Away from Empire: A Personal Journey (2011)
  • Going Dark (2013)

[edit] See also

Cornucopian vs. Malthusian debate

[edit] External links

  • Nature Bats Last, his website
  • [1] Interview Guy McPherson and Paul R. Ehrlich
  • [2] Gary (Inmendham) and Guy speak freely on doom.

[edit] Footnotes

  1. http://guymcpherson.com/2011/08/three-paths-to-near-term-human-extinction/
  2. Climate Change: The 40 Year Delay Between Cause and Effect. Skeptical Science.
  3. Guy McPherson. "Climate-change summary and update". http://guymcpherson.com/. http://guymcpherson.com/2013/01/climate-change-summary-and-update/. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  4. How Guy McPherson gets it wrong. Fractal Planet.
  5. McPherson's Evidence That Doom Doom Doom. Planet 3.0
  6. Human extinction? Not so much. Ecoshock.
  7. Will Humans Go Extinct Soon? Ecoshock.
  8. While many of the whitewashing or blanket deletion edits to this article have been by BoNs and without edit summaries, one very long tirade was written as if McPherson and User:NeartermExtinction are one and the same and the latter had also previously tried to whitewash this article.
  9. See User:NeartermExtinction's long tirade: "I’m often accused of cherry picking the information in this ever-growing essay. I plead guilty, and explain myself in this essay posted 30 January 2014."
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