|It's gettin' hot in here|
|—Michael Tobis, climate scientist|
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 Bjørn 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". McPherson first gained notoriety in the mid 2000s by predicting the end of civilization in under a decade due to peak oil, but as that failed to materialize he's switched gears to climate, and 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 demonstrates that it is far too late to cut down on carbon emissions and mitigate the 40-year global warming process; accelerating climate feedbacks could cause a global average temperature increase of between >1° and >6° Celsius. This could eventuate in humanity dying out by 2030 at the latest although as of 2016 he makes it clear that he considers 2030 as a conservative estimate and that it won't be "business as usual" many years before that date. So apocalypse could begin within the next couple years or maybe the next couple years after that and so on. You decide. McPherson cites Paul Beckwith as saying that the earth could warm by 6°C in a decade and believes that a warming of 4° to 6° C will result in "a dead planet". He predicts an even greater rise but argues that anything more would be more than enough to do the worthless eaters in anyway. This will amount to a recreation of the biotic disaster of the "Great Dying" when micro-organisms were the dominant form of life for many millions of years.
Analysis of the data by knowledgeable science educators such as Scott K. Johnson and working scientists such as Michael Tobis 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. He also claims that he was under surveillance by the NSA when he was teaching and was nearly assassinated to avoid spreading the truth. Radio host Alex Smith explored the problematic reasoning and possible motivations behind McPherson's nihilistic views and also researched dubious sources of the purported extinction date, 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 — admits to cherry picking data that support his views.
Manipulation and alleged sexual abuse of followers
McPherson solicits donations from his followers, which he uses in part to tour the world and give talks. On social media, he took on the role of grief counselor to help his followers emotionally cope with his claims of doom. A joint statement from several ex-followers summed this up as, "[McPherson] is in a position of authority with direct influence over the mental, emotional, and in some cases physical and monetary lives, of those who exist in a state of vulnerability." In August of 2017 McPherson was accused of sexual harassment by several ex-followers, who claim that his counseling with women often includes sexual advances or abuse. Deep Green Resistance, a radical deep ecology group, was disturbed after finding that he called one woman a "cum-gargling whore", and will no longer work with him.
In an interview, both McPherson and Paul R. Ehrlich claimed that the world was losing its ecosystems in an unprecedented way. Ehrlich claims that our survival chances are at maximal 10% — 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.
- In 2007 McPherson predicted the USA's trucking industry would collapse by 2012 due to peak oil, quickly followed by the interstate highway system.
- In 2008 he predicted the end of civilization by 2018 due to peak oil, "If you're alive in a decade, it will be because you've figured out how to forage locally."
- In 2012 he predicted that global warming will kill much of humanity by 2020.
- In 2016 he predicted that humanity and most lifeforms will be extinct due to global warming by mid-2026.
- In 2017 he predicted that global temperatures would be 6° C above baseline in mid-2018 and that Earth would have no atmosphere by the 2050s.
- In June 2018 he implied that industrial civilization was about to collapse in September 2018, followed by a 1 degree C immediate additional temperature jump due to the end of reflective aerosol production, which would rapidly somehow end all "complex multicellular organisms" on Earth.
McPherson's podcast website, Ecoshock Radio, went kaput some time around 2017. The web address was subsequently bought by a sleazy penis enlargement company. As of 2019, his personal website was still touting his 2015 European speaking tour.
- 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)
- Nature Bats Last, his website
- McPherson’s Evidence That Doom Doom Doom by Michael Tobis (March 13, 2014) Planet 3.0 The future, considered seriously.
- Climate Change: The 40 Year Delay Between Cause and Effect. Skeptical Science.
-  As stated explicitly in this 2016 interview.
- Climate-change summary and update
-  As stated in this 2016 lecture.
- How Guy McPherson gets it wrong. Fractal Planet.
- McPherson's Evidence That Doom Doom Doom. Planet 3.0
- Human extinction? Not so much (September 17, 2014) Ecoshock (archived from September 26, 2014).
- Will Humans Go Extinct Soon? (June 05, 2013) Ecoshock (archived from September 17, 2013).
- 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.
- 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."
- PLEASE DONATE HERE McPherson's donation page
- STATEMENTDrama from within the McPherson cult
- STATEMENTDrama from within the McPherson cult
- Statement on Guy McPherson Deep Green Resistance disavows McPherson over his misogyny.
- THE END OF CIVILIZATION AND THE EXTINCTION OF HUMANITY "And the trucks are going to stop within the next half-decade or so. Shortly thereafter, the interstate highway system will simply collapse."
- End of the world as we know it "In a decade, unemployment will be approaching 100 percent, inflation will be running at 1,000 percent and central heating will be a pipe dream."
- We're Done "For those of us living in the interior of a large continent, much less on a rock-pile in the desert, I'd give us until 2020 at the latest."
- Faster than Expected "As I've pointed out previously, I doubt there will be a human on Earth by mid-2026. Indeed, I doubt there will be complex life on this planet by then."
- Ecoshock Radio (archived copies)
- Prof. Dr. Guy R. McPherson (archived copies)