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Fri Sep 21, 2012, 10:57 AM

 

Nature Bats Last: Let go, or be dragged

Guy McPherson is an academically credentialed environmental/ecological blogger with a very pessimistic outlook. Here are excerpts from his latest oeuvre:

Let go, or be dragged

When called a quitter in somebodyís first-time comment in this space, my initial response was to serve the name-caller a big warm cup of ShutTheFuckUp. Then I gave it a bit more thought. One result is this essay.

Contrary to the respondentís interpretation of my essay, Iím not suggesting we quit. Giving up is not giving in: Accepting our fate is not synonymous with jumping into the absurdly omnicidal main stream. Just because weíre opossums on the roadway doesnít mean we should play possum. Resistance is fertile, after all. To employ a bit of The Boss: ďIn the end what you donít surrender, well the world just strips away.Ē

As a result of ongoing, accelerating climate change, Iím letting go of the notion that Homo sapiens will inhabit this planet beyond 2030. Iím letting go of the notion that Homo sapiens will inhabit this verdant little valley at the edge of American Empire after it turns to dust within a very few years. Iím letting go of the notion that, within a few short years, there will remain any habitat for humans in the interior of any large continent in the northern hemisphere. Iím letting go of the notion weíll retain even a fraction of one percent of the species currently on Earth beyond 2050. But Iím not letting go of the notion of resistance, which is a moral imperative

Our remaining time on this orb is too short to cast aspersions at those who live differently from ourselves, as most people in industrialized countries have done throughout their lives. Most people in the industrialized world became cultural crack babies in the womb. There is little hope to break the addiction of ingestion at this late point in the era of industry, and Iím throwing in the towel on changing the minds of typically mindless Americans. No longer will I try to convince people to give up the crack pipe based on my perception of reality.

I am in full agreement with him.

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Reply Nature Bats Last: Let go, or be dragged (Original post)
GliderGuider Sep 2012 OP
stuntcat Sep 2012 #1
AverageJoe90 Sep 2012 #4
Ghost Dog Sep 2012 #2
AverageJoe90 Sep 2012 #3
GliderGuider Sep 2012 #5
GliderGuider Sep 2012 #6
limpyhobbler Sep 2012 #7
AverageJoe90 Sep 2012 #8
RobertEarl Sep 2012 #9

Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 11:59 AM

1. k & r

"But Iím not letting go of the notion of resistance, which is a moral imperative."

imho the greatest, most important, least selfish morality.
I'll fight for one thing. I'm telling everyone I know. I don't have strength or weapons, no degree, I can't even drive, but there's this one big thing I will go down fighting for.

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Response to stuntcat (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:54 PM

4. No rec from me, but there is one thing I CAN agree with.

 

I'll do whatever I can to fight as well.

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:00 PM

2. Resistance is fertile.

Itís clearly too late to tear down this irredeemably corrupt system and realize any substantive benefits for humans or other organisms. And yet I strongly agree with activist Lierre Keith: ďThe task of an activist is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much personal integrity as possible; it is to dismantle those systems.Ē If it seems Iím filled with contradictions, color me [strike]hypocritical[/strike] fully human in a Walt Whitman sort of way: ďDo I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.Ē

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Response to GliderGuider (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:53 PM

3. I'm sorry, but what has McPherson done, exactly?

 

Think about what's he wrote.

Giving up is not giving in: Accepting our fate is not synonymous with jumping into the absurdly omnicidal main stream. Just because weíre opossums on the roadway doesnít mean we should play possum. Resistance is fertile, after all. To employ a bit of The Boss: ďIn the end what you donít surrender, well the world just strips away.Ē


Iím letting go of the notion that Homo sapiens will inhabit this planet beyond 2030. Iím letting go of the notion that Homo sapiens will inhabit this verdant little valley at the edge of American Empire after it turns to dust within a very few years. Iím letting go of the notion that, within a few short years, there will remain any habitat for humans in the interior of any large continent in the northern hemisphere. Iím letting go of the notion weíll retain even a fraction of one percent of the species currently on Earth beyond 2050. But Iím not letting go of the notion of resistance, which is a moral imperative


Does anyone else see some glaring contradictions here?
Regardless of what McPherson may have intended, this will only have the effect of causing a majority of people who read this to indeed give in. Because, after all, what's the point in fighting if there's not going to be much of any life left after 2050, according to McPherson? You may not believe this, and I probably wouldn't either if I shared your views, Paul, but that's what many of the rest who agree with Guy are likely to think, sadly. I've seen it all too often before.

Repeat after me, folks: Giving up is giving in. Giving up is giving in. Giving up is giving in.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:59 PM

5. Repeat after me? Repeat after me????

 

Last edited Fri Sep 21, 2012, 06:48 PM - Edit history (1)

And your view is the only correct one because???

Sorry, you don't get to tell anyone else what to think.

What a self-centered, parochial viewpoint!

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 06:11 PM

6. I like Guy's opening paragraph in that piece.

 

When called a quitter in somebodyís first-time comment in this space, my initial response was to serve the name-caller a big warm cup of ShutTheFuckUp. Then I gave it a bit more thought. One result is this essay.

Maybe he saw you coming?

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:09 PM

7. Yeah it seems like there might be some contradictions.

I'm not familiar with Mr. McPherson's work. Just judging by this article, plus 2 minutes of googling. As best I can tell, he thinks it is too late to significantly mitigate climate change, and we need to switch into survivalist mode. This view seems to carry the implication that political movements are useless.

On the other hand, in this Sept. 19 piece, he says resistance is a "moral imperative". But what is he doing to resist? Resistance in this case would mean taking collective political action or direct action to force government, industry, and society at large off of fossil fuels. Unless he is advocating for that, I don't see how he is resisting. I didn't see any calls for action.

He seems to put the whole thing off onto individual life choices:
"Our remaining time on this orb is too short to cast aspersions at those who live differently from ourselves, as most people in industrialized countries have done throughout their lives. Most people in the industrialized world became cultural crack babies in the womb. There is little hope to break the addiction of ingestion at this late point in the era of industry, and Iím throwing in the towel on changing the minds of typically mindless Americans. No longer will I try to convince people to give up the crack pipe based on my perception of morality reality."


But the problem is now and has always been one of collective organization and action. Individual lifestyle choices are not to blame for the crisis. The system is to blame and the only way to change the system is through collective action. I don't see any indication that Mr. McPherson understands that fundamental aspect of the problem.

Preparing for life after collapse is also a worthy effort. But it is not resisting. It is preparing for life after defeat.

I do see a glaring contradiction between saying resistance is useless on the one hand, and that it is a moral imperative on the other hand. It cannot be both.


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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 08:43 PM

8. McPherson probably had good intentions when writing this.

 

And unfortunately, the collapse of civilization as we have come to know it may indeed become a reality, and perhaps within our lifetimes. I came to that conclusion a few years ago. On the other hand, though, it doesn't necessarily mean the end of the world, and in fact, some ultimate good may and perhaps will someday come out of all this. I am reminded of volcanic eruptions and the destruction they cause when they occur...but someday, the soil becomes home to new plants, some of them perhaps even stronger than the old ones.....

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Response to limpyhobbler (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 10:47 PM

9. Resistance

 

Lim wrote:
""I do see a glaring contradiction between saying resistance is useless on the one hand, and that it is a moral imperative on the other hand. It cannot be both.""




Personal resistance is what ONE can do. Cultural resistance is what the majority can do. The culture is not going to change without a great big push by, well, the majority. The majority of individuals in this culture are not going to push change. Change is coming tho, and it ain't gonna be pretty.

As for each individual; each can only do what each can do.

One choosing to make the separation from the culture as peaceful as possible, is commendable, don't you think?

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