Walking Away From Empire

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About Guy McPherson

Guy McPherson was born and raised in the heart of the Aryan Nation, small-town northern Idaho. More than ten years into a career in the academic ivory tower, McPherson began focusing his efforts on social criticism. His contemporary presentations stress the importance of individual and societal action in light of ongoing global climate change and energy decline. All events highlight the importance of living sustainably, a necessity driven by completion of the ongoing collapse of the industrial economy and underlain by the absence of cheap oil. McPherson's latest chapter includes abandoning his tenured position as full professor at a major research university for ethical reasons. His story is described in his latest two books, Walking Away from Empire and Going Dark.


  1. John Pratt says:

    Great article Guy, I know the frustration of living in a society that seems to be blindly marching over a cliff. I think people need to work together for change. Have you heard Of the #GlobalCitizen project or the Global Poverty Program @GPP on twitter? Like minds coming together for global change.

  2. That’s an awful lot of thoroughly self-indulgent waffling. You could simplify it by eliminating all the headings except for “All About Me”, and moving that one to the top.

    There are real issues, undeniably. Writing long diatribes like this one is not the answer. I suspect that most folks who will actually bother to read it all already agree with you. They’re not the people you need to convince.

  3. cool story bro, too bad the planet DEFINTELY can’t the support 7 billion people returning to ruralism. glad modern science was able to keep you alive long enough for you think your crackpot theories through

    • Conspiracy2Riot says:

      Allow me to point out that 7 billion people aren’t living like we are in the industrialized world. WE are the ones that are going to experience a massive change. Billions of people already KNOW how to live off the land, but they’ve been pushed off their property with the systemic violence our global economic system caused.

      A quick study of what the IMF/World Bank and WTO have done to the citizens of the countries that take those loans will teach you a great deal.

      And there is a kinder, gentler way to reduce numbers quickly without engaging in wars or starving people to death. Or even sterilizing them. Education and giving women access to birth control and autonomy over their reproductive systems would result in far fewer pregnancies and births.

      I see nothing ‘crackpot’ about what McPherson is suggesting because it’s simple math. And math is not political. We have a finite planet, finite resources and we’re gobbling up and trashing what’s left of what makes your man made construct, the economy, possible.

      • only a handful of people live rurally, the vast majority live in cities. you want to talk about math? try spreading 7 billion people evenly across the surface of the globe and see how many “wild places” are left, not to mention how much lower yields from intensive agriculture are without modern technology (yes, we would have to continue the strategy of intensive agriculture because all other subsistence strategies need space to move around, space we don’t have). and that’s just the beginning, see how quickly disease begins to sweep through populations again without modern sanitation, environmental control methods, and medicine.

        given the fact that you seem in favor of abolishing modern civilization, I find your suggestion for population control hilarious since all modern family planning techniques rely on MODERN SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY, which require division of labor, which in turn requires currency and markets. I’m so sick of hippie extremists suggesting that ALL we need to do to save the planet and humanity is give up everything that we owe our longer and healthier lives to, as opposed to just wasting less. his suggestion is even less likely to happen than the latter, would mostly not stop climate change, and as I’ve explained above, would definitely lead to even greater ecological destruction and human mortality.

  4. Yes, and modern science and our industrial society created the Internet and the computer you use to write your rambling navel-gazing articles.

    So you have the time and money to move out to the country and pretend you are no longer connected to modern civilization. Congratulations.

  5. I find this article both refreshing and useful. The video at 1 hour and 30 minutes is well worth spending the time over – including the Q&A session, but for most ( say 99.9% of folks ) it would be too much of a chore because their minds are made up – and they can’t imagine anything other than Status Quo as they experience it…. and it would just deprive them of twitter time.

    For many what it raises and talks about is just too scary to consider – and so the phrase “Crack Pot” comes out as a label. For me it’s easy – I’m single – gay – no kids/dependents – and of an age where I can look at the future and see things that are coming but I will have bowed out and gone to where ever before it arrives. I’m a dead end in the gene pool, so I can look at survival of humans as a species in a more dispassionate way than many others.

    I don’t agree with all views and interpretations that come from the video and Guy McPherson’s, and not being from the US or inculcated with US style Patriotism I don’t have the same knee jerks that others have. With the full scope of what is discussed from Hard Science to Soft Science to Economics and Sociology and even Political Science …. well, I simply don’t have the time to study the background and basic materials to check validity of EVERYTHING. But when so many areas of human knowledge are all pointing to a very negative area on the outcome map, it’s only a fool who turns their back on it and goes shopping to alleviate boredom or cheer themselves up.

    I still find it fascinating how many of the folks with economic freedom are still buying real estate globally, but it’s not office blocks or shopping malls or even big glitzey Hollywood Homes – it’s islands and locations that are forecast to be at lower risk from both Climate Change and Economic Collapse and even warfare. New Zealand anyone – or how about Tasmania?

    Giving thanks is going to be very different in the years to come, and a great many people will be doing it in places that are far from the shores where that idea started – they are more likely to be thankful for having escaped and survived … and they are less likely to having Turkey – or even a main course.

  6. QuantumInc says:

    I don’t know whether agrarian anarchy is a practical thing to do. Whether there’s enough farmland for everyone to have that kind of farm, or how it would effect nature. I do know however that as a fully tenured professor you had A LOT MORE chances to change people’s minds that as a member of a self-sustaining commune. There’s a lot of ways Guy could have reduced his ecological foot print while still keeping his job and making real change. The reason the OP did that was because he was disgusted with the way the system works and just couldn’t stand being near it, so he ran away, not because he wanted to help. Now he’s making an effort to do both, but he could do so much better than this if he wasn’t busy scrubbing the hallucinated “industry” out of his pores.


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