On Climate Change & Collective Courage

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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. F.Tnioli says:

    There are few good movies around, one i like much is “Beautiful mind”. In the opening scene of this movie, some bright minds are told by a professor (i suppose he’s a professor) about how mathematicians won the war, built the a-bomb, etc. “Mathematicians, just like you”.

    In mathematics, things which are needed to prove some statement (theorem, etc) may be few or many, but there are always two kinds of them: some are “required”, others are “sufficient”. In some cases, thing which is “required” is the same thing which is “sufficient”, so mathematicians call it “required and sufficient”.

    Courage is definitely required. However, it is not sufficient. In other words, it is not “the only way” – what’s though true is that it is a required part of “the only way”. Without this part, we’re indeed done for. But even with it, it’s not a given we’ll save ourselves from ourselves – as there are other, also required, things; things, which when piled together with courage, form up the “sufficient” thing. Those others required bits are probably many, more than i can name; but i know at least some of them. For one, it’s definitely moderation. For another, it’s definitely justice – at least some sort of it.* Yet another but very required one – a healthy “zeitgeist”, i.e. a sum of collective subconsious – habits, traditions, customs, proverbs, fairytales, beliefs and knowledge; healthy in sense of being supportive to some sustainable form of human society, – not the opposite like it (much) is in present-day western consume-and-profit culture.

    * (any society needs practical justice to survive harsh times, and we’ll have harsh times; and we humans can only stay civilized – at least a bit – if living in large enough societies/communities; and we need to stay at least a bit civilized to endure harsh times – one by one or family by family, we’ll endure for years or perhaps few decades even, but will very quickly degenerage into little more than anymals, and most likely share the fate of all large species (size of a rabbit and larger) – which apparently is extinction).

    Bottom line of my imho is simple: yep, we definitely needs alot of courage, but courage alone won’t do; other things, some of which are even much more difficult to get than courage, are also very required.

    Best wishes to you, Guy; thank you for all the work you did and do; and much respect, too. Vivat!

  2. That’s a nice post. Thank you for sharing.


  1. [...] McPherson’s latest essay for the Good Men Project was published 1 June 2013. It’s here. [...]

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