Near-Term Human Extinction: A Conversation with Guy McPherson

Global Research News Hour Episode 57

Not only our the lights about to go out on industrial civilization, but the lights are about to go out on our species. Marching in lockstep with the dark days faced by society and Homo sapiens is my own heart, heavy with the knowledge in my head and the failure of my personal efforts.”

-Guy R. McPherson, from the introduction to Going Dark


“The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”
-Homer, The Iliad




Length (59:01)
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)


Doomsday 2030?

In a June 2013 interview, Dr. Helen Caldicott named three major threats to the planet: Global Warming, nuclear war, and the toxic fall-out from nuclear power.

Dr. Caldicott argued in effect, if we were serious about mitigating these threats, we could evoke the spirit of the Second World War mobilization following the Pearl Harbor attacks which saw the US transform its industrial base into a war-economy where every factory was converted into a weapons manufacturer. A similar determination could see factories converted to the manufacture of “solar panels, windmills and the like.”

To paraphrase: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

This ‘Can-do’ spirit is clearly in evidence within the environmental movement. Another past interview guest, Elizabeth Woodworth, cites in her April 2013 essay,  The Climate Bomb: Failures to Confront the Unspeakable, and The Way Ahead  a body of scientific data outlining the devastating consequences of doing nothing about climate change.

The implication however, is that we humans actually CAN do something to arrest the threat.

Enter Dr. Guy McPherson.

Guy McPherson spent most of his life studying conservation biology. A professor emeritus of natural resources and the environment at the University of Arizona, McPherson has dedicated countless hours over the years assembling the best raw scientific data published on the subject of climate change.

McPherson discovered that not only was climate change a reality, but that certain self-reinforcing feedback loops, such as the liberation of a more potent greenhouse gas than Carbon Dioxide, namely methane gas, has been triggered, leading to even more green house warming.

By June 2012 he finally came to one inescapable conclusion:

The planet will not be habitable for the human species long beyond 2030. And there is NOTHING the human species for all its sophistication and technology can do about it.

McPherson’s thesis sparks a number of questions relating to how our society, including research scientists and activists who can access this information as easily as he, can be in denial about the hopelessness of the situation.

In the following interview, recorded in early February, 2014 following a talk in Winnipeg, Mcpherson goes through the evidence, challenges techno-fixes, such as geo-engineering and re-location to the planet Mars, and reflects on the opportunities that arise when one is faced with the end of everything.

This discussion is among the most provocative this interviewer has ever conducted for radio.

Feedback is encouraged. Email your thoughts to [email protected]

Guy McPherson is the author of the recently published book, GOING DARK. For more background on his research and his insights, visit his website Nature Bats Last at




Length (59:01)
Click to download the audio (MP3 format)


The Global Research News Hour, hosted by Michael Welch, airs on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg Fridays at 1pm CDT. The programme is also broadcast weekly (Monday, 5-6pm ET) by the Progressive Radio Network in the US, and is available for download on the Global Research website.

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Articles by: Michael Welch

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