— and since I had volunteered to host him Friday and Saturday nights, I looked to see if I had ever written about his work, and wouldn’t you know I had, with a snotty comment to introduce it, saying his certainty is arrogant.
So I told him about my arrogant comment about his arrogance as he was pouring hot water for his jasmine tea on Saturday morning. That was the beginning of an on-again-off-again intense conversation that kept getting interrupted by the plumber who was here to fix the toilet that had refused to stop running in the middle of the night, getting both of us up and bleary-eyed. So the ice, so to speak had already been broken.
He was in town for a 1 p.m. Sunday event at the public library that was to feature a documentary made about his life, “Somewhere in New Mexico Before the End of Time” (the place unnamed, he said, because his neighbors didn’t want to be found), and a Q and A afterwards.
Here’s the Q & A after the premier of this film, in May, 2013
At the showing here this Sunday, the audience was small and serious and actually willing to consider McPherson’s claim that we are headed for extinction within a much shorter time-scale than even most Climate Change scientists admit. We asked probing questions and came away sober and depressed.
The main thrust of his message is this: of 28 positive feedback loops, 24 of them have already engaged, triggering irreversible climate change. Climate chaos, sooner rather than later, is inevitable, leading to the extinction of most species on the planet, including ourselves. He figures that by 2030, most of us will be dead.
Well, I told him, over that same breakfast on Saturday, you have a conceptual helmet on, and it’s the thickest helmet of all, “science.” He agreed. He knows it, and says he’s been trying to remove it in layers, which of course, go back to earliest childhood. We agreed that the conditioning into a certain way of thinking is just so damn strong and stubborn and “resilient” (to use a word we’d rather use in another context . . .).
Plus, I told him, you “don’t admit bleed through from other dimensions into this 3D one” — which dimension he assumes science can actually describe, though he does admit that any description is incomplete. He thought I meant bleed-through from lower dimensions, like Flatland, I said, no, higher dimensions, like 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th . . .
We were driving in the car at that point, and the subject dropped.
Anyway, what I wanted to point out here in this post was the extreme contrast between Guy McPherson’s views and the Lotus World Music Festival event that he and I and two others participated in on Saturday evening.
Here’s a shot I took during the gorgeous performance by an Indian maestro and his two sons.
Here’s the write-up on this group:
Amjad Ali Khan with Amaan Ali Khan & Ayaan Ali Khan
Saturday, Sept. 28
7 – 8:15 p.m., Buskirk-Chumley Theater
As we left the theater we were all remarking on how very very different from America is the Indian culture where elders are so respected by their children. . .
2013 marks the 20th anniversary of this extraordinary 5-day musical and artistic extravaganza, and the energy of the crowd was astonishingly magnificent and full of life.
I can’t help but think that once we grab hold, we will change whatever the future holds for us in the direction of regeneration.
I can’t help but feel that Guy, a dear man who dares to put himself out there as a contemporary Cassandra, is wrong. While he seems to carry the weight of extreme climate change on his individual shoulders right now and for the foreseeable future, and while his extreme views have isolated him to the point of loneliness, I imagine he will be thrilled to discover that reality is much more expansive and full of grace than even the most detailed scientific model can predict.
If you dare to contemplate extinction, here’s one interview with him.