Had Enough, Yet?

Guy McPherson

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“[The administration] is characterized by powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism, identification of enemies as a unifying cause, obsession with militaristic national security and military supremacy, interlinking of religion and the ruling elite, obsession with crime and punishment, disdain for the importance of human rights and intellectuals who support them, cronyism, corruption, sexism, protection of corporate power, suppression of labor, control over mass media, and fraudulent elections. These are the defining elements of fascism.”—Guy McPherson

Going Dark

By Dr. Guy McPherson

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

Guy McPherson

SAN ANTONIO Belize—(Weekly Hubris)—May 2018—Fascism has come to the industrialized world, and the evidence is particularly clear in the United States.

As I wrote in my 2005 book, Killing the Natives: Has the American Dream Become a Nightmare? , regarding the executive branch of the US government:

“[The administration] is characterized by powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism, identification of enemies as a unifying cause, obsession with militaristic national security and military supremacy, interlinking of religion and the ruling elite, obsession with crime and punishment, disdain for the importance of human rights and intellectuals who support them, cronyism, corruption, sexism, protection of corporate power, suppression of labor, control over mass media, and fraudulent elections. These are the defining elements of fascism.”

The situation has progressed, and not in a suitable manner from the perspective of the typical self-proclaimed progressive. Along with fascism, we’re now firmly ensconced in a totalitarian, surveillance-obsessed police state. The United States has been in this condition for many years and the situation grows worse every year, but most people prefer to look away and then claim ignorance while politicians proclaim our exceptionalism as they secure our privileges with extreme violence.

As long as you’re not in jail (yet) or declared a terrorist (yet) and subsequently killed outright (yet), you’re unlikely to bring attention to yourself, regardless of what you know and feel about the morality of the people running/ruining the show.

But why? Is fear such a great motivator that we allow the complete destruction of the living planet to give ourselves a few more years to enable and further that destruction? Is the grip of culture so strong that we cannot break free in defense of the planet we call home? Have we moved so far away from the notion of resistance that we can’t organize a potluck dinner without seeking permission from the Department of Homeland Security?

I know many parents who claim they can’t take action because they want a better world for their children. Their version of a “better world” is my version of a worse world, as they long for growth of the industrial economy at the expense of clean air, clean water, healthy food, the living planet, runaway greenhouse, and human-population overshoot.

I’ve come to call this response “the parent trap.” Trapped by the culture of make believe, these parents cannot bring themselves to imagine a different world. A better world. A world without the boot of the police state on the necks of their children. A world with more carnivores every year, instead of fewer. A world with less pollution, less garbage, and less lying—to ourselves and others— each and every year.

All evidence indicates we prefer Fukushima forever, if it means we can have electric toys. We prefer near-term extinction by climate chaos, if it means we can cool the house to 68 F in the summer. We prefer genocide, if it comes with a milkshake and an order of fries.

Henry Ford was wrong when he pointed out, “It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

On the other hand, General Omar Bradley’s sentiments from 1948 ring true: “The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. If we continue to develop our technology without wisdom or prudence, our servant may prove to be our executioner.”

We clearly don’t care about the environmental consequences of our greed, at least collectively. So, we keep soldiering on, wishing for a miracle and ignoring the evidence of imperial decline, human-population overshoot, runaway climate change, and a profound extinction crisis.

Ultimately, and sadly, I suspect it comes down to this: When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done. We simply can’t be bothered to contemplate a single issue of importance when the television calls or the shopping mall beckons.

Political “activists” spend hours every day elaborating the many insignificant differences between the two dominant political parties in the United States, but they cannot bring themselves to throw a wrench into the gears of industry. They continue to ignore the prescient words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu long after the consequences of inaction are obvious: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”

We’re clearly unwilling to begin the process of safely shutting down the nuclear reactors that are poised to kill us. Instead, we steadily increase the number of these uber-expensive sources of electricity, which means means shoving more ammunition into the Gatling gun pointed at our heads. One bullet does the trick. In classic American style, we prefer more. Always more.

How much of this is too much? When have you had enough?

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Guy McPherson

About Guy McPherson

Guy McPherson is an internationally recognized speaker, award-winning scientist, and the world’s leading authority on abrupt climate change leading to near-term human extinction. He is professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, where he taught and conducted research for 20 years. His published works include 14 books and hundreds of scholarly articles. Dr. McPherson has been featured on television and radio and in several documentary films. He is a blogger and social critic who co-hosted his own radio show, “Nature Bats Last.” Dr. McPherson speaks to general audiences across the globe, and to scientists, students, educators, and not-for-profit and business leaders who seek their best available options when confronting Earth’s cataclysmic changes.
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30 Responses to Had Enough, Yet?

  1. Dave Thompson says:

    Thanks Guy, I always look forward to your work. Dire as it may seem to most. I have been having the “conversation” with a few and the response is mostly the same.” OH so Dave you are a doomer? All that negativity and nothing positive to add? Humans have technology and are smart enough to figure out the problems we face, if in fact the problems are problems.” And so forth. I just keep up on the arctic news and mostly do not bring any of it up. I have found most of my friends and family shove these topics away. OH well Thanks again for your work and efforts.
    Yours in doom, Dave T.

  2. Guy McPherson says:

    I understand and empathize, Dave. Life is difficult. The notion of it ending is even worse.

    Thank you for your ongoing support and friendship. Be well.

  3. glen osborne says:

    hello Guy, yes that seems to sum it up succinctly. Living here in Mexico, at least I do not have to talk to anyone about the situation. Ever one feels that something is not quite right, but of course most believe that the return of JC is just around the corner and all will be set right. For the chosen ones that is. One problem that I see is that belief trumps rational thought. Rational thought and functionality seem to work better, but of course the goal is of utmost importance, to flourish for as long as possible or to burn bright and burn out, quickly. thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts down here, I also greatly appreciate your words of wisdom. Glen

  4. Guy McPherson says:

    Thank you for the complimentary comment, Glen. I concur. Central America is filled with sweet, tough people. The ignorance at one level is overcome by inner, unspoken knowledge. All the best, my friend.

  5. Dave says:

    I have never replied online or made a comment in any Internet forum of any kind. Thank you for the work you do and your persistence in the face of so much ignorance and cognitive dissonance. I was able to absorb your message rather quickly, possibly because I am already grieving the loss of my wife to cancer and perhaps this has allowed me to be open to a message and the facts that are upsetting and typically denied because it means the end of life not only for the individual reader or listener but for all humankind. I can understand why the majority of people hearing this information cannot come to process and believe the reality of what lies ahead as you say, “in the not to distant future”. I am now able to quit a job this June that I have done for 22 years and know deep within it is the right path for me. It is a blessing to do this with a sense of peace and I am grateful to the people who have the courage and character to put all the data together and help open a door for people to learn the truth, think for themselves and become truly informed if they choose to do so. I remain somewhat anxious about how the end plays out and what the final days of my life will be like given what I imagine will be a horrific experience for so many people. It is not so much dying as it is the thought of what we face when things get real bad. I am actually more concerned for my pet, a rescued English bulldog , who has already had a very rough life up until now. I am hoping to meet some like minded people in my area to talk about all of this “stuff” with as no one I know has been able to “handle” or even entertain the idea of NTHE. It is actually very interesting to see how fast their minds shut down and their eyes glaze over when introduced to information that suggests abrupt climate change is real, happening now and means the end soon not after 2100. For now, I continue to read and listen to those who have connected the dots and disseminate the truth and this offers some comfort in that I am not alone in knowing about our fast approaching extinction and what we face ahead. I reflect each day on the importance of being present, purpose, the right path for me and love thanks to your dedication to teaching and the others that have opened my eyes and mind. Thank you!

  6. Tom Ferry says:

    Oh, Guy – we’re so far gone, in so many ways, and so much sooner than we think, the collapse will happen all at once and we’ll be dealing with chaos and death from then until we’re all gone (maybe a few months). I’m so much more in touch with my every moment now. Thanks to your brave voice of truth (and the ridiculous price you had to pay – are still paying!) I have faced this reality since joining you on NBL, way back when, contemplating the coming horror daily, the implications of our every living detail – the very way we live is a death sentence.

    We grew some acceptance of it through humor and we expanded the 5 stages of grief by actually experiencing them all, over the years there.

    Once again, let me express how grateful I
    am that you are here at this most important time in human history to instruct us. You live by the gift economy and are driven by your conscience, the ethics that current professor/super star Jordan Peterson speaks about you exemplify and being honest about our predicament goes without saying.

    I read and listen to as much of your work as always, listening for any and all changes to your stupendously long essay on our situation, listing too many feedback loops to keep track of, in an ever-growing list, enjoying your delivery, timing and nuance (as a, now “retired,” & broke educator).

    I live much more fully now, enjoying working on whatever comes up as I try to make progress on repairs and chores – all of which I do with a sense of calm detachment, paying attention to my surroundings, soaking in the peace and quiet. I expect it to end before long, but I’m in good health and physical shape for now.

    I don’t know that you cared for him, but ulvfugl, who was also once a denizen of your blog, and who has his own blog from his hut on the Angel Mountain in Wales, had a stroke a few months back. It hasn’t effected his spirit and he continues blogging, letting us know how he’s doing physically (one leg is losing it’s usefulness, so he can’t get around well or much), but he continues his many-faceted blog none-the-less. He’s devoted entire posts to his opinion about you in the past, which I disagree with, and don’t care about, not letting that get in the way of my being a steady reader of both of you.

    Continue on for as long as you want to, Guy.
    All the best.

    Tom

  7. Guy McPherson says:

    Dave and Tom,

    Thank you so very much for your thoughtful, affirmative messages. You and your messages sustain me and my work.

    With enormous gratitude,
    Guy

  8. Devarshi says:

    Hi Guy as usual brilliant words but painful reminder of the situation. Because of the reality i have decided i won’t be having any children as i dont want to bring another human on this planet and joining the rat race thereby adding to the destruction. My species has already done the damage now its time to payback and as you say nature bats last.

  9. Dave says:

    Sorry, email is dps not dos

  10. Guy McPherson says:

    Right on, Devarshi. If only I’d had students like you back in the day.

    You know one of my favorites lines, Dave: Mistakes have been made.

  11. Daryl Byron West says:

    A neighbour said to me recently, ” Sometimes, it is better to turn a blind eye…” My reply was ” Never!”. I wish I’d had the foresight to quote Desmond Tutu, I certainly will in future, should the situation arise again.

    “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” [Archbishop Desmond Tutu]
    .
    What I love about Guy’s writing, is the adept use and placement of famous quotes. I love word play (….In case you hadn’t noticed ), in which our Prof, is equally eloquent.
    .
    No one, prophesies doom so poignantly and poetically.

  12. Guy McPherson says:

    Thank you, Daryl. It’s an honor to see your comment here.

  13. Robert Schick says:

    i’ve been following you for a decade Guy, and will simply say, with deep passion and respect: ‘Thank you.’

  14. Jef says:

    At the core of human existence is the hard cold fact that without money you die. Then it goes like this; A little money and you live very poorly and suffer constantly. Some more money and you live like a slave. More money and you exist but are not able to get ahead or have nice things. A good amount of money and then it all goes away for any one of a hundred well understood reasons. Tons of money and it still never seems to be enough for all the expenses that pile up and the threat of it all going away is still there. More money than God (always hat that statement but hear it more and more) and you will have more problems than you can believe.

    What parents want for their children is for them to be amongst those who do not always have to worry about money. I try and explain that a lifestyle like mine, simple and without all the trappings can provide some of that without participating in the collective suicide of Earth but apparently I am not convincing.

    No one, well a few such as I and of course you Guy, is willing to endanger their earning potential by doing what WE understand needs to be done. I have seen, over the last 40 years or so, dozens, hundreds maybe, of sane, intelligent, people who fully understand the elements of collapse leave the cause and go back to making money and they point at me as an example of why they were right to do it. I live a blessed life in a beautiful place btw I just don’t travel or buy stuff.

    Until we can eliminate the no money= you die paradigm we can never expect people to stop doing absolutely what ever they can to make money.

  15. Guy McPherson says:

    Robert and Jef, thank you! Your comments resonate with me and probably with many readers here.

  16. John Gabriel Otvos says:

    It’s interesting that the least known, but, angriest lyrics of Don Henley are found from 2000 in the song & entitled album “Inside Job”.

    While you were sleeping
    They came and took it all away
    The lanes and the meadows
    The places where you used to play

    It was an inside job
    By the well-connected
    Your little protest
    Summarily rejected

    It was an inside job
    Like it always is
    Chalk it up to business as usual

    While we are dreaming
    This little island disappears
    While you are looking the other way
    They’ll take your right to own your own ideas

    And it’s an inside job
    Favors collected
    Your trusted servants
    Have left you unprotected

    It was an inside job
    Like it always is
    Just chalk it up
    To business as usual

    You think that you’re so smart
    But you don’t have a fucking clue
    What those men up in the towers
    Are doing to me and you
    And they’ll keep doin’ it and doin’ it
    And doin’ it and doin’ it
    And doin’ it and doin’ it
    And doin’ it and doin’ it
    Until we all wake up
    Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up

    I know what I’ve done wrong
    I am acquainted with the night
    I know how hard it is
    To always walk out in the light

    And it’s an inside job
    To learn about forgiving
    It’s an inside job
    To hang on to the joy of living

    They know the road by which you came
    They know your mother’s maiden name
    And what you had for breakfast
    And what you’ve hidden in the mattress

    Insect politics
    Indifferent universe
    Bang your head against the wall
    But apathy is worse

    It’s an inside job

  17. Guy McPherson says:

    Great song, John. Thanks for the trenchant reminder.

  18. John Gabriel Otvos says:

    Guy, I’ve been spending a great deal of time grieving all of this, with the impending loss of all multicellular life on Earth. It’s become increasingly more difficult to avoid all this murder and mayhem accompanied by a rock ‘n roll soundtrack.
    I was introduced to the concept of the 6th great extinction with a group of people studying Brian Swimme and Father Thomas Berry in 1999. Brian taught that in 1990, scientists were not aware that this was going on. He further stated that scientists were also unaware that people were the cause. Now we know that humans are not only the cause, *but*, included in that event, which is accelerating.

    Many so-called spiritual folk are huge proponents of the non-local consciousness. Concomitant to that, there must also be a non-local unconscious. I feel very strongly that the rash of unprovoked mass murders either in the schools of the US or the van attack what transpired last week in Toronto, are harbingers of this latter form of societal human angst, this great unconscious realization that the ship is out of control; that “the captains of industry and their fools on the hill” to quote Don Henley in another song on the album, have no idea how to refocus the boats, since well being for all, which includes them as well as their loved ones, is not even conceived of.

    Perhaps the reason we today have a chance to look back on the failed civilizations of history as maybe, just maybe, that’s The Universe’s way of showing the current generations alive, that it happened and that it can happen again. Yet another way of awakening. Consciousness is the one enormity that science has set on a back burner to look at on a later date. That date is now.

    If a public meditation on a global scale could be organized to raise the consciousness of humanity that all are in this together . . . I dunno. Recently, I’ve been citing the 1993 TM DC murder meditation sit-in, where the mayor of Washington stated that the murder rate had gone down that month by 23%. That’s real history which no one faked. Thanks for allowing and participating in these discussions Guy.

  19. Guy McPherson says:

    John, I disagree with Swimme. The omnicide has been documented for many decades. Civilization is an omnicidal heat engine. Our relatively new understanding of global dimming indicates we’ve fallen into a trap we set for ourselves.

    There’s no escape. The only way out is in. I suspect Swimme would agree.

  20. John Gabriel Otvos says:

    There will be disagreement, Guy, which is healthy. I don’t dispute the documentation. This omnicide was not generally held, nor enunciated by the scientific mainstream 30 years ago. It did not smack us dead in the eyeballs for being above the fold. Yes, we’re in a trap of our own making. That’s the unconscious manifesting. This is our moment, the time of awakening. Perhaps this is the hidden meaning behind the worst apocalypse ever on Dec. 21st, 2012. hahaha

    It’s our time to feel and use this consciousness that is both within and without as we are IT, courtesy of Alan Watts. All the philosophies and religions that have lasted, teach this at their core. The Universe Story is a onetime event, still unfolding with the same hydrogen & helium molecules within all of creation, beginning back in the time of the big bang or as Swimme & Berry like to tell; the initial flaring forth.

    Guy, you there in Belize, are perhaps breathing the identical oxygen molecules of the Buddha from millennia ago. On the brink of extinction, can we see a larger picture awaiting us that is there, however seldom explored by the mainstream science or culture?

    We’re all in this together, as there are no longer any sides. Keep stepping, buddy . . . :-)

  21. Scott Sheperd says:

    “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Walt Kelly Sad, sad, sad.

  22. Guy McPherson says:

    John and Scott, yes indeed.

  23. brian says:

    guy,
    the only purpose worth having is to try and relieve suffering. there is no attainment, nor is there anything to attain
    best wishes

  24. Guy McPherson says:

    The Buddha likely would agree with you, Brian. There are many paths by which one can alleviate suffering, including education.

  25. Anja says:

    amazing essay!
    such powerful and true words…
    thank you so much for writing and sharing this!

  26. Guy McPherson says:

    Thank you for your complimentary comment, Anja.

  27. Brian Fitch says:

    So, a few years ago the lady who wrote a book on the current mass extinction event was on her book tour, I saw her on C-span. After her presentation, the college students all lined up at the microphone and the first one asked “So what can we do to stop this?” She replied “I have seen no proposals that would make any difference.” The next one took his turn: “You don’t understand; we are young, we have the ability to organize–what can we do about this?” She repeated her previous statement, but the same question was asked over and over.
    I was discussing climate change with some of my brightest students the other day, and one asked “So what should we do about this?” I was going to say something about artificial trees and CO2 removal, but after thinking for a few seconds I said “Maybe we should enjoy our lives.” He nodded.
    Best Wishes

  28. Guy McPherson says:

    We’re definitely on the same page, Brian. Thank you for the thoughtful comment.

  29. Jean says:

    I hesitate to say that I “like” this, as I would prefer you never to have had to write it. That said, you remind me of how often we are governed by fear and self protection. I wrote about my father this month, and you made me realize that another gift he gave me was an unwillingness to dwell in fear, or to worry about the judgments of others. I, too, believe in enjoying our lives, despite the handwriting on the walls, but to keeping a skeptical eyebrow up at the same time. Thank you.

  30. Guy McPherson says:

    Thank you, Jean. I’d prefer to have not written most of my essays during the last decade. And reality can’t be denied.

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