Bucket List

Guy McPherson


“I try to keep in mind how I came into the world: struggling for air, and then crying. Covered in somebody else’s blood, slapped on the ass by a stranger, with nothing to my name. Not even a name. It got worse from there. And then, because I chose wisely my time and place of birth—not to mention my sex and race—it got better. I started with nothing, and I still have most of it left. What’s not to like?”—Guy McPherson

Going Dark

By Guy McPherson

Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne, in “Shawshank Redemption.”

Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne, in “Shawshank Redemption.”

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”— The character Andy Dufresne, “Shawshank Redemption”

Guy McPhersonSAN ANTONIO Belize—(Weekly Hubris)—April 2017—I’m frequently asked if I’m worried about running out of money. Although I put essentially all my “retirement” funds into a homestead I don’t occupy, and although that leaves me with very little fiat currency, and although I’m far too young to die from “natural” causes, I’m not worried about running short on money before I draw my last breath.

I try to keep in mind how I came into the world: struggling for air, and then crying. Covered in somebody else’s blood, slapped on the ass by a stranger, with nothing to my name. Not even a name. It got worse from there. And then, because I chose wisely my time and place of birth—not to mention my sex and race—it got better. I started with nothing, and I still have most of it left. What’s not to like?

For me, non-monetary issues are far more pressing than fiat currency. These are the “things” I fear will run short during my days on Earth. Few of the items on my bucket list are things.

Foremost on my list is love. Few people can survive without love. I’m not one of them. I live where I do for love. That love is manifest at several levels:

  • Love of being out of the United States, my country of birth.
  • Love of life, which is detested by nearly every consumer in my country of birth.
  • Love of living, instead of making a living.
  • Love of a lifestyle, in my case agrarian anarchy (vs. the disaster capitalism preferred in my country of birth).

There’s more, of course, most of it even less worthy of mention in this space than the preceding information

After love comes a planet habitable for humans. Or maybe I have the first two issues reversed. There is no love without a habitable planet. And there is no point inhabiting a planet without love. Living without love is no life at all.

What else to do? I have plenty of advice for myself and others. Most falls under the category of love, broadly defined. Inspired by “Stage 7,” my fuck-it list is considerably longer than my bucket list.

  • Remain calm: Nothing is under control.
  • Pursue excellence, however defined.
  • Pursue love, whatever that means to you.
  • Decommission nuclear facilities.
  • Dismantle industrial civilization.
  • Be kind, beginning with yourself.
  • Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, a task assigned to newspapers by Charles Fanning (and obviously ignored by the corporate, mainstream media).

I’m very short on money. We’re very short on time. I’ll not use my limited funds to extend my run into the future. Instead, I’ll use my limited time in pursuit of love.

Perhaps the idea is crazy. In a culture gone mad, this alone makes it worthy of consideration.

To order Dr. McPherson’s books, click the cover images here below:

McPherson going dark cover

McPherson Walking Away from Empire - A Personal Journey cover


Guy McPherson

About Guy McPherson

Guy McPherson is an internationally recognized speaker, award-winning scientist, and one of the world’s leading authorities 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-host 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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10 Responses to Bucket List

  1. Avatar Tom says:

    Always good to read your words of wisdom and thereby realize that you’re okay. Those words have become my own in guiding the remainder of my life too.

    I now teach a meaningless GED prep course at the county prison to 4 (min. security) inmates who seem to appreciate my being there. According to the person that hired me (at a local community college), few ever pass the exam, but they provide the service because the prison continues to pay for it, despite the results. In fact, the way they are tested – strictly by computer, when they have absolutely no access to one while incarcerated – seems to set them up for failure, no matter how much prep they do.

    My last college “let me go” or, as they put it, “decided to go in a different direction” and left me off the adjunct list that I occupied for over 20 years (without even a goodbye). Ah, the thankless life of the underpaid adjunct (degreed slave labor).

    I was looking for the (probably soon to be archived) interview on American Freedom Radio that was in this space this morning, and will check back later to see if it’s been posted.

    Thanks for all you do Guy. You’re my hero in a world of creeps, cretins, and clowns, for being brave enough to tell it like it is, despite the very serious risk involved (especially in S. Am.). i’ll listen for you on Tuesday also, on your radio program.

  2. Thank you for your insightful comment, Tom. The only way out is in, as you surely know.

  3. Avatar Christine says:

    Thank you Guy. It’s so easy to get distracted. So I will remember my priorities and stay in the moment, in love. I’ll also start my fuck it list today. Sounds like it’s more important considering how life can throw some very serious fast balls.

  4. Thank you, Christine, for your affirmative comment. And also for choosing how to live.

  5. Avatar 44 south says:

    I was thinking of you Guy, Tom and all the rest of the tribe just an hour ago while splitting another pile of firewood.
    The thoughts prompted by finding a comment on a Humpty Dumpty video by Kirk Hamilton, who still has that outrageous sense of humour.
    I miss you all.

  6. Avatar robert says:

    Thank you Guy…for far more than you’ll ever realize. Especially at this moment.

    Related to your above response to Tom (another real person i’ve crossed paths with on other impassioned blogs), i’m reminded of a song by Mr Zappa and some of its lyrics: “Ya gotta get into it, before you get out of it…”

    At this point i’m no longer certain if what we’ve all been experiencing hasn’t been the greatest hoax ever perpetrated (by whom, what, why, etc) though i’m not even bothering to analyze it any more…there are still clouds, trees, birds and beauty to be absorbed for a while…

  7. Avatar Hugh Thomas says:


    Carbon, fire, steam and Newton
    Forged us things and time to dream more time
    And things in dreams that might yet be
    To fill all dawns to come.
    But imagination’s endless future
    Charms itself beneath a sky
    Steady in it’s course with measures of a fate
    Pulled up from ground in shortest time
    by sightless hands
    Becoming now the shroud of heat and death
    we here await.
    ALL THIS WORLD seen and heard no more by Man?
    A tear does blur the thought
    Though darkest witness whispers at our core:
    “T’was, in part, by vanity this situation wrought”.

    But is vain reflection not the line of sight
    For all who see the world through hungry eyes
    Beholding things that please and beg for more
    And seeing these then as ourselves
    Consuming all at hand to augment,
    Fill to burst,
    Scattered remnants then our history…cursed?

    And, seeing folly towards the end,
    Is wisdom gained and used too late
    fair to call this tragedy?
    Or just a note, on form, that Nature in her Art
    Creating eyes that see and want
    Sculpts with birth and death
    We, her work, then to suffer
    Her signature our final breath?

    But is time the measure of a life
    When per form we do engage
    Our place for ill or good
    Cards laid out upon this stage?
    The play’s, indeed, the thing to reckon
    A gift of value?…or a clock face
    Shall we count the seconds left to live
    Or act our part and leave with grace.

  8. Thanks to each of you, 44 South, robert, and Hugh. Your informed, complimentary comments sustain my work.

  9. Avatar Maya says:

    I have only recently found you Guy thank you for saying what hashe been for me like a burden of madness I live in a city on the east coast of America and even from my limited observation I have been troubled beyond words I see I feel my senses tell me that something is terribly wrong and I decided to just live and no amount of social hostage taking can bring me to believe the lie of rampant greed capital growth all or none it’s a horrible beast a hungry ghost so now I do my job and it’s one I love and grow some food and help raise my granddaughter and every day I wake to see the sun and know there’s nothing left to do but live and enjoy the last embers of this burning empire

  10. Thank you, Maya. Enjoy your granddaughter and let her model for you living in the nirvana of now.

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