Climate Change: Abrupt & Irreversible

“2019 was a banner year for the IPCC as it concluded climate change is abrupt and irreversible. After the occasional report by the corporate media during the standard, 15-second news cycle, this critically important information was relegated to the dustbin. Apparently, ‘news’ about sports and celebrities is far more important to mainstream media outlets than retention of habitat for life on Earth.”—Dr. Guy McPherson

Planetary Hospice

By Dr. Guy McPherson

The Fatal Species: From Warlike Primates to Planetary Mass Extinction, by Andrew Y. Glikson.
The Fatal Species: From Warlike Primates to Planetary Mass Extinction, by Andrew Y. Glikson.

My research has demonstrated that annual carbon dioxide emissions are now faster than after both the asteroid impact that eradicated the dinosaurs (about 0.18 parts per million CO2 per year), and the thermal maximum 55 million years ago (about 0.11 parts per million CO2 per year).”―Professor Andrew Glikson

Guy McPherson

BELLOWS FALLS Vermont—Weekly Hubris)—1 January 2022—From the incredibly conservative Wikipedia entry titled “Climate change” comes this bit of information: “Climate change includes both human-induced global warming and its large-scale impacts on weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known events in Earth’s history.”

The Wikipedia entry cites the 8 August 2019 report, “Climate Change and Land,” published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC is among the most conservative scientific bodies in the history of Homo sapiens, yet it concluded in 2019 that Earth was in the midst of the most rapid change in planetary history, citing peer-reviewed literature in reaching this conclusion: “These global-level rates of human-driven change far exceed the rates of change driven by geophysical or biosphere forces that have altered the Earth System trajectory in the past (e.g., Summerhayes, 2015Foster et al., 2017); even abrupt geophysical events do not approach current rates of human-driven change.”

As an aside, 2019 was the year the Oxford Dictionary chose climate emergency as its word of the year. 

Doing so did not decelerate the ongoing rapid rate of climate change.

The Wikipedia entry points out the consequences of abrupt climate change currently underway, including desert expansion, heat waves and wildfires becoming more common, melting permafrost, glacial retreat, sea-ice loss, increased storm intensity and other weather extremes, along with the extinction of species. It also points out that the World Health Organization is calling climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.

Doing so has not slowed the ongoing rapid rate of climate change.

The entry from Wikipedia continues: “Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations collectively agreed to keep warming, ‘well under 2.0 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) through mitigation efforts.’” Unfortunately, renowned professor Andrew Glikson pointed out in his October 2020 book, The Event Horizon, that the 2 C mark is behind us. Specifically, Glikson wrote on page 31 of his 2020 book: “During the Anthropocene, greenhouse gas forcing has risen by more than 2.0 W/m2, equivalent to more than >2 [sic] °C above pre-industrial temperatures, which constitutes an abrupt event over a period not much longer than a lifetime.

Not much longer than a lifetime. Now, that is abrupt climate change.

The IPCC admitted to the irreversibility of climate change in its 24 September 2019 Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. Thus, 2019 was a banner year for the IPCC as it concluded climate change is abrupt and irreversible. After the occasional report by the corporate media during the standard, 15-second news cycle, this critically important information was relegated to the dustbin. Apparently, “news” about sports and celebrities is far more important to mainstream media outlets than retention of habitat for life on Earth.

How conservative is the IPCC? Even the conservative and renowned peer-reviewed journal BioScience includes a paper in its March 2019 issue titled, “Statistical Language Backs Conservatism in Climate-Change Assessments.” 

The paper by Herrando-Pérez and colleagues includes this information: “We found that the tone of the IPCC’s probabilistic language is remarkably conservative …, and emanates from the IPCC recommendations themselves, complexity of climate research, and exposure to politically motivated debates. Leveraging communication of uncertainty with overwhelming scientific consensus about anthropogenic climate change should be one element of a wider reform, whereby the creation of an IPCC outreach working group could enhance the transmission of climate science to the panel’s audiences.”

Contrary to the conclusion from Herrando-Pérez and colleagues, I cannot imagine the IPCC is interested in transmitting climate science to the panel’s audiences. After all, as Professor Michael Oppenheimer pointed out in 2007, the United States government during the Reagan administration “saw the creation of the IPCC as a way to prevent the activism stimulated by my colleagues and me from controlling the policy agenda.”

It seems that the IPCC was designed to fail. Mission accomplished, US government (with plenty of “help” from others).

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

Dr. 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 16 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-hosts 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. Visit McPherson’s Author Page at (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)


  • John Robert Turcot

    Even though Guy McPherson is occasionally wrong, he never fails to identify an absolute belief that irreversible climate change has and will continue to be the most pressing issue humans will ever face. It might actually prove to the last issue we may ever face. He cleverly advises this condition in his blog ‘Nature Bats Last’, probably as real as it gets on the warning front.

    I have learned much from Guy McPherson. His teachings were most informative, quantitatively correct for the most part, and interesting enough for me to wander into the batter’s box almost every day, even though I do know that ‘Nature will indeed Bat Last”.

  • Robert Gage

    As usual, right on point Guy.
    Following your excellent review of the movie “Don’t look up”, a biting satire of how today’s click-bait trivialisation of news is hiding the environmental disaster we’re sleepwalking into, we have, in the *last week alone*, two further “once in a lifetime” events recorded.
    The Colorado wildfires – “the worst ever known and unprecedented in December” and the crazy weather patterns in Fairbanks, Alaska – “crazy extremes at both end of the spectrum”.
    As you say, no doubt the news cycles will quickly move on. Nothing to see here …

  • Guy R McPherson

    Thanks to each of you, John Robert Turcot and Robert Gage. I appreciate you reading my work and commenting favorably.

  • kim c. danner, EdD

    While wandering in the parks on Whidbey Island, WA, I met a fellow and we fell into a conversation about our world. He told me about you and I have been immersed in your work ever since.
    Somehow, comforting, this knowledge of imminent extinction. The nasty part is the nuclear reactor effect. Truly unfair. The role of Cassandra is certainly not new, nor limited to the coming demise of Gaia, for we have mortally wounded Her.
    The role of corruption, of filthy lucre, of profit-taking is hideous. Cynically, I’m sure they think they have their survival all figured out. And yet, the wealthy will go, too.
    My strategy is living my best life, as you recommend; growing my beautiful garden; creating habitat for the species still here on the Olympic Peninsula; and providing sustenance for the winged beings.
    Time spent with the waters, forests, and friends is sustenance for me. As are your contributions to our knowledge.
    I am deeply grateful for you.
    Endless blessings upon the two of you!

  • Michael Fretchel

    Thank you, Guy, I can never understand those who take issue with your work, you use peer review work from a multitude of other scientists and simply put it together in a way that shows that cause does indeed give birth to effects,I do not know why so many try to refute what is before their very eyes other than fear and denial. I read a book 15 years ago titled “The last days of Ancient Sunshine” by Thom Hartmann and it totally opened my eyes to how obviously connected every bit of this planet is and how those very connections allowed humans to exist as we are, when I then discovered Nature bats last you simply made sense. Thank you again
    Guy for your courage and your love that has now taken you to tell others that they can go out of this world reflecting that love.

  • Guy R McPherson

    Thanks to each of you, Dr. kim c. danner and Michael Fretchel. This is the very definition of unfair, Dr. danner! Like you, Michael, I appreciated Hartmann’s work. Sadly, he has joined the defamation campaign against me, inviting and encouraging guests who slander me on his show. This is yet another factor beyond my control, among many others.