Economic collapse `might save us'

An American academic brought a roadmap for the future to Kerikeri on Monday.

Guy McPherson takes climate change issues very seriously: a rise in global temperatures is happening and its results could very well be catastrophic.

For the University of Arizona professor emeritus and writer the results are already in. The industrial economy is driving to extinction 200 species a day every day, he says.

The self-described "life-loving economic doomer" is not making predictions for the future but his best-case scenario coincides with what many would view as a worst-case economic scenario.

"We can't see the future but we can make the future."

He's urging a lifestyle switch.

"Anarchy means taking responsibility for yourself and for your neighbours," Mr McPherson says. He says there is no politically viable solution to climate change driven by our fossil fuel driven economy. And he openly hopes for a quick, complete economic collapse.

"If you actually love life, you have to be in favour of the industrial economy reaching its overdue end," he says.

It's the only way to mitigate the current trend towards a mass extinction by 2035, he says.

"I have no doubt whatsoever that there is no gain to be had politically from `durable living'," he says.

But that's exactly what he said on Monday: raising goats, chickens and ducks; growing fruit and vegetables and keeping bees; collecting water; and living in a low-tech, energy-efficient home.

"In New Zealand it would be almost too easy to make this happen," he says of community level self-sufficiency.

Mitigating the effects of an economic collapse requires water security, food security, maintaining body temperature and community, Mr McPherson says,

The signs that he pointed to as indicators of a coming dramatic global rise in temperatures are the Amazon drought, once a carbon sink the area is now a major carbon emitter; ocean methane emissions; Siberian methane vents, which grew in diameter from 30cm in 2010 to 1km in 2011; and arctic defrosting, which occurs when warm Atlantic waters enter the Arctic.

Mr McPherson gave two talks in Kerikeri hosted by Deep Green Productions.

Monday's talk was co-sponsored by Transition Towns BOI.

Bay Chronicle