Meria With Guy McPherson Walking Away From Empire

Unknown7/10/13 Meria interviews Guy McPherson, Conservation Biologist, Social Critic, Professor and author on his book “Walking Away From Empire”.American empire – constantly at war; Oil War3; cultural programming from birth; better way to live; peak everything; the end of the industrial civilization; over-consumption;population overshoot; 200 species a day go extinct, soon humans will; fouling our nest; national religion of greed; bail out the Earth; we are born into captivity; durability; solutions are available; the Earth is too big to fail; “socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor”; saving the living planet from imperialism; opting out of western civilization; environmental overshoot; the post industrial stone age; collapse of America; Can technology or science “save us”. This is a very important (albeit uncomfortable) show.





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Guy McPherson was a successful professor by every imperial measure: well-published in all the right places, he taught and mentored students who acquired the best jobs in the field, and performed abundant, exemplary professional service. He earned enough to live on a third of his income and still traveled as much as he desired throughout the industrialized world. In other words, McPherson was the perfect model of all that is wrong with the United States and, by extension, the nations looking to us for an example. Rather than questioning the system, he was raising minor questions within the system. During the decade of his forties, McPherson transformed his academic life from mainstream ecologist to friend of the earth. He became a conservation biologist and social critic, and his speaking and writing increasingly targeted the public beyond the classroom. McPherson began teaching poetry in facilities of incarceration, trying to give voice to wise people long marginalized or ignored by industrial society. Guest commentaries in local newspapers pointed out the absurdities of American life, as well as limits to growth for the world's industrial economy. Increasingly strident essays drew the attention of university administrators who tried to fire him, and, when that failed, tried to muzzle him. Both routes proved too difficult to impinge upon a tenured full professor. Shortly after administrators gave up trying to force McPherson's departure from a major research university, he left the institution on his own terms when, at the age of 49, McPherson finally awakened to the costs of the non-negotiable American way of life: obedience at home and oppression abroad. In response, he went back to the land, where he raises goats and gardens and works with his neighbors.
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9 Responses to "Meria With Guy McPherson Walking Away From Empire"

  1. dts51sound says:

    Hi Meria. This is my first time replying on here. I’m about 75% done with this episode and I have to say that I really like your guests thinking. I’ll listen to this episode again tonight while at work, so thanks for having him on. I will look up his book and other research. Thanks again.

  2. Meria says:

    Glad to see you posting here! Glad you enjoyed the show too. I think his thinking is right on. hugs

  3. shaun70a says:

    Intuitively I feel as the control system continues to tighten people will instinctively start making the kind of moves you discussed. Far from being a backward step, I see it as a way forward :-). Thanks for bringing Guy into our focus Meria.

  4. Meria says:

    you are most welcome.

  5. andyirbuchan says:

    While disagreeing with none of Guy’s ethical stances, I do not agree with his general pessimism. It is very easy to discount the sheer ingenuity of the human species which the System suppresses; Guy seems to sense the coming collapse of the System & thus supposes that Humanity will thereupon be lost. However, while I do not doubt the verity of the Saying of the Rastas these last 80 years — that “Only the fittest of the fittest shall survive –” Human Civilisation does survive, & so does well beyond the lifetimes of even our children’s children’s children, Meria. I do not just know this for a Fact — I am choosing my terms carefully here — I know this as a REALITY. You will doubtless wonder how I might know the survival of Human Civilisation as a Reality, & i’m in no position to divulge. You can either take it on trust or suppose me misguided: but we DO, as a species, survive through the centuries.

  6. Meria says:

    I hope so. I think the majority of people will have a very hard time.

  7. debalexander2000@aol.com says:

    What a great interview. You are so right about him (and you) not being a failure. He and you are making a huge difference in the lives of people – maybe not millions, but certainly many. I am going to adopt his phrase “environmental overshoot” to make me mindful whenever I consider making a purchase. Four days a week, I live on a financial fast. I buy NOTHING. I drive NOWHERE. If I want to buy something, it has to be carefully considered and I can only buy it on the other three days a week. If I want to go somewhere on those four days, I have to walk. Do I feel deprived? No, I do not. In fact, interestingly, I actually feel “richer” for it – and I totally enjoy my four days of being unplugged from “civilization.” I cook for my friends; I pick oranges off my tree and juice them; I play with my dog; I read books; I go into your archives and listen to back-to-back (to-back) shows; I knit; I make art pieces and jewelry; I pack up boxes of my “stuff” to give away; I let my mind run free and I get great ideas.

  8. Meria says:

    I think his work is great. The truth hurts, but it’s the truth.

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