Humanity’s Timescale Forward

Guy McPherson says humans will be extinct in 10 years, while Stephen Hawking puts it at 1000 years (they each have PhD’s, but…). What’s your guess? Civilization is likely to collapse before human extinction, when would that be likely? McPherson cites the exponential rise of global average temperature (locked in by intertwined natural processes, and continuously fed by humanity’s obsessive industrialized capitalism), which we can visualize causing crop failures and oxygen depletion (mass starvation) and extreme weather catastrophes (mass displacement), which in turn would cause mass migrations with inevitable conflict (as with 5th century Rome and the Germans, and today with African and Middle Eastern diasporas aiming for Europe, and Central American and Caribbean diasporas aiming for the USA). Hawking cites climate change and the possibilities of nuclear wars and the dispersal of genetically engineered viruses. Hawking believes humanity should prepare to colonize other planets within 1000 years, while McPherson believes people should calmly pursue excellence in what they like doing, and to be loving to all the people near and dear to them, to make the best use of the remaining time before exiting with grace (not a bad plan regardless). What’s your guess about humanity’s prospects and the state of the planet over next 100 years?

HWPTRA (an author whose article is listed below) responds:

“I’ve read Guy McPherson’s work and he tends toward the catastrophic view of the various indicators. Hawking’s estimate of 1000 years I find vanishingly unlikely. Most of the mainstream climate scientists I’ve been reading are generally pointing to 2040 to 2050 as the time of severe conditions making the continuance of human civilization simply untenable with the accompanying deterioration of how people will treat each other. When a man is hungry, morality is largely irrelevant. However, I agree with McPherson’s advice on how to live with the remaining time we collectively have.”

Guy McPherson – Human Extinction within 10 years
25 November 2016

How to Avoid Stephen Hawking’s Dark Prediction for Humanity
18 November 2016

How Dangerous is Climate Change?, How Much Time Do We Have?
5 December 2015
(by guest author: HWPTRA)

How soil carbon loss could accelerate global warming
29 November 2016

Global Warming Research in Danger as Trump Appoints Climate Skeptic to NASA Team
1 December 2016

Manuel Garcia, Jr. comment to the above news story:

“It doesn’t really matter. There will always be an excuse, regardless of what faceless suit is momentarily “in charge.” And the people overwhelmingly agree with those excuses because they prefer instant power, individually, to social responsibility. That’s why we are where we are: a runaway warming is all locked in now. It will be crazy in 2040-2050.”

The physics of, and history of human awareness about, Anthropogenic Global Warming:

Closing the Cycle: Energy and Climate Change
25 January 2014

AGW and Malthusian End Times
(by Daniel P. Wirt, M.D., and Manuel García, Jr.)
13 January 2014


Black Gold, Maximum Entropy

Peak Oil is dead, long live fracking, my climate change is gonna’ come, Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant. A meditative rant on our scheduled progression from black gold delirium to becalmed oblivion is cited. Oil shale, tar sands, and unconventional fossil fuels are linked to climate change by anthropogenic global warming, which is undamped by human restraint in the forms of energy efficiency, energy conservation and relinquishing the combustion of hydrocarbons for civilization’s heat energy. Death is preferable to change, adaptation is unthinkable, and the inevitable consequences are anticipated as tolerable by denial. All our elaborations will melt into a rising tide of entropy.

Black Gold, Maximum Entropy
21 October 2013


Attacking Iran Will Save The World

Will the world run out of oil, ending eco-tourism because of a lack of jet fuel, before the Maldives are inundated by a rising ocean of globally warmed and expanded seawater, or will 200-seat passenger jet liners be able to streak across the skies using 20 metric tons of fuel every 3400 km with a total expulsion of 63 tonnes of carbon dioxide, to deliver First World sun worshippers to resort hotels still on dry land by idyllic Indian Ocean beaches, until the oil wells run dry? We may never address this important question if we allow the development of nuclear technology by Iran to proceed. It is imperative that nations unite to dispel the real threat to global well being, and to realize that

Attacking Iran Will Save The World
26 March 2012

Data for the numerical estimate of aviation fuel efficiency quoted here were taken from

GreenAirOnLine Glossary

The Righteous And The Heathens Of Climate And Capitalism

Climate change is industrialized karma prompting humanity to evolve uniformly equitable social behavior to survive. Can humanity unite to stop climate change?

I answer that question in the following article.

The Righteous And The Heathens Of Climate And Capitalism
12 March 2012

The Economic Function Of Energy

Consciousness and personality can be seen as individualized expressions of energy coursing through metabolic forms we call human life. Similarly, civilization and culture and economics can be seen as social expressions of energy coursing through the web of interpersonal relationships we call humanity.

The nature of the forms of energy used by a society (a nation, a region, an economic class) are an integral part of its identity. So, to answer “what is the right kind of energy to power society X?” requires first determining what kind of society X is intended to be.

This means that all discussions about “energy policy” are disguised arguments about the structure (or restructuring) of one’s society; politics at its deepest. Nature itself voices an opinion in this argument in the form of climate change, its response to humanity’s century-long ringing endorsement of fossil fuels, expressed as global warming.

Using technical results I arrived at some years ago (, I explore this theme in some detail in the following article.

The Economic Function Of Energy
27 February 2012

The best economic function of energy is to improve living conditions in harmony with nature.

I try to show the types of futures we could have, both desirable and undesirable, based on the choices we make as a society about energy technologies to power our industrialized way of life. You will not find another article like this. Enjoy.

Bayesian Bargains

We are often caught in dilemmas, uncertain about choosing between two courses of action, and sometimes suspicious that “the game is rigged” so that whatever choice we make will benefit a behind-the-scenes controller. One interesting way of exploring this question is to formulate simple idealized situations, which can be taken as analogies to some of the real-world complexities in our lives, and analyze them with the Bayesian model of deliberation. Here is my article about “not missing out.”

Bayesian Bargains: Jail, Shopping, Debt, And Voting

Understanding Christopher Hitchens, and Letting Go of the Future

Happy New Year.

Many have written about Christopher Hitchens, since his death on 15 December 2011. In the numerous articles I found, I only saw discussion about what Hitchens did/didn’t do, and should/shouldn’t have done, as well as what the commentators thought/felt about it/him.

Eventually, I realized that the mass of memorial-condemnation literature about Hitchens was itself a reflection of the character of the American intelligentsia and especially that of its left wing, which cared most passionately for and about Hitchens these last four decades. I was interested to learn what drove the man, why did the private human being Christopher Hitchens have the public persona “Christopher Hitchens?” The opinions I formed from this point are presented in an article just published by SWANS. I thought Christopher Hitchens himself, in his final column published by Vanity Fair, verified my hypothesis about him.

Christopher Hitchens, Coyote, or Saint Paul?
2 January 2012

Besides looking back on 2011 through the lens of Hitchens’ impact, I was drawn forward into 2012 by spelling out my view about the obsession many have with the future. My political philosophy (which is assuredly amateur, and not formalized) involves a rich blending of Jungian psychology, Buddhism and science, along with a few political and economic beliefs. Our political philosophies are helpful when they give us insights that contribute to social progress in the here-and-now; they become social impediments when we treat them as political objectives.

The Endless Reality of the Imperfect Now
2 January 2012

Best wishes for the New Year.