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For sale, habitable planet, too late

By Guy McPherson / Transition Voice

By Guy McPherson / Transition Voice

According to legend, Ernest Hemingway bet his 1920s-era colleagues he could write a complete story in just six words. Hemingway is said to have considered the resulting piece his best work: “For Sale, Baby Shoes, Never Worn.”

Making no attempt to keep up with Hemingway, this article provides an overview of the dire climate-change situation in fewer than 300 words. Perhaps even Twitter users will find time for the entire essay.

Addition by subtraction

Until relatively recently, economic collapse was the only hope to prevent runaway greenhouse. Now that we’ve triggered ten self-reinforcing feedback loops, it’s too late to dodge the missile launched by industrial civilization.

Economic collapse is under way. I see no way to prevent its completion in time to safely decommission the world’s hundreds of nuclear power plants.

At least one decade is required to decommission a single nuclear facility. We need to

  1. Decommission the power plants very quickly.
  2. Develop and implement a plan for tons of radioactive waste.
  3. Reverse the irreversible climate-change feedback loops.

I’m not optimistic.

Resistance is fertile

Lest the reader conclude I’m promoting surrender, let me be clear: resistance is fertile, and it’s a moral imperative.

I do not desire near-term human extinction. But the evidence has overwhelmed me, while others are deep in denial or busily bargaining. Invoking the absence of authorities who agree with me, rather than the authoritative evidence I cite, many people conclude I’m surely mistaken. I’m hoping they’re correct.

I know few ways to explain we’re headed for near-term human extinction. There are more than seven billion responses to the increasingly dire information. I choose to dive into the abyss with eyes wide open, playing court jester along the way. Your mileage may vary.

–Guy McPherson, Transition Voice