The Human Extinction Survey: The Controversy


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Published on The Doomstead Diner on May 21, 2015

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When I came up with the idea for doing a Survey of Opinions on how Human Extinction might play itself out, the first person who came to mind who might have some opinions he would like to drop down was Guy McPherson of the Nature Bats Last blog.  Guy is probably the #1 proponent of the hypothesis that Homo Saps are going Exinct in the VERY Near Term, by 2030 or even sooner if you watch the latest video he dropped on of his presentation in York, England in the UK. also know Guy fairly well in Internet terms here in the Collapse Blogosphere, I participated actively in the commentariat of his Blog for quite some time;  I cross posted material of his here on the Diner and he crossposted some of my material on NBL;  I helped him with issues he was having with his server and SPAM problems with the assistance of my back end support The Database Cavalry from California; and then we assisted him in moving NBL back to its own server space with its own tech support as well.

So, when I published the Survey, I emailed Guy and asked him if I could Plug It on NBL so his readers would know about it and have the opportunity to respond to this survey.  Guy agreed to that and so I wrote a Plug Article promoting the survey for NBL.  Guy Published this article on NBL, not me.  I just added it to the Drafts there.  I am very scrupulous about this when I publish on somebody else's Blog.  He made the decision to publish the article on NBL and advertize the survey.

The outcome of this has been LESS THAN EXCELLENT, although the Survey is doing well in terms of response numbers and data collected so far.  Last check there were 213 Submissions with many Notable Contributors including Ugo Bardi (Resource Crisis), Dmitry Orlov  (Club Orlov), Albert Bates (The Farm, Peak Surfer), Steve Ludlum (Economic Undertow), Jason Heppenstall (22 Billion Energy Slaves) Eleitl (mod and editor of r/collapse on Reddit), not to mention just about all the principal Admins & Mods on the Doomstead Diner!

Why is it LTE?  Because about a day after publication of both the Survey and the Plug Article on his site, Guy decided he needed to Naplam me with INSULTS in the Commentariat of his blog, that's why!

Guy McPherson Says:

I’ve not responded to the survey, nor will I, for two primary reasons:

1. Ask a stupid question, and you’re likely to receive a stupid answer. In this case, stupid responses prevail. A relevant question would focus on habitat for humans. Such a question might produce rational responses, even from academics.

2. Science does not depend upon, and is not heavily influenced by, democratic principles. Our votes have no bearing on the outcome.

Bold is mine.

Now first off, the questions are not STUPID, in fact they are questions that get bandied about all the time in the Commentariat of NBL.  I spent enough time there to know what gets discussed all the time.  I also have enough feedback in commentary on the Diner to know people found it interesting to take this survey and are interested in what the results are from it.

So here is my first response to Guy from that Comment Stream:

RE Says:

How do you know the answers are stupid? I haven’t even published the survey results as of yet. Actually there are some very interesting answers, some by people writing in this commentariat. If you thought the survey itself was stupid, then why did you publish this article?

Far as how science is done, you do it by collecting data. What this data tells you are the attitudes and beliefs people who read collapse websites regularly have regarding Human Extinction.

It’s actually over 200 respondents now including Ugo Bardi who may be many things, but one of them is not stupid.

If Guy thought the Survey was STUPID and the questions were STUPID and the answers would be STUPID,  then WTF did he publish the fucking Plug Article?!?!?!?!  I sure wouldn't publish anything I thought was STUPID on the Diner, although we do publish many things I do not agree with.

Now, not only does Guy INSULT me here, he goes on to insult everyone who is participating in the email chat regarding the survey:

Guy McPherson Says:

RE, apparently you already forgot I’m on an email distribution list regarding this survey. If I would have had any faith in humanity before I read the exhange, I’d have lost it by reading the email messages.

I publish many essays in this space. I don’t agree with a lot of them. Of course this is a familiar idea for anybody paying attention.

The opinions expressed by people in the survey — most of which are uninformed about abrupt climate change and ecology — neither draw from nor contribute to the development of reliable knowledge. Such knowledge is the domain of science.

Bold Mine.

Who are the main participants in this email exchange so far?  Myself, Ugo Bardi, Dmitry Orlov, Albert Bates & Jason Heppenstall.  Does Guy think we are all UNINFORMED about Climate Change & Ecology?!?!?!?!?!  WTF?  Every last person there has spent enormous time reading and writing on these topics.  None of us discount the possibility of a Near Term Human Extinction event.  It's definitely POSSIBLE, but anyone who says it is GUARANTEED is making a FAITH BASED ARGUMENT.

Now, Guy admits to the fact he himself does not do research on this stuff anymore, he just reports on the research of others.  He Cherry Picks his data and draws the conclusions from that which match his ideological spin on this collapse.  I agree with some of it, not all of it. BY NO MEANS is there consensus even amongst the most Doomerish of Researchers on how this will play out long term.

So why the INSULTS here? Basically IMHO because the Survey challenges the Faith Guy has that Homo Sap will go Extinct inside 20 years.  He won't brook any deviation from that idea, he is firmly convinced of it.  When challenged on it, rather than making good arguments, he pitches out insults.

Guy does marvelous Power Point Presentations, and he is one fast talker too doing a lecture, he's a walking, talking database of academic papers he has memorized by Journal, Author, Title, Subect and Date of Publication.  However, you cannot actually engage him in a conversation on the validity of any of it.  You immediately get written off as STUPID if you don't buy the whole fucking ball of wax on the impending and immediate death of Homo Saps, if not all life on Earth.  You can't have any HOPE either, you're STUPID if you have hope too!

Anyhow, while Guy himself refuses to take part in this STUPID survey, many of his Followers and Acolytes from NBL have filled it out, and you can quickly grasp the Party Line on NBL when you sort for them.  We're not Scientists here on the Diner for the most part, we are Database Freaks & Webheads.  You don't need to be a Rocket Scientist to go through this data and grasp what the general population of people who cruise the Doomosphere think and believe.

We will publish more of the data once we get it collated, sorted and analyzed.  Some is available already Inside the Diner.

If you have not already done so, you can still take the Survey by clicking any of the numerous links in this article to it, or you can take right below here too!

[ninja_forms id=14]



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