The science is clear: Homo sapiens teeters on the brink of extinction. Industrial civilization is an omnicidal heat engine, yet terminating civilization heats the planet even faster in an outcome termed the McPherson Paradox. In this book, professor emeritus of conservation biology Guy McPherson describes how we can proceed with urgency in the face of habitat loss for our species. While describing the evidence underlying human extinction within a few years, McPherson also provides an urgent and reasoned response to this prognosis. In other words, this book describes a way forward in light of our terminal diagnosis.
Inspired by a 2016 speaking tour in New Zealand by the author, this book moves beyond the idea of attempting to preserve human life at all costs and into the idea of living in hospice. Our species has never faced a trial such as this one. How shall we live?
McPherson convincingly argues that how we live matters. There is no better measure of our character than how we act in the face of impossible odds. Taking action when actions are futile, and dancing over and into the abyss are joyous acts of rebellion.
Do we adhere to principle? Do we pursue excellence in our lives? Do we live fully, lovingly, even if we have no legacy? McPherson argues for a radical approach even if —especially if — no one remains to critique our last dance. Even if —especially if — no one remains to admire our fortitude in the face of our inevitable fate.