Sunday, 28 July 2019

An act of rejection?


I was told by a dear friend, "Perhaps you needed to see this"

"At the edge of extinction all that remains is Love"


A visit from Prof. Guy 

McPherson



I hinted the other day that I had had an emotional trauma this week but did not elucidate on this at the time.

I have been sitting on this for a few days and after reflection have decided to go ahead and talk about it because I don't really feel any alternative. I thought about writing without identifying what was behind this but that seemed preposterous.

So I have decided to come out and talk about this in terms that are as objective as possible but which are of course through my own lens.

***

Those of you who have followed this blog will be aware that I have been very influenced by the work of Guy McPherson. He has been the one person who has fearlessly encompassed the predicament faced by humanity best.


As part of this he has been subject to the most vitriolic attacks on his position
and on his very person. I am very aware that he has been subject to insults and
death threats.


This would try the most patient of people. I have been aware of this and I have
been one of his fiercest defenders. This has cost me dearly.

In many cases I would do so again.

What I have to say arises out of what might be perceived by many as a personal
slight (and therefore ego) but they are concerns that have been mounting for
some time

First some background of the latest incident. -

I was aware for some time that Guy McPherson was coming to New Zealand for a brief trip in what I took (and was told) to be a chance to “say goodbye” - something that I took to include myself.


I therefore queried Kevin Hester a few weeks ago what the arrangements were, and was he coming through Wellington?


The answer to my question that was addressed to both Kevin and Guy (but without any input from Guy) was:


“We are heading down to Takaka on the 21st for 3 days and will be coming back on the 25th heading north according to the schedule so far. We could all go out for a meal somewhere or we could be billeted for a night either way as Pauline and Guy want”


I heard nothing more about this, so I put it into the back of my mind until I saw that Guy had given an interview on NZ television.


I decided to check up so I contacted Guy who was staying with Kevin Hester on his island, to get some clarification as to their intentions.


The response was “not the 25th but the 23rd and came with a promise to keep me in the loop.


Something told me that things had gone awry - if nothing else the coolness and formality of the response.


So, I spent the whole of the 23rd July just doing what I do every day but waited for them to turn up. Truth be told, I felt a slight sense of relief that it seemed they were not coming.

As an aside folks need to know that my health is declining and I have to draw on some inner strength to even write for this blog or make videos. Any departure from my routine costs me.


So, early on the very day (the 24th) I was NOT expecting them I got a message from Guy:


Ferry is delayed. We are scheduled to arrive in Wellington at 3 p.m., so we will offload about 3:30."

On the strength of this I straightaway cancelled my appointment with the acupuncturist and waited.


Eventually four of them turned up and Guy sat in the chair furthest away from me and given that he did not even venture so much as a ”how are you?”.

it became apparent to both Pam and I that he was far from interested in communicating with me, let alone a brief tete-a-tete.



My question of Kevin Hester as to how long they had was ignored.


I had a couple of attempts to engage Guy which failed spectacularly.

First, I tried talking about what I had been observing in the Arctic ice. That elicited no interest.

Next, I tried to talk about the Stewart Scott interview with Prof.Peter Wadhams. The response was cold, saying that Stewart had “betrayed” him. Not only that, but he was on the point of saying that Peter Wadhams had “betrayed” him.


Some talk with the other two ensued while a taciturn Kevin Hester sat silent and brooding while Guy buried his head in his cellphone and never said another word.


Suddenly, Hester announced (having ignored my earlier question) that they had to get on the road (and truly, they did have a long ride in front of them) and while I was engaged in conversation with the other two guests they slipped out without so much as a “goodbye

When we came out I found them both in the car, Guy with his head in his cellphone. He never even acknowledged my presence, let alone say goodbye.

What decided me to speak out was that it was communicated to me that when told that I had wanted to "ask him some questions" the reply came back that he didn't have any time to ask questions about climate change (that was not my intention) and that I could send him an email (sic).

Was this the person that I have sacrificed so much to defend over the years because I felt that he was right?

All of this upset me greatly, partially because of my own vulnerability and had sacrificed so much of myself for this visit.


Also, I was brought up to be clear in communicating my intentions and to be courteous to hosts.

That is my conditioning and therefore my “bias”.


So to be treated with such disrespect and extreme rudeness not only rankled but tipped my extremely delicate health and sent me to bed for at least a day.


Unable to sit on this I penned a letter to Guy expressing how I felt which I will share because it is my letter:


“Dear Guy,

I was kind of looking forward to what was obviously going to be our last meeting. I was really wanting the space to communicate to you my gratitude for the knowledge that you have given me in the last 7 years that has changed my life.

I also wanted to ask you where you are today now that you seem to have given up active research but are continuing to make public presentations, videos etc.

It could have been a meaningful dialogue on what could be the last time we meet in person.

Quite apart from the changing plans which I was never really privy to, and having to hurriedly cancel an acupuncture treatment at the very last minute because you got the date “wong” and told me at practically the last minute, I was left wondering WHY YOU EVEN CAME.

I can safely say that I have never encountered such extreme rudeness, especially from someone whom I considered a “friend”.

It quickly became evident that you entered my house to avoid any form of intimacy, and even conversation. I tried to engage you by mentioning the Arctic and Peter Wadhams.

To say that you were disinterested to the point of rudeness would be an understatement. You actually seemed hostile (and that is not just MY perception).

As if that was not bad enough, you started to keep your head in the cellphone and refused to engage.

Hester, after rudely ignoring my query as to how long we had, suddenly announced in a fashion that I have become used to that you all had to leave then and there.

After finishing a nice conversation with Paul and Pauline I found that you had gone out to the car and still had your head in your cellphone to avoid saying goodbye.

I would not treat my worst enemy that way, let alone an erstwhile friend, and I am struggling to understand what occasioned such incredible (and unprecedented) rudeness.

I find it all the harder to  understand from someone who has been at the brunt of terrible treatment from others. Why would anyone want to deal the same out to someone else?

I have been for years one of your greatest defenders, even when it was to my own detriment. 

Now I am forced to make a distinction between the message and the messenger as I look for possible explanations, none of which reflect well on you.

I doubt if you can make this right and I am equally convinced that you do not want to, and have little doubt that you will see this as yet another betrayal when, in fact it is YOU who has betrayed me.

Regards,
Robin

The response that came back was that he was not able to be with me because he had to deal with "insults" on his cellphone and more or less implied that we were lucky that the great man had any time for us at all.

Stung by what I perceived as a self-serving response that did not address any of my concerns, I replied:


“I would have been less insulted had you NOT turned up. There is a principle for me that the most important person is the one you are with”

The following response shocked (but did not surprise me)


“Sorry for the mistake in making time for you”


So, I felt, (and still feel), am to take it that I should have been eternally grateful for a visit from the great man even if it was surly, incommunicable and even borderline hostile?

He seemed to be treating me, not as the person who has helped organise three visits and has defended him fiercely, even to my own cost but rather just like the trolls that contact him and so irritate him.


I am human so being treated in that way hurts me greatly and given that my health is rapidly declining and I struggle through every day I ask if I need a “friendship’ like that.


The answer is no.


I never envisaged being forced into making a distinction between the message (that I still embrace in its essence, at least as previously enunciated), and the messenger.

However, if it was JUST a personal affront, no matter how that has affected me I could eventually get over it and not mention it any more.

However, all of this was preceded by a growing perception of where Guy is and where he might be headed.

These were only perceptions on my part but they have been largely confirmed by this visit and it is with huge sadness that I talk about this.

I have gone, in the last year or so from reporting on my blog what others said to developing some skills in watching the data on the Arctic sea ice and greenhouse.

This was my way of coping with the enormity of the rapid change - to get caught up with analysis, even with something like measuring the temperature in our garden every day.

Fairly meaningless, but my way of dealing with the grief.

I started noticing that whenever I did a piece of research it would either be totally ignored or it might be "liked" by Guy with no engagement so ever. I don't go fishing for praise but the best acknowledgement I could hope for would be engagement - is it correct?, is it important? is it correct.

However, what I have noticed is that while this situation has led me to be as concrete as I can and look for evidence of the changes in real time the response from others, including Guy, was to generalise.

I have waited in vain for signs that Guy is involved with the cutting -edge science as he did in his long essay. First he couldn't do the research because of the lousy internet in Belize did not allow it.

Now, he has been back in Westchester Country, NY for some time so that excuse does not quite hold water. What does a healthy, red-blooded male scientist do when confronted with emotional trauma other than bury themselves in work?

I was disappointed when he spent most of his time in giving testimony to the New York City Council establishing his credentials and then running out of time.

However, it was watching Guy's appearance on NZ television that made my jaw drop. What was with allowing three wet-behind-the-ears "journalists" gang up to essentially gang up to ridicule (we say, "take the mickey out of") Guy and his prognostication of extinction within 7 years.

I'm sure that Guy has the skill to cope with inexperienced journalists to get his message out but HE PASSED UP THE OPPORTUNITY!


He had the opportunity to talk about all the concrete signs of the destruction
of human habitat such as crop failures in the American Midwest and elsewhere but he decide to stick to generalities that could easily have been from his 2016 visit.

I found this all very hard to grasp but that was before Guy visited and went about avoiding me and any conversation about climate change. In fact, he said that to my partner - he had no "time" for "questions" about climate change.

How sad this all makes me is hard to convey.

Am I angry? Of course - I am as angry and upset as hell.

But mostly I am sad.

I have tried to find motivations for this and given the refusal to talk I have to come to my own conclusions and none of them, I am afraid, is very flattering.

In conclusion, I have not taken "against" Guy McPherson and if he has something to say that develops our understanding I am more than open.

However, I no longer want to just hear that we are all going to die (even if that is what I feel in my heart, every day of my life) without corroborating evidence.

I have a sinking feeling that I might be waiting for some time.

13 comments:

  1. I fully understand your sentiment and can only say, please get over it and move on since being stuck with this is not going to help you in any way. Many of us have been greatly influenced and changed by his essay and message and I do not think that was wrong. The only thing that failed was 2016 + 3 yrs but none of us thought Prof. McPherson was God who has to be absolutely accurate about everything and the situation in Arctic as you know is very bad. He himself seems to be missing the last part of his own message. Anyway, fundamentally,we have to face the coming days alone but I would like to express my gratitude for your work.

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  2. My impression is GM is burnt out and going through the motions. He wasn't deliberately being rude. It's all become too much and he's switched off. He's getting old and disillusioned. two years in a monastery might help him.

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    1. That has been my impression for some time but until now have not enunciated it.

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  3. I don't think you have a Follower out there that has not experienced the pain of betrayal by a loved one or a friend held in high regard. It is one of the downsides to being human. The pain is real and difficult to process. I applaud you for sharing your pain with us. It is certainly the first step! Robin, what I respect most about you is your openness in sharing your true feelings. And your heart is large in declaring an opening for Guy to re-enter that amazing space of understanding. Have you talked to Biscuit about any of this? I would love to hear his take! I ran across this poem last year that I still find a need to share. I think you will enjoy it. https://onbeing.org/poetry/generous-listening/

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    1. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful reflections

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  4. It's not you. McPherson is a narcissist. No one else in the collapse-climate community has had so many falling outs & fights as McPherson has had. Not even close. He also has a martyr complex.

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  5. Forget about it, move and survive. I've followed your blog for years and much more than I follow GM now. You give us all the up to date climate news and I am very grateful to you for doing this. Be well and thank you.

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  6. Don't link the man with the message.
    That's pretty much all I can say.
    If you dislike the man then should you dismiss the evidence as well?
    Be careful because you maybe letting your emotions get in the way of the science.
    Just take a step back for the moment and take a look at the science without including the messenger.
    The messenger is not important.
    The message is.

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    1. I have not departed from the message one iota. I am talking of changes in the messenger and when someone says "all that remains at the edge of extinction is LOVE". I am concerned about values and right now, when we know where things are going they are paramount.

      I find your comments vaguely insulting because in 8 years I have never departed from the science and aren't now.

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    2. I agree with Robin on this. I agree with his message, in fact I just bought 2 of his books, but I disagree with his lack of respect for others.

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  7. you are spot on, I was friends with GM for years on FB and even helped sponsor his visit to our town a couple of years ago...then I asked one question on his FB page wanting to know of nay other scientists who agreed with his predictions and he got pissed off, sent me a nasty message and then unfriended/ blocked me. It was a total jerk response to am honest and sincere question but at least I finally learned what he is really all about, and it's ALL ABOUT HIM!

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  8. Hmm...being rude is one thing but being a predator still gets overlooked Robin. Having actually lived with him for two years I can say without a doubt that those who left Sheila behind for the "friendship" of Dr. Doom made a enormous error in judgement.

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    1. Both Pam and I think of Sheila a lot. I took Pauline at her word before but after her latest diatribe (lies) I have to modify that stance a little. The "everyone else is at fault but me" line is a little thin.

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