McPherson Takedown Resonates

Radio Ecoshock, a radio show/podcast, interviewed McPherson a couple of weeks ago and Scott Johnson recently. They also referred to my takedown of McPherson at some length. Fiskings are a bit tedious to read, but they live on for a long time.

Anyway McPherson, as usual, showed up on their blog to defend himself. I’m there now too. Not sure how long I’ll put with it but if you enjoy that sort of fireworks, go have a look.


  1. In one of your comments, you said: "There's nothing like a Paleocene-Eocene boundary catastrophe in the cards. (PETM)" That's a bit confusing to me, as the PETM seems to be held up by many science writers (not necessarily scientists, that I've seen) as a decent analogue for the current situation we find ourselves in. I was wondering if you could elaborate on your statement a bit - is even the worst-case warming we face unlike the PETM in the severity of impacts on the biosphere? Or were you talking about what we face in the short-to-medium term, a la the timescales McPherson tries to scare people with?

  2. Yes, perhaps a bit sloppy; I suppose if we are stubbornly stupid we could yet bring an event of that magnitude down on our heads. But not in a few decades, at least not via greenhouse gases and similar foolishness.

    (But if we set our minds to willfully destroying the planet as a goal, I am confident that we have the technical ability to do that...)

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