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David Kirk, Carlos Munoz and Pete Erwin, with his Jesus figure, gather in front of the closed radio station offices of evangelist Harold Camping along with others, to celebrate irreverently, the non-destruction of the world predicted by Camping, Saturday, May 21, 2011 in Oakland, Calif.. (AP Photo/Dino Vournas) David Kirk, Carlos Munoz and Pete Erwin, with his Jesus figure, gather in front of the closed radio station offices of evangelist Harold Camping along with others, to celebrate irreverently, the non-destruction of the world predicted by Camping, Saturday, May 21, 2011 in Oakland, Calif.. (AP Photo/Dino Vournas)  

Univ. of Colorado asks, Is human extinction nigh?

Are the end-times near? Are humans bringing about their own extinction? The question is not theological but rather ecological, and it’s a subject Colorado’s flagship university will meet head-on at an event next month.

The CU Environmental Center, a project of the University of Colorado Boulder’s student government, will host Guy McPherson, professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, for a speech entitled, “Will Climate Change Cause Near-Term Human Extinction?”

McPherson’s biography recalls his early work as a helitack firefighter, which helped cultivate his interest in ecology. “Staring down a large wildfire at the age of nineteen, he realized some forces of nature are beyond the human ability to manage.” Despite this youthful theory, McPherson’s writing is heavy on man-made climate change, stating he’s “letting go of the notion that Homo sapiens will inhabit this planet beyond 2030.”

In a sprawling “Climate-change summary” on his website, McPherson claims President Obama conceals his knowledge of impending extinction and that the Central Intelligence Agency “runs the United States and controls presidential power.”

“The response of politicians, heads of non-governmental organizations, and corporate leaders remains the same. They’re mired in the dank Swamp of Nothingness,” he writes.

Despite these claims, he says, “I’m not implying conspiracy.”

In a 2011 article, McPherson describes a “post-industrial Stone Age” of environmental destruction. “That good ol’ industrial economy just keeps on giving us toys and, in return, we keep using the toys to pummel planet Earth.”

Following a long career in academia, McPherson has diversified into other projects including Beyond Reskilling, an effort drawing on his “experience with many aspects of countercultural living.” Among the services promoted on the Beyond Reskilling website are workshops in “Mitigating for collapse” and “Growing Up Green (an introduction to simple living concepts for children).”

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