Michael Shellenberger Exposes Climate Industrial Complex in ‘Apocalypse Never’

Climate alarmists continue to berate us that the world is doomed and the only ‘solution’ offered is channelling $trillions more in subsidies to intermittent wind and solar. Their calls for ‘immediate action’ really means more of the same: more subsidies for more windmills and more solar panels; which really means the end of reliable and affordable electricity.

Whatever your views on climate change (the apparently existential threat formerly known as ‘global warming’), the idea that trying to run modern, civil societies on sunshine and breezes might somehow prevent it is, of course, a complete nonsense.

One environmentalist who called it out, loud and early, was Michael Shellenberger. As a long-time advocate for reliable, affordable and safe nuclear energy, and critic of intermittent renewables – calling wind and solar worse than useless – Michael combines common sense, logic and reason, in an era when those attributes have become scarce commodities.

Shellenberger delivered a heart-felt mea culpa across a variety of media platforms – the basis for which is set out in his latest work, ‘Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All’.

The essay Shellenberger wrote (covered here by STT) has (predictably) suffered the kind of orchestrated corporate censorship experienced by Michael Moore, in relation to his documentary, Planet of the Humans, which was promptly removed from YouTube and which Facebook, Google and others did their level best to eradicate from the public domain.

Initially, Forbes carried Shellenberger’s piece, but after complaints from the usual suspects Forbes removed the article and all traces of it. [Note to Ed: what’s that thing about “inconvenient truths”?]

However, notwithstanding the efforts to de-platform him and cancel his message, a growing number of his academic peers have decided to break ranks and support Shellenberger’s efforts to expose the causes and consequences of the climate industrial complex.

Here’s an article from one of them, John Tierney.

Michael Shellenberger book Apocalypse Never exposes environmental activists
The Australian
John Tierney
2 July 2020

There is a recurring puzzle in the history of the environmental movement: Why do green activists keep promoting policies that are harmful not only to humans but also to the environment? Michael Shellenberger is determined to solve this problem, and he is singularly well qualified.

He understands activists because he has been one himself since high school, when he raised money for the Rainforest Action Network. Early in his adult career, he campaigned to protect redwood trees, promote renewable energy, stop global warming, and improve the lives of farmers and factory workers in the Third World. But the more he travelled, the more he questioned what Westerners’ activism was accomplishing for people or for nature.

He became a different kind of activist by helping start a movement called ecomodernism, the subject of “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.” He still wants to help the poor and preserve ecosystems, but through industrialisation instead of “sustainable development.”

He’s still worried about climate change, but he doesn’t consider it the most important problem today, much less a threat to humanity’s survival — and he sees that greens’ favourite solutions are making the problem worse.

He chronicles environmental progress around the world and crisply debunks myth after gloomy myth. No, we are not in the midst of the “sixth mass extinction,” because only 0.001% of the planet’s species go extinct annually. No, whales were not saved by Greenpeace but rather by the capitalist entrepreneurs who discovered cheaper substitutes for whale oil (first petroleum, then vegetable oils) that decimated the whaling industry long before activists got involved. No, plastics don’t linger for thousands of years in the ocean; they’re broken down by sunlight and other forces. No, climate change has not caused an increase in the frequency or intensity of floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes.

In 2002, Mr. Shellenberger proposed the New Apollo Project, a precursor to the Green New Deal. Many of its ideas for promoting renewable energy were adopted by the Obama administration and received more than $150 billion in federal funds, but Mr. Shellenberger was disillusioned with the results.

I know the above facts will sound like “climate denialism” to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism. In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those ­conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the Inter­national Union for the Conservation of Nature and other leading scientific bodies.

A disproportionate share of the money, as he documents, went to companies that enriched donors to the Obama campaign but failed to yield practical technologies.

He now considers most forms of renewable energy to be impractical for large-scale use. Windmills and solar power are too expensive and unreliable as a primary source of power for people in poor countries, and they cause too much environmental damage because they require vast areas of land and harm flora and fauna. He faults Western activists and governments for trying to force these technologies on Third World countries and prevent them from building hydro-electric and fossil-fuel power plants.

“Rich nations,” he writes, “should do everything they can to help poor nations industrialise.” Instead “many of them are doing something closer to the opposite: seeking to make poverty sustainable rather than to make poverty history.”

While industrialisation causes a short-term rise in carbon emissions, in the long term it’s beneficial to the environment as people move to cities, allowing farmland to revert to nature, and as prosperity enables them to switch to cleaner and more compact forms of energy. Carbon emissions decline as people move from wood to coal to natural gas, and then ultimately to what Mr. Shellenberger calls the safest and cleanest source: nuclear energy, the only practical technology for drastically curtailing carbon emissions, if only green activists would stop trying to shut down nuclear plants.

Mr. Shellenberger blames the anti-nuke movement partly on fearmongering by activists and journalists, partly on instinctive hostility to new technology, and partly on financial self-interest. “Every major climate activist group in America,” he writes, including the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club, “has been seeking to close nuclear plants around the United States while taking money from or investing in natural gas companies, renewable energy companies, and their investors who stand to make billions if nuclear plants are closed and replaced by natural gas.”

Mr. Shellenberger makes a persuasive case, lucidly blending research data and policy analysis with a history of the green movement and vignettes of people in poor countries suffering the consequences of “environmental colonialism.”

He realises, though, that rational arguments alone won’t convince devout environmentalists. “I was drawn toward the apocalyptic view of climate change twenty years ago,” he writes. “I can see now that my heightened anxiety about climate reflected underlying anxiety and unhappiness in my own life that had little to do with climate change or the state of the natural environment.”

For him and so many others, environmentalism offered emotional relief and spiritual satisfaction, giving them a sense of purpose and transcendence. It has become a substitute religion for those who have abandoned traditional faiths, as he explains in his concluding chapter, “False Gods for Lost Souls.” Its priests have been warning for half a century that humanity is about to be punished for its sins against nature, and no matter how often the doomsday forecasts fail, the faithful still thrill to each new one.

“The trouble with the new environmental religion is that it has become increasingly apocalyptic, destructive, and self-defeating,” he writes. “It leads its adherents to demonise their opponents, often hypocritically. It drives them to seek to restrict power and prosperity at home and abroad. And it spreads anxiety and depression without meeting the deeper psychological, existential, and spiritual needs its ostensibly secular devotees seek.”

Mr. Shellenberger wants to woo them to an alternative faith that he calls environmental humanism, which is committed to the “transcendent moral purpose of universal human flourishing and environmental progress.” I’m not sure that’s enough to attract converts, but it makes for a much truer picture of the world — and a much cheerier read.

John Tierney, a contributing editor for City Journal, is the co-author of The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It.
The Australian

The world’s never as bad as they’d have you believe.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. The eco-nazi mafia are some of the very worst censorship bullies out there. They want their own side to be heard but no other. They would make Josef Goebbels blush.

    Michael Moore’s Planet of the Humans, which exposes the frauds, fabrications, and falsehoods of “renewable energy” faced the same buzz saw of totalitarian censorship from the eco-nazis, who got YouTube to take it down after 8.3 million views. They fought back and now it is back up again on YouTube.

    https://planetofthehumans.com/2020/05/28/coordinated-censorship-campaign-against-planet-of-the-humans-leads-to-it-being-taken-down-from-youtube-where-it-had-been-viewed-8-3-million-times/

    YouTube, which is owned by Google, is one of the most censorship-happy Big Tech companies of all, when the target is a conservative or someone who even question parts of the far left orthodoxy. The left, however, has free rein to spew open hate and lies at YouTube. They ought to change their name to CeonsorshipTube.

    There ought to be Free Speech laws applied to the Big Tech oligopolies.

  2. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    Climate alarmists continue to berate us that the world is doomed and the only ‘solution’ offered is channelling $trillions more in subsidies to intermittent wind and solar. Their calls for ‘immediate action’ really means more of the same: more subsidies for more windmills and more solar panels; which really means the end of reliable and affordable electricity.

    Whatever your views on climate change (the apparently existential threat formerly known as ‘global warming’), the idea that trying to run modern, civil societies on sunshine and breezes might somehow prevent it is, of course, a complete nonsense.

  3. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    Censorship is alive and well, how many of us have had ‘Letters to the Editor’ published in the main Media? How often have people looked to the ABC for balanced reporting on anything to do with so called ‘renewable’ energy production?
    How often do we see an opposing or balancing view of reports of more and more Wind turbines being installed – never as when such things are reported in the papers or on TV news items they are always presented with a ‘smiling/happy’ note as if something wonderful is happening.
    We never hear the opposing view that those who will be living with them as neighbours will be subjected to constant debilitating harm, or that there is no evidence these things do no harm to the environment or that there are other ways to produce energy without damaging the environment.
    When people like Shellenberger and Moore speak out the world should be allowed to have unfettered access to it without censorship, their previous utterances were welcomed by these media outlets as well as the ‘renewable’ energy industry and Climate Alarmists. Where are all those reporters who have been calling for an end to the censorship they say is happening why are they not calling these instances ‘out’? Well we know the answer its because it does not suit their masters or even their own view of the world which is of course paramount over the truth.

  4. Son of a goat says:

    “I can see now that my heightened anxiety about climate reflected underlying anxiety and unhappiness in my own life that had little to do with climate change or the state of the natural environment.”

    Having observed the zealots with the likes of Charismatic Kane, Yoda Yates, Keats and the Renewables Energy Messiah over the years. Shellenberger’s above reflection is very apt.
    Like an alcoholic trying to find refuge from his anxieties by hitting the bottle the zealot tries to find meaning to their empty lives through climate zealotry.

    Their ego gets its quick fix in Twitter world where they hunt in packs, spewing out their vile and condescending rhetoric at anyone like Shellenberger that doesn’t agree with their narrative.
    They then spiral into depression when election results or political policy doesn’t fit their agenda.

    The arrival of COVID 19 has put the zealots into lockdown and the resultant economic disaster will squash the construction of their beloved eco crucifixes.

    Charismatic Kane is daily pontificating on twittter about mental health to the faithful, about the benefits of Yoga, reading books and growing ones own vegetables.

    Kane may be well advised drop the ego and burst the bubble he lives in and be more open minded to other opinions like that of Mike Shellenberger.

  5. Reblogged this on Gds44's Blog.

  6. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

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