Michael Shellenberger: On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

https://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2020/6/29/on-behalf-of-environmentalists-i-apologize-for-the-climate-scare

On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

By Michael Shellenberger

June 29, 2020

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”

Climate change is not making natural disasters worse

Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003

The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska

The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California

Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s

Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level

We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter

Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change

Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels

Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

I know that 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 Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other leading scientific bodies.

Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia.

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions

But until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilization, and called it a “crisis.”

But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.

I even stood by as people in the White House and many in the news media tried to destroy the reputation and career of an outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke, Jr., a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist who testified in favor of carbon regulations. Why did they do that? Because his research proves natural disasters aren’t getting worse.

But then, last year, things spiraled out of control.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.”

The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilizations.”

Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.

As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.

Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened.

I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence.

And so my formal apology for our fear-mongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.

It is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialization, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.

Some highlights from the book:

Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress

The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land

The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium

100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50%

We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities

Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%

Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did

“Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions

Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon

The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants

Why were we all so misled?

In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never I expose the financial, political, and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable.” And status anxiety, depression, and hostility to modern civilization are behind much of the alarmism

Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped.

Will Apocalypse Never make any difference? There are certainly reasons to doubt it.

The news media have been making apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change since the late 1980s, and do not seem disposed to stop.

The ideology behind environmental alarmsim — Malthusianism — has been repeatedly debunked for 200 years and yet is more powerful than ever.

But there are also reasons to believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power.

The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, Covid-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people and shattered economies around the globe.

Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicization of science. Their future existence and relevance depends on new leadership and serious reform.

Facts still matter, and social media is allowing for a wider range of new and independent voices to outcompete alarmist environmental journalists at legacy publications.

Nations are reverting openly to self-interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.

The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.

The invitations from IPCC and Congress are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment. Another one has been to the response to my book from climate scientists, conservationists, and environmental scholars. “Apocalypse Never is an extremely important book,” writes Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “This may be the most important book on the environment ever written,” says one of the fathers of modern climate science Tom Wigley.

“We environmentalists condemn those with antithetical views of being ignorant of science and susceptible to confirmation bias,” wrote the former head of The Nature Conservancy, Steve McCormick. “But too often we are guilty of the same.  Shellenberger offers ‘tough love:’ a challenge to entrenched orthodoxies and rigid, self-defeating mindsets.  Apocalypse Never serves up occasionally stinging, but always well-crafted, evidence-based points of view that will help develop the ‘mental muscle’ we need to envision and design not only a hopeful, but an attainable, future.”

That is all I hoped for in writing it. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll agree that it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems that a lifelong environmentalist, progressive, and climate activist felt the need to speak out against the alarmism.

I further hope that you’ll accept my apology.

July 3, 2020. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Scientists Who Didn’t Predict A Single Thing Accurately For Last Two Months Confident They Know What The Weather Is Going To Be Like In 100 Years [satire]

https://babylonbee.com/news/scientists-who-whiffed-on-every-covid-19-prediction-confident-they-know-what-the-weather-is-going-to-be-like-in-100-years

Scientists Who Didn’t Predict A Single Thing Accurately For Last Two Months Confident They Know What The Weather Is Going To Be Like In 100 Years

April 29, 2020

WORLD – Authorities in the scientific community who touted faulty COVID-19 models are “pretty confident” they know what the weather is going to be like in 100 years, sources confirmed Wednesday.

“Yes, we were off by a factor of about 1 billion in our predictions for what happened over the last few months, but trust us: we know exactly what the climate is going to be like in a century,” said leading scientific authority Dr. Garth Wendybrook at a press conference. “See, I have this lab coat and this Bunsen burner here.” At this point, he gestured toward a Bunsen burner sitting on the table in front of him, but he accidentally caught his sleeve on fire. “Fire hot! Fire hot!” the scientist cried before diving in a nearby vat of acid to put it out.

Post-press-conference analysis indicated his observations were correct, and the fire was hot.

The scientists say they have settled on a climate model that confirms the earth’s average temperature will be either 1 million degrees Celsius or below freezing, give or take 1 million degrees.

May 4, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

One year after her first false denials, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still trying to pretend that she doesn’t want to ban airplanes and cows

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 29, 2020

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just stated  the following:

“… as we’ve discussed the Green New Deal, I’ve noticed that there’s been an awful lot of misinformation about what is inside this resolution – a tremendous amount of wild claims – everything from saying we’re seeking to ban airplanes to ending ice cream…”

You can see and hear her saying those words in this video. Skip to 1:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Fma_esNe4

While it’s true that the specific resolution that she is referring to does not say anything about banning airplanes and cows, Ocasio-Cortez herself does support such a ban.

A year ago, Ocasio-Cortez put a document on her official Congressional website which said she wanted to get rid of airplanes and cows.

After a huge number of people criticized her for this, she took the document down.

Fortunately, the internet archive has a copy of that same webpage from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website at this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20190207191119/https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq

The original link (which no longer works) to the page at Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is https://ocasio-cortez.house.gov/media/blog-posts/green-new-deal-faq

In addition, NPR (a highly reliable source, which liberals love) published a copy of the same document at this link: https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

And in case NPR ever takes that page down, here is the internet archive of that NPR page: https://web.archive.org/web/20190207164217/https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5729035-Green-New-Deal-FAQ

Here are Ocasio-Cortez’s exact words, as reported by NPR:

“Yes, we are calling for a full transition off fossil fuels and zero greenhouse gases. Anyone who has read the resolution sees that we spell this out through a plan that calls for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from every sector of the economy. Simply banning fossil fuels immediately won’t build the new economy to replace it – this is the plan to build that new economy and spells out how to do it technically. We do this through a huge mobilization to create the renewable energy economy as fast as possible. We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees and restore our ecosystem to get to net-zero.”

The version from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is slightly different, as it replaces the phrase “farting cows” with “emissions from cows.” Since the version that she gave NPR is funnier, that’s the version that I quoted.

Anyway, that’s proof and more proof that Ocasio-Cortez really does want to ban airplanes and cows.

So her recent statement that she does not want to ban airplanes and cows is a lie.

And this is not the first time that she tried to pretend that she never said she wanted to ban airplanes and cows.

Her earlier denial from a year ago, as reported in this article by the Washington Post, was that Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, blamed “typos” for the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website said that Ocasio-Cortez wanted to ban airplanes and cows.

The Washington Post reported that Chakrabarti said:

“People are trying to take the focus away from the big picture to these little typos.”

Typos?

Seriously?

I’m not buying that.

A “typo” is when you type “pwn” instead of “own.”

There is no way that the following text from Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website is a “typo”

“The Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.”

There’s no way that those words are a “typo.”

Someone deliberately typed those words into the document.

And who might that someone be?

Well, as I explained in this previous post, the document’s metadata proves that the document was created by Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff.

That’s the same Saikat Chakrabarti who blamed “typos” for the fact that Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website said that Ocasio-Cortez wanted to get rid of airplanes and cows.

Chakrabarti’s lie about “typos” is just as unbelievable as the other lie that I mentioned in my previous post, where Ocasio-Cortez advisor and Cornell Law School professor Robert Hockett blamed “Republicans” for starting a rumor about the document being on Ocasio-Cortez’s official Congressional website. Here’s the video of that again. Skip to 1:06

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qyx6eDkrmw

At the end of that previous post, I wrote:

“Hockett is a Professor of Law at Cornell Law School. So I’m 100% certain that he is familiar with the laws against defamation. I hope that he will apologize to the “Republicans” that he falsely accused of lying about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s positions on the above issues.”

Hockett must have read my post, because he later admitted that he had been wrong.

So first they blamed this on “Republicans.”

And then later, they’re blamed it on “typos.”

And now, with Ocasio-Cortez’s most recent statement, she’s still trying to pretend that she does not want to ban airplanes and cows.

Again, to be clear, Ocasio-Cortez was telling the truth when she said that the current resolution does not say anything about banning airplanes and cows.

Her lie is when she said that it’s a “wild claim” that she wants to ban airplanes and cows.

It’s not a “wild claim,” because she said it on her own Congressional website, as well as in a document that she gave to NPR.

Note from Daniel Alman: If you like this blog post that I wrote, you can buy my books from amazon, and/or donate to me via PayPal, using the links below:

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February 29, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Bernie Sanders makes global warming and income inequality worse by spending his campaign donations on private jets

Bernie Sanders has repeatedly spoken out against global warming and income inequality.

However, I just came across this Politico article from last year:

In his campaign launch video last week, Bernie Sanders singled out the fossil fuel industry for criticism, listing it among the special interests he planned to take on. But in the final months of the 2016 campaign, Sanders repeatedly requested and received the use of a carbon-spewing private jet for himself and his traveling staff when he served as a surrogate campaigner for Hillary Clinton.

In the two years following the presidential election, Sanders continued his frequent private jet travel, spending at least $342,000 on the flights.

Increased scrutiny of his travel practices, which are at odds with his positions on wealth inequality and climate change, are among the challenges Sanders will face as he makes his second White House run.

Actions speak louder than words.

Sanders’ use of private jets proves that he’s lying when he says he’s against global warming and income inequality.

Here are some of my other blog posts about Bernie Sanders:

Bernie Sanders said it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food. Meanwhile, in the real world, this is what it’s actually like to wait in line for food in Venezuela.

Bernie Sanders wants to do the same things to the U.S. that Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro did to Venezuela

The only way that rich people could pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax would be by selling enough stock to get the money to pay the tax. This would drive down stock prices, and would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

Here’s a bunch of horror stories from the Canadian health care system that Bernie Sanders wants the U.S. to copy

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders says it’s “not acceptable” that some of his employees have complained about getting paid less than $15 an hour

Hypocrite Bernie Sanders changes his tune on “millionaires and billionaires” after the media reports that he is one of them

Bernie Sanders in the 1970s urged nationalization of most major industries

I have four questions for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, and anyone else who calls themselves a socialist

Bernie and Jane Sanders, under FBI investigation for bank fraud, hire lawyers

Bernie Sanders says he’s too busy campaigning to answer reporter’s question about the failures of socialism in Venezuela

Bernie Sanders says Uber’s employees are treated unfairly, so why does his campaign use Uber for 100% of its taxi rides?

Bernie Sanders supports $15 minimum wage, but only pays his interns $12 an hour

An open question to Bernie Sanders regarding your recent comment about deodorant

Bernie Sanders’ war on women

 

January 10, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Bernie Sanders, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Save the World with Nuclear Power – Leslie Dewan – TEDxUniversityofRochester

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoAcntoAVXE

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Global warming hypocrite Al Gore says he supports the Green New Deal, but his actions are the exact opposite

Al Gore just spoke out in favor of the Green New Deal.

However, his actions are the exact opposite.

This video is called, “Hitler gets mad at Al Gore’s global warming hypocrisy.” The video’s description includes links to sources to verify the statements that are made in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfr37Xn9IL8

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Humor. Leave a comment.

Environmental hypocrite Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez flies to Denmark to tell everyone else to reduce their use of fossil fuels

https://nypost.com/2019/10/08/aoc-takes-first-international-trip-as-lawmaker/

AOC takes first international trip as lawmaker

October 8, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking the Green New Deal global.

The New York Democrat posted an Instagram story Tuesday afternoon showing herself walking through the airport as she headed for her first trip abroad as a freshman lawmaker.

She’s off to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the C40 World Mayors Summit.

“After a very busy week in district, I’m headed to Copenhagen for a global C40 conference where mayors and a lot of other public servants are going to be convening to discuss what we’ll be – what actions we need to take for the climate crisis,” she told her followers.

Mayors from Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia, among others, will all be in attendance. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not attend, The Post confirmed.

October 16, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.