Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Radical Environmentalist Apologizes for the Climate Scare

 

Left-wing environmentalist, Michael Shellenberger, has penned an apology for his contribution to climate alarmism. Shellenberger, author of the book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, offers some inconvenient facts:

  • 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

And he also provides some common sense advice and observations on ways to protect — and not to protect — the environment and on ways to deal with global warming:

  • 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

Global warming is real, but we don’t need to terrify ourselves and our children into dealing with it. Free markets provide incentives for people and businesses to act efficiently. Government renewable energy projects typically do just the opposite. Inefficiency is waste, waste is pollution.

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  1. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Just bought his book – have read only a few pages so far but it looks good.

    • #1
    • June 30, 2020, at 9:36 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hurray, and from his keyboard and publisher to everyone’s ears.

    But will he pay any price (personal, professional) for his decades of hectoring activism? For his contribution to the alarmism? 

    • #2
    • June 30, 2020, at 10:00 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  3. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Hurray, and from his keyboard and publisher to everyone’s ears.

    But will he pay any price (personal, professional) for his decades of hectoring activism? For his contribution to the alarmism?

    I read a headline somewhere that he’s already being cancelled.

    • #3
    • June 30, 2020, at 10:36 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Hurray, and from his keyboard and publisher to everyone’s ears.

    But will he pay any price (personal, professional) for his decades of hectoring activism? For his contribution to the alarmism?

    I read a headline somewhere that he’s already being cancelled.

    Yeah, he’s far more likely to pay a price for abandoning alarmism.

    • #4
    • June 30, 2020, at 10:45 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  5. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    • #5
    • June 30, 2020, at 10:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Ok, I’m willing to be corrected. Please explain.

    • #6
    • June 30, 2020, at 11:16 AM PDT
    • Like
  7. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    I agree with Richard on this one. There may be some fudging of the data, but I think that there is a gradual upward trend in temperature, since around 1980 and since the mid-1800s. There’s a plausible argument that some of this increase is the result of higher carbon dioxide levels. It’s just nothing to worry about, in my view.

    • #7
    • June 30, 2020, at 11:18 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Richard, thanks for the post and the link.

    Mr. Schellenberger ended his article with:

    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.

    For my part, apology accepted.

    • #8
    • June 30, 2020, at 11:19 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    Hurray, and from his keyboard and publisher to everyone’s ears.

    But will he pay any price (personal, professional) for his decades of hectoring activism? For his contribution to the alarmism?

    My bet is that he will just move from being a “hero” of one side to the other. Much like the Scots noblemen at the time of the Reformation, just as easily as changing coats.

    • #9
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:23 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    • #10
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    What is the argument for the belief that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has had no impact on the rate of warming?

    • #11
    • June 30, 2020, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. Quietpi Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    What is the argument for the belief that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has had no impact on the rate of warming?

    Any effect that an increase in atmospheric CO2 has had on global temperatures, if any, is insignificant at best. To the extent that atmospheric gases impact global temperatures, CO2 contributes, IIRC, at most 10%. The other atmospheric gas responsible for the other 90% is almost entirely water vapor. Also, the actual evidence (and not what somebody tells you the evidence shows) demonstrates that atmospheric CO2 follows a rise in global temperature, rather than leading it. There’s more. Much more. I refer you to two other publications: 

    Raymond, Wayne: Climate Change in Davis, California, 2017, Digital EBook Purchase Product. 

    Raymond, Wayne: California Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide: Unjustly Vilified. 2019, Digital EBook Purchase Product.

    I learned long ago to beware of the difference between actual physical evidence, and a “scientist’s” interpretation of the evidence. Also, demand to be informed of any weighting of data, the raw data without weighting, and the justification for weighting. If you can’t get that information alongside the raw data, throw it all out. Your “scientist” is lying to you. Of course, he may well believe what he is telling you, which makes him all the more dangerous.

    It is interesting to note that Mr. Raymond has been vilified, even disowned by his former colleagues, who, in their disavowal, offer not even a suggestion of evidence to contradict his findings.

     

    • #12
    • June 30, 2020, at 2:24 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    What is the argument for the belief that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has had no impact on the rate of warming?

    I believe that’s known as “the pause.” Atmospheric CO2 concentration up; average surface temperature stable (and that’s even with all the fudging to make previous decades look colder so as to make the increase look more like a hockey stick). 

    On a geologic timescale, it appears that atmospheric CO2 concentration actually lags the temperature curve. 

    I’m willing to concede global warming is real, since it’s widely accepted the planet is in an interglacial period which, by definition, means the earth is warmer than it was during a cold phase. What I will not concede is that atmospheric CO2 concentration is the cause of the warming effect. Time to say, “we don’t know why,” although solar activity would seem to be key and recent solar quiescence might indicate it’s time to invest in long johns. We probably have a few more generations though.

     

    • #13
    • June 30, 2020, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  14. Cal Lawton Member
    Cal Lawton Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Uh, no. “Sorry” don’t cut it.

    • #14
    • June 30, 2020, at 2:31 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Bishop Wash Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    What is the argument for the belief that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has had no impact on the rate of warming?

    I believe that’s known as “the pause.” Atmospheric CO2 concentration up; average surface temperature stable (and that’s even with all the fudging to make previous decades look colder so as to make the increase look more like a hockey stick).

    On a geologic timescale, it appears that atmospheric CO2 concentration actually lags the temperature curve.

    I’m willing to concede global warming is real, since it’s widely accepted the planet is in an interglacial period which, by definition, means the earth is warmer than it was during a cold phase. What I will not concede is that atmospheric CO2 concentration is the cause of the warming effect. Time to say, “we don’t know why,” although solar activity would seem to be key and recent solar quiescence might indicate it’s time to invest in long johns. We probably have a few more generations though.

    Brings to mind a favorite quote from Ace of Spades, “Such a hypothetical source of warming would have to be massive, however. On the order of magnitude of our own Sun.”

    • #15
    • June 30, 2020, at 2:47 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer:

    • 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

    Love this, though. This guy is a convert to the truth.

    • #16
    • June 30, 2020, at 2:48 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    What is the argument for the belief that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has had no impact on the rate of warming?

    You’re asking for folks to prove a negative?

    • #17
    • June 30, 2020, at 3:30 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    What is the argument for the belief that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has had no impact on the rate of warming?

    You’re asking for folks to prove a negative?

    Hey, I want the moon. But you did state that human-produced CO2 wasn’t causing, or adding to, global warming. Do you have anything to back up your declaration of a negative?

    • #18
    • June 30, 2020, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    What is the argument for the belief that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has had no impact on the rate of warming?

    That it’s a following rather than leading indicator. See here.

    This, too.

    At work, got interrupted while writing this (it was at comment 11), so apologies if someone else provided the same info already.

    • #19
    • June 30, 2020, at 4:24 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  20. Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Coolidge
    Sisyphus (hears Xi laughing) Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You know that they do the CO2 measurements at the site of an active volcano, right? Mauna Loa has been erupting for at least 700,000 years and CO2 is a normal product of an eruption. And Mauna Loa is just west of Kailua, which is also active. Because there’s a beach and a ski resort on the island? Scientists need to recreate as well.

    • #20
    • June 30, 2020, at 5:14 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Caryn (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    What is the argument for the belief that the increased atmospheric CO2 concentration has had no impact on the rate of warming?

    That it’s a following rather than leading indicator. See here.

    This, too.

    At work, got interrupted while writing this (it was at comment 11), so apologies if someone else provided the same info already.

    The last two charts at your second link support my contention that there is a manmade component to global warming.

     

     

     

    • #21
    • June 30, 2020, at 5:32 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    • #22
    • June 30, 2020, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  23. lowtech redneck Coolidge

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    I agree with Richard on this one. There may be some fudging of the data, but I think that there is a gradual upward trend in temperature, since around 1980 and since the mid-1800s. There’s a plausible argument that some of this increase is the result of higher carbon dioxide levels. It’s just nothing to worry about, in my view.

    That’s pretty much my position; the important point is that climate alarmism is agenda-driven BS and proposed solutions are almost always counter-productive or unworkable, and generally cover for nefarious political goals.

    • #23
    • June 30, 2020, at 5:48 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  24. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    So, you went through and digested (and fully understand) that entire website and pulled the two graphs that…what? And why 1850 as the zero point in this graph? Odd time, as wood and coal were heavily used for heating and industrialization and, yet, the figure explanation says that that year is used because of the “lack of rapid climate change at that time.” Nothing odd about that?

    • #24
    • June 30, 2020, at 5:53 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  25. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Caryn (View Comment):
    So, you went through and digested (and fully understand) that entire website and pulled the two graphs that…what? And why 1850 as the zero point in this graph? Odd time, as wood and coal were heavily used for heating and industrialization and, yet, the figure explanation says that that year is used because of the “lack of rapid climate change at that time.” Nothing odd about that?

    I just looked at what you provided. 

    • #25
    • June 30, 2020, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Caryn Thatcher
    Caryn Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Caryn (View Comment):
    So, you went through and digested (and fully understand) that entire website and pulled the two graphs that…what? And why 1850 as the zero point in this graph? Odd time, as wood and coal were heavily used for heating and industrialization and, yet, the figure explanation says that that year is used because of the “lack of rapid climate change at that time.” Nothing odd about that?

    I just looked at what you provided.

    I made a mistake with that link. It wasn’t what I was looking for–the problem of trying to look for several things at once (at work!). This isn’t exactly what I was looking for, either, but it’s who I was looking for (this book, too). Couldn’t remember his name before to make the search more efficient. Apologies to all. I’ve changed the link above, too.

    • #26
    • June 30, 2020, at 7:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. Roderic Coolidge

    Richard Fulmer

    Global warming is real, 

    Is it?

    Having utterly failed to move the needle with deception, perhaps this climatista wants to try a little honesty. That way maybe he can salvage some of the green agenda. 

    I see the OP has bought in to that.

    I don’t. Climate science is so completely corrupted by politics it’s impossible to tell what’s true and what’s not. Not even the freaking temperature records can be trusted. We should not be basing any policy at all on the pronouncements of these hucksters. If the climate goes bad then we’ll deal with it at the time.

     

    • #27
    • July 1, 2020, at 4:01 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Roderic (View Comment):
    Climate science is so completely corrupted by politics it’s impossible to tell what’s true and what’s not. Not even the freaking temperature records can be trusted.

    This is a great point. If anthropogenic warming is real, the alarmists have been their own worst enemies by discrediting the science through hyperbolic exaggeration, cherry picking data, attempts to shout down skeptics, and through claims that this or that weather event was caused by global warming.

    • #28
    • July 1, 2020, at 5:31 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Roderic (View Comment):
    Climate science is so completely corrupted by politics it’s impossible to tell what’s true and what’s not. Not even the freaking temperature records can be trusted.

    This is a great point. If anthropogenic warming is real, the alarmists have been their own worst enemies by discrediting the science through hyperbolic exaggeration, cherry picking data, attempts to shout down skeptics, and through claims that this or that weather event was caused by global warming.

    And that is the worst part of the climate change hoax: the discrediting of science and the cancelling of decent scientists trying to tell the truth. It was a dead giveaway when all the policy prescriptions for global warming were more socialism! Like “more cowbell.” 

    The Left ruins everything. It’s how you know it’s of the devil.

    • #29
    • July 1, 2020, at 6:24 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. kedavis Member

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer: Global warming is real

    That’s not true by any common definition of those words.

    Not anthropomorphic climate change, at any rate.

    Anthropogenic.

    • #30
    • July 1, 2020, at 7:38 AM PDT
    • 2 likes