A Measured Look at Climate Alarmism: Apocalypse Never

 

Michael Shellenberger is a dedicated environmentalist. He was a progressive political activist for years. He wants a cleaner, greener world. That is why he opposes the Green New Deal. Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, by Michael Shellenberger explains his position.

Shellenberger opens the book by picking apart and demolishing the arguments of those who claim apocalyptic climate change, leading to the death of billions, lies in our near future.  He shows predictions of billions of deaths cannot be supported from IPCC report results. He shows how alarmists deliberately distorted facts – sometimes even making false claims about the reports – to justify their predictions.

Shellenberger also shows following the recommendations of the alarmists will likely have results opposite those claimed. More deaths, especially among the world’s poor, and greater adverse environmental impacts will result.

The solution Shellenberger advocates is greater industrialization and increasing energy production density, especially through nuclear. Shellenberger shows how historically this has reduced pollution, increased prosperity, and bettered living standards among even the poorest in society. It also leads to reduced agricultural land use, allowing increased forestation.

Shellenberger demonstrates this through specific examples, not dry statistics. He introduces readers to poor individuals in Africa, South America, and Indonesia. He shows how they are harmed by 21st-century environmentalism and how they will be helped by industrialization and increased energy production. He also shows how this will benefit the environment.

Why the alarmism? Shellenberger explains that, too. Powerful financial interests fund the anti-nuclear, green-energy, and anti-growth agenda. There is a lot of money to be made through all of these initiatives. Shellenberger highlights religious aspects of environmental crusading, showing how for many of its advocates, environmental extremism displaces religion’s role.

The cost of the Green New Deal will be paid, as Shellenberg shows, by the world’s poorest people. It will likely leave the environment worse off and lead to greater species extinction than increased industrialization would cause, but the price will not be paid by those profiting from the Green New Deal or those obtaining emotional satisfaction through its advocacy.

Apocalypse Never is meticulously researched and carefully footnoted. Shellenberger invites readers to check his work for accuracy. He makes no appeals to authority. Rather he highlights relevant facts, and lets readers draw their own conclusions. Concerned about the potential environmental impact of climate change? Read Apocalypse Never. It effectively answers many of the concerns raised by climate alarmists.

“Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All,” by Michael Shellenberger, Harper, 2020, 432 pages, $29.99 (Hardcover)

This review was written by Mark Lardas who writes at Ricochet as Seawriter. Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, historian, and model-maker, lives in League City. His website is marklardas.com.

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  1. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    He’s clearly been secretly funded by Exxon.

    • #1
  2. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    I’m listening to this audiobook now—it’s good. 

    • #2
  3. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    He’s clearly been secretly funded by Exxon.

    Well, now that you mention it, according to Shellenberger Big Oil is actually funding a lot of the environmental societies opposing nuclear. Before that, most of the environmental groups were backing building nuclear plants in California.

    • #3
  4. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    I’ve read the book.  Having worked in the environmental field it is very accurate.  Shellenberger does thinks climate change a threat that needs to be addressed in the long term but debunks the short-term apocalyptic rhetoric.  He believes the solution is readily available – construction of nuclear plants, a solution opposed by most environmentalists because it would not require reorganizing society along socialist lines.

    And if you build many new nuclear plants for base power and want to use solar, wind, and batteries for variable power you need to support a massive expanding of mining in the U.S. to provide the raw materials needed.

    • #4
  5. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I’m listening to this audiobook now—it’s good.

    I listened to it too – it was very interesting.

    I liked the parts where he exposes pure lies that we’ve all been fed – like that the Amazon rain forest is the “lungs of the world”. Flat out nonsense.  And the manipulation of celebrities to sell the lies. I wonder what they would say when confronted with this?

    • #5
  6. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    Follows in line with “real” scientist Michael Crichton and his expose of the climate change alarmists … State of Fear.

    • #6
  7. Columbo Member
    Columbo
    @Columbo

    You have stolen my childhood!

    • #7
  8. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Seawriter: Shellenberger demonstrates this through specific examples, not dry statistics. He introduces readers to poor individuals in Africa, South America, and Indonesia. He shows how they are harmed by 21st-century environmentalism and how they will be helped by industrialization and increased energy production. He also shows how this will benefit the environment.

    As a general rule, hippie environmentalist have never visited rural Zimbabwe. If you can’t cook with gas or power, you cut down trees. Developments and industrialization can save forests.

    • #8
  9. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The rational center is the real enemy of the enviro-marxoids.  They talk as if the real enemy were Exxon and boardrooms full of guys who look like the Rich Uncle Pennybags character from the Monopoly board game.  But what they hate and fear the most are rational considerations of broader interests and of the limitations of science, technology, and political institutions reviewed in a spirit of free inquiry, empirical discipline, and open discussion.  

    Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist was published 20 years ago in which he meticulously quantified the risks of carbon-induced warming versus the costs of averting it through the elimination of fossil fuels.  He concluded that even taking a slightly more pessimistic assumption about future warming than warranted, it is still vastly cheaper and more rational to plan for a slightly warmer world than to try to abruptly end the use of fossil fuels.  He was demonized for that.

    The 2009 Hartwell Paper ought to be what the green movement is all about–genuine concern for risks, concrete steps for change but with a recognition that the dignity and well-being of human beings cannot be sacrificed in draconian schemes regarding energy use.  One of its authors coined the term “climate porn” to describe the silly scare stories used to sell political agendas.

    The greens will scream that Shellenberger opposes The Science, that he is a tool of the racist homophobic planet-hating right but mostly they will demand that there be no discussion, no debate, no broader examination of evidence (and its misuse or suppression) and obedience.

    • #9
  10. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Seawriter: The solution Shellenberger advocates is greater industrialization and increasing energy production density, especially through nuclear.

    Exactly!  Now there is an environmentalist I am interested in hearing.  Get rid of these windmills and solar panels.  The energy density is a farce.  They are beyond useless.  They actually are worse for the environment.  

    • #10
  11. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Economist Chris Hamilton even before the Pandemic predicted that the growth in population of the high consuming 0-64 year old Cohort for the nations consuming 90% of the world goods would grow only 0.4% for the entire decade. Not per year, for the decade. After that this high consuming portion of the world’s population was destine for a precipitous decline in numbers with China leading the way losing hundreds of millions of people in that cohort over the next several decades.

    That was before the Pandemic.  Now with the Pandemic there is expected to be a “birth dearth” with far fewer babies being born, so one should expect a substantial decline in the number of people this decade in this high consuming cohort of people, and thus a marked decline in overall consumption.

    Therefore, one should not worry about the demand for products, energy and other resources threatening the environment as Greta and AOC warn. One should worry instead and really  worry about the consumption collapse with too much capacity and the resulting  rash of bankruptcies destroying economic wealth and ability to feed and house people around the globe.

    For all you environmentalists who want less or no growth, one should be aware that throughout much of the world’s history,  environmental destruction has been greatest when people are hungry and desperate and therefore will be willing to destroy the environment all around themselves just to eat and survive. That is the situation we likely will be looking at very soon.

    • #11
  12. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Economist Chris Hamilton even before the Pandemic predicted that the growth in population of the high consuming 0-64 year old Cohort for the nations consuming 90% of the world goods would grow only 0.4% for the entire decade. Not per year, for the decade. After that this high consuming portion of the world’s population was destine for a precipitous decline in numbers with China leading the way losing hundreds of millions of people in that cohort over the next several decades.

    That was before the Pandemic. Now with the Pandemic there is expected to be a “birth dearth” with far fewer babies being born, so one should expect a substantial decline in the number of people this decade in this high consuming cohort of people, and thus a marked decline in overall consumption.

    Therefore, one should not worry about the demand for products, energy and other resources threatening the environment as Greta and AOC warn. One should worry instead and really worry about the consumption collapse with too much capacity and the resulting rash of bankruptcies destroying economic wealth and ability to feed and house people around the globe.

    For all you environmentalists who want less or no growth, one should be aware that throughout much of the world’s history, environmental destruction has been greatest when people are hungry and desperate and therefore will be willing to destroy the environment all around themselves just to eat and survive. That is the situation we likely will be looking at very soon.

    Marry, have several babies, homeschool them, and watch as rational conservatives inherit the earth.

    • #12