A climate alarmist confesses: we lied 9

The earth is NOT warming dangerously, says the “climate activist” Michael Shellenberger.

Thrilling news – not that the earth is not warming dangerously, which we already knew, but that a former alarmist is admitting that the earth is not warming dangerously.

It is thrilling too that Michael Shellenberger’s confession will no doubt infuriate all climate alarmists everywhere.

Here’s the full text of Michael Shellenberger’s apologetic confession:

The following is the full text of an opinion piece written by climate activist and energy expert Michael Shellenberger which was originally published by Forbes but pulled a few hours laterShellenberger, a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and Green Book Award Winner, told The Daily Wire in a statement hours after Forbes deactivated the piece, “I am grateful that Forbes has been so committed to publishing a range of viewpoints, including ones that challenge the conventional wisdom, and was thus disappointed my editors removed my piece from the web site. I believe Forbes is an important outlet for broadening environmental journalism beyond the overwhelmingly  alarmist approach taken by most reporters, and look forward to contributing heterodoxical pieces on energy and the environment in the future.” 

***

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 have been declining in rich nations including Britain, Germany and France since the mid-seventies
    • Adapting to life below sea level made the Netherlands rich not poor
    • 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.

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 alarmism — 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 reorienting toward the national 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.

And the invitations I received from IPCC and Congress late last year, after I published a series of criticisms of climate alarmism, are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment.

Another sign is 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 that I had 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.

No, Michael Shellenberger, happy though we are to have your confession, we do not accept your apology. We will not forgive you. But we might if you confess that all the rest of your Leftist views are also wrong.

What about the workers? 1

The Democratic Party has become the Party of Wall Street billionaires, Hollywood stars, Silicon Valley whizz-kids, and the ruthless Utopians of the Ivory Tower.

Its “progressivism” harks back to the last century. Its concerns are mystical like those of all religions: the earth burning up; the end of days; the humbling of humankind; the profound spiritual need for the Holy Family Clinton and its angels to reign over the whole earth.

Its high priests are richly dressed and housed, driven in stately carriages, flown on the wings of Boeings.

Still, it claims to have a bleeding heart. Ask not for whom it bleeds. Obviously, dull-witted Underdog, it bleeds for thee!

James Pinkerton writes at Breitbart:

The Democrats, once the party of working people, are now a party dominated by environmentalists and multiculturalists. And I can prove it.

As we shall see, when Democrats must choose between … providing jobs for workers, and … favoring politically-correct constituency groups — they choose the PC groups.

Indeed, the old assumptions about the Democrats as the party of labor are nowadays so tangled and conflicted that the unions themselves are divided. Some unions are sticking with their blue-collar heritage, but more are aligning themselves with the new forces of political correctness — and oh, by the way, big money.

The proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, running through four states — from western North Dakota to southern Illinois — would create an estimated 4,500 unionized jobs.  That is to say, good jobs at good wages: The median entry-level salary for a pipeline worker in North Dakota is $38,924.

Yet the advancement of what was once called the “labor movement” is no longer a Democratic priority.  The new priorities are heeding the goals of “progressive” groups — in this instance, Native Americans and the greens. Indeed, this new progressive movement is so strong that even many unions are climbing aboard the bandwagon, even if that means breaking labor’s united front. To illustrate this recent rupture, here’s a headline from the The Huffington Post: “Dakota Access Pipeline Exposes Rift In Organized Labor.” Let’s let Huffpo labor reporter Dave Jamieson set the scene:

The nation’s largest federation of labor unions upset some of its own members last week by endorsing the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota. Some labor activists, sympathetic to Native American tribes and environmentalists, called upon the AFL-CIO to retract its support for the controversial project.

In response to the criticism, Sean McGarvey, head of the AFL-CIO’s building-trades unions, fired right back; speaking of pipeline opponents, McGarvey declared that they have …

… once again seen fit to demean and call for the termination of thousands of union construction jobs in the Heartland.  I fear that this has once again hastened a very real split within the labor movement.

Yes, it’s become quite a fracas within the House of Labor: so much for the old slogan, “Solidarity Forever!” We can note that typically, it’s the old-style construction unions — joined, perhaps, by other industrial workers, if not the union leadership — who support construction projects, while the new-style public-employee unions side with the anti-construction activists.

In the meantime, for its part, the Democratic Party has made a choice: It now firmly sides with the new progressives.

To cite just one ‘frinstance, we can examine the July 2016 Democratic national platform, released at the Philadelphia convention. That document includes a full 16 paragraphs on “climate change”, as well as 14 paragraphs on the rights and needs of “indigenous tribal nations”. Here’s one of those paragraphs; as we can readily see, Democrats are striving mightily to synthesize the demands of both groups, green and red:

We are committed to principles of environmental justice in Indian Country and we recognize that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain, and regenerate its vital cycles. We call for a climate change policy that protects tribal resources, protects tribal health, and provides accountability through accessible, culturally appropriate participation and strong enforcement. Our climate change policy will cut carbon emission, address poverty, invest in disadvantaged communities, and improve both air quality and public health. We support the tribal nations efforts to develop wind, solar, and other clean energy jobs.

By contrast, the Democratic platform included a mere two skimpy paragraphs on workers and wages.

Some Democrats are troubled by this shift in priorities, away from New Deal-ish lunch-bucket concerns — because, as a matter of fact, it’s a shift away from the very idea of economic growth. For example, William Galston, a top White House domestic-policy aide to Bill Clinton in the 90s, had this to say about the Democrats’ latest platform:

The draft is truly remarkable — for example, its near-silence on economic growth. . . . Rather, the platform draft’s core narrative is inequality, the injustice that inequality entails, and the need to rectify it through redistribution.

… Perhaps it seems strange that a political party would lose interest in such an obvious political staple as economic growth. And yet if we look more closely, we can see, from the perspective of the new Democrats, that this economic neglect makes a kind of sense: We can note, for example, that the financial heart of the green movement is made up of billionaires; they have all the money they need — and, thanks to their donations, they have a disproportionate voice.

One of these noisy green fat cats is San Francisco’s Tom Steyer, who contributed $50 million to Democratic campaigns in 2014 and has been spending heavily ever since. We can further point out: If Steyer chooses to assign a higher value to his eco-conscience than to jobs for ordinary Americans, well, who in his rarified Bay Area social stratum is likely to argue with him?

Admittedly, billionaires are few in number — even in the Democratic Party. Yet at the same time, many other groups of Democratic voters aren’t necessarily concerned about the vagaries of the economy, because they, too, in their own way, are insulated from its ups and downs. That is, they get their check, no matter what.

The most obvious of these groups, of course, are government employees.  … Public-sector workers have an obvious class-interest in voting Democratic, and they know it — lots of Lois Lerners in this group.

Then there are the recipients of government benefits. … Welfare recipients, for example, are overwhelmingly Democratic. And Democratic politicians, of course, know this electoral calculus full well. Indeed, in this era of slow economic growth, nearly 95 million Americans over the age of 16 are not in the labor force; not all of them are receiving a check from the government, but most are. And that has political consequences.

We can take this reality — economic stagnation on the one hand, economic dependence on the other —a  step further: If the Democrats can find the votes they need from the plutocrats and the poor — or near-poor, plus public employees — then they can make a strategic choice: They can ignore the interests of working-class people in the private sector, and they can still win.

So for this cynical reason, the Democrats’ decision to stiff the working stiffs who might have worked on the Dakota pipeline was an easy one.

We can sum up the Democrats’ strategy more concisely: In socioeconomic terms, they will go above the working class, and also below the working class. That is, they will be the party of George Soros and Al Sharpton. So no room, anywhere, for the blue collars. (Of course, if any of those would-be pipeline workers end up on public assistance, well, they’ll have a standing offer to join the Democratic fold.)

We can see this Soros-Sharpton coalition in America’s electoral geography: The Democrats expect to sweep the upper east side of Manhattan, and, at the same time, they expect to sweep the south side of Chicago. Moreover, this high-low pattern appears everywhere: Greenwich and the ghetto, Beverly Hills and the barrio.  

In addition, Democrats can expect to do well in upper-middle class suburban enclaves, as well as college towns. And so if we add all those blocs together, plus the aforementioned public-employee unions, we can see that the Democrats have their coalition …  a 2016 victory coalition.

So now we can see the logic of the Democrats’ policy choices. And we can even add an interesting bit of backstory to the Democrats’ 2016 platform. In June, as a concession to the insurgency of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s campaign agreed to include a contingent of Sanders supporters on the 15-member platform-drafting committee.

Specifically, the Clinton camp accepted the Palestinian-American activist James Zogby, the Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the environmental activist Bill McKibben, the African-American activist Cornel West, and the Native American activist Deborah Parker. …

The unions got a grand total of one name on that 15-member body. … So we can see: Big Labor isn’t so big anymore; it is now reduced to token status within the party.

Given this new correlation of forces, it’s no surprise that top Democrats oppose the Dakota pipeline. …

In this new era of green-first politics, the anti-pipeline forces must win, and the pro-pipeliners must lose. …

For her part, Hillary Clinton certainly knows where she stands: She’s with the new eco- and multicultural Democrats, not the old unionists — who were, after all, mostly “deplorable.” As she said to a cheering campaign crowd earlier this year, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

To be sure, Clinton has a heart — a taxpayer-funded heart. In fact, she has offered to put all those soon-to-be ex-coal workers on the government dole; she has proposed a $30 billion program for them.

Yet whether or not Congress ever approves that $30 billion, it’s a safe bet that if Clinton wins, more fossil-fuel workers will need to find some new way of earning a living. After all, just last year, the Obama administration pledged that the U.S. would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. And whereas Donald Trump has promised to scrap those growth-flattening CO2 targets, Clinton has promised to maintain them.

Indeed, during Monday night’s debate in New York, she promised to install “half a billion more solar panels” as part of her plan, she said, to create 10 million new jobs.

We can quickly observe that most blue collars don’t seem to trust Clinton with their livelihoods; Trump beats her among non-college-educated men by a whopping 59 points. Yet at the same time, we can add that if Trump leads among blue collars by “only” 59 points, that might not be enough for him to overcome Clinton’s advantage — her huge strength among the Soros-Sharpton coalition.

And here we can note, with some perplexity, that the leadership of the industrial unions is still mostly in lockstep with the Democrats. That residual partisan loyalty to the party of FDR might cost their members their jobs now that the Democrats have found policy goals other than mass employment, but hey, perhaps the union bosses themselves can get jobs at Hillary’s Department of Labor.

So if Clinton wins this November, what will happen to the private-sector blue collars, especially those in the traditional energy sector?

Sadly, we already know the answer to that question; the only unresolved matter is how they might react.

The Party of the American princess, the professor, the fashionable the cool the glamorous, the very rich and the very safe is the Party of the party. Of parties in Manhattan, Nob Hill, Santa Monica, Bel Air.

But its heart bleeds for … Oh, you know, blacks and Hispanics and gays and women and Muslims and …

And the workers?

You gotta believe it.

If you don’t … all you can do is vote Trump for President.