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.

The man who’d break the banks of America 2

Obama took a leading role in causing the subprime housing crisis which triggered the recession, but he blames it on the financial institutions which he forced to provide the bad loans.

This is an editorial from Investor’s Business Daily:

Obama pushed thousands of credit-poor blacks into homes they couldn’t afford. As a civil-rights attorney, he sued banks to rubberstamp mortgages for urban residents.

Many are now in foreclosure. …

Obama focused on “housing rights” when he worked as a lawyer-activist and community organizer in South Side Chicago. His mentor — the man who placed him in his first job there — wasthe father of the anti-redlining movement: John McKnight. He coined the term “redlining” to describe the mapping off of minority neighborhoods from home loans.

McKnight wrote a letter for Obama that helped him get into Harvard. After he graduated, [Obama] worked for a Chicago civil-rights law firm that worked closely with McKnight’s radical Gamaliel Foundation and National People’s Action, as well as Acorn, to solicit lending-discrimination cases.

At the time, NPA and Acorn were lobbying the Clinton administration to tighten enforcement of anti-redlining laws.

They also dispatched bus loads of goons trained by Obama to the doorsteps of bankers to demand more home loans for minorities. Acorn even crashed the lobby of Citibank’s headquarters in New York and accused it of discriminating against blacks.

The pressure worked. In 1994, Clinton’s top bank regulators signed a landmark anti-redlining policy that declared traditional mortgage underwriting standards racist and mandated banks apply easier lending rules for minorities.

Also that year, Attorney General Janet Reno and her aide Eric Holder filed a mortgage discrimination case against a Washington-area bank that forced it to target minority neighborhoods for subprime loans. Reno and Holder also encouraged civil-rights lawyers like Obama to file local lending-bias cases against banks.

The next year, Obama led a class-action suit against Citibank on behalf of several Chicago minorities who claimed they were rejected for home loans because of the color of their skin. …

Which was untrue. Would-be borrowers, whatever their race, who can provide no deposit and have no job are  – obviously, you may think – not eligible for loans.

But Citibank eventually settled, despite the weak case. Under the 1998 settlement, Citibank vowed to pay the alleged victims $1.4 million and launch a program to boost home lending to poor blacks in the metro area.

Citibank underwrote thousands of shaky subprime mortgages to satisfy the court in Obama’s case. Defaults were common. When home prices collapsed, most of the loans went bust.

By putting them on the hook for loans they couldn’t pay, Obama did them no favors. Blacks have been hit hardest by foreclosures. But what does Obama care …  he pocketed at least $23,000 from the Citibank case.

Today, he blames the devastating wealth drain in black communities on [the very] subprime mortgages [he insisted upon]. He says “greedy,” “predatory” lenders tricked poor minorities into paying higher fees and interest rates.

His closest economic advisers also promoted subprime lending. … [His] Chicago pal Austan Goolsbee, who later became his top economist, sang the praises of subprime loans in a New York Times column. He argued they allowed poor blacks “access to mortgages.”

One of Obama’s top bank regulators, Gary Gensler, once bragged that thanks to subprime mortgages, banks made home loans to minorities at “twice the rate” they made to other borrowers … “A subprime loan is a good option when the alternative is no access to credit,” he said years before the crisis.

Obama hasn’t learned from his mistakes.

Far from it … The mammoth credit watchdog agency he created (with input from NPA radicals) will dust off Clinton’s 1994 minority lending guidelines to crack down on stingy lenders. And he’s ordered Holder, now acting as his attorney general, to prosecute banks that don’t open branches in blighted urban areas.

Not only has Obama scapegoated banks for the crisis he helped cause, he’s exploited minority suffering to continue reckless policies that hurt those he claims to champion.

But the bankers do have a share in the blame. Only it is their weakness, not their economic might, that should be held against them.

Now, against their better judgment and common sense, they are letting themselves be forced by Obama into yet another money-squandering scheme. While he has learnt nothing from the subprime disaster, they have failed to acquire a spine.

His new demand is that the banks throw masses of moola down the gullet of Gaia, the Goddess of the Green religion.

And again, though it couldn’t be more obvious that Obama’s demands are a recipe for bankruptcy, they meekly comply!

Obama’s goal is to wreck the capitalist system. Can the bankers not see this? Or have they decided it’s a jolly good idea?

This also comes from from IBD:

First the affordable housing crowd shook down banks for mortgage payola for the poor. Now the environmental lobby is shaking them down for cash to underwrite President Obama’s risky green agenda.

Risky? More like a dead cert loser.

In a strange announcement, Bank of America this week pledged an eye-popping $50 billion in loans for “renewable energy” projects — windmills, solar panels and hybrids — over the next 10 years.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank joins a number of other large banks making green commitments amid complaints from environmental groups that they finance coal extraction, the new bugaboo of the left.

Wells Fargo has already committed $30 billion in green payola. JPMorgan Chase has pumped nearly $7 billion into renewable energy projects.

Just as they bowed to bullying by Obama-supported NPA and ACORN into giving loans to borrowers who could not possibly repay them, they are now bowing to the same tactics used by greenies.

BofA upped the ante just one month after five radical greenies climbed Bank of America stadium in Charlotte, N.C., and unfurled a 70-foot-wide banner rebranding the stadium the “Bank of Coal.”

A group called Rainforest Action Network took credit for the stunt. A San Francisco-based green version of ACORN, founded by an anti-capitalist Obama donor [who no doubt became rich enough to be a donor through capitalist enterprise], RAN wanted to highlight BofA’s funding of coal plants, which it claims cause global warming. …

RAN sent its goons to BofA’s annual meeting. They demanded the bank stop funding coal mining — specifically mountaintop clearing — and “expand investments in renewable energy.”

BofA … agreed to stop funding mountaintop mining and start funding windmills, even though coal is a more cost-efficient energy source — and far more profitable than alternatives.

What mysterious perversion of their minds drives the beneficiaries of capitalism to wreck it?

Why would the nation’s largest bank let tree huggers dictate its investments? The same reason it agreed to underwrite billions in risky mortgages in response to threats from ACORN and other housing shakedown groups: to protect its corporate brand.

Is that why? How is its corporate brand protected by its heading for bankruptcy?

Just like banks didn’t want to be labeled “racists” then, they don’t want to be branded “polluters” now.

And extortionists like RAN, who play dirty, attacking bankers on vacation and at graduation speeches, prey on that fear. Their subversive tactics work. They know CEOs will pay them off if they apply enough pressure.

Only, BofA, Wells Fargo, Citibank and other banking giants already paid off housing-rights groups literally trillions of dollars in mortgage commitments in the run-up to the housing crisis. Yet, they’re all being sued now for lending discrimination.

Now they’re falling into the next trap. Obama and his pals are using the banking system to finance their illusory Green Economy. …

Put plainly, these are socialists trying to destroy our free enterprise system.

These Giants of Finance are not evil as Obama and the “Occupy” revolutionaries like to pretend, they are merely fools and cowards. But if many of those who have their hands on the levers of power are foolish and cowardly, they can ruin a nation.

The IBD advises them to “unapologetically defend your business and the capitalist system, make it clear your obligation is to customers and shareholders — not radical activists.”

We doubt they’ll take such sensible advice.