CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

Global Warming Is Not the End of the World Says a Longtime Voice of the Green Movement

Breaking: Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”

A few years ago I was surprised by a survey which showed the extent to which Climate Change had become the number one issue on peoples’ list of concerns. I know that it’s been talked about for decades and in the 90s some were projecting that the ice caps would be melted by now and all coastal cities underwater.

Image for post
Image for post
Amzon.com

This past week I saw a Tweet from Michael Shellenberger regarding an opinion piece he’d written for Forbes which he intended as an apology to all the people whom his environmental activism had terrified. When I went to copy it for sharing here, Forbes had removed it. Did Forbes cave in to Cancel Culture?

That’s what John Robson says in the National Post. His piece is titled Forbes falls to cancel culture as it erases environmentalist’s mea culpa . Robson begins, “It’s big news when somebody prominent apologizes for being wrong on a major public matter, promises to do better going forward and urges others to do the same, right? Unless the person commits heresy like, say, Michael Shellenberger.”

Robson lays out an in depth list of Shellenberger’s Progressive credentials, just so those who know him not might see what a big deal this is.

One reason a lot of people want to put a gag on Shellenberger might be that the Democracts have all been piling on to this end of the world scenario, which will enable them to take drastic action should they acquire the reigns of power. As I’ve written elsewhere, he who controls the narrative controls the people. The primary impetus for the Green agenda — that we absolutely must take drastic action now — would appear to no longer be about facts but about control.

This is what Reason is suggesting in it’s latest Nick Gillespie story, ‘Climate Change Is Real, But It’s Not the End of the World’: Michael Shellenberger. The Gillespie piece puts the political angle front and center at the outset: “If there’s one consistent message coming from activists and politicians pushing the Green New Deal and massive new subsidies for renewable energy it’s that if we don’t take radical action now, life on Earth as we know it will soon be irreversibly destroyed. Greta Thunberg, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden all have claimed that we have less than a dozen years left in which to save the planet.”

The trigger for this media firestorm is Shellenberger’s new book Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, in which he argues that science doesn’t support doomsayers’ claims.

Here are some facts that he underscores in the book, in response to facts which have been repeated so often they’ve been accepted with the same legitimacy as the earth being round.

* 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

It’s easy to see why Shellenberger’s message is controversial.

If deforestation and deaths from extreme weather are declining, it weakens the motivation to dish out boatloads of dollars to enviro-groups whose primary function is to save Planer Earth.

This is precisely what Michael Crichton’s disputed State of Fear was about. Fighting for a cause, even if the facts don’t support the existence of the problem, is good business. The more you fan the flames of fear, the more people open their wallets. Fear moves people to action, which is why both the major political machines (Dems and GOP) are so fond of it as a fundraising tool.

Bottom Line: I do not believe we should go back to creating more Love Canals and profligate polluting. We are to be caretakers of this world we live in. I do believe we should stop being doomsayers, terrifying young people so that they fear bringing future generations into the world.

When I read about the dust-up at Forbes, it did enter my mind that Shellenberger’s opinion piece may have been pulled because he was promoting his new book. It’s a foggy matter, since someone decided to publish it initially. (I didn’t check, but suspect that people can’t just go publish their opinion pieces on Forbes on their own.) I recall a similar incident back in the 90s when an article was pulled from the magazine because of a sit-in in the publication’s lobby in NYC.

How interesting that the center of the controversy takes place where the Media Messages are crafted. Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People centered around a small town’s newspaper. Orwell’s 1984 likewise primarily revolves around The Ministry of Truth.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store