Key Takeaways from Michael Shellenberger’s Apocalypse Never
I’ve spent a lifetime listening to doomsayers tell us we will run out of oil in 10 years. It never happens. So why does anyone keep listening? Why do these spokespeople have any credibility left?
And then there’s the climate crisis.
The coming “end of the world” caused by global warming is an even more serious matter, they say, because it’s claimed that the polar ice caps will melt and multiplied millions will die as a result. Is this a fact or another form of spin designed to manipulate the masses?
Ten years ago or so I read an article by a woman scientist who attempted to correct this latter narrative on Wikipedia. Her science-based information was deleted in order to maintain the narrative already established. She was not a climate change denier. She simply had facts to share that might help give balance to what was being said.
Now I’m not saying there are no climate issues. What I am saying is that I don’t trust the people inundating us with dogmatic assertions about what is happening when these same people have already been proven unreliable a hundred times in the past.
This is what I found so refreshing last year when I discovered Michael Shellenberger’s Apocalypse Never. Shellenberger has been an environmental activist his whole life, becoming founder and president of Environmental Progress Research and policy organizations that have been advocating for clean power as a means to save nature without sacrificing economic prosperity. In other words, he has been immersed in these matters for over three decades.
Shellenberger wrote his book to counter the tsunami of claims that a climate Armageddon is just around the corner. He draws on the latest science to recommend practical solutions for our current issues. He is not a climate change denier. Rather, his message is that things aren’t as bad as many environmental activists and the media paint them to be. His view is that there are more reasons to me optimistic than pessimistic.
Last year I borrowed Apocalypse Never from a friend and found it to be a refreshing message that I could identify with. This week I purchased Summary & Analysis of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. It’s a book in the Snap Summaries series, in a similar vein as Sparknotes overviews of literary classics.
What follows here is the Table of Contents, essentially a list of the key takeaways from the book. It is not meant as a substitute for reading the original. Knowing that not everyone who reads my blog will read Shellenberger’s book, I share this summary so that you’re familiar with some of the important ideas it seeks to convey.
Key Takeaway #1: There is nothing catastrophic about current climate trends.
Key Takeaway #2: Climate change has not increased the frequency or intensity of natural disasters.
Key Takeaway #3: The earth is greener today than it was 35 years ago. (Examples abound. There has been wonderful restoration of our St. Louis River basin which was once a disaster. There are probably no rivers in America with fire departments dealing with river fires as it used to be when I was growing up in Cleveland.)
Key Takeaway #4: The media’s fixation with plastic waste distracts us from bigger threats to marine life.
Key Takeaway #5: Bio plastics are not better for the environment than conventional plastics.
Key Takeaway #6: Supporting the economic development of lower income countries is the most important thing developed countries can do to save more natural habitats.
Key Takeaway #7: Rising economic growth, not activism, is what saved the whales.
Key Takeaway #8: Historically the shift from energy dilute to energy dense fuels is what has halted severe environmental exploitation.
Key Takeaway #9: Renewables are not always better, cheaper or more sustainable.
Key Takeaway #10: Nuclear energy is one of the cheapest, cleanest and safest sources of electricity.
Key Takeaway #11: Many environmental nonprofits are anti-nuclear because they take money from fossil fuel investors.(As Woodward and Bernstein were exhorted by Deep Throat: “Follow the money.”)
Key Takeaway #12: Most mainstream environmentalism is a thinly veiled form of Neo Malthusianism.
Key Takeaway #13: Apocalyptic environmentalism is a religion that fills the modern atheist need for meaning and purpose.
Read here my other articles on Shellenberger and his work:
Originally published at https://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com.