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Reblogged:Dump Forbes and Buy Apocalypse Never

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Screenshot by Gus Van Horn. I grant permission to use with or without attribution.
On my Twitter feed yesterday, the following provocative title caught my eye: "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare." That would have been enough on its own to get a look, but I also noticed that it was by Michael Shellenberger, whose work I've mentioned here before.

I believe I have also heard fossil fuel activist Alex Epstein mention him favorably on more than on occasion on his Power Hour podcast.

Looking forward to the piece, I quickly learned that it had been pulled by Forbes, as we can see from my screenshot and through the "Wayback Machine." The article, in which Shellenberger promotes his new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, now appears here and, I believe, also at Quillette.

For anyone unfamiliar with Shellenberger, the following should serve as a good introduction:
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.
There is more, including his story about why he has chosen to write about this issue now.

And then, of course, Shellenberger gives us some of what to expect 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
From the above, it should be clear I probably would not agree with Shellenberger on everything he says, but I do find much of what he says worth considering. And it is clear that Shellenberger means well and is focused on getting the facts about his topic straight.

We plainly can't say the same of Forbes, for whom Shellenberger has been a contributor. Were I a subscriber to that publication, I'd cancel, and use the savings to buy Apocalypse Never. As things stand, I can only point out the injustice, and make that suggestion for others to consider.

-- CAV

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