Michael Shellenberger: Apocalypse Cancelled?

Guest “attaboy” by David Middleton

Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and Green Book Award Winner Michael Shellenberger slaps down the apocalyptic climate change propagandists…

Nov 25, 2019
Why Apocalyptic Claims About Climate Change Are Wrong
Michael Shellenberger

Environmental journalists and advocates have in recent weeks made a number of apocalyptic predictions about the impact of climate change. Bill McKibben suggested climate-driven fires in Australia had made koalas “functionally extinct.” Extinction Rebellion said “Billions will die” and “Life on Earth is dying.” Vice claimed the “collapse of civilization may have already begun.” 

Few have underscored the threat more than student climate activist Greta Thunberg and Green New Deal sponsor Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The latter said, “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” Says Thunberg in her new book, “Around 2030 we will be in a position to set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that will lead to the end of our civilization as we know it.” 


Apocalyptic statements like these have real-world impacts. In September, a group of British psychologists said children are increasingly suffering from anxiety from the frightening discourse around climate change.


Journalists and activists alike have an obligation to describe environmental problems honestly and accurately, even if they fear doing so will reduce their news value or salience with the public. There is good evidence that the catastrophist framing of climate change is self-defeating because it alienates and polarizes many people. And exaggerating climate change risks distracting us from other important issues including ones we might have more near-term control over.


First, no credible scientific body has ever said climate change threatens the collapse of civilization much less the extinction of the human species.


It’s not like climate doesn’t matter. It’s that climate change is outweighed by other factors. 


Last January, after climate scientists criticized Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for saying the world would end in 12 years, her spokesperson said “We can quibble about the phraseology, whether it’s existential or cataclysmic.” He added, “We’re seeing lots of [climate change-related] problems that are already impacting lives.”

That last part may be true, but it’s also true that economic development has made us less vulnerable, which is why there was a 99.7% decline in the death toll from natural disasters since its peak in 1931. 


What about sea level rise? IPCC estimates sea level could rise two feet (0.6 meters) by 2100. Does that sound apocalyptic or even “unmanageable”?


What about claims of crop failure, famine, and mass death? That’s science fiction, not science. 


Does this mean we shouldn’t worry about climate change? Not at all. 

One of the reasons I work on climate change is because I worry about the impact it could have on endangered species.


But it’s not the case that “we’re putting our own survival in danger” through extinctions, as Elizabeth Kolbert claimed in her book, Sixth Extinction. As tragic as animal extinctions are, they do not threaten human civilization. If we want to save endangered species, we need to do so because we care about wildlife for spiritual, ethical, or aesthetic reasons, not survival ones.  

And exaggerating the risk, and suggesting climate change is more important than things like habitat destruction, are counterproductive.


As for fire, one of Australia’s leading scientists on the issue says, “Bushfire losses can be explained by the increasing exposure of dwellings to fire-prone bushlands. No other influences need be invoked.


The same is true for fires in the United States. In 2017, scientists modeled 37 different regions and found “humans may not only influence fire regimes but their presence can actually override, or swamp out, the effects of climate.


Climate scientists are starting to push back against exaggerations by activists, journalists, and other scientists. 


I asked the Australian climate scientist Tom Wigley what he thought of the claim that climate change threatens civilization. “It really does bother me because it’s wrong,” he said. “All these young people have been misinformed. And partly it’s Greta Thunberg’s fault. Not deliberately. But she’s wrong.”

But don’t scientists and activists need to exaggerate in order to get the public’s attention?

“I’m reminded of what [late Stanford University climate scientist] Steve Schneider used to say,” Wigley replied. “He used to say that as a scientist, we shouldn’t really be concerned about the way we slant things in communicating with people out on the street who might need a little push in a certain direction to realize that this is a serious problem. Steve didn’t have any qualms about speaking in that biased way. I don’t quite agree with that.”


(Kerry) Emanuel and Wigley say the extreme rhetoric is making political agreement on climate change harder. 

“You’ve got to come up with some kind of middle ground where you do reasonable things to mitigate the risk and try at the same time to lift people out of poverty and make them more resilient,” said Emanuel. “We shouldn’t be forced to choose between lifting people out of poverty and doing something for the climate.”

Happily, there is a plenty of middle ground between climate apocalypse and climate denial.

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” and Green Book Award Winner. He is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, and other publications. His TED talks have been viewed over four million times.

Read full article at Forbes

There is a very expansive “middle ground between climate apocalypse and climate denial” . . . It’s called all of reality. Both climate apocalypse and climate denial are 100% fictional. I don’t know of anyone who denies the climate… I don’t even think that’s grammatically possible.

While I have a hunch that Mr. Shellenberger’s idea of a “middle ground” has very little overlap with my view of a “middle ground”, at least he recognizes the futility of the McKibben-AOC-Greta Axis of Mental Greentardation. My first thought was that this was a good thing. However, the fact that the Ken Caldeira was one of the scientists decrying the Apocalyptos struck me as odd. Caldeira invented the phrase “ocean acidification” out of whole cloth in 2003 for the express purpose of scaring the bejesus out of people.

This raises an important question. Which is a greater threat to liberty and prosperity: the McKibben-AOC-Greta Axis of Mental Greentardation or the Michael Shellenberger middle-ground? On paper, the McKibben-AOC-Greta Axis of Mental Greentardation is clearly an existential threat to liberty and prosperity… But, it has an ice cube’s chance in Hell of becoming reality. On the other hand, a formidable political consensus could be formed around a reasonable middle-ground. Could Mr. Shellenberger’s simply be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing“?

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November 28, 2019 6:25 am

I vote that we hold out on the extreme edge of our position and lure them to that. While we can apprecaite a green wiener for having the courage to speak against sheer lunacy it’s not a great political winner for us. Better to tie them all together and have the townsfolk chase them with pitchforks.

Reply to  Troe
November 28, 2019 7:46 am

Didn’t watch but I am told that Bernie Sanders dropped the “11,000 scientists agree” lie in the last Dim debate, and not one eyebrow raised, much less was it challenged. What’s disheartening is how much of the extreme narrative has settled into the common lexicon.

Curious George
Reply to  brians356
November 28, 2019 8:51 am

Probably more than 11,000 scientists do agree. Scientists are a diverse bunch today. What’s the name of a scientist who started the Extinction Rebellion?

Reply to  Curious George
November 29, 2019 11:22 am

There were 6.9 million scientists and engineers in the USA in 2016 and 1.6 million of these were engineers.
That leaves 5.3 million broadly described as scientists.
11,000 doesn’t look particularly impressive against these numbers.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Troe
November 28, 2019 8:07 am

“green wiener”

If you’re into that sort of thing. But no thanks.

November 28, 2019 6:31 am

There is no ‘climate change’. The climate is the same as it has been for thousands of years, rain, snow, wind, typhoons etc.

If the truth is stretched a lot, there might be a case for saying there is temperature change, but as it’s largely undetectable over the last 20 years or so, even that’s questionable, and it’s as likely to fall unpredictably as rise.

There are far more important things our politicians in the west should be focusing on.

Reply to  HotScot
November 28, 2019 7:16 am

100% agree……

Curious George
Reply to  HotScot
November 28, 2019 4:20 pm

But I believe in ice ages …

John Tillman
November 28, 2019 6:36 am

At least, like arch-alarmist Jim “Boiling Oceans” Hansen, he’s pro-nuke.

Roger Knights
Reply to  John Tillman
November 28, 2019 10:20 am

“Happily, there is a plenty of middle ground between climate apocalypse and climate denial.”

It involves no-regrets measures like more insulation—and NUCLEAR POWER.

John Tillman
Reply to  Roger Knights
November 28, 2019 11:12 am

Not that more plant food in the air has been or is likely to be a problem. But, yeah, for countries not blessed with bounteous CH4 supplies, nuclear is a good option for reliable, industrial-grade power, without the environmental ravages of wind and solar.

Reply to  Roger Knights
November 28, 2019 8:43 pm

Agree completely.
If made cheap enough & available to many, it would boost the resiliency aspect, as well (to any changes).

William Smith
Reply to  John Tillman
November 28, 2019 2:36 pm

I have listened to a few podcast interviews with Michael Shellenberger (Delingpod, Brendan O’Neill); the good sense and clarity almost brings tears to the eyes. I was instantly inspired to donate to his organisation. Highly recommended.

Ron Long
November 28, 2019 6:42 am

Good reporting, David. It seems that the level of alarm is subsiding somewhat, however, not in all sectors of society. It seems that Greta and Alexandria are going to co-star in the powerful womens remake of that famous movie “Dumb and Dumber” (not sure which is which?). Wait for it.

Reply to  Ron Long
November 28, 2019 7:23 am

“Climate Change” is just the loudest fire-and-brimstone coming from the emerging Church of Deep Ecology. The “educated” classes (who think they’re too “smart” for traditional religions but are searching for meaning nevertheless) are transmuting all the apocalyptic Bible stories, practically word-for-word, into absolution by preaching Eco-gospel, virtuous gestures like recycling and self-starvation, and trying to create a system of absolutions and indulgences via governmental action.

The rest of us just shrug, as at Scientology which has about as much “science” in it as this.

Henning Nielsen
Reply to  Ron Long
November 28, 2019 8:49 am

These middle-ground alarmists have clearly seen that the extremists are running their climate crises gravy train off the tracks. That’s a disaster! Any decent apocalypse prophet knows that there is a very delicate balance between too much and too little scare-mongering. The derailed activists are upsetting the applecart of “conventional” alarmists. Money could be at stake! Lots of it!

Most extreme movements end up extinguishing themselves. Perhaps Extinction Rebellion have glimpsed their own demise, and are pre-emptively rebelling against it, more than against extinctions of species they probably don’t know a thing about.

For the sanity of society, it is better to let the extremists have their way and their day, and let the fire burn itself out, hopefully taking as many climate alarmists with them into oblivion as possible.

November 28, 2019 6:52 am

Mr. Shellenberger talks a “middle of the road” argument. However when you are on the wrong road, keeping to to the middle doesn’t get you where you want to go. This argument is not about muting an extreme to be more toward the middle. It is about extremism, mostly for its own sake, against reality.

It’s true humanity has fairly major effects on the earth’s “surface”. But apocalyptic cries for a return to the Middle Ages or worse is not an answer for the 9 billion plus people on earth to pursue.

As stated many places, the only possible path is adaption, seeking to reduce major impacts such as overfishing, excessive use, true pollution of danerous chemicals including by products of fossil fuels, conservation of resources, etc.

I think a good example my be fluorinated compounds. Teflon is great for critical applications, but widespread use spreads a chemical, albeit very weakly active, that takes sunlight millennia to break it down.

Reply to  Philo
November 28, 2019 7:37 am

The UK politician Aneurin Bevan once said “It’s all very well taking the middle of the road (regarding any policy) but you run twice the risk of being knocked over!”

Better to stick to the facts, disprove the alarmists’ theories, and continually publicise every failure of the alarmists’ forecasts and simply say, ” I agree with Climate Change, it’s been with us since time immemorial.. But all man’s effect on Climate Change has been miniscule compared to natural effects that have always been present, and man-made CO2 emissions provide even a fraction of this very minor human input!

Population growth, urbanisation, de-forestration, and related energy demand increases – particularly heat generation, have had and are having far, far more effect than any man-made CO2 inputs!

Reply to  Philo
November 28, 2019 8:48 pm

Philo : “Mr. Shellenberger talks a “middle of the road” argument. However when you are on the wrong road, keeping to to the middle doesn’t get you where you want to go.”
Agreed. And as soon as you agree to anything near the middle to placate the argument, they move or broaden the road and claim that you are not compromising enough.

November 28, 2019 6:56 am

The XR folk would be more persuasive if all their predictions weren’t wrong by orders of magnitude…and if they would quit snarling Commerce and screaming in people’s faces.

Mann’s prediction that Manhattan streets would be under water a few years ago was only off my 10,000mm (we measure sea level changes in mm).

Aside from that little prediction overreach, not a single Climate disaster prediction has come much closer to the truth.

Turns out that a SCREAMING Chicken Little isn’t very good at PR.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  DocSiders
November 28, 2019 8:11 am

“Mann’s prediction that Manhattan streets would be under water a few years ago was only off my 10,000mm (we measure sea level changes in mm).”

That was Hansen, not Mann.

Reply to  DocSiders
November 29, 2019 3:56 am

they tried the protest thing in West Aus this week and got full on security instead used to keep them away from the meetings of the miners etc
turnout in Melbourne Vic today I gather was a lot of kids short of a crowd;-)))
EXR/ kids for climate /gretas fridays schtick seems to have met the usual not a novelty anymore boredom factor of the Yoof of today;-))

oddly I havent found any media online so far and only a tiny mention on abc radio
rather amused

Rich Davis
November 28, 2019 6:57 am

Yes, wolf in sheep’s clothing.

They struck out swinging for the fences so now they’re trying to scratch out a run with some base hits and stolen bases. Sorry to use a sports metaphor out of season.

Or maybe that was the plan all along. Set the scene for “moderate” economic destruction by a Sistah Souljah moment. We’re not for freezing to death in the dark like those extremists. And we’re not for the selfish path of having adequate heat and reliable electric power like those Nazi monsters, the deniers! We’re reasonable, we’re for freezing only half to death in the dim light of a candle.

Tom Abbott
November 28, 2019 7:01 am

From the article: “First, no credible scientific body has ever said climate change threatens the collapse of civilization much less the extinction of the human species.”

So any scientist who makes such a claim would not be credible? Do I have that right? If so, then I’m happy to agree with you.

From the article: “Last January, after climate scientists criticized Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for saying the world would end in 12 years, her spokesperson said “We can quibble about the phraseology, whether it’s existential or cataclysmic.” He added, “We’re seeing lots of [climate change-related] problems that are already impacting lives.”

That last part may be true,”

No, it’s not true.

There is no evidence showing a connection between CO2 produced by human beings and any “problems” caused by the atmosphere. People who see connections are seeing what they want/expect to see. There is no evidence for such. You are invited to try to prove otherwise.

John Bell
November 28, 2019 7:10 am

It would seem that if all the restrictions were put in place (that the leftists want) then so many would say, ‘But wait we were the ones advocating for this, so we should not be subject to it, only the climate skeptics and our political enemies.’

Jim Sterling
November 28, 2019 7:15 am

Shellenberger is an articulate spokesperson for expanding the use of nuclear power. (His Ted talk is worth watching.) Those concerned about CO2 levels as well as those interested in high-energy-density alternatives to fossil fuels should be able to agree that nuclear should be a bigger part of the equation.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Jim Sterling
November 28, 2019 8:46 am

Won’t happen. Too many people are still scared. All someone has to do is mention Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and nuke is shot down.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 9:06 am

Yet people still jump into their cars every day, knowing that hundreds of thousands die in motor vehicle collisions every year.

But the minute possibility of a nuclear power plant malfunction somewhere hundreds of miles from them is a constant nightmare?

There’s no figuring out what goes on in some people’s heads.

Reply to  Mr.
November 28, 2019 10:34 am

Didn’t you hear? Malfunctioning power plants use Next Day delivery to bring their goodness right to your doorstep. 10-mile emergency zones are a joke, as demonstrated at Fukushima, because fallout goes whichever way the wind is blowing for dozens to hundreds of miles.

Reply to  icisil
November 28, 2019 11:46 am

How about providing some data? Amounts of radiation exposure by distance, year of construction of the failed facilities, etc. Just tossing out a scary word like ‘fallout’ doesn’t provide any basis for rational decision-making.

Reply to  icisil
November 28, 2019 12:00 pm

this is utter bollox.
Even with the catastrophic blow up of Pripyat NPP, we are now into half life one for gamma caesium, and we are yet to see the kind of apocalyptic radiation disaster predicted by all the greenies.

As far as I know neither Chernobyl nor Fuku has actually resulted in any other deaths apart from the fireman sent to their deaths at dose rates exceeding 1000R/hr.

Most regular fliers get higher dose rates from high neutron rates than you will ever get in Fukushima, and they choose to fly business/first class in order to get irradiated (never mind the massive fall out from fly ash by burning coal worldwide).

Reply to  icisil
November 28, 2019 6:27 pm

Same thing in Chernobyl… delicious nuclear goodness delivered to your door hundreds of miles away overnight. Yum!

comment image

And here’s an aerial survey the US did of Japan after Fukushima. Those are some really nasty radiation levels – up to 91 microsieverts/hr. That’s almost 800 mSv/yr, or 40 times the max permitted yearly dosage for those who work around ionizing radiation.


Reply to  icisil
November 28, 2019 9:10 pm

I’m not sure the 10-mile zone is a joke, but we do know that the evacuations around Fukashima killed dozens (and counts over 2000 for early deaths in the aftermath of the evacuation), while the accident itself killed one (1).
The fear of nuclear is strong. So is the fear of cataclysmic climate change. We can make progress against both by continuing to hold steadfast, not compromise on science, and continue spreading actual facts.

Reply to  icisil
November 28, 2019 11:37 pm

What percent of the world’s surface was exposed to those radiation levels, icisil? What percent of the world’s population was exposed to them? What are the probabilities there will be any more nuclear plant problems like this in the future, as standards are being increased as a result of Chernobyl and Fukushima?

Reply to  icisil
November 29, 2019 7:17 am

“What are the probabilities there will be any more nuclear plant problems like this in the future, as standards are being increased as a result of Chernobyl and Fukushima?”

Well, here’s the iron-clad law governing assumptions and wishful thinking: “Ya never know ’til they blow.”

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 10:27 am

It can happen if advocates for nuclear power promote safer gen 4 technologies in order to win over those who have reasonable fears about status quo PWR technology. I know this because I am a convert. Schellenburger’s rejection of gen 4 and advocation for PWR will never win over people like myself.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 10:27 am

Can’t make much inroads with irradiated foods here; no chance for nukes.

If someone in San Fran took a Geiger counter into a grocery store, the city would soon put a ban on bananas.

William Astley
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 12:32 pm

It won’t happen as the pressure water, fuel rod reactors are too expensive, leak radiation, and can melt down in 12 minutes on loss flow, loss of pressure, loss of valve, and so on.

Cheering Nuclear is Good, Nuclear Good is not the answer

Solve the problems of the past fission reactor designs.

It is possible to build a fission reactor that cannot blow up, that does not produce hydrogen gas, and operates at atmospheric pressure and that can be mass produced and trucked to site.

It is the safety problems and the high operating pressures that makes the fuel rod, water cooled reactors expensive and very large.

This is a swamp problem, not a engineering problem. We built and tested the ultimate fission reactor design 50 years ago and then hid the test results.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Jim Sterling
November 28, 2019 8:46 am

“High-energy-density alternatives to fossil fuels” should consider the metric of portability, such an alternative being used in ocean-going ships, aircraft, and railroad locomotives. Nuclear power plants, just like hydroelectric, solar and wind power plants, cannot directly meet these needs. And even working through the inefficiency of converting nuclear to electricity, the portability aspect FAILS due to lack of sufficiently high energy-volumetric density storage batteries.

BTW, using nuclear to create LH2 also fails as a circuitous path to a “high-energy-volumetric density alternative to fossil fuels” due to LH2’s latent heat of vaporization and it’s intrinsically low density.

But to the extent nuclear can replace existing FIXED power plants using fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, it is something to look at . . . independent of its inherently high cost and no clear method of disposing of its dangerous fuel waste.

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
November 28, 2019 10:05 am

Who gonna tell the Navy?

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  DND
November 28, 2019 9:11 pm

You are exactly right, my bad . . . nuclear can definitely be portable, as several military navy fleets in the world have demonstrated. But in my defense, I did mention its inherently high cost, making it impractical for commercial portable operations.

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
November 28, 2019 10:09 am

“…pendent of its inherently high cost and…” Most of the high costs are related to over regulation. High costs are not inherent.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 28, 2019 9:25 pm

“High costs are not inherent.” Really?

The heavy containment vessels, redundancy of safety features, extra monitoring instrumentation, and cost of fuel and fuel waste handling/processing (in comparison to a modern natural gas-fueled CCGT power plant) does not create inherent high costs? Who knew?

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
November 29, 2019 2:30 am

The high cost of spent fuel rods storage is an externality that’s never addressed. Same with the high cost of reliable backup for renewables like wind and solar.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
November 28, 2019 11:15 am

It’s important to mention nuclear molten salt fuel technology: much safer, efficient and production of fuel waste with greatly reduced half-life (50-60 y). It also could contribute to a reduction of the nuclear waste stockpile while allowing energy recovery at our current consumption rate for around a 1000 years!

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
November 28, 2019 1:30 pm

As Jeff & Eric commented — Inherent high up-front-costs sounds more like it. Also, Gen-IV MSR, can recycle good part of the previously discarded waste and its own waste is much safer — that “recycling” thingy should help selling this “New Green Nuclear Deal” 😉
BTW, here, in ON, we have 40% of our “Hydro” generated by the Gen-II (CANDU) and we pay peak U$0.10 and off-peak U$0.05 per kWh.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  JaKo
November 28, 2019 9:16 pm

Is there any operational MSR (Gen-IV or earlier) that has demonstrated efficient trouble-free operation AND the recycling of it own waste? I mean, theoretical is nice but empirical . . .

Reply to  Jim Sterling
November 28, 2019 11:41 am

Nuclear ☢️ is the only high density alternative to fossil fuel power generation.

Reply to  Phil Salmon
November 29, 2019 6:35 am

More importantly, it’s the only _reliable_ alternative to fossil fuel power plants. Some might consider hydro an alternative, but good sites are limited.

David Dibbell
November 28, 2019 7:19 am

David Middleton, good points. But with all due respect, I would suggest changing the unnecessarily offensive “McKibben-AOC-Greta Axis of Mental Green*********” to “McKibben-AOC-Greta Axis of Doom” or something similar. Even a sideways reference to mental limitations is not worth it and in my view just not appropriate. Focus instead on the problems with the message.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Middleton
November 28, 2019 8:30 am

That’s not fair, you get to post pictures! 🙂

Reply to  David Middleton
November 28, 2019 8:43 am

How do I use a quarter to call someone. My cell phone does not have a coin slot.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Pathway
November 28, 2019 8:46 am

You save them up and buy a pay-as-you-go phone.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 9:52 am

What area code is that in? 1-800-GOT-BULL or 1-GOT -BUL-LSHI.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  David Middleton
November 28, 2019 9:49 am

My all-time favorite Country song (for the title alone) is by Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks: “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”.


Reply to  David Middleton
November 28, 2019 11:38 am

This will make you smile, I clicked on the YouTube video and the add you never seem to be able to skip was promoting solar power!

As to finding someone who cares, trying to educate your leftist friends about the dirty side of renewable energy is not possible, they don’t want to know. I’m a right of centre artist, which in itself is an oxymoron. I hate the use of labels but it seems we are all members of ‘tribe’s’ these days, though I wasn’t open to my about ‘my’ political leanings until recently, and after many years. Honestly, people in ‘the arts’ are mostly leftist and they don’t ‘do’ research about green issues, they are happy to listen to the parrot.

Please bare with me this is leading to a serious question. I recently moved to the country (we’re talking Australia here) from a peninsula north of Sydney. It seems that a large proportion of the people living there have decided that they need to save the world, by following the ‘green methodology’ (unproven I know). Anyway after living there for nearly forty years it had become unbearable, hence the move to the country.

Unfortunately, there are some things you can’t escape, though the people are lovely. A 300 hectare solar plant (87mw) has been built a few kilometers from our beautiful historic town. They are looking to build an additional 810hectares and the people who live here don’t have a say. We are somewhat horrified.

This led me to do some research. I had lots of questions, no one seems to ask questions about the impact of something that is going global. After many months of research I have learned enough about solar energy to know that there is nothing positive about it. People don’t don’t know about the toxic mess that’s left over after processing the necessary materials. The example of the largest processing plant in China which has a vast lake of toxic sludge. At least there is a plan in place for ‘nuclear’ waste!

I could go on, no seriously I could, but it isn’t anything that you don’t know better than I do. My point is that they claim that all of this is to reduce CO2 emissions, and they have the gall to call it ‘clean energy’! It really should be compulsotry for greens to ‘audit’ their fossil fuel use and C02 emissions to create this ‘green’ energy. Transport at every stage of the process, (trucks and shipping) as well as the processing and manufacturing plants are all going to use fossil fuels! You want to know a really fast way to reduce CO2 emissions, after all we know that it’s urgent that we do (that was tongue in cheek)
STOP ALL MINING AND MANUFACTURING OF RENEWABLE ENERGY! I’m sorry to shout but sometimes it’s the only way to get through to people, not suggesting that you personally need to be shouted at.

After living in the country for six months I have had little contact from my friends so I decided that I had nothing to lose and it was time to speak up. I sent an email to pretty much all my friends and in it some details about the dirty side of renewable energy. They have pretty much dissed me, most didn’t even respond.

There is so much seriously negative information out there about renewable energy if you only bother to ask questions. Why isn’t all this being discussed in the media. Seriously, I know that these mines exist for other commonly used item but it takes alot of phones for instance to use the same ‘common’ materials used to make a wind turbine!

I’ll get off my soapbox now, thanks for listening, those of you who went the distance. I love this site!

Big Al
Reply to  Megs
November 28, 2019 2:45 pm

I preach about this all the time to my leftist friends. They don’t seem to understand that it takes a lot of energy to pull out the rare earth elements to make batteries, solar panels, magnets for windmills… People seem to have awoken a little bit to ethanol, which is a handout for the corn farmers here in the US. It is a net negative. Yet it is still mandated. And it eats at engine gaskets. The green morons will destroy the planet before anyone with their assinine policies. They should be more concerned about hormones in the water.

Reply to  Big Al
November 28, 2019 3:28 pm

The other thing that frustrates me Big Al is their ignorance about renewables recycling. A friend of mine recently started looking more closely at how things really work, and said on Facebook that there was no renewables recycling anywhere in Australia (only one collection centre in South Australia). She was publicly insulted and asked where she got ‘this cr@p’ from. She was told that there was plenty of profitable recycling plants around and was sent a link. I looked up the link, it was an American solar manufacturing company stating in response to a question, yes it is possible to recycle solar. They even included a video of a plant in Europe (where it’s largely mandated). They included ‘suggested further reading’ that talked about the limited recycling in in States at this stage and that it was costly and that they didn’t know how profitable it was.

The person that sent her the link to the ‘non’ Australian ‘non’ recycling plant obviously didn’t read it properly, let alone the suggested reading that included information about the toxic side of it.

This BS is widely used, profitable renewables recycling is everywhere, more fake news.

Reply to  Megs
November 28, 2019 3:22 pm

There is currently only one “renewable” energy source known to man – managed forests. It is limited in potential because it requires land with regular precipitation. Energy from it costs at least twice as much as from coal unless it utilises the otherwise waste from the timber industry.

There are locations where intermittent wind and solar generation have economic potential. For example reduction in diesel fuel consumption where diesel generators are used for the main energy source. Or conservation of limited perched water where existing hydro plants are the prime source of electric energy. Or, combined with battery storage, for remote power supplies, long distance from any electrical network.

So using the descriptor RENEWABLE to describe ambient intermittent generators perpetuates a false belief that such sources are indeed “renewable”. You have conceded the key point without even thinking about it.

Fundamentally, the present generation of wind and solar energy collection can never produce enough energy to drive the processes that created them. Very few people actually have a handle on the true cost of intermittent generators in a power grid.

Reply to  RickWill
November 28, 2019 3:49 pm

Rickwill, you make it sound like I’m a supporter of ‘renewable’ energy. If calling it ‘manmade’ renewable energy fits better with your way of thinking then go for it. But given that the greens are trying to stop ‘manmade’ CO2 with ‘manmade’ renewable energy then in this context, natural ‘truly’ renewable wood doesn’t make sense. It creates CO2.

Just to be clear, ‘manmade’ renewable energy is not clean, it is not green, it is not in any way ‘free from the sky’, and as you rightly point out it is not renewable. It doesn’t ‘grow’ either so why do they call them farms?

I do however love to sit in front of an open fire 🙂

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  RickWill
November 28, 2019 5:21 pm

to Megs at 3:49
“why do they call them farms?”

They are “farming” subsidies.
Some folks call them parks.

Our local wind energy provider calls itself a “facility”, and that seems better.

Part of the land belongs to the State of Washington and has some characteristics of a park. One could only “farm” sagebrush and cacti. Or rocks.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
November 29, 2019 4:03 am

Thanks for your response John, “why do they call,them farms”?

At least they attempt to make renewables palatable in other parts of the world. They don’t do that here in Australia, they as good as usurpe prime agricultural land giving the farmers no choice, because it’s the cheapest option to the ‘overseas’ developers utilising existing infrastructure. It only takes one property owner to sell-out their community to solar panels. How would you feel if you had been trying to sell your property for two years and no one will look at it because it is directly across the road from a proposed solar ‘farm’. We don’t get the jobs they rave on about, backpackers on short-term contracts do the work. What ‘local is going to give up their current job for a short term project? We don’t even receive ‘energy’ from our local solar plant, it all goes to Sydney. We don’t manufacture solar panels either, they come from China. We don’t have a recycling program in place anywhere in Australia. Here in the country we are being sh@t on, and no one cares.

The drought is biting hard here and our farmers are having to shoot their cattle. My neighbor told me today that her parents are bottle feeding 40 calves because their mother’s were too weak to feed them and her parents couldn’t afford to feed them both. They are having to buy powdered milk to feed the calves. Fires are devastating our state, the excess water from up north is going out to sea. The government has spent $50 billion on renewables in one way or another in recent years and Australia has serious water shortage problems. This is temporary and Australians are resilient but our farmers are thinking that the $50 billion could have gone a long way to making a difference to sorting out our water problems on a more permanent basis.

The greens are predominantly in the cities, preaching about something they won’t ever set eyes on and have no clue about the ecological and social damage they have unleashed.

The subsidies don’t go to the farmers here John, they go to the developers. Overseas developers sell on when completed and they are the only people to profit. Our taxes go to overseas developers who want to install renewable energy infrastructure as cheaply as possible.

Our ‘renewables’ are not farms John, they are electricity generating plants. You want to know the irony, this ‘industry’ is a short distance from our homes. When we built our homes we had to comply with the local council regulations, we are not allowed to build industrial infrastructure.
We also have to comply with a sixty metre setback from the road when building our homes. These ‘factories’ are around five meters from the road.

Sorry to unload John, I have yet to find anyone here in Australia who is willing to listen. We have approached government ministers, television and newspaper media, even the media you would expect to sympathise like Skye News. We don’t even know how to contact Andrew Bolt, and he is a big supporter of our cause. No one is willing to talk publicly about the toxic side (on every level) of renewable energy.

We are feeling desperate out here John, we have had enough!

November 28, 2019 7:21 am

Conrad Black points out that the IPCC has become a lot more cautious after previous embarrassments, the hockey stick in particular.

… anthropogenic emissions (caused by humans) “alone are unlikely to cause global warming of 1.5 degrees.” I emphasize that I am not trying to twist the IPCC’s meaning. It clearly acknowledges that an acceleration (and a slight acceleration at that) in global warming is not certain and if it occurs at all, it will not be solely due to human activities. link

It seems to me that, as the political alarmism pumps up, the IPCC scientists are becoming more cautious. It is becoming obvious that there are no tipping points and that climate sensitivity is somewhere around 1.5C per doubling of CO2.

Reply to  commieBob
November 28, 2019 8:28 am

Why is it obvious that the sensitivity is 1.5 C per doubling?

We simply do not know how efficient the troposphere is at moving heat around the CO2 saturated frequencies.

It’s all still conjecture.

Reply to  EdB
November 28, 2019 9:48 am

The more data we get as time passes, the more it is obvious that the IPCC climate model ensemble runs hot. Even ‘mainstream’ climate science is willing to admit that.

Roy Spencer has a thoughtful comment on Lewis & Curry 2018.

But what is notable to me is (1) the comprehensive extent to which methodological and data uncertainties have been addressed, and (2) the fact it was published in the relatively mainstream and consensus-defending Journal of Climate. link

Uncertainties are indeed a big deal but the data simply doesn’t support a climate sensitivity of 3C per doubling of CO2.

Reply to  commieBob
November 29, 2019 12:08 am

The “greenhouse” gas fairy tale is simple that. Water vapour cycles up and down each year as does outgoing long wave radiation. Water vapour cools the planet. This simple table is NASA satellite data for wtotal ater vapour in mm water equivalent and OLR in W/sq.m:
Jan 17.04 236.8
Feb 17.29 236.5
Mar 17.73 237.9
Apr 18.19 238.7
May20.40 240.6
Jun 20.92 243
Jul 21.89 243.9
Aug 21.04 243.4
Sep 20.54 242.2
Oct 19.68 239.5
Nov 18.93 237.1
Dec 18.91 236.5

Water vapour goes up, OLR goes up. Water vapour goes down, OLR goes down. They are strongly positively correlated:
NASA satellite data invalidates the “greenhouse” gas theory.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  RickWill
December 7, 2019 8:42 am

Sorry, RickWill, but to be meaningful the table you presented needs to normalize OLR against total incoming solar radiation absorbed at Earth’s surface, which certainly varies monthly (mainly as a function of variation in the Sun’s altitude in the sky, but also due to differences in albedo between the northern and southern hemispheres).

Reply to  commieBob
November 28, 2019 1:05 pm

“climate sensitivity is somewhere around 0.5C to 1.5C per doubling of CO2.”

Fixed it for ya. No charge 🙂

November 28, 2019 7:21 am

“Could Mr. Shellenberger’s simply be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing“?”

Or maybe a wolf who has been overtaken by radicalized climate sheeps and who is desperately trying to get back on track.

Reply to  Petit_Barde
November 28, 2019 11:06 am

Shellenberger is a nuclear lobbyist who represents the nuclear industry’s keen interest in climate change as a means for re-vitalizing the industry.

Joel O'Bryan
November 28, 2019 7:45 am

“On paper, the McKibben-AOC-Greta Axis of Mental Greentardation is clearly an existential threat to liberty and prosperity… But, it has an ice cube’s chance in Hell of becoming reality. On the other hand, a formidable political consensus could be formed around a reasonable middle-ground. Could Mr. Shellenberger’s simply be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing“?”

Trump’s Art of the Deal negotiating tactic comes to mind. Establish a crazy extreme positionearly, and then the”middle ground” in the negotiation-arbitration is where you really wanted the other side anyways so they only think they are “winning.” Public Union negotiators have been also doing that for a century with governments in a ratchet-style of ever-more benefits that the government simply pays for with more taxes (OPM). Every contract negotiation a demand for the sky’s the limit with some new set of benefits to get what they really wanted in secret.

November 28, 2019 7:48 am

Reminds me of the cults that that claim the world is ending on a certain date. The cult leader tells people they will be saved if they send him all their money.

November 28, 2019 7:49 am

made koalas “functionally extinct.” Lol Goodness me! When did vile greta write a book? She hasn’t even finished school, and has travelled the world, yet she had time to write a book 😐

Has anybody found out the wealth the thunbergs have made since vile greta got in to the green business?

Reply to  Sunny
November 28, 2019 1:54 pm

I believe it was her mother that wrote a book.

HD Hoese
November 28, 2019 7:58 am

I see that there is a new book out by Bob Henson, The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change, that uses Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis and Venus as evidence. I remember when Gaia came out and discussions among experts. Still a hypothesis, there are, at least in the ocean, feedbacks and all sorts of still poorly understood system operations. That the ocean is like an organism is useful as a hypothesis, still hasn’t gone anywhere. As to Venus, I recall being taught that it is closer to the sun.

For example, this one a rarity citing half century old works—
Elliott, M. and V. Quintino. 2007. The estuarine quality paradox, environmental homeostasis and the difficulty of detecting anthropogenic stress in naturally stressed areas. Marine Pollution Bulletin.

November 28, 2019 8:01 am

Nup I’m not buying. You over egged the pudding so choke on it with your cook-ups doomsters and I don’t forgive you for the disgusting grooming and frightening of children nor the debasement of science and the ostracising of those who stood up for it. Go to Hell with your lunar prescriptions and ratbag caravan of flunkies now you shucksters and snake oil merchants. You all bear the same rotten stench now.

Reply to  observa
November 28, 2019 8:59 am

Yep. Nothing these people can ever do will begin to compensate for the misery, suffering, and death they’ve caused.

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  Banatu
November 28, 2019 2:34 pm

If this issue is ever to receive more balanced treatment in the media it will be because some of “these people” take a more moderate public position. Shellenberger is a good example and we need more of him. It may have taken him longer to see the light than we would like but better late than never.

Reply to  Ty Hallsted
November 28, 2019 6:32 pm

No mercy as some try and spread perfume to distance themselves from the stinking swamp of airheads shucksters and gravy train riders now-
We owe it to the children science and its defenders to see to it that none of them ever disinfect the ooze and slime they all wallowed in together.

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  observa
November 29, 2019 6:18 am

It takes a strong person to publicly admit they were wrong. The media and public opinion need more like him. They will get plenty of criticism from the fold they are leaving. As a respected environmentalist his position will cause some to dig deeper and should be commended. I see no commonality between Pamela Anderson’s blatherings and Shellenberger’s position. What does her hypocrisy have to do with his position?

Reply to  observa
November 29, 2019 8:52 am

“What does her hypocrisy have to do with his position?”

They also served who never called out such hype and blatherings over the years until they finally spawned their Frankenstein monster that’s running amok everywhere now. That’s the horns of their dilemma. They’ve completely lost control of the narrative and the fear of a Yellow Vest type retribution response is in front of them but what’s the alternative at their backs? The Shellenbergers can repudiate the CAGW nonsense and apologise anytime they like as far as I’m concerned or keep on standing with their Frankenstein. Simple isn’t it?

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  observa
November 30, 2019 2:50 pm

Whatever his past sins, he seems to be on our side now and has “creds” with the “save the planet” crowd. If there were 100 more like him we may see the tide start to turn before we are bankrupted with senseless climate mitigation projects.

November 28, 2019 8:03 am

Firstly : Stand up for Nuclear was a series of action days organized by the Nuclear Pride Coalition, founded by Michael Schellenberger, the president of Environmental Progress, an NGO. The Nuclear Pride Coalition is an alliance of independent organizations calling for the expansion of civil nuclear energy. The first action day took place in Munich in October 2018; the second was held in Brussels last April.

Secondly and most importantly he spotted the wolf :

Schellenberger’s attacks on the first eco-fascist, Martin Heidegger, in an May article in {Forbes} titled “The Reason Renewables Can’t Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To.”

“The Nazi Heidegger wrote: “The earliest and most sophisticated 20th century case for renewables came from a German who is widely considered the most influential philosopher of the 20th century, Martin Heidegger. ”
That was discussed here at WUWT too.

As far as I know he was earlier really green, became pro nuclear. Not known is his position on coal, and gas.

Reply to  bonbon
November 28, 2019 8:54 am

Heidegger from Schellenberger’s Forbes article “…The use of “modern technology,” he wrote, “puts to nature the unreasonable demand that it supply energy which can be extracted and stored as such… Air is now set upon to yield nitrogen, the earth to yield ore, ore to yield uranium…to yield atomic energy.”

The refernce to nitrogen, is obviously actually to fertilizer, the Haber-Bosch process being then new. And now farmers are being banned from using some fertilizers. That process is widely seen to have helped population growth, and the process uses 5% of natural gas.

As many are now recognising the entire “renewables” eco-friendly imperative is actually only about culling the human population. Exactly as Bertrand Russell asked for,.

Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 8:04 am

“Around 2030 we will be in a position to set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that will lead to the end of our civilization as we know it.”

When has weather (apart from cloud seeding for rain) or climate EVER been within human control? This whole concept is part of the problem.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 8:29 am

” Around 2030…”

Pay attention in class Greta as you were doomed by the time you were born according to your teachers- https://apnews.com/bd45c372caf118ec99964ea547880cd0

November 28, 2019 8:16 am

The alarmists are losing the argument and they know it. I interpret the ever increasing frequency and intensity of apocalyptic prognostications as an expression of frustration and desperation on their part. In the end it will hurt their cause even more.

November 28, 2019 8:28 am

I also don’t know of anyone who denies climate, but I know many who deny climate change, especially climate change since ~1950. They are known as warmists or alarmists. They have to deny in order to make room for AGW/ACC. Furthermore, they deny that natural climate change is climate change at all – they call it natural variability. What a mess!

November 28, 2019 8:31 am

“Few have underscored the threat more than student climate activist Greta Thunberg and Green New Deal sponsor Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The latter said, “The world is going to end in 12 years…..”

Why? Do each of them have Nuclear Weapons and are they going to create Nuclear Winter ?


Kevin kilty
November 28, 2019 8:37 am

“All these young people have been misinformed. And partly it’s Greta Thunberg’s fault. Not deliberately. But she’s wrong.”

Why doesn’t Wigley finger the real culprit? Decades of journalistic and educational malfeasance, and even instances of scientific dishonesty, are having their intended effect. Greta is a symptom, not a cause. Take a look at the difference between James Hansen’s Senate testimony in 1988, and what he wrote in the peer-reviewed “Science” magazine almost at the same time, and you can spot the problem. That testimony, apartr from other evidence, made me really question the motives of the people involved.

Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 8:42 am

“Why doesn’t Wigley finger the real culprit? Decades of journalistic and educational malfeasance, and even instances of scientific dishonesty”

Of which he has been a proud participant.

Robin Pollard
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
November 28, 2019 9:59 pm

Tom Wigley’s role in climategate has been thoroughly assessed at BernieL’s site “Enthusiasm, Scepticism and Science”. Wigley was sceptical of the alarmism, but nevertheless engaged in some highly questionable conduct apparently out of loyalty to the Hockey Team.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Robin Pollard
December 2, 2019 10:16 am

He was skeptical in private. That makes him dishonest.

Bruce Cobb
November 28, 2019 8:44 am

Dial back the alarmism? How dare you!


November 28, 2019 8:44 am

The first generation of climate alarmists are finding themselves in the position of the sorcerer’s apprentice, they started something that they didn’t understand and now can’t control. They have left it too late to start saying ‘no need to panic’.

Reply to  Susan
November 28, 2019 9:46 am

Great analogy Susan:


Happy Turkey Day everyone. It’s OK to not eat insects.

Reply to  Susan
November 28, 2019 1:42 pm

Thank you, Susan, I was about to say the same thing. To Michael Shellenberger, I say: Diddums.

November 28, 2019 9:06 am

How does one deny the climate?

Reply to  Julian
November 29, 2019 8:48 pm

Fail to go along with the hubris and hysteria of the climate changers and you’ll have the answer in spades.

Reasonable Skeptic
November 28, 2019 9:13 am

When will Climate Alarmists be treated like Climate Deniers? Will Anthony Watts drive across the US in his Prius to deliver his message to the UN?

Man made Climate change is a danger, but it is a danger because Alarmists are making people freak out, not because it is .1 degree warmer now than in 2010.

November 28, 2019 9:35 am

“…Thunberg in her new book, “Around 2030 we will be in a position to set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control that will lead to the end of our civilization as we know it.” ”

First off, I question that she actually wrote any book. I’d be more likely to believe that someone did it for her and she put her name on it. No, I will NOT support that idiocy by buying a copy of it. It was TWADDLE!!!

Second, trying to mollify people by appearing to take the so-called middle of the road only means that the Greenbeaners and Warmunistas are losing ground, and Shellenberger knows it. Hysteria only goes so far in stirring the pot. The 1930s did not have the mass communications tech that we have now. There are plenty of people on the sidelines, the quiet ones, who can and do think for themselves and have enough common sense to know what is really going on.

And third, since Mother Nautre/Gaia/Whatever you want to call it is the one in charge of how this planet takes care of itself, the likelihood of it catching fire is slim. Not a high enough O2 content in the atmosphere, and this is not either the Silurian or the Carboniferous periods. The people who want to stir up trouble with such hysterics do it for the purpose of grabbing “power” and/or money, and not much else. And neither power nor authority (perceived or otherwise) will put food on your table or keep you warm in the cold or keep your water clean and potable.

This is interesting, too. This attempt at stirring the pot using false claims and hysterical language like some auto auction sales ad on TV is failing. The people who started this load of wet manure are clearly showing themselves for what they are: money-grubbing con artists who are only looking to line their own pockets at your expense and mine.

I agree that nuclear power in the form of smaller and better-built facilities with properly trained crews is more likely to be the best way to reduce pollution, but there is no reason that anyone should be denied the right to have a warm home, clean water, and food on the table.

Why on earth anyone would even remotely aim at destroying an advancing civilization is beyond me, but think about this for a brief moment, because I did when my monitor failed and I had to get a new one: if all the high-tech junk that large numbers of people – including the so-called “elites” – depend on for just about everything went offline and could not be restarted, period, what would that do to THEM? That means no telephones, not even landlines; no electronic junk of any kind working; nothing. Just think about it.

I’ve said this before. They are more dependent on it than any of us are. They don’t even do their own laundry, for Pete’s sake!!

This bit of histrionic hysteria didn’t last as long as I thought it would. It is coming to an end. If we are moving slowly into a Dalton Minimum, which may have started with the solar minimum in 2006, then we should be preparing for that, not for some elusive and unlikely “world on fire” claptrap. And anyway, someone please tell me how you’re going to set an entire planet on fire when the fuel load is not nearly sufficient to sustain something like that, never mind the lack of enough O2 to sustain it? It is all hogwash, and we all know it. If it weren’t – well, Anthony Watts might never have put up this blog to rebut such nonsensical hogwash, and David Middleton wouldn’t be here giving us another look at what’s going on.

If this article posted tells us that there is a crack in the shell of the Greenbeaners smug certainty, FINE BY ME!!!! May it continue to grow and grow until the contents fry on the sidewalk!!

All of you: have a nice Thanksgiving, and let’s be grateful for what we do have: a human-friendly planet that sustains us. So far, another one like this hasn’t been found yet, but some day one will be found, and when it does, the exodus to get there will begin.

November 28, 2019 9:43 am

There is also the issue that the “extreme rhetoric” is so easy to disprove that it removes all credibility from the entire argument. If climate scientists were all like Michael Shellenberger, I would be more willing to consider their views. As it is, the CAGW Alarmist side is just fantastical science fiction, not worth even listening to other than to ridicule them.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
November 28, 2019 10:54 am

Jeff: As it is, the CAGW Alarmist side is just fantastical science fiction, not worth even listening to other than to ridicule them.

Agreed. I have a story in the works set 325 years in the future, in which the ice sheets are advancing again and people – especially the farmers- have left Earth for warmer planets. If/when we do find another Earth-type planet ( and I believe that will happen soon), then the idea of a new home in the Sun will start to materialize.

Meantime, let’s just take care of this planet, keep it clean, and tell the Doomsdayers to go pound it. And get people to stop giving them money.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!!!

November 28, 2019 10:02 am

The climate, here, there, everywhere, in whole, in part, and on average, is out of social compliance. #Aborted… Cancelled

Stephen Skinner
November 28, 2019 10:33 am

In recent decades sci-fi and disaster movies have benefited from CGI giving them a sense of plausibility even when the plots are implausible because they look realistic. For many, if not all, the time spent watching films/ fiction has increased exponentially so that many spend more time watching films than being outside in nature. The plots in many disaster movies are pretty similar in that there will be someone up against big business or the government trying to warn about some impending disaster. The ‘science’ in such plots is just a caricature of science as real science may not be that entertaining or even allow the plot to work.
Recent assertions of global disaster using labels such as ‘Climate Emergency’ ‘Climate Breakdown’, ‘Climate meltdown’, ‘6th mass extinction’, could have come out of an X-Men or Batman film. I think this is why there are so many movie stars and children getting worked up because both are highly impressionable and are capable of believing anything, after all that’s what movie stars are paid to do.

November 28, 2019 11:28 am

–On the other hand, a formidable political consensus could be formed around a reasonable middle-ground. Could Mr. Shellenberger’s simply be a “wolf in sheep’s clothing“?–

Well, I think of greatest threat is the massive child abuse from the climate doom brainwashing. And Mr. Shellenberger mightbe doing something to lessen future child abuse. So, that is good.

In terms of global climate, the most important aspect, is that we are living in an Icebox climate.
It is broadly known that we living in a Ice Age and it’s thought the cooling and the resulting increase in grasslands in Africa. had significant impact on evolution of the modern Human. Or the modern human evolved within our Ice Age, which has lasted millions of years and we currently within this Ice Age.
It is common to refer to glacial periods as ice ages, but it most accurate to say our Ice Age has glacial and interglacial periods.
An ice age or icebox or icehouse climate is characterized as having a cold ocean and polar ice caps. We currently have a cold ocean and polar icecaps. And there is nothing that humans have been doing which will change the global condition of having cold oceans and polar ice caps.
Another aspect of our current Ice Age, is the low CO2 levels. Though it has been reported that some past ice ages have had higher CO2 levels, our present Ice Age has had particularly low levels of CO2.
The CO2 levels have been so low, that one could imagine a myth, that Humans were created by God or Gaia or some other ruling power, in order to increase global CO2 levels in order to prevent a possible Mass Extinction.
If such wild fantasy is true, it seems Humans have so far failed to cause a significant effect in terms increasing Global CO2 levels. Though it seems the Chinese are currently doing the best they can.
But generally I don’t think humans doing enough to increase CO2 levels, if one assumes this is actually their divine task. But I am not religious, just saying it’s possible to have such religious views, and viewing a human task to generate more global CO2 could more reasonable than many other religious ideas.

I don’t think having higher CO2 levels would cause much warmer, and seems possible within thousands years we could enter a glacial period. And I don’t think having higher CO2 levels would prevent this from occurring.
And hope at that time, people don’t have the religious view, that emitting more CO2 will prevent it.
Though it seems that if we knew more about Climate, one could prevent us from entering a glacial period.

We in the absurd situation of having rather cold ocean and being worried about this Ice Age getting a bit warmer. We recovering from a recent cool period which called the Little Ice Age. There is no sane reason to desire to return to such cooler conditions of the Little Ice Age. Nor is there any reason to assume we will be returning to such colder conditions { I don’t think the Solar Grand Minimum {if it occurs} will returns us to Little Ice Age conditions before 2100 AD. Though the current Solar Min has been and probably will continue to affect “global weather”. It seems there could be good skiing conditions in our near future and other severe cold weather conditions. I am currently looking at 4″ of snowfall in high desert of southern California. Not something I would assign to global warming. but probably or possibly related being in Solar min. But it’s weather, and nothing to do global warming or cooling. Though if we had a significant amount of global warming, it would be very unlikely weather.

November 28, 2019 11:31 am

They’re starting to figure out that if the insanity doesn’t stop soon, it’s going to cost them 100 seats in Congress and two Supreme Court seats. It’s called a strategic retreat.

“He who fights and runs away
Lives to fight another day.”

November 28, 2019 11:41 am

I think Shellenberger is hoping to channel the various concerns about the environment into support for nukes. That’s more or less his job. Cleaner than fossil fuels, no CO2 emissions, etc.

For some reason we’re not supposed to say: burning fossil fuels has brought prosperity; no reasonable substitute has been found. Michael Kelly has written from an engineer’s perspective: when JFK promised man on the moon, experts knew that the necessary pieces of technology existed, it was a matter of spending a lot of money to put them together. Today the technology simply doesn’t exist to “do without fossil fuels.”https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2019/11/Kelly-1.pdf
It’s more and more mainstream to say: if we have to choose between prosperity and some kind of heretofore unkown moral purity, we’ll go for the purity.

James Clarke
November 28, 2019 11:42 am


First of all, the climate change issue has nothing to do with actual, real-world climate, so we are not even speaking the same language. As David pointed out, there is no such thing as a climate change denier, so how do we find a middle ground between lunacy and something that doesn’t exist? There is no middle between two undefined points in two unrelated subjects!

The whole purpose of the climate change issue is to bring about dramatic economic and social change, away from capitalism and towards socialism, especially in the Western World. Michael Shellenberger wants to move towards socialism and the fear mongering has done all that it can towards that goal. It has reframed the discussion so that it is now safe to push towards what was really desired all along.

He may appear to be compromising on climate, but that was never the target anyway. He is not compromising on the real goal of a global socialist ruling class. Meeting him halfway would put him exactly where he wanted to be all along.

November 28, 2019 11:57 am

“Caldeira invented the phrase “ocean acidification” out of whole cloth in 2003 for the express purpose of scaring the bejesus out of people”

Well he didn’t scare me but I still fell for it until someone here at this website pointed me to some “other reading” that changed my views. One of the many reasons I read this site often. I learn lots here and I’m exposed to a lot of different points of view (always a good thing IMHO).

Clarky of Oz
November 28, 2019 12:16 pm

Can someone please tell Australuia’s ABC.
Quote from their online story this morning.

It’s time to listen to the kids, Professor Steffen said.

“The bottom line is, we’re saying the schoolchildren have got it right — this is a climate emergency.”

Link to full article. https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-11-28/climate-emergency-kids-are-right/11735942

November 28, 2019 12:26 pm
November 28, 2019 2:03 pm

The statement that koalas are functionally extinct is simply a lie. It is fake news taking advantage of natural disaster. It is an appalling example of the depths to which climate activists stoop.

Here in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, which has been seriously affected by recent fires, the Koala Hospital has been treating injured animals and has recently been granted significant funds to treat them and their kind well into the future. That funding would not be forthcoming if they were “functionally extinct”. Activists need to appreciate that their lies and nonsense has real effects on the environment they tell us they care so much about.

Clarky of Oz
Reply to  Hadyn
November 28, 2019 4:29 pm

Definition from Baylon on lone dictionary.
Functional extinction is the extinction of a species or other taxon such that:
it disappears from the fossil record, or historic reports of its existence cease;
the reduced population no longer plays a significant role in ecosystem function; or
the population is no longer viable. There are no individuals able to reproduce, or the small population of breeding individuals will not be able to sustain itself due to inbreeding depression and genetic drift, which leads to a loss of fitness.

Certainly does NOT apply to koalas in my humble non-expert opinion. I only have to go 10km west to find a small population in Werribee Gorge. Further west along the Great Ocean Road they are plentiful almost to the point of becoming a danger to humans as tourist stop in the middle of the road to photograph them.

November 28, 2019 2:06 pm

I am fully on board with climate change.
The planet has always warmed after a cold period and always entered a cold phase after a warm period.
That is called climate change. Alarmists do not own the term.
I think history shows that we will likely enter a cooling period once this very gradual warming phase has ended.
That will also be climate change
I cannot, nor can any scientist or model accurately and safely predict when this next change will occur.
The consequences of warming do not seem to be very severe but past glaciations can attest to the extreme dangers of a significant cooling. Happily the time frames involved make that rather irrelevant to us as is warming.

November 28, 2019 2:08 pm

Seems they are now are afraid they can’t control the attack dogs they unleashed.

Ty Hallsted
November 28, 2019 2:14 pm

I think there is room in the “middle ground” for legitimate “no regrets” efforts such as this one (even if it has zero impact on the climate): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI

Robin Pollard
November 28, 2019 5:41 pm

How does Tom Wigley know that Greta’s misstatements are not deliberate? She gains a lot through her alarmism.

John F. Hultquist
November 28, 2019 5:55 pm

You might be interested, if you don’t already know of.
Tracey Henderson of Kosmos Energy

Gunga Din
November 28, 2019 8:38 pm

This raises an important question. Which is a greater threat to liberty and prosperity: the McKibben-AOC-Greta Axis of Mental Greentardation or the Michael Shellenberger middle-ground?

I’d say the later.
I’d said some time ago something along the lines that “The Nut from NY (AOC) is getting so press because she makes the rest of the nuts seem less cracked.”
Same thing here. Either path leads to where we don’t want to go. The later is just slower
(Think of the frog dropped in a pot of boiling water vs the frog in the pot where the heat is gradually raised until the water boils. Either way, the frog is dead.)

Ray G
November 28, 2019 9:38 pm

The bushfires in Aus are not from climate change, 85% are caused by people by accident and/or deliberate.

Robin Pollard
Reply to  Ray G
November 28, 2019 9:48 pm

Alongside arsonists causing some of the Australian bushfires has reportedly been a decline in controlled burning to reduce risks, at the insistence of the woke.

Andy Mansell
November 28, 2019 10:10 pm

Given what Shellenberger says, shouldn’t XR & co. be on trail for the psychological damage their insane ranting is doing to kids?

November 29, 2019 1:52 am

Schellenberger did a great service spotting the wolf in “philosophers” clothing, Martin Heidegger – see above.
But the question is what made Martin Heidegger so dangerous, that even the Nurenberg trial did not indict him?
See Karl Jasper’s letter to the Judge, that Heidegger never again be allowed to lecture in a university, because he was “mesmerising”, a danger to young students. Today that might sound naive, and Heidegger’s “philosophy” translated to english by his mistress Hannah Arendt, ostensibly “left”, is fully broadcast in all universities world wide. Slipped under the carpet is that this great mesmeriser was Hitler’s ghostwriter.
It is no wonder that campuses are in disarray.

As to mesmerism today, see Edgar Poe’s harrowing story :
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
And wonder at the GND, the GFI, and the FED#s actions, not to mention Ursilas green EIB, nor Lagarde’s green ECB.

Private Citizen
November 29, 2019 5:20 am

What makes Mr. Shellenberger dangerous (and he is dangerous) is his role as the now-I’ve-seen-the-light, ya’ll-come-to-Jesus, converted “environmentalist” who represents the interests of the nuclear fuel cycle enterprise, proffering its greatest opportunity: ride to your death on the wave of fear of climate extinction or save yourselves with fission. This apparently “balanced” and “reasoned” approach is what his handlers want to see. A rational, not a rhetorical climate change environmentalist, appearing to be an allegedly educated, neutral member of the Fourth Estate, a Bill-Gatesian sort of man, and not be outed as a shill for NextGen nuclear … which of course he is (a shill that is).

Webster – “shill” – an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice or encourage others.

John Endicott
November 29, 2019 5:29 am

Extinction Rebellion said “Billions will die”

What they really mean is “the policies we support will result in billions dying”. And those deaths are a feature not a bug.

Private Citizen
November 29, 2019 6:44 am

Here’s where Shellenberg recently went off his rocker and that is why he has been ordered by his handlers to come to a more “balanced and reasoned” position (to undo his undoing):

“Why Atomic Humanism Will Triumph Over Climate Apocalypse”
Oct 22/17
Michael Shellenberg
Environmental Progress

November 29, 2019 9:42 am

At Thanksgiving yesterday I actually had a reasonable conversation with someone who is new to our area about local climate change effects. The main effect here is that it has become very slightly drier (we used to get a huge amount of rain annually, now we just get a lot) and he wanted to know if he should grow some different sorts of plants. My opinion on it is – not really, just be sure to water them more if we have dry periods. The overall temperatures through the year are the same as they were 20-30 years ago.

This is not civilization-ending change, just a slight adjustment in plant care.

November 29, 2019 1:57 pm

The middle ground still has one major thing wrong with it. It assumes there is correlation between human induced CO2 and global temperatures and climate extremes. Whilst I personally think there is zero evidence to support this it is clear that the evidence so far establishes that if it is happening it is not happening dangerously. The overturning of the endangerment finding for CO2 is the most fundamental key to reversing public opinion. Without the connection there is no danger , imminent or in the future. Whatever catastrophes the world may face it ain’t from CO2 . This imprisonment of CO2 is a major miscarriage of justice. All the evidence has been planted. Talking of plants more CO2 is greening the world.
Hopefully if Trump is returned after the next election the CO2 endangerment finding must be put on the agenda as a priority.

Rudolf Huber
December 3, 2019 2:29 pm

Patience is the name of the game. They resort to vocal terrorism and by the shrillness and extremism of their diatribes, they will eventually overdo it. They are so sure that they cant do no wrong that they will alienate the very people they claim to save. Our job is to always show up and bring the discussion back to the facts instead of allowing them to ride off with the belief that they always win because nobody dares to face them. face them we must, their tools we need not use.

Reply to  Rudolf Huber
December 7, 2019 5:55 pm

They always overdo it but then younger spectator enter to see the game and they don’t want to know what happened just before they entered, they want to see stuff in “direct live”.

I saw it even on Wikipedia when an “arbitrer” arrived and wanted to assume everyone was arguing in good faith instead of just reading past discussion to understand what just happened.

It’s as if the cops didn’t want to be bothered to watch surveillance tapes before they write their conclusions (as the internal police affairs in France after the 14th July terror attack in Nice, who absolved the police without bothering with the huge quantity of video footage, because… there was too much of it).

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