counter create hit Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All

Availability: Ready to download

Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world’s last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions. But in 2019, as some claimed “billions of people are goin Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world’s last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions. But in 2019, as some claimed “billions of people are going to die,” contributing to rising anxiety, including among adolescents, Shellenberger decided that, as a lifelong environmental activist, leading energy expert, and father of a teenage daughter, he needed to speak out to separate science from fiction. Despite decades of news media attention, many remain ignorant of basic facts. Carbon emissions peaked and have been declining in most developed nations for over a decade. Deaths from extreme weather, even in poor nations, declined 80 percent over the last four decades. And the risk of Earth warming to very high temperatures is increasingly unlikely thanks to slowing population growth and abundant natural gas. Curiously, the people who are the most alarmist about the problems also tend to oppose the obvious solutions. What’s really behind the rise of apocalyptic environmentalism? There are powerful financial interests. There are desires for status and power. But most of all there is a desire among supposedly secular people for transcendence. This spiritual impulse can be natural and healthy. But in preaching fear without love, and guilt without redemption, the new religion is failing to satisfy our deepest psychological and existential needs.


Compare
Ads Banner

Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world’s last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions. But in 2019, as some claimed “billions of people are goin Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world’s last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions. But in 2019, as some claimed “billions of people are going to die,” contributing to rising anxiety, including among adolescents, Shellenberger decided that, as a lifelong environmental activist, leading energy expert, and father of a teenage daughter, he needed to speak out to separate science from fiction. Despite decades of news media attention, many remain ignorant of basic facts. Carbon emissions peaked and have been declining in most developed nations for over a decade. Deaths from extreme weather, even in poor nations, declined 80 percent over the last four decades. And the risk of Earth warming to very high temperatures is increasingly unlikely thanks to slowing population growth and abundant natural gas. Curiously, the people who are the most alarmist about the problems also tend to oppose the obvious solutions. What’s really behind the rise of apocalyptic environmentalism? There are powerful financial interests. There are desires for status and power. But most of all there is a desire among supposedly secular people for transcendence. This spiritual impulse can be natural and healthy. But in preaching fear without love, and guilt without redemption, the new religion is failing to satisfy our deepest psychological and existential needs.

30 review for Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Having dug into reading this today, and as an academic working in the environmental field, I feel qualified to say what this book is, and what it is not, better than a casual reader or someone biased toward the author's viewpoints: The book sets up a pretty easy target in its opening pages: Extinction Rebellion. Shellenberger presents many academics in the book as left-leaning doomsday predictors, but most academics (whether they support his technologist and nuclear agendas or not), would agree w Having dug into reading this today, and as an academic working in the environmental field, I feel qualified to say what this book is, and what it is not, better than a casual reader or someone biased toward the author's viewpoints: The book sets up a pretty easy target in its opening pages: Extinction Rebellion. Shellenberger presents many academics in the book as left-leaning doomsday predictors, but most academics (whether they support his technologist and nuclear agendas or not), would agree with him that most extinction rebellion propaganda is ill-informed and overbearing (TJ Demos comes to mind as an example). What I mean by this is, it is great for Shellenberger that he is taking on such easy targets throughout the book (PETA and Greenpeace receive their fair share of critique as well, as they would by any self-respecting environmental scholar, which Shellenberger is not), but he's not speaking any truth-to-power here, and he's not reinventing the wheel. There is no grand-cabal of environmental scholars who support such extreme knee-jerk activism. We're all well aware that things are much more complicated than they're presented in the street. However, in order to speak to most academics working in this field, Shellenberger would probably have to wrestle with some ideas beyond the simplistic ones he presents here. His brief take on Native Americans (what broad strokes he paints!) and their relationship to whales, but no mention of Indigenous scholars and their take on nuclear energy (from a self-professed nuclear expert no less!), seems, well, fishy to me. On the other hand, he'll be sure to let you know that renewables are taking their toll on postcolonial peoples across the ocean--he's not averse to environmental justice, except when it doesn't fit his nuclear agenda, in the U.S., where he lives. More than that, his discussion of fuel transitions in regard to whaling without mentioning Jevons paradox also seems like a very strange omission (well, maybe not once you realize his take on alternative energies in general). This is all to say, while Shellenberger likes to present as an expert, his inability to truly engage with experts who might disagree with him leaves this book more than a bit thin, despite his 100 pages of footnotes. However, for those readers who would like to be told that environmental activists (and scholars, because according to the author, there's really no difference for the most part) are wrong, that they are emotionally damaged and not to be listened to, and that the climate crisis will be fine and business as usual can continue, well, you can rest assured that this will give you all the vague rebuttals your twitter fingers can handle.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    This book was my first experience having a profound deal of respect for a left-wing environmental activist. It's also the first book I've read that distinguishes criticism for the climate change movement from climate change denial. I've been accused of being a "science denier" since high school; I don't deny that climate change is real, but people are quick to assume that in this world, if you're not bowing down to Greta Thunberg or supporting clean energy, you must be some ignorant hillbilly wh This book was my first experience having a profound deal of respect for a left-wing environmental activist. It's also the first book I've read that distinguishes criticism for the climate change movement from climate change denial. I've been accused of being a "science denier" since high school; I don't deny that climate change is real, but people are quick to assume that in this world, if you're not bowing down to Greta Thunberg or supporting clean energy, you must be some ignorant hillbilly who just doesn't understand science or the supposed impending apocalypse. Apocalypse Never, straight from a former climate zealot who got a new lease on life, is a very liberating book that slices through the sea of anxiety, animosity and paranoia that plagues people everywhere as of late. There are points where the book feels like it's just picking at low-hanging fruit; let's face it, a movement like Extinction Rebellion is a very easy target. That said, Apocalypse Never does an excellent job at perfectly highlighting the flawed mentality of such groups, their underlying political agendas and their insistence on holding onto the most dire of doomsday prophecies rather than just accepting simple solutions that already exist. The book also cites a number of sources suggesting that while climate change is probably indeed man-made, it also probably isn't the big crisis that it's being made out to be. More than climate change, Apocalypse Never is broadly a book promoting critical thinking rather than the knee-jerk fear which often has political motives for it being instilled in the first place. I imagine that this one will get a lot of 1 star reviews simply for its title and subject matter alone. People don't want to even consider the possibility that we aren't getting the whole story when it comes to this issue. Personally, it made my day, the thought that even if Biden gets elected this year and implements his harebrained "Green New Deal", a radical eco-activist has the capacity for change and for being deeply critical about a movement they've supported for so long. While I don't agree with everything in this book, I agree with Shellenberger that the constant guilt-tripping, panicking and fear-instilling in young children is disturbing and completely useless. I agree that getting a handle on climate change doesn't have to require some socialist-esque revolution whereby our freedoms and conveniences are taken away. Progress is possible without taking away what progress we already have. Apocalypse Never seeks to find a common ground and a balance that isn't just based on black-and-white, all-or-nothing fallacies.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Perhaps it’s fitting that a book aimed squarely at climate 'alarmism' is so fatally undermined by its own over-reach. It's not that Shellenberger doesn't spell out some legitimate questions and dilemmas, but over-confidence in his conclusions and the flimsiness and incompleteness of the evidence on which many of them are based made this an insubstantial and unsatisfying read. There are far too many such instances to mention, but the sections on fire, food and energy provide examples. In claiming Perhaps it’s fitting that a book aimed squarely at climate 'alarmism' is so fatally undermined by its own over-reach. It's not that Shellenberger doesn't spell out some legitimate questions and dilemmas, but over-confidence in his conclusions and the flimsiness and incompleteness of the evidence on which many of them are based made this an insubstantial and unsatisfying read. There are far too many such instances to mention, but the sections on fire, food and energy provide examples. In claiming that Australia's disastrous east coast fires in 2019/20 would have occurred even without any warming, partly because of a supposed lack of fuel reduction burns, Schellenberger, relying on an Andrew Bolt interview with David Packham, takes no account of the extreme heat, nor of those areas where the fires raged despite hazard reduction burns. He minimises their severity by referencing the more extensive 1974/75 fires despite the fact these were largely grass fires in the Northern Territory that resulted from heavy rains the previous year, and which caused much less ecological damage. And in referencing a (perfectly valid) study showing that the area burned by wildfire globally has fallen, he fails to point out that the same study showed that fires in closed canopy forests were increasing, and that where reductions in savannah and grasslands were driven largely by agricultural expansion. In his sections on agriculture, Shellenberger notes the potential for higher CO2 levels to increase yields, but ignores evidence that the nutritional value of many crops is adversely affected. He tries to argue that the development of Brazil’s Cerrado helps take pressure off other areas, a claim he does not substantiate, and which does not address the fact that much of the Cerrado’s output of soy is for animal fodder, not human consumption. Of course, this is consistent with his defence of intensive agriculture to support meat consumption, which follows some slightly peculiar philosophical and nutritional musings about diet and health. He highlights a study showing that climate change mitigation could decrease land availability for farming and raise prices, but omits subsequent work by the same author showing how these mitigation costs can be avoided. Reading his discussion of energy, it is hard to take seriously his advocacy of LNG when he never evaluates the extent and effect of current fugitive emissions from this huge industry, instead using a thirty year-old EPA report to assure us that improved gaskets and maintenance had reduced emissions from even earlier levels. His assertions about renewable energy include comprehensively wrong statements, such as the notion that solar and wind’s unreliability means that they require 100% backup, which is most certainly not true for networks in large and meteorologically diverse regions, and his dismissal of distributed solar generation notion that “real electricity” in Indian villages means “reliable grid electricity” wouldn’t jive with those in many areas for whom the grid is anything but reliable. This is a strange, somewhat confessional book. It scores a few cheap points knocking obvious exaggerations, and raises some legitimate questions, but it is so selective in its presentation of evidence that it undermines the case it is trying to make. His discussion of the place of nuclear energy in decarbonizing the economy is about the only really substantial, if still selective, argument. If you must read it, do your homework and check for information the author omits. And perhaps read it alongside The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, who very deliberately examines the worst case scenarios and in Shellenberger’s terms is the arch-exaggerator – this may be a valuable counterpoint.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    This book is not climate critical, only climate-solutions critical, providing an alternative viewpoint on how to solve the problems inherent in climate change. I expect it will generate a lot of knee-jerk responses from people that rate it without actually reading it, or who will read it bad-faith, or who are upset at its valid criticism of radical environmentalist groups. Criticism that, by the way, are shared by many climate scientists, just seldom reported upon. Many are upset by the provocat This book is not climate critical, only climate-solutions critical, providing an alternative viewpoint on how to solve the problems inherent in climate change. I expect it will generate a lot of knee-jerk responses from people that rate it without actually reading it, or who will read it bad-faith, or who are upset at its valid criticism of radical environmentalist groups. Criticism that, by the way, are shared by many climate scientists, just seldom reported upon. Many are upset by the provocative news article the author wrote, failing to realise that it serves the purpose of getting a lot of climate-skeptics to engage with a book that takes for granted as its starting position that climate change is a real and human-caused problem. If people who care about the environment and the issues we face can't see the upsides of a provocatively-title book that encourages readership from the large portion of the population that has otherwise been resistant to other climate change advocacy, then they need to stop and reflect on this fact. Such people also need to consider that we can agree on the problems, and reasonable disagree on the solutions. As another reviewer noted, there are 100 pages of footnotes/citations. My impression is that it is a well-intentioned take on the issues we face today. Will it be without error? No. But neither are the reports of major organisations such as the IPCC entirely without some error (which is to be expected as climate science is extraordinarily complex - this is not a criticism, only an observation). Neither is our climate change modelling without error. A recent publication indicates, for example, that modelling of the arctic failed to properly account for IPO which means that we are seeing much worse temperature trends in the arctic than expected right now. This book is an interesting read that you need not - and should not - treat as a definitive answer, but which I believe validly reflect one perspective on how to solve the problems climate change presents.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Pete

    Apocalypse Never (2020) by Michael Shellenberger is a fascinating book by a twenty year social and environmentalist on how the environmental movement exaggerates some dangers and itself causes more environmental harm. Shellenberger has been an environmental activist for decades and was involved with the Obama administration’s renewables policies. Note also that on Goodreads there are a number of 1 star reviews from people who haven't read the book. There is a pile on of 'likes' for these reviews. Apocalypse Never (2020) by Michael Shellenberger is a fascinating book by a twenty year social and environmentalist on how the environmental movement exaggerates some dangers and itself causes more environmental harm. Shellenberger has been an environmental activist for decades and was involved with the Obama administration’s renewables policies. Note also that on Goodreads there are a number of 1 star reviews from people who haven't read the book. There is a pile on of 'likes' for these reviews. The Amazon reviews, where having purchased the book is a requirement may be a better indication of the book's actual merit. Shellenberger has been invited to be an IPCC reviewer and the book is also praised highly by Tom Wigley who was the director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and a contributor to IPCC reports. Shellenberger is also an interesting environmentalist in that his views on various issues have changed in a similar way to the Guardian Environment writers Mark Lynas and George Monbiot. People’s reactions to the book in general are going to be based on prior attitudes and what they know the book says. But first, read this quote. If you knew this then the book has little for you. If you didn’t then the book is worth reading. “Between 2016 and 2019, the five largest publicly traded oil and gas companies – ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corporation, BP and Total invested a whopping $1 billion into advertising and lobbying for renewables and other climate-related ventures.” The book starts off by going through various quotes from politicians, Extinction Rebellion and others about how we have 12 years to 2030 or we’re doomed or how Climate Change threatens human extinctions. Actual climate scientists, such as Kerry Emmanuel from MIT are also quoted as saying such claims “I don’t have much patience for the apocalypse criers”. Shellenberger then looks at how the claims about fires in the Amazon just after the right wing president Jair Bolsonaro were wrong and why they were not corrected and the figures were not put into context. The book follows Shellenberger’s journeys from when he travelled to Nicaragua in high school to visiting mountain gorilla’s in Africa. He also looks at people in different countries and how much energy they use and how much energy use and how much higher energy use contributes to well being. Shellenberger has converted from believing that renewables could power society to thinking that nuclear is a better low carbon option. He points out that Germany has spent ~580 Bn on the Energiewende and has higher C02 emissions than France which runs on nuclear. He makes the remarkable point that large fossil fuel companies like renewables as it means that they get to sell a lot of gas. The quote earlier in this book highlights this point, he also points out that: “Wrong. Not only are 350.org, Sierra Club, NRDC and EDF all funded by fossil fuel billionaires, they are all trying to kill America’s largest source of carbon-free electricity, nuclear power”. Apocalypse Never is a really interesting that book that anyone interested in the environment should read. It has a genuinely new perspective from someone who has been an environmental insider for decades.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bradley West

    Shellenberger unfortunately makes so many misrepresentations and half-truths in the book. I'm quite disappointed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Dave

    One of the worst books I have ever read. Awful in every respect, but especially morally. Its author can only be a person of really shocking moral degeneracy. It is exactly what one would expect from its publisher, Rupert Murdoch. Shellenberger is an astonishingly mendacious writer. He constantly misrepresents facts and reaches conclusions only a Fox News viewer would fail to see through on nearly every page. For example, were you aware that plastic is actually good for nature because without it w One of the worst books I have ever read. Awful in every respect, but especially morally. Its author can only be a person of really shocking moral degeneracy. It is exactly what one would expect from its publisher, Rupert Murdoch. Shellenberger is an astonishingly mendacious writer. He constantly misrepresents facts and reaches conclusions only a Fox News viewer would fail to see through on nearly every page. For example, were you aware that plastic is actually good for nature because without it we would have killed all the elephants for piano keys? He writes this in broad daylight under his real name. If you're dumb and dishonest enough to buy that, you'd probably also agree that the Nazis were actually good for the Jews since without the holocaust there would be no IDF. The book is written for an unlettered rightwing climate-denying audience, who are the only people capable of enjoying it. They will eagerly slurp up this garbage. Shellenberger wants to come across as a respected scientist (despite being neither respected nor a scientist), but comes across only as what he is: a dishonest self-promoting huckster unfit for any employment other than by Breitbart, Fox News, or any other gutter tabloid. Imagine a person so baldly unethical that even Forbes found his writing unfit for print and had to pull it. That actually happened. That's a bit like being kicked out of the NBA for being too tall. Shellenberger knows his audience are imbeciles. This why he, e.g. doesn't refer simply to albatrosses, but instead refers to an "albatross seabird": because his readers are the type of crewcutted shaved ape who thinks an Albatross is a military airplane and won't be able to understand why one is eating a fish. To call it worthless would be to lavish it with unwarranted praise. It is a buffoonish and revolting piece of trash.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ben De Bono

    READ THIS BOOK! Environmental thought, especially when it comes to climate change, is perpetually trapped in the prison of two ideas. One side paints humans as destroyers of the planet and insist only the most radical action has the chance to save us. The other claims it's all a hoax and that any environmental protection is unneeded. Michael Shellenberger is not trapped in that prison. He's an environmentalist and activist. He believes in anthropomorphic climate change. He's well versed in the sc READ THIS BOOK! Environmental thought, especially when it comes to climate change, is perpetually trapped in the prison of two ideas. One side paints humans as destroyers of the planet and insist only the most radical action has the chance to save us. The other claims it's all a hoax and that any environmental protection is unneeded. Michael Shellenberger is not trapped in that prison. He's an environmentalist and activist. He believes in anthropomorphic climate change. He's well versed in the science and never once cries hoax. Yet for all that he rejects the apocalyptic predictions. Instead he promotes a pro-human environmentalism. The problem with the two ideas outlined above is that they both see an antagonism between human progress and the environment. Shellenberger doesn't. He sees the environment (rightly) as a tool for human progress but also recognizes (rightly) that as humanity develops the impact on the environment naturally becomes less, not more. Naturally, this has made Shellenberger the enemy of the dogmatic left. Even Forbes pulled a recent article from. That at least suggests he's stepping on the right toes. Apocalypse Never did what many of the best books do: caused me to look at familiar issues in entirely new ways. This is a book not to reinforce your thinking but to challenge it. It will do so no matter where you land on the spectrum of environmental politics. Highly, highly recommended

  9. 5 out of 5

    Henri

    A highly needed book that clarifies and straigthens many misconseptions about climate change and the state of the environment. Considerate and well researched (1/4 of the book is notes), the book tries to present different issues in their proper context and offer rational solutions. It makes the convincing case that climate change is not the catastrophic event many people claim it to be, and also addresses many other topics, like plastic waste, animal conservation, food production, energy and fo A highly needed book that clarifies and straigthens many misconseptions about climate change and the state of the environment. Considerate and well researched (1/4 of the book is notes), the book tries to present different issues in their proper context and offer rational solutions. It makes the convincing case that climate change is not the catastrophic event many people claim it to be, and also addresses many other topics, like plastic waste, animal conservation, food production, energy and forestry. It's also made visible, that the prosperity of humans and the environment actually goes hand-in-hand. Highly recommended read, especially to young people who are worried about the future.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    A great Contrast to mainstream environmentalists Shellenberger is not a heretic, or a climate denier. He’s pretty good at analysis and excellent at pointing out the differences between what scientists actually said and what the media and activists reported. There are so many good quotes in the book, I’m going back to try to make a summary. That’s the only problem with the book. It covers so much ground that it’s hard to find an ultimate theme . It’s a calmer, more reasoned read than the books fro A great Contrast to mainstream environmentalists Shellenberger is not a heretic, or a climate denier. He’s pretty good at analysis and excellent at pointing out the differences between what scientists actually said and what the media and activists reported. There are so many good quotes in the book, I’m going back to try to make a summary. That’s the only problem with the book. It covers so much ground that it’s hard to find an ultimate theme . It’s a calmer, more reasoned read than the books from the apocalyptic writers that seem to dominate the airwaves and bookshelves.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steven Dzwonczyk

    Michael Shellenberger hit it out of the park with "Apocalypse Never." He has brought into focus a lifetime of environmental science and propaganda, explaining which is which and how you can tell the difference. He gives the reader several simple-to-understand concepts to help evaluate any environmental claim that is put before one to make it easier to see if it is a net good or net bad. In each chapter he lays out the conventional wisdom, explains what is wrong in the reasoning, and suggests alte Michael Shellenberger hit it out of the park with "Apocalypse Never." He has brought into focus a lifetime of environmental science and propaganda, explaining which is which and how you can tell the difference. He gives the reader several simple-to-understand concepts to help evaluate any environmental claim that is put before one to make it easier to see if it is a net good or net bad. In each chapter he lays out the conventional wisdom, explains what is wrong in the reasoning, and suggests alternatives which would have better outcomes. In the final chapter, he talks about the religion of environmentalism, why this religion results in sad and depressed congregants, and offers gratitude and wonder as alternatives. This book will change the way we talk about the environment, and ultimately hopes to push us in the direction of a healthy environment and a prosperous humanity, a reality that can be achieved through nuclear power. (Oh, and he debunks the major myths about nuclear power throughout the book, which was eye-opening to me, even as a scientist.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Williams

    A Must Read on the Truth About Climate Activism I found this book to be extremely well written, interesting and informative. With the volume of I formation covered in this book it could easily become a painstaking experience to read. The author covered a exhaustively wide range of topics in great detail without losing the humanity of the subject matter. His arguments were clear and concise with documentation for even the most mundane of references. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wit A Must Read on the Truth About Climate Activism I found this book to be extremely well written, interesting and informative. With the volume of I formation covered in this book it could easily become a painstaking experience to read. The author covered a exhaustively wide range of topics in great detail without losing the humanity of the subject matter. His arguments were clear and concise with documentation for even the most mundane of references. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with even the slightest interest, or disinterest, in the subject of Global Climate Change or Climate Activism.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Georgina

    Activist refutes Cilmate Apocalypse Yes there is hope. The IPCC reports are intentionally exaggerated so politicians can say we need to act now. The news media then exaggerates it more to scare people into action. The world will not end. It's also interesting to see how green groups are supported by and support fossil fuel interests.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Very misleading and overstated claims. I invite everyone to read "Shellenberger's op-ad" on RealClimate.org. This is written by Michael Tobis. An actual climate scientist. Of which, Michael Shellenberger is not one. Read this book with every bit of skepticism and further research it deserves. It was clearly written to rile up the deniers. Of course there are some on the other side that are written in the same vein. It's about time we start listening to actual scientists...

  15. 4 out of 5

    John Gallagher

    Great analysis

  16. 5 out of 5

    Luke Jacobs

    Honestly, this book did a really good job at challenging my default assumptions about climate change. A good deal of modern activism is rooted in ideological misgivings and not on rational policy. Especially with the rise of social media movements like The Sunrise Movement, which are echo chambers of semi-coherent, well meaning but ultimately counterproductive policy advocates. That being said, this book kinda sucked. The author constantly rambles on about specific random scientists he disagrees Honestly, this book did a really good job at challenging my default assumptions about climate change. A good deal of modern activism is rooted in ideological misgivings and not on rational policy. Especially with the rise of social media movements like The Sunrise Movement, which are echo chambers of semi-coherent, well meaning but ultimately counterproductive policy advocates. That being said, this book kinda sucked. The author constantly rambles on about specific random scientists he disagrees with and gets wayyyyyy to bogged down in stuff like his history corresponding with that person, dates and locations where he read about them, and other boring irrelevant information. Every chapter gets caught in these weeds and doesn’t flow well into a entertaining blend of fact and storytelling.... it’s just a giant dump of the authors findings and grievances.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shawn M. Connors

    Count me in as one of the people that feels a lot of anxiety when we're told the earth is getting beyond the point of no return, the planet is dying, the storms and fires are out of control, the animals are suffering and disappearing, and our kids are totally screwed. What have been the "bold" solutions that are being proposed by the most high profile "experts?" You're the cause of these problems, cut way back on the energy you use, don't eat meat, don't have kids, don't fly anywhere, get ready Count me in as one of the people that feels a lot of anxiety when we're told the earth is getting beyond the point of no return, the planet is dying, the storms and fires are out of control, the animals are suffering and disappearing, and our kids are totally screwed. What have been the "bold" solutions that are being proposed by the most high profile "experts?" You're the cause of these problems, cut way back on the energy you use, don't eat meat, don't have kids, don't fly anywhere, get ready to shut down the entire economy, and build big, ugly, endangered bird killing machines in the form of solar and wind farms. Most importantly raise taxes to the moon. I've even found myself partially agreeing with the observation that humanity is just a big, genetic mistake and the earth would have been better without us. Adults are understandably depressed by this narrative. Children are traumatized by it. But the good news, as brilliantly and logically outlined in Apocalypse Never shatters these myths, and lays out solutions using existing, affordable technology, and on a timeline that can be measured in years rather than decades. This book is a breath of fresh air that counters the hot air of much of the media and apocalyptic talking heads that dominate air time. Most importantly I felt empowered and inspired as I turned the (electronic) pages. A friend of mine once said, "The simple solution presents itself last." And thus it finally found me after years of wondering, "what can we do about these environmental problems?" Part of the beauty of this work is that the author, Michael Shellenberger didn't arrive at this point-of-view out of the cradle. He earned it by first taking on global warming in the traditional form of an environmental activist. We're all lucky that Mr. Shellenberger is blessed with the rare gift of critical thinking. Because he paused, and took a deep, intellectual dive into the environmental data. He came out with a set of observations and proposed solutions that are fascinating, often counter-intuitive, and actionable. He earned his chops in the poorest and most dangerous places in Africa, where his observations about the timeline of moving toward denser energy sources seems to have emerged. He went to the problem areas of the earth both intellectually and physically. His own "Hero's Journey." I am no longer anxious about our environment. I am fired up. I am ready to help Mr. Shellenberger's and his colleagues' get their message out to as many people as possible. I no longer feel guilty about my carbon foot print, or how much energy my family consumes. Now I realize, as a member of an advanced society, we require more energy, not less. Fear and misinformation, not technology is the hurdle these brilliant scientist need us to help them clear. Now the tools are available for even C+ Students like me to be part of the solution. I don't want to feel bad about building a better life for my family as we try to share that blessing with people all over the world. One of my favorite songs is, What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. I can enjoy that heartfelt tune again without hypocrisy in my heart. Read this book! And thank you, Michael Shellenberger.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dave H

    I have been in the green movement now for 7-8 years, I worked for the Green party in Norway in the election of 2019, I even flirted a bit with Extinction Rebellion the summer that same year, and I can surely say that Shellenberger is right on the money. The main reason I heard about him is because he supports nuclear power as one of the real solutions, clever guy (yes, he is a paid lobbyist for nuclear power, but soon so am I). Shellenberger is no climate change denier, quite the opposite. He ha I have been in the green movement now for 7-8 years, I worked for the Green party in Norway in the election of 2019, I even flirted a bit with Extinction Rebellion the summer that same year, and I can surely say that Shellenberger is right on the money. The main reason I heard about him is because he supports nuclear power as one of the real solutions, clever guy (yes, he is a paid lobbyist for nuclear power, but soon so am I). Shellenberger is no climate change denier, quite the opposite. He has, as some of the critique of the book pointed out, some errors in his book, but those are absolutely not enough to label him as a climate change denier. Some would say that his assault on ICC-reports should label him a loonie, when what he really does is listen to one of the original authors who is critical of the apocalyptic tone in the summary. Yes, it is not looking good, but it is not completely hopeless. From the summaries you get this feeling, I have read them myself. This apocalyptic tone is the reason I agree so wholeheartedly with Shellenberger. Within many green movements and Extinction Rebellion there is a consensus that we are all going to die tomorrow and that you are automatically sinful being born a carbon-emitting human, SHAME! Add the neo-Malthusian hypocrisy that we all need to reduce our global consumption, effectively dooming billions of people to poverty, and you have a modern green movement. It is not healthy at all, I can feel the damage done to my own system, and I personally know people who are mentally broken because of climate-angst. The general consensus is "it's fucked anyways" and "were all going to die". The broken people I know could have contributed a whole lot to a green organisation that had a more constructive message, or just society in general, instead of dropping out of life. Tell people the truth, but do not break them down, defeatist and doomerist people will get nothing done. The message in this book is important, it should be read by everybody who are involved with anything political, and especially those within the green movement who keep an open mind.

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Bigelow

    Helped explain many of the odd features of the climate change discussion, particularly as related to nuclear energy. I always have trouble understanding why, if the world is coming to an end without drastic reductions in our carbon output, we do not consider nuclear energy with its zero carbon emissions and almost unlimited energy output. There are a lot of cynical people out there.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Think, if you will, of the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets in “Romeo and Juliet.” Or of the 1863-1891 classic American feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, warring families in West Virginia and Kentucky. Full Review https://www.yaleclimateconnections.or...- In the decades-old tensions involving environmental science, population, resource dynamics, and ecology, it’s the Malthusians and the Cornucopians. Subscribing to the wisdom of English economist Thomas Malthus, Malthusians ex Think, if you will, of the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets in “Romeo and Juliet.” Or of the 1863-1891 classic American feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, warring families in West Virginia and Kentucky. Full Review https://www.yaleclimateconnections.or...- In the decades-old tensions involving environmental science, population, resource dynamics, and ecology, it’s the Malthusians and the Cornucopians. Subscribing to the wisdom of English economist Thomas Malthus, Malthusians express concerns that exponential human population growth and economic demands will outrun global resources needed to support people, undermining long-term sustainability. Cornucopians, in contrast – with their nod to the cornucopia or “horn of plenty” of Greek mythology – hold that technological advances can sustain societal needs and that unbounded economic growth and increased population are positive, giving rise to more good ideas. Review The historical tensions and intellectual debates between Malthusians and Cornucopians are now more than two centuries old and have evolved. In recent years, the public conversation around critical global crises like human-caused climate change, deforestation and species extinction, population pressures, and new and worsening public health threats has grown louder, harsher, and increasingly ideological. As the sciences have improved, the deep complexity and connections among these problems have also become more apparent, as have urgent calls to address them through local, national, and global actions. A recent entry in this debate is Michael Shellenberger’s “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All” (HarperCollins Publishers, 2020). Shellenberger explains in his introduction that he seeks to counter and dismiss what he considers irrational, overwrought arguments of pending Malthusian catastrophes; instead, he seeks to promote the Cornucopian view that environmental problems can be eliminated if we’d just pursue aggressive economic growth, simple technological advances, and increased tapping of abundant natural resources. In doing so, he echoes previous efforts of authors like Herman Kahn, Julian Simon, and Bjørn Lomborg. Climate dialogue seen as ‘out of control’ Shellenberger self-describes as an environmentalist activist and a bringer of facts and science to counter “exaggeration, alarmism, and extremism that are the enemy of a positive, humanistic, and rational environmentalism.” He decided to write this book because he believes “the conversation about climate change and the environment has, in the last few years, spiraled out of control.” Voices of reason and clear analyses in the contentious debates about how to tackle our global problems are welcome. Unfortunately, the book is deeply and fatally flawed. At the simplest level, it is a polemic based on a strawman argument: To Shellenberger, scientists, “educated elite,” “activist journalists,” and high-profile environmental activists believe incorrectly that the end of the world is coming and yet refuse to support the only solutions that he thinks will work – nuclear energy and uninhibited economic growth. ‘What is new in here isn’t right, and what is right isn’t new.’ But even if the author properly understood the complexity and nature of global challenges, which he does not, and got the science right, which he did not, a fatal flaw in his argument is the traditional Cornucopian oversimplification of his solutions – reliance on economic growth and silver-bullet technology. As the great American journalist and humorist H. L. Mencken said, “there is always a well-known solution to every human problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.” Mencken also warned against those who know precisely what is right and what is wrong, a warning especially worth hearing in the highly complex and uncertain worlds of global climate, pandemics, and environmental change. … yet bad science, strawman arguments, cherry-picking facts, and ad hominem attacks on scientists, media, others But the problems in the book go much deeper. The author wanders from topic to topic, jumping from personal anecdote to polemical arguments to data and numbers carefully chosen to support his views, making it difficult for the reader to follow his threads. The most serious flaw, however, is that he assumes a position and seeks data and facts to fit that position rather than, as science demands, using data and facts to develop, test, and refine a theory. As a result, the book suffers from logical fallacies, arguments based on emotion and ideology, the setting up and knocking down of strawman arguments, and the selective cherry-picking and misuse of facts, all interspersed with simple mistakes and misrepresentations of science. Distressingly, this is also an angry book, riddled with ugly ad hominem attacks on scientists, environmental advocates, and the media. I provide just a few examples of these flaws here – a comprehensive catalog would require its own book. In short, what is new in here isn’t right, and what is right isn’t new. Two Cornucopian ideas lie at the heart of this book: The first idea is that there are no real “limits to growth” and environmental problems are the result of poverty and will be solved by having everyone get richer. This idea isn’t original and has long been debunked by others (for a few examples see here, here, here, and here). View that nuclear alone can address needs The second idea – and the focus of much of Shellenberger’s past writings – is that climate and energy problems can and should be solved solely by nuclear power. He writes, “Only nuclear, not solar and wind, can provide abundant, reliable, and inexpensive heat,” and, “Only nuclear energy can power our high-energy human civilization while reducing humankind’s environmental footprint.” (“Apocalypse Never” – hereafter “AN” – pp. 153 and 278) The many economic, environmental, political, and social arguments levied against nuclear are simply dismissed as having no merit, for example: “As for nuclear waste, it is the best and safest kind of waste produced from electricity production. It has never hurt anyone and there is no reason to think it ever will.” (AN, p. 152) His passionate belief that nuclear is the only answer to our energy and climate problems (maybe along with a mega-dam on the Congo River in Africa) is matched by the corollary that renewable energy alternatives – he calls them “unreliables” (AN, p. 176) – are bad because he asserts they are small scale, intermittent, and their economic, environmental, political, and social problems disqualifying. The argument that poverty and environmental threats are intertwined is both correct and not new. It lies at the heart of international development efforts, including the early United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the current Sustainable Development Goals, which state: The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected. (emphasis added) Similarly, mainstream experts in environmental science and environmental economics have long acknowledged that all energy options have complex sets of environmental advantages and disadvantages. The fields of energy risk assessment, integrated environmental systems analysis, and ecological economics have addressed them for decades. Using the facade of ‘strawman arguments’ Shellenberger regularly sets up other strawman arguments and then knocks them down. [A strawman argument is an effort to refute an argument that hasn’t been made by replacing your opponent’s actual argument with a different one.] One of the most prevalent strawman arguments in the climate debate is that scientists claim climate change “causes” extreme events, when in fact, climate scientists make careful distinctions between “causality” and “influence” – two very different things. This area, called “attribution science,” is one of the most exciting aspects of climate research today. Shellenberger sets up the strawman argument that people are incorrectly claiming recent extreme events (like forest fires, floods, heat waves, and droughts) were caused by climate change, and then he debunks this strawman. “Many blamed climate change for wildfires that ravaged California” (AN, p.2) and “the fires would have occurred even had Australia’s climate not warmed.” (AN p. 21) He misrepresents how the media reported on the fires, describing a New York Times story on the 2019 Amazon fires: “As for the Amazon, The New York Times reported, correctly, that the ‘fires were not caused by climate change.'” But here Shellenberger is cherry-picking a quote: If you look at the actual article he cites, the journalist makes clear the “influence” of climate change just two sentences later: These fires were not caused by climate change. They were, by and large, set by humans. However, climate change can make fires worse. Fires can burn hotter and spread more quickly under warmer and drier conditions. (emphasis added) He also misunderstands or misrepresents the extensive and growing literature on the links between climate change and extreme events, saying “But climate change so far has not resulted in increases in the frequency or intensity of many types of extreme weather” (AN, p. 15) citing out-of-date research, including a workshop from 15 years ago. In fact, a large and growing body of literature already shows strong links between climate change and extreme events, including hurricanes, heat deaths, flooding, decreasing ice, and more (see, for a few examples, here, here, and here), and this literature has been expanding rapidly. For instance, in 2019, the American Meteorological Society, or AMS, published a summary – produced annually – with 21 peer-reviewed analyses of extreme weather in 2018 including the research of 121 scientists from 13 countries. The severe Four Corners drought in the U.S., intense heat waves on the Iberian peninsula and in northeast Asia, exceptional precipitation in the mid-Atlantic states, and record-low sea ice in the Bering Sea were all examples of extreme weather events “made more likely by human-caused climate change.” As Jeff Rosenfeld, the editor-in-chief of the AMS series, noted, “We’ve now published more than 100 of these attribution studies in this AMS series and can see how powerful this science is getting. Attribution studies increasingly yield useful, nuanced conclusions that embrace real-world complexity,” Rosenfeld wrote. “They collectively make an ever starker statement about the human influence on extreme weather.” Another example of a serious conceptual confusion is his chapter dismissing the threat of species extinctions. The chapter is full of misunderstandings of extinction rates, ecosystem and biological functions, confusions about timescales, and misuses of data. For example, Shellenberger confuses the concept of species “richness” with “biodiversity” and makes the astounding claim that Around the world, the biodiversity of islands has actually doubled on average, thanks to the migration of ‘invasive species.’ The introduction of new plant species has outnumbered plant extinctions one hundred fold. (AN, p. 66) By this odd logic, if an island had 10 species of native birds found only there and they went extinct, but 20 other invasive bird species established themselves, the island’s “biodiversity” would double. This error results from a misunderstanding of the study he cites, which properly notes that simply assessing species numbers (richness not biodiversity) on islands ignores the critical issues of biodiversity raised by invasive species, including the disruption of endemic species interactions, weakening of ecosystem stability, alteration of ecosystem functions, and increasing homogenization of flora and fauna. Another set of classic logical fallacies is the misuse, misrepresentation, and selective use of evidence. Shellenberger sees himself as the white knight bringing science and facts to emotional arguments. “Every fact, claim, and argument in this book is based on the best-available science … Apocalypse Never defends mainstream science from those who deny it on the political Right and Left.” (AN, p. xiii) But often, his arguments are based on inappropriate use of evidence, outdated or cherry-picked science, misunderstandings or misrepresentation, or just outright errors. One of the most common flaws is his confusing use of the terms “can,” “could,” “will,” “will likely,” and so on. These grammatical choices usually reflect classic Cornucopian optimism and the advantage of telling the audience a positive story, rather than one based on the actual evidence. For example, he claims: When it comes to food production, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) concludes that crop yields will increase significantly, under a wide range of climate scenarios. (AN, p. 6, emphasis added) What great news, if only we knew for sure it were true and under all plausible climate scenarios. But in fact, this is a misrepresentation of the 2018 FAO report cited, which looks at possible futures and actually says: Climate change already has negative effects on crop yields, livestock production and fisheries, particularly in low- and middle- income countries. Such impacts are likely to become even stronger later in this century. (emphasis added) Unaddressed climate change, which is associated, inter alia, with unsustainable agricultural practices, is likely to lead to more land and water use, disproportionately affecting poor people and exacerbating inequalities within and between countries. This carries negative implications for both food availability and food access. There are many other examples where his optimism (things “will” happen) overrides the scientific evidence and uncertainties about the future. . We know how to provide safe water and sanitation to the billions who still lack it. We know we must now work to both cut greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the severity of climate change and at the same time work to adapt to the impacts we can no longer avoid. We know how to improve agricultural efficiency to both grow enough food for everyone and to get it to hungry mouths. What we lack are adequate efforts to prioritize solutions, fix governmental and institutional failures, motivate policymakers, and, sadly, talk rationally to each other about moving forward quickly and effectively. This book fails to contribute to those much-needed efforts. Dr. Peter H. Gleick is president emeritus of the Pacific Institute, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a MacArthur Fellow, and winner of the 2018 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization.

  21. 4 out of 5

    John Mccandlish

    Let me state my bias before giving this review. I have lived in the deep south of the US for most of my life. I accept the science of climate change and that man has been a major contributor to it. But I am not an alarmist. In short, I roll my eyes when Trump says it's a Chinese hoax and slap my forehead at AOC's Green New Deal. Like most Americans (according to polls), I want us to take some action but not go crazy. I feel this book should be read by alarmists or environmental activists; but not Let me state my bias before giving this review. I have lived in the deep south of the US for most of my life. I accept the science of climate change and that man has been a major contributor to it. But I am not an alarmist. In short, I roll my eyes when Trump says it's a Chinese hoax and slap my forehead at AOC's Green New Deal. Like most Americans (according to polls), I want us to take some action but not go crazy. I feel this book should be read by alarmists or environmental activists; but not my most of my friends. That's because most of them believe climate change is a global conspiracy/hoax and only God can change the climate. I'm giving four stars because the book does what the title suggests. It points out we should not freak out over everything. I myself still drive an SUV, eats lots of red meat, nor have solar panels on my house. All that being said; this author has unrealistic expectations. I don't understand what his point was in Chapter 9. Yes, we all understand solar, wind and other renewables are not as efficient yet. But geezz, we have to give innovation time; and yes sometimes a lot of time. The author finds every nuance of any progress as less than perfection. Thus I'm labeling the author as an Eeyore. Let's just make sure we don't have him in charge of innovation. Perhaps I do need to educate myself more as I view climate change different that trying to save every species. Not that I want any animal to go extinct; but I am not paying too much attention to the whales or polar bears. I do agree and appreciate him addressing "free range" and genetically-modified foods. I love a great steak so not totally into the free range/organic stuff. Also, I'm so tired of hearing about Al Gore. I'm glad he won the Noble Prize; otherwise, the US and many other countries would not be taking any action (oh wait, Trump isn't doing anything). Al Gore is old news and it doesn't bother me some Hollywood elites can be hypocritical either. Yes, I rather it be scientists doing all the talking; but scientists don't get the attention required for political will. It's pretty typical to have speakers fly to give speeches, so lay off that a little. Yes, I do wish those speakers would stick more to the systems and macro-level strategies rather than lecture us on our day-to-day. But again, in the US we have congressmen bringing in snowballs saying that proves the climate is not warming....so I cut them some slack. I do agree with him on nuclear power; which seems to be his biggest solution. While I agree with him; not sure the world is going to change its opinion on nuclear anytime soon; so we probably should have some backup options. That's why I reading about numerous success stories of wind/solar. Perfect? No. Completely ready to take over? No....but again, the author didn't seem to provide any success stories that exist. He pointed out the news story about the soccer ball Obama used about how inefficient it was. Way too go Eeyore.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cav

    I heard about Apocalypse Never on Michael Shermer's Science Salon podcast. Author Michael Shellenberger is a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment”; the winner of the 2008 Green Book Award from the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Center for Science Writings; and an invited expert reviewer of the next Assessment Report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has written on energy and the environment for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Natu I heard about Apocalypse Never on Michael Shermer's Science Salon podcast. Author Michael Shellenberger is a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment”; the winner of the 2008 Green Book Award from the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Center for Science Writings; and an invited expert reviewer of the next Assessment Report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has written on energy and the environment for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Nature Energy, and other publications for two decades. He is the founder and president of Environmental Progress, an independent, nonpartisan research organization based in Berkeley, California. I only include his background info to inform readers that Shellenberger is a life-long climate advocate, and has written this book not to contest the idea that climate change is real, but rather to have a more balanced discussion around some of the major issues surrounding it. Apocalypse Never is a very well-written, reasoned, and nuanced look at climate change, minus the alarmism and emotional urgency that are often par for the course when discussing this contentious topic. Shellenberger talks about many things climate-related here; CO2 emissions, renewable and fossil fuel energy, polar bears, whales, forest fires, and many more. He takes a shot at climate alarmists like Extinction Rebellion, Greta Thunberg, and others that promote excessive and/or irrational fear over climate change. "...Whereas in January 2019, Thunberg had paid lip service to the need for poor nations to develop, in September she said, “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.” But economic growth was what lifted Suparti out of poverty, saved the whales, and is the hope for Bernadette, once Congo achieves security and peace. Economic growth is necessary for creating the infrastructure required for protecting people from natural disasters, climate-related or not. And economic growth created Sweden’s wealth, including that of Thunberg’s own family. It is fair to say that without economic growth, the person who is Greta Thunberg would not exist." Good stuff! Shellenberger identifies (correctly, IMHO) many of these climate alarmists as neo-Malthusians. Many of these alarmists have become religiously attached to these views, as is evidenced by their inability to have any discourse around the topic without resorting to hysterics and hyperbolic catastrophizing... Many of the negative reviews here are no doubt ironically from the sort of people he describes in the book. Shellenberger also correctly informs the reader that if the World's bottom income earners and poor in developing countries are to escape the poverty that plagues them, they will require more energy going forward, not less . Steven Pinker also has a great chapter about this in his book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. I enjoyed the writing here; Shellenberger has an engaging style, and the book makes for easy reading. I also think this book is important. Anytime a rigid orthodoxy and/or moral panic emerges, it is important to amplify the voices of reasoned and rational contrarians. Large groups of people engaging in moral panics and pathological groupthink are humanity's greatest Achilles' heel, IMHO. Books like this one; well-written, presented, and argued - are necessary to help bring rational discourse back into the picture again. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone interested. 5 stars.

  23. 4 out of 5

    bogna

    A highly needed book, not without its flaws and some nitpicking, but that comes with the contentious subject. It is best read alongside other positions on environmentalism. It is true that it attacks easy targets in the affluent west (Greta, Extinction Rebellion, AOC) but there is a wealth of research, care & experience behind it that no one interested in environmental politics can neglect. The first half is weaker, but in the second half, when Shellenberger digs into the subject of nuclear ener A highly needed book, not without its flaws and some nitpicking, but that comes with the contentious subject. It is best read alongside other positions on environmentalism. It is true that it attacks easy targets in the affluent west (Greta, Extinction Rebellion, AOC) but there is a wealth of research, care & experience behind it that no one interested in environmental politics can neglect. The first half is weaker, but in the second half, when Shellenberger digs into the subject of nuclear energy, the value of this book becomes quite clear. The section on leftist Malthusianism in America & the harm that it's done to postcolonial states is also excellent.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This book consists of two major points: 1. Climate change is not the death knell it has been made out to be. Yes, it will cause a lot of serious problems, but the IPCC only considers those problems to shave 5% or so off global GDP by 2100 in their high warming scenario. (5% is a lot, but apparently only half as bad as a global pandemic!) 2. If you want to preserve the environment, advocate energy intensification. The world's poorest sustain themselves by slashing and burning virgin forests and inf This book consists of two major points: 1. Climate change is not the death knell it has been made out to be. Yes, it will cause a lot of serious problems, but the IPCC only considers those problems to shave 5% or so off global GDP by 2100 in their high warming scenario. (5% is a lot, but apparently only half as bad as a global pandemic!) 2. If you want to preserve the environment, advocate energy intensification. The world's poorest sustain themselves by slashing and burning virgin forests and infringing on the habitats of endangered animals. If you want to preserve those environments, give the poor cheap energy and industrial infrastructure, even if that means building a coal power plant. I found the second point far more interesting to explore than the first. This take on environmentalism is what Wikipedia dubs 'ecomodernism' and what Mr. Shellenberger prefers to call 'ecohumanism', which is a better name, in my opinion. If you take Shellenberger's ecohumanism seriously, it means advocating a whole lot of things that would make your standard environmentalist aghast, such as: - Building coal power plants in places where people use wood and charcoal for fuel, natural gas plants in places where people use coal for fuel, and nuclear power plants in places people use natural gas for fuel. - Strongly supporting energy-intensive/industrial farming, which produces more food products with fewer acreage, and frees small-scale farmers to pursue more productive pursuits. By the same token, aggressively promote GMO food products, which further reduce the land needed to produce higher food yields - Supporting sweatshop labor, which generally gives its employees a higher standard of living than small-scale farming, and, more importantly for the environment, removes the poor from semi-wild environments, where people contribute greatly to habitat loss. - Maintaining robust, free markets that allow people to replace their habitat-destroying natural products with superior, energy-intensive, artificial, and often petroleum-based artificial products These are only some of the most shocking (to me, anyway) claims that I've highlighted. And the kicker is that Shellenberger supports all these remarkable suggestions with rock-solid evidence and data. I've always been a little skeptical of natural=better types, but Shellenberger really lays out how artificiality is often better for the environment. I would highly recommend.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Cooper

    Apocalypse Never left me feeling all sorts of emotions. At times I felt a little relieved. For once in my life, this book stood as a sign of hope in the midst of overwhelming nihilism being projected by leading activists. Then at other times I literally screamed in frustration as I read about the political blunders and corruption that have hindered our current environmental progress. I’m still debating the validity of the sinister anti nuclear proponents he talks about, but there is certainly go Apocalypse Never left me feeling all sorts of emotions. At times I felt a little relieved. For once in my life, this book stood as a sign of hope in the midst of overwhelming nihilism being projected by leading activists. Then at other times I literally screamed in frustration as I read about the political blunders and corruption that have hindered our current environmental progress. I’m still debating the validity of the sinister anti nuclear proponents he talks about, but there is certainly good evidence to believe so. I’m also still a little confused as to why nuclear power has been so slow to grow, despite its clear environmental positives. I wish he had talked about that a bit more, given it was the fulcrum of the book. Regardless of its imperfections, Apocalypse Never offers a crucial frame shift in the way we as a society should tackle climate change. The days of pessimism and dreams of regression into organic agrarian societies should remain behind us. There are significant advancements still need to be made, but the current “climate” and message of environmental activism NEEDS to undergo a change. If not for the effectiveness of its goals, do it for the mental health of the children who have to deal with these daily apocalyptic prophecies. I think he says it best: “With care, persistence, and I dare say, love, I believe we can moderate the extremes and deepen the understanding and respect in the process” TLDR: If you care at all about climate change you should give this a read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    John

    There is just too much cherry picking of information and clear factual errors on subjects I am very well read on and are in my field of expertise. Which makes me call into question the information provided in this book in areas I am not as well versed. This leaves me to wonder what is this authors possible hidden agenda?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Weak, unsubstantiated, arguments. It's amazing that Shellenberger ran for public office using many of the arguments that he now - having lost the election - now suddenly does a u-turn on to sell his book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Shellenbeger has been an activist since starting an Amnesty International chapter in his high school and became an environmental activist in college where he received a degree in Peace and Global Studies and a Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology. Early on, he focused on Latin America and lived amongst the local farmers there. He was named a Time magazine Hero of the Environment in 2008 and has pretty much spent his life in environmental activism. So why then would he write a book seemingly Shellenbeger has been an activist since starting an Amnesty International chapter in his high school and became an environmental activist in college where he received a degree in Peace and Global Studies and a Master's degree in Cultural Anthropology. Early on, he focused on Latin America and lived amongst the local farmers there. He was named a Time magazine Hero of the Environment in 2008 and has pretty much spent his life in environmental activism. So why then would he write a book seemingly against environmental alarmism? Because he has dealt with both the exaggerating alarmists and misinformed deniers, both of which are off base in his opinion. This book presents a rational view of the climate predicament we are in. Shellenberger sifts through the hysteria being fed to us in seemingly undigestable chunks through the media and breaks down what is true and what are exaggerations. He explains how we got to where we are and how we need to proceed going forward, in a clear and rational manner. He states, "young people learning about climate change for the first time might understandably believe, upon listening to Lunnon and Thunberg that climate change is the result of deliberate, malevolent actions. In reality, it is the opposite. Emissions are a by product of energy consumption which has been necessary for people to lift themselves, their families, and their societies out of poverty and achieve human dignity. " My favorite part of this book is when the author defends and advocates for nuclear power. His past writings and media appearances promoting nuclear power was how I originally discovered him. Due to some high profile catastrophic nuclear accidents, the world's opinion of nuclear power has turned sour and calls for decommissioning existing plants is getting louder and louder. In reality, more deaths and environmental issues are caused by other forms of energy generation as he illustrates. Unfortunately for the environment, it will be absolutely impossible to replace the power generated by nuclear with renewables such as solar and wind and gas and coal will be forced to make a comeback. Look at all our gadgets and electric cars- energy usage will continue to grow. Advances in nuclear power generation have been great, and Gen IV plants are safer than ever and can even process existing waste. How can we ignore this source of zero emission power? Shellenberger will explain all this to you. The author touches on a number of other subjects such as: what saved the whales, plastics, sweatshops, the Amazon rainforests, eating meat, and the sixth extinction. Some subjects appealed to me less than others but overall, I thought the points were well argued and facts laid out clearly. I've always found Shellenberger's writing to be clear and concise. I would highly recommend to anyone interested in climate science. You may not agree with all the author's points but it is interesting to learn of our climate issues from someone as credentialed and intelligent as Shellenberger.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Juan Farfán

    Whether your interest is environmentalism or not you must read this book, I’d said that if you can only read a book this year read this one. Apocalyptic environmentalism is inaccurate and inhuman. Most environmental problems are not due to malice or greed are the byproducts of economic development and we must solve them but without sacrificing human prosperity and human potential. This might be the most important book on environmentalism of the decade

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Pretty good argument from someone who is an environmentalist about how the religion of climate change hurts the both human development and the overall environment. There were a few areas which were weak or incorrect (vegetarianism presented vs. standard diet with the argument of "animals take up less space than plants" or something like that, not factoring in the land for growing animal feed...), but most of it was pretty good. Exposing anti-nuclear as basically fearmongering or politics (anti-w Pretty good argument from someone who is an environmentalist about how the religion of climate change hurts the both human development and the overall environment. There were a few areas which were weak or incorrect (vegetarianism presented vs. standard diet with the argument of "animals take up less space than plants" or something like that, not factoring in the land for growing animal feed...), but most of it was pretty good. Exposing anti-nuclear as basically fearmongering or politics (anti-weapons people transitioning to anti-power), the essential racism/etc. of forcing people in developing economies to do with less, and the massive benefits of natural gas (or even coal) vs. a lot of traditional power sources for people seemed good. I think someone could probably write a better book on this topic, but this is the best one I've found so far. Most of the targets of the book were "activist organizations" vs science, although there is an allegation that IPCC is primarily activist vs. scientific in how it presents reports to policymakers (so, it's hybrid; decent science, but unconnected policy recommendations). The primary targets were weird self-flagellationists like Greta and Extinction Rebellion, so that's mostly attacking strawmen. My biggest problem with this book is it seems to use a broad brush for both these activists and real science. I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars as a result; it does some good (especially the pro-nuclear parts), but also gets enough wrong to cause some harm, and probably should be held to a higher standard.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.