Michael Shellenberger on climate scare: censored?

Earth with thermometer. climate change scare
Image by MasterTux from Pixabay 

An article recently came to my attention about how Forbes censored Michael Shellenberger. Forbes posted his apology about the climate scare but soon took it down. It looked like Forbes had second thoughts about posting an article critical of the standard climate change narrative.

On further investigation, I find that Shellenberger posted that article on January 7, 2020. But here are his most recent articles in Forbes, searched on July 8, 2020:

It certainly doesn’t look like Forbes won’t publish challenges to the standard narrative. Or indeed, Shellenberger’s critiques. 

Here, in fact, is what Forbes says about Shellenberger:

Michael Shellenberger is a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” Green Book Award Winner, and author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All (Harper Collins, June 30, 2020). He is 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 five million times. 

But indeed, the list does not include the January 7 article.

Michael Shellenberger’s missing climate scare article

An estimated crowd of 35-50,000 gathers near the Washington Monument on Feb 17, 2013 to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and support action on climate change.
Wikimedia Commons

You can read the text of the missing article here: Forbes censored Michael Shellenberger: here is his full apology.

The article starts,

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.

But as an energy expert asked by the US congress to provide ­objective testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to serve as a reviewer of its next assessment report, I feel an obligation to apologise for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

He follows that opening with eleven bullet points. They directly contradict the main talking points of progressive politicians and climate change extremists. 

Climate change is not leading to environmental apocalypse. Neither is overpopulation. Climate change did not cause recent devastating wildfires in Australia and California, for example. And the world is not seeing food shortages because of overpopulation. Climate change misinformation distracts society from tackling the real problems.

Later in the article, he writes, “I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence. And so my formal ­apology for our fearmongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.”

Perhaps Forbes just didn’t want to publish what may seem like a sales page for the book.

Some thoughts about the climate scare

If I had ever read anything by Shellenberger before, I don’t recall the name. But the flap over the article has introduced me to an important voice. I will probably cite him many times in the future.

And it makes me realize that I’m not alone in my critique of climate change hysteria. I have written for nearly 10 years that anyone who cares about sustainability ought to leave climate change alone.  It has become a polarizing issue. No one listens. 

As Shellenberger points out, climate change hype and hysteria are based on arguments first made by Thomas Malthus. They have been known to be false for 200 years. 

The first Earth Day, 50 years ago, marks the beginning of environmentalism as a popular movement. The previous decade had brought the first stirrings of public understanding of environmental problems. Senator Gaylord Nelson conceived of a national teach-in to increase public awareness. It succeeded beyond his wildest imagination.

Unfortunately, the Malthusians hijacked it. They made some remarkably bad predictions. And they have never admitted their errors. Led by Paul Ehrlich, their errors include the phony notion that overpopulation causes environmental problems. 

Ehrlich correctly predicted problems of overfishing. Otherwise, he and his fellow doomsayers turned out to be wrong in every detail. If they had been right, we would be suffering both widespread famine and an ice age. At the same time, the burgeoning world population would require every square foot of space on Earth to house everyone! 

Fifty years of screaming the same mistakes has succeeded in scaring children. But the climate change doomsayers are still wrong.

Meanwhile, let’s see what lifestyle changes we can make that will help the environment and  not wreck society in the process. 

Breakthrough: Why We Can’t Leave Saving the Planet to Environmentalists

Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All

False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us . . .

The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear from Al Gore

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change
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