Award-winning environmentalist pens eye-popping mea culpa, apologizes for his part in ‘climate scare’

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A high profile environmental activist issued a formal apology for the “fear mongering” created by those warning of climate change and had his article pulled by Forbes.

Michael Shellenberger, winner of the 2008 Green Book Award and Time’s “Hero of the Environment,” said he was speaking on behalf of other environmentalists when he announced he wanted to “formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years.”

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

The author of the new book, “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All,” dismantled a dozen climate myths in a piece published by Forbes on Monday. But links to the article lead to a message that the page is “no longer active.”

Shellenberger noted that “Forbes censored it.”

“I know things are crazy right now but this is really a big deal,” One America News journalist Jack Posobiec noted in a tweet, referring to Shellenberger’s remarks but linking to a Breitbart article. Other sources began to share the article as well.

“Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem,” Shellenberger wrote in the piece which was carried by online magazine Quillette. “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.”

He went on to explain that he felt “an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public,” noting that he was asked to be an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as serve as an energy expert for the U.S. Congress.

He went on to note different climate change claims that actually have no scientific backing.

“Humans are not causing a ‘sixth mass extinction,’” Shellenberger noted, adding that climate change “is not making natural disasters worse” and that, contrary to activists’ claims, the Amazon “is not ‘the lungs of the world.'”

“Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003,” he clarified, but pointed out that the increase in the number of fires in Australia and California is the result – not of climate change – but of a “build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests.”

“Carbon emissions have been declining in rich nations for decades and peaked in Britain, Germany and France in the mid-seventies,” he wrote.

“We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter,” he contended, adding that wood fuel “is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels.”

I know that the above facts will sound like ‘climate denialism’ to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism,” he wrote, noting that the “facts come from the best-available scientific studies.”

“Some people will, when they read this, imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not,”  Shellenberger told readers, giving some more background on his own environmental journey and revealing that he had “mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare” because he was “embarrassed.”

“After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an ‘existential’ threat to human civilization, and called it a ‘crisis,'” he admitted.

Shellenberger noted that the main reason for not speaking up, however, was a fear of “losing friends and funding,” recounting that when he did speak up over the years, he “suffered harsh consequences.” He admitted that he had not spoken up even when “outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke, Jr., a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist” was attacked after he testified in favor of carbon regulations.

“But then, last year, things spiraled out of control,” Shellenberger wrote.

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, ‘The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed ‘Climate Change Kills Children,’” he explained, giving other examples of misinformation that sent people into a panic about the reality of climate change.

“As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct,” Shellenberger wrote, adding that his “formal apology for our fear-mongering” can be found in his new book.

“Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped,” he wrote.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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