Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger

The Big Idea: Climate change is dangerous, but it is not an existential threat to humanity.

Industrialization, not environmental activism, will save the world’s ecosystems. Rich nations should do everything they can to help poor nations industrialize.

Death rates and economic damage from extreme weather events have dropped by 80 to 90 percent during the last four decades, largely thanks to industrialization and increased wealth.

Climate change is real, but it’s not today’s most important problem. Humanity is already adapting to higher sea levels and temperatures.

The whales were not saved by Greenpeace. They were saved by entrepreneurs who discovered cheaper substitutes for whale oil.

Climate change has not caused an increase in the frequency or intensity of floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes.

Plastics don’t linger for thousands of years in the ocean. They are broken down by sunlight.

Fossil fuel companies often fund environmental groups and lobbyists to fight against nuclear energy plants.

Windmills and solar power are too expensive and unreliable as a primary source of power for people in poor countries. They cause too much environmental damage because they require vast areas of land and harm flora and fauna.

Carbon emissions decline as people move from wood to coal to natural gas, and then, ultimately, to nuclear energy.

Environmentalism offers emotional relief and spiritual satisfaction, giving people a sense of purpose and transcendence. It has become a substitute religion for many. It spreads anxiety and depression without meeting the deeper psychological, existential, and spiritual needs its ostensibly secular devotees seek.

Skip the summaries of the IPCC findings and, instead, read the full reports, which are less alarmist in its conclusions.

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