On behalf of environmentalists, I apologise for Michael Shellenberger

By Rupert Read.

Originally appeared on Medium.

If you’re looking for a point by point take down of every so-called fact Michael Shellenberger listed in his recent apology for the ‘climate scare’, this isn’t it.

You’ll find plenty, via a simple Internet search.

I can also tell you my apology won’t include cherry-picked information in a bid to make my point sound valid, or mixing truths, half-truths and misinformation to back my arguments.

Nor will I list the things I did in my youth to try and prove that I’m a good guy with a heart of gold (I’ve never lived in Nicaragua, let alone when I was 17; but, even if I had, it would be totally irrelevant to the worth of what I have to say today).

My word count won’t get anywhere close to the 1600 odd he needed in his original, now removed Forbes self-promo piece. (Why was his piece removed?: For blatantly violating editorial guidelines that discourage lies and blatant propaganda.)

But, like him, I will be saying sorry:

Sorry to all the people his words could harm with their soothing siren call that its all ok, the market, business and industry have got this and we can carry on with a greenwashed business as usual.

Sorry to the youth who face an unknown future on a planet humans have never before lived on.

Sorry to the thousands of actual scientists, many who have dedicated entire careers to protecting the planet, who he, apparently with no scientific qualifications, contradicts.

Sorry that he still somehow thinks he is an environmentalist.

Michael paints a colourful picture of someone who has recently had a change of heart; he strangely didn’t mention all the times in the past that he’s lobbed a smoke bomb (or more likely in his case a neutron bomb) at the green movement, all his tediously many previous similar ‘change of heart’ pieces.

He said he was allegedly ‘scared’ to say anything before, afraid that if he spoke out he’d lose ‘friends and funding’ — odd that he decided the best time to put his fears aside was when he has a new book to promote. You’d have thought the cute polar bears on the front cover would be enough, without him having to make such a trying confession (Note to Ed.: Is this the perfect place to mention I also have a new book out?).

Of course, the sceptics have made him their new prince (move over Lomborg), the golden boy of the right wing press; but for the most part people are gradually working his schtick out for what it is: the intellectual equivalent of Trumpism.

These days luckily there’s no need to take things at face value; all the information about his unpretty recent past — the bits he hasn’t included in his article — are there to be found.

And people look, thank goodness.

So let him have his say and then do the right thing; ignore it.

Shellenberger has nothing to offer.

I only wrote this at all because the big fat PR budget that he evidently has at his disposal for his new book (unlike me with mine!) has managed to confuse some people.

Sorry about that. But hopefully now the confusion is over.

And we can get back to work…for, there is still very much a planet to save, a climate to mend.

 

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