Down with eco-censorship

Forbes has censored Michael Shellenberger’s sensible critique of eco-alarmism.


Michael Shellenberger, a lifelong climate activist and Time magazine ‘Hero of the Environment’, this week issued an ‘apology’ for 30 years of climate alarmism.

‘On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologise for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years’, he wrote. ‘Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.’

Shellenberger’s apology was initially published in Forbes, where he is a regular contributor on energy and environmental matters. But on the same day, Forbes censored the article without explanation.

The article summarised the claims made in Shellenberger’s upcoming book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. These include the well-evidenced facts that ‘humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”’ and that ‘climate change is not making natural disasters worse’. (You can read his censored piece at Environmental Progress.)

Apocalypse Never has been praised by numerous scientists. And Shellenberger has himself been invited as an expert reviewer to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which establishes the ‘scientific consensus’ on climate change.

Of course, these facts fly in the face of an increasingly shrill and apocalyptic climate movement, best represented by Greta Thunberg’s claim that the world is on fire, and Extinction Rebellion’s warning of mass extinction. Polling suggests that this message has cut through: around half of all people in the West mistakenly think climate change will make humanity extinct.

The only way these claims of mass extinction can survive and thrive is because they are shielded from criticism – both through formal censorship (as in the Forbes case) or informal means (Shellenberger says he avoided speaking out, fearing a loss of friends and funding). Anyone who pushes back against extreme green scaremongering is branded a ‘climate denier’.

But like all wrongheaded ideas, climate alarmism collapses when it collides with the truth.

Michael Shellenberger appeared as a guest on The Brendan O’Neill Show last year. Listen to the show below:

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