On June 30 Michael Shellenberbger’s new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, will be published. He has a twitter thread full of blurbs by prominent intellectuals like Richard RhodesTom WigleySteven PinkerJonathan HaidtKerry Emanuel and more. He originally intended for it to be about nuclear power, but has “decided to broaden its focus last year in response to the increasingly apocalyptic claims being made about climate change, deforestation, and species extinction.”

He is clearly the world’s leading advocate for nuclear energy. His Environmental Progress site is full of graphs, charts and quotes. The “news” button on the top heading bar is pretty much a blog. There’s an excellent post about Jerry Brown’s history with nuclear energy. It has a lot of history about the Sierra Club and it’s former president Will Siri, a nuclear advocate.

Shellenberger has been making the rounds doing public appearances and interviews promoting nuclear on such varied venues as Alex Epstein’s Power Hourthe Reuben ReportThe Delingpod,  ReasonTVvarious TED talksmore TED talksCoffee with Scott Adamsthe Brendan O’Neill show  and testifying before congress. He speaks with a translator at a rally in France where he compares nuclear power to Cinderella and renewables to her evil stepsisters. Nuclear’s true beauty is in her small ecological footprint (the glass slipper fits).

While a lot of support for nuclear power tends to focus on new designs, Shellenberger has spent a lot of time with engineers who actually work on reactors. He’s found that historically prototypes similar to these proposed designs have been tried and proven to be more complicated and expensive. The current light water reactors have proven durable and to last for a long time. What has been most cost effective is to make them bigger and to have the same people make a lot of them over and over. He goes into detail in the Scott Adams interview and in his congressional testimony.

One of his themes is moving towards more concentrated energy sources. He sees a progression from wood to coal, to oil and gas to nuclear. He’s a big supporter of fracking. He has a debate with a NRDC lawyer named Kate Sinding over fracked gas.

There’s also the full hour version. You can hear Sinding speak at a NY anti-fracking rally along with Mark Ruffalo, who plays the scientist who turns into the Incredible Hulk in the Avenger movies. I realize these are fairly old, but the NRDC is still battling gas pipelines in New York.

When Shellenberger was young, he spent time in Latin American and saw how people there lived and developed an appreciation for modernity. In the Brendan O’neill interview, he talks about how hypocritical environmentalists can be and how Hollywood celebrities are some of the worst. He speculates on philosophical reasons for this. He brings up the question of whether they actually want to solve the climate problem and face a personal existential crisis of meaning.

Shellenberger has coauthored some well known controversial writing such as the “Ecomodernist Manifesto” and “The Death of Environmentalism” essays and Love Your Monstersbut this is his first major solo book. He’s been writing about housing and fires in California. I suspect he might try another, more serious run for governor of California. If the democrats win the presidency, could they find a place for him? He does have experience with the Apollo Alliance under President Obama. This was a program that used stimulus money to subsidize renewables. Seeing this in action caused him to change his mind about their value and become a nuclear advocate. Now a large part of the democrats’ environmental constituency is very antagonistic toward him. His new book also just got a praising tweet from Ted Cruz.

I don’t know if he has further political ambitions, but a new book is a good way to establish your positions. He describes himself as a democrat. He’s very smart, driven, articulate and even charismatic. He definitely takes outlying positions based on his own research and experience. At 52 minutes into his Brendan O’Neill interview, he talks about how he’s concluded that nuclear weapons have prevented war and how he couldn’t find anyone to publish a book he wanted to write on the subject. I don’t usually vote for democrats, but there’s no one else I’d rather see in politics.



  1. Joel Kotkin reviewed Shellenberger’s new book and focused on his attempt to rescue environmentalism from the renewables deadend.

    “Like Moore, Shellenberger has become utterly disillusioned with the self-serving and often counterproductive policies pushed by the green lobby. He demonstrates how green policies backed by oligarch-funded nonprofits have often worked against the economic interests of people in Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America, often leaving them with little recourse but to pillage their own natural environments.”

    “Shellenberger blasts green nonprofits for blocking new energy development—dams, gas plants, pipelines—in these countries. Such actions may seem noble enough to the rich of the West, but it slows the manufacturing growth that could allow these countries to become rich enough to accommodate such things as habitat preservation. People working in textile or garment plants need not rely on the jungle for their survival, reducing the need to consume its bounty.”

    “Rainforests in the Amazon and elsewhere in the world can only be saved if the need for economic development is accepted, respected, and embraced,” Shellenberger states. “By opposing many forms of economic development in the Amazon, particularly the most productive forms, many environmental NGOs, European governments, and philanthropies have made the situation worse.”

    “Perhaps what is most revolutionary about Shellenberger’s book is his call for a new, more human-centered, environmentalism. In contrast to the green movement’s jihad against material progress, he suggests that only by making people more affluent will they be able to afford the environmental redress that the planet, in fact, needs.”
    Kotkin’s article is here: https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2020/06/19/the_green_civil_war_496682.html

    My synopsis is https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/disunity-over-going-green/

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Me too, Hunterson. Here’s someone else who seems to be, and one that is less sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Shellenburger has aligned himself more formally now with the majority of sceptics who love and respect the natural world and have no desire to see it or its wild inhabitants destroyed for profit. We’ve argued for some time that the obsession with climate change and ‘saving the planet’ from an imagined ‘climate crisis’ has diverted attention from real environmental issues and in many cases made them worse or created new ones. Now we see more clearly than ever how it is political imperatives, not environmental ones, which really drive the Green agenda, though they have denied it for years and thrown back the accusation of ‘conspiracy theorist’ at anyone who might dare to impugn their motives.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. The revolution/devolution is nearly complete. Kudos to all who are preserving the records and data and thoughts of those who resist this fast approaching dark age.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. True enough Jaime. But Shellenberger goes further to challenge the pseudo-religious motive underlying; as John Teirney put it: False Gods for Lost Souls. Or as Chesterton said (long ago) “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.” The modern challenge is to find a satisfaction for transcendence (drug-free).

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Yeah, I’m agreeing with Ron and Mike S that it’s deeper then ‘political imperatives’, that these flow from a deep spiritual emptiness for many, though also from naked power-seeking from the ‘elite’.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I find it disturbing that Forbes won’t publish this. It looks like the establishment will try to treat Shellenberger’s book like Climategate and the hockey stick.They will use what influence they have to try and suppress discussion of it. There’s a lot of prominent names writing blurbs. We can’t let them get away with this!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. First there was animism, the primitive belief that elemental spirits dwelt in all natural things, then there was organised religion, then there was the Enlightenment and the belief that science could explain all natural things by the invocation of ‘natural forces’ at work in nature, forming and shaping the world as we see it and experience it according to a predictable set of rules, then science began to abandon ‘nature’ as the major agent of change, substituting Man himself, then those who yearned for an organised religion to return to the natural order – to replace the spirits evicted from their natural dwelling places by the ravages of scientific and technological ‘progress’ – re-invented religion to justify the Endarkenment and the removal of humanity as a force for change – either good or bad. They invented the pseudo-geological epoch they called the Anthropocene for the sole purpose of examining not when it started, but how best to end it.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Michael Mann has made a couple tweets:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jaime (6:08pm): Not everyone accepts this map of the evolution of our thinking about god and gods. On the beginnings:

    Some scholars consider the conception of the High God to be very old, preceding the creation of particular pantheons …

    I long ago read Don Richardson on this monotheistic starting point for many tribes investigated by anthropologists. On the other end, the virtues of the Enlightenment, John Gray, Tom Holland and NT Wright would all say it has been a bit oversold. Only the latter calls himself a Christian. I’d say what we’re experiencing now is partly an outworking of that overselling. But it’s a massive subject and I probably won’t be drawn to say more. It’s a good point you make about nature as source being perverted, essentially, into mankind as source.

    Thanks to Mike D for starting this thread. Finger on the pulse!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Of course Richard, there is a difference between monotheism and pantheism, with monotheism tending to be rather more organised as a religion than its opposite, but nonetheless, whether one worships one supreme deity or a number of them, as did the Greeks and Romans, it still probably comes under the umbrella of ‘organised religion’, which I believe is quite different from primitive animism. I was very interested in learning that monotheism probably emerged many thousands of years before the major Judeo-Christian theology in the form of a brief period in ancient Egypt when the Pharaoh Akhenaten – who was an ‘odd’ character by all accounts, probably your original transgender – promoted exclusive worship of the ‘sun disk’. He was later ousted for this heresy and the Egyptian pantheon carried on for many centuries thereafter.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ron,

    “But Shellenberger goes further to challenge the pseudo-religious motive underlying…”

    Hurrah. Although on a minor technical note it isn’t a psuedo-religion, because it works on precisely the same mechanisms as a religion. So technically, it’s a secular religion. Or even better both it and traditional (spiritual) religions, are different flavors of cultural entities.


    “…then those who yearned for an organised religion to return to the natural order – to replace the spirits evicted from their natural dwelling places by the ravages of scientific and technological ‘progress’ – re-invented religion…”

    Hurrah again. Although on a minor technical note, they didn’t consciously ‘reinvent’ it. It is essentially a (re-)emergence in secular form due to those yearnings, which aren’t easy to resist as the behaviours are so deeply ingrained in us after hosting 100,000 religions, and even before then the pre-religious group cultural behaviours stretching back to before we were even human.


  13. Jaime,

    “…nonetheless, whether one worships one supreme deity or a number of them, as did the Greeks and Romans, it still probably comes under the umbrella of ‘organised religion’,”


    “…which I believe is quite different from primitive animism.”

    And yes again, as a ‘subtype’ or ‘class’ of religions. In fact while there’s a bigger gulf between animism and a Greek pantheon, than there is between the latter and monotheism, these are each just ‘more organised’ steps in a sequence, of which each step brought more social benefits (net). In fact there are other steps too, of which for instance thousands of years of ancestor worship. It’s most important to realise though that they all share the same (co-evolving) gene-cultural system, and hence to a first approximation the behaviours are the same whatever the actual religious narratives are (it’s an in-group / out-group recognition and reinforcement system). Hence, behaviours are also the same for ‘secular religions’, that have different core-narratives again. The highly emotive apocalypse / salvation combo is recognisable in CACC just as it is in some religions; the language around how and why is just dressing.

    This also alerts us to the issue that, given they’ve evolved forever because they were *advantageous* (to groups), then maybe not everything is bad about CACC (!). Though in practice some can go very bad, and maybe in modern times they are no longer net good anyhow (compared to science / democracy / secular law). I doubt anyone knows whether this is so or not.


  14. Set aside the issue of how religious organizations get in the way, and often subvert belief in their theologies and ethics. The base reality for humans is a predicament: We are finite, and even more, know that we are finite. It’s the fundamental anxiety of what Sarte called the ansoi and poursoi, ie. consciousness plus consciousness of consciouness. This raises questions and the hunger for answers. Huston Smith studied the world’s religions and concluded there were four fundamental human queries: Who am I? Who is the other? What is Life? What is death?
    Overthrow religous insitutions and dogma, and the questions remain, which is why Chesterton said people will believe anything. Because they have to believe in something or there’s no reason to get out of bed in the morning. The failure of organized religions to address contemporary longing for answers, or even a path toward meaning, results in our present unrest and naive embrace of the Gretas, AOCs and BLMs of the world. And so they tear down monuments in rage against traditional answers and patterns of meaning. with nothing to replace.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Jaime (10:30 pm): The High God or Sky God phenomenon discovered across many tribes by anthropologists seems to predate animism or the pantheon – or so many scholars feel has to be true from the evidence they uncover. Monotheistic but not in most cases organised in any sense. Often, rather, with a sense of relationship or at least clarity having been lost in the distant past. This is data that makes some western theories of the evolution of religion er, more difficult, just as the complexity of real languages as discovered in places like Papua Guinea have made life pretty hard for Chomsky!

    But, as we find ourselves in the western world in 2020, I’m happy with Ron’s framing as a way of considering Mike Shellenberger’s really important contribution. Which is out today, UK time!


  16. Not sure about that Richard. AFAIA, animism predates all other forms of ‘religion’, but worship of the elemental sky vs. the earth may have been a significant feature of animistic beliefs, I don’t know. But yes, here we are in 2020, with Christianity having been replaced by Welbyism and faith in science waning, the good folk of the Shires have very little to believe in so naturally, the allure of the Green Religion is strong.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jaime ignore Jediism at your peril. Don’t diss it.

    😷 A Jedi temple in Texas has tax exempt status.
    😷 In the UK a census suggested there were more followers of the Jedi religion than followers of Scientology.

    May the Force be with you

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Jaime, “Not sure about that Richard. AFAIA, animism predates all other forms of ‘religion’”

    Animism maybe about 100/150 thousand years or so. But it isn’t ‘first’, just a position on an evolutionary progression. ‘Pre-animism’ maybe to back to half a million years. Rituals associated with fire worship maybe back to 1.5 million years? Different steps in different places too as get nearer the present, and much disputed steps / categories too, like the universality of totemism. But I agree regarding sky / sun god type expressions anyhow, because notwithstanding Akhenaton (a very recent expression regarding the whole scale, which didn’t outlive its founder either), generally these are within the context of a larger framework, so not really monotheistic. Like say Tengriism (from about 3000BC), where the Tengri sky-spirit lives in harmony with the Earth-spirit Ker, and there are various other characters in this set-up.


  19. Amazon says it will be available on July 23. (Maybe this is earlier in the US?)

    My own “little book” about climate scepticism will come out this summer. Probably. I hope. The figures are already beginning to get out of date, and I really don’t want to revisit them.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Andy, Jaime: My point of course is that data discovered in the beliefs of ‘primitive’ people groups in the last hundred years or more messes up such neat western accounts. Don Richardson’s first book, Peace Child, gives the striking example of the Sawi people of Irian Jaya, who left their cannibalism behind when Richardson and his wife managed to connect God’s gift of his Son, Jesus, to the ‘Peace Child’ legend the tribe had about their original, clearly monotheistic concept of God. Just as the data discovered about the multitude of languages of the whole island of Papua/Papua New Guinea has driven a bus through Chomsky’s theories.

    I’m sure there is someone on Ciscep who has argued strongly about how cultural belief systems prove hard to displace by mere adverse facts. I see this applying to some people’s evolutionary approaches to belief systems.


  21. Richard, yes it has been very over-neatened in the past. But really, they should have known from evolutionary biology analogues and e.g. the falling apart of exact species taxonomy, that it was never going to be neat. Nevertheless, no tribes today, however isolated, are likely to believe anything like what the various variants of humans believed 30 and 80 and 150 and 350 thousand years ago and much more. “I see this applying to some people’s evolutionary approaches to belief systems.” Wrongly. We must take all of the evidence, and take care not to extrapolate any modern tribe to stand as a proxy for the very deep past, even while they very usefully correct the over-neatness / categorization, which no doubt will stand yet more correction still.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. P.S. I never read the book, but in accounts of NG cannibalism and such, the peace child ceremony is not cited as a deity thing anyhow. It’s essentially a benign hostage exchange, such as practised by medieval barons sometimes, to prevent the worst excesses of tit-for-tat revenge killings (and eatings). Positing an imaginary and universal peace child was a stroke of genius, but this didn’t replace a universal god. It replaced the (many) actual human peace children, albeit the ritual itself (along with many other traditional practices) was revered. Per above, NG variety in language and beliefs is a useful challenge for testing the boundaries of any theory upon same. But while not having read this book, I’ve never heard of anyone citing NG tribes as having monotheism, whether the Sawi or other south coast tribes who used the peace child practice, or any of the tribes. That could be my ignorance, and for sure I don’t know the religion of the Sawi. But many tribes have some kind of witchcraft and some have ancestor worship or whatever, and the peace child ceremony was not about a deity.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. JAIME (29 june 2020 10.30pm)

    the Pharaoh Akhenaten – who was an ‘odd’ character by all accounts, probably your original transgender..

    He was indeed, but not “many thousands of years before the major Judeo-Christian theology.” Gunnar Heinsohn places him in the first millennium B.C. For Freud he was the mentor of Moses; and for Velikovsky he was Oedipus, whose name might suggest “fat thighs” as well as “swollen foot” (Graves: Greek Myths.) And we have contemporary portraits of Akhenaten showing his well-rounded form, which we don’t of Moses or Oedipus. Whatever, his family life was as rich in details worthy of a Daily Mail investigation as Oedipus’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. >He was indeed, but not “many thousands of years before the major Judeo-Christian theology.”

    Absolutely. And pretty much contemporary with the Jews monolatristic belief in Yahweh (speculated about 1100BC), which evolved into a full and strict monotheistic system during their captivity in Babylon around 600 to 500BC, i.e. only about 7 or 8 hundred years after Akhenaton (1300BC ish).


  25. JAIME (29 June 2020 7.18pm)

    You call the response of Ken Rice on Twitter a “Classic rebuttal from ATTP.” He says:

    “That Shellenberger’s article is being promoted/defended by WUWT, the GWPF, and Marc Morano, probably tells you all you really need to know.”

    I think you’re being unfair here – to other reasonable folk who may want to challenge Shellenberger on his thesis. Because Rice’s response is essentially fascist, or, more accurately: Nazi. Instead of confronting the argument, it says, quite openly: “look at the kind of people who agree with it.” (tapping the side of the nose in a knowing way.)

    Rice is not interested in the normal proceedings of civilised discourse, which involve arguing a case. Rice identifies an argument with which he doesn’t agree as being supported by a certain kind of person, who, according to some unspecified criteria, is beyond the pale (know what I mean? Hint hint.)

    I find Rice’s statement that “…WUWT, the GWPF, and Marc Morano, probably tells you all you really need to know” no more acceptable than thousands of anti-semitic observations in the early 20th century, like T.S. Eliot’s mention of “Bleistein with his cigar” in the 1920s. Eliot never murdered a single Jew, but he unwittingly helped to create an intellectual climate where “that sort of person” was fair game. Eliot and Rice are hardly in the same ball park, one being a Nobel prizewinner and the other being a blogger who goes by the first name of Andthenthere’s, which is a name even stupider than Beyoncé.

    “That Dreyfus is being defended by the socialist Zola and a bunch of people called Rosenstein probably tells you all you really need to know.”

    I don’t know if anyone in the 19th century was so thick and evil as to make such an argument. I doubt whether Dr Rice is either thick or evil. But his argument is the precursor of something bigger than himself. Ken Rice is a proto-Nazi. I invite him to come here and defend himself, or apologise.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Geoff, you’re very correct, it was not ‘many thousands of years before’, it was about 1350-1330 BC, which actually makes Akhenaten contemporaneous with Moses. This leads to interesting speculation that Judeo-Christian monotheism itself may have ben directly inspired by Akhenaten’s sun disk worship.

    “This has led a number of writers and scholars (Sigmund Freud and Joseph Campbell among them) to assert that the Moses of the Bible was not a Hebrew who was raised in an Egyptian palace but an Egyptian priest who led a religious revolution to establish monotheism. This theory links Moses closely with the pharaoh Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE) who established his own monotheistic belief in the god Aten, unlike any other god and more powerful than all, in the fifth year of his reign. Akhenaten’s monotheism may have been born of a genuine religious impulse or could have been a reaction against the priests of the god Amun who had grown almost as wealthy and powerful as the throne. In establishing monotheism and banning all the old gods of Egypt, Akhenaten effectively eliminated any threat to the crown from the priesthood. The theory advanced by Campbell and others (following Sigmund Freud’s Moses and Monotheism in this) is that Moses was a priest of Akhenaten who led like-minded followers out of Egypt after Akhenaten’s death when his son, Tutankhamun (c. 1336-1327 BCE), restored the old gods and practices. Still other scholars equate Moses with Akhenaten himself and see the Exodus story as a mythological rendering of Akhenaten’s honest attempt at religious reform.”


    What I meant by ‘classic ATTP rebuttal’ was that this is precisely the technique that Ken and his pals at ATTP have used for years to discredit AGW sceptical commenters who dared to comment at his blog. Diversion. The creation of a spurious ad hom/strawman argument in order to avoid directly addressing the issues raised. The most common refrain would be ‘Oh, you don’t read that blog, do you, or get your ideas from that person? That just proves how wrong you are. Go away, you’re not worth arguing with’. It was cute then, now it’s symptomatic of a far more sinister and pervasive malaise which, as you say, is much bigger than Rice and threatens to engulf us all.


  27. JAIME
    Just been reading Campbell on Moses etc. It’s in part the Jungian vision of mythology that one needs to understand where Jordan Peterson is coming from. Most interesting.

    My going over the top about Ken needs some justification. Try imagining this situation the other way round. Imagine Ken praising a book on his blog and you or me or anyone here tweeting “ATTP, RealClimate and SkepticalScience like this book. Tells you all you need to know.”

    It couldn’t happen, could it? If you and I don’t like some argument, we say why. We don’t say: “the wrong sort of people like this book, so don’t read it.” This suggests that you and I live in a different universe from Ken’s. But we don’t. We all had the same sort of education, read the same newspapers, vote for the same parties (that is, different ones, but all working in the same moral and cultural framework.) Then suddenly a subject comes up – climate – where the normal rules don’t apply, and it’s ok to ignore the argument, censor and suppress it, and insult the arguer. Then the same tactics are used to challenge a UK referendum result and a US presidential election.

    This is not normal. Ken and his friends are not normal. Something weird is happening that I don’t understand.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. You seem rather worked up about one tweet. It’s social media. There’s no real requirement that every tweet has to satisfy some prescribed norm of how we engage in criticism. There are plenty of other tweets (from myself and others) that have gone into more depth. I realise that you probably mostly disagree, but many regard the sites I highlighted in that tweet as predominantly promoting nonsense, especial about climate. Even if you don’t think what’s promoted there is nonsense, it’s pretty clear that those site have quite a specific bias. Hence, if you write an article about a book that gets promoted/defended by those sites, that probably tells you something. Maybe, it’s fantastic article/book and those sites just happen to be acknowledging the greatness of the work, even if they don’t agree with the general argument. On the other hand, maybe it’s a article/book that presents arguments that appeal to those who run those sites, and who frequent them. I might be wrong, but the latter seems more likely than the former. Hence, an awareness of the sites promoting the book probably provides some information.

    Maybe you should ponder why you seem so bothered by my tweet. If you happen to like those sites, then maybe them promoting/defending the article tells you that it might be a book that you would like.


  29. Now you’ve piqued my interest Geoff. It’s a while since I abandoned my obsession with ancient Egypt and mythology and alchemy and Jungian analysis. The mention of Jordan Peterson makes it more contemprorary and relevant. I don’t understand what’s going on either. Andy’s ideas on cultural groupthink explain much of what we are seeing in general terms but, for me, the culture thing doesn’t quite penetrate deeply enough to allow any lasting insight into the utterly bizarre confluence of events that we are now currently in the midst of. It sems to me that something just ‘clicked’ and here we are in a new reality which seems strange and unfamiliar and which we are having trouble orienting upon. I wonder if, in order to comprehend this new reality, we need to start thinking in a ‘new’ way. How do you rewire a brain? The Left know, but their rewiring involves just short-circuiting, brainwashing in other words. We are seeing the horrific consequences of that played out daily. How do you actually rewire a brain so that it makes more meaningful, not less meaningful connections?

    Liked by 2 people

  30. “Something weird is happening that I don’t understand.”

    But (as I think you yourself have observed on occasion), this has happened constantly throughout the entire of history. So it is not ‘weird’, which implies exceptional and rare, but commonplace and expected. You have the answer yourself too…

    “Then suddenly a subject comes up – climate – where the normal rules don’t apply…”

    Exactly, in other words it is domain dependent. Because of whether a culture (and thus cultural conflict) dominates the domain or not. If so, both believers and the innately skeptical (i.e. not rationally skeptical), will act according to their emotive commitments and not according to rationality (the former bypasses the latter). Albeit in degree (more ardent belief = more bypass).


  31. Jaime,

    “Andy’s ideas on cultural groupthink explain much of what we are seeing in general terms…”

    Thank you.

    “…but, for me, the culture thing doesn’t quite penetrate deeply enough to allow any lasting insight into the utterly bizarre confluence of events that we are now currently in the midst of.”

    Well I doubt anyone is ever going to have a theory of everything, society is too complex for that 0: But cultures come mainstream (e.g. main Faiths, or indeed CACC culture), or as more niche movements. Yet even the latter may well vie for the big-time and try to break out of their original scope (e.g. academia). Indeed as CACC originally did. And all the main Faiths were tiny once. In this process, cultures can also form loose alliances, especially wrt to tearing chunks out of what went before. Maybe it’s just a perfect storm regarding this process. But I suspect that folks within the midst of the nineteenth century age of revolutions, or in 1930s Europe say, were probably feeling more vulnerable from several directions at once, than is the case now. Lets hope that it never gets anywhere near as far as that last example.


  32. Andy, I think what I’m trying to get at, admittedly rather clumsily, is that yes, cultural groupthink is a real phenomenon which reaches into the minds of the populace and constrains them to think and act in a certain way. Yes, it repeats periodically throughout history and yes, we can see, in general terms which part of the vicious circle we are on at the moment – the point where cultural groupthink exerts such an overwhemlmingly malign, oppressive and dominant influence that it all goes crazy and real damage is done to society and human life. Each event is the same – but different. Each cycle is not a carbon copy but a distinct level on a spiral. At this moment in human history, I feel we may be presented with the unique opportunity of seeing beyond the two-dimensional circle and glimpsing the 3-D spiral, noting which way the axis of the spiral points and how each winding coil fits into the whole picture. In order to do that, we have to start thinking radically differently otherwise we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, going back thousands of years to the very beginnings of human civilisation. I think part of the answer resides in that part of the human psyche which predates civilisation.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. I think I’ve annoyed Andy enough for today on the pangolin thread. But it’s good to see we’ve both liked Jaime’s last two comments.

    Back to the book. Shellenberger had another article in Forbes 6 months ago, not censored.
    It’s an excellent piece of journalism. He phones up climate scientists and asks them questions. That must have been a bit of a shock.

    6 reviews of the book so far on Amazon, all favourable, with only five star ratings.

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Jaime, I couldn’t agree more with your entire last comment. I’ve been trying my best to demonstrate one of the circles in detail (climate domain), and some others more generally, because without the concept of the circles we will never possibly see the spiral. And for sure much of the answer ‘resides in that part of the human psyche which predates civilisation’, because via gene-culture co-evolution it is buried deep indeed inside us, i.e. in part biologically too (and the age is attested by the fact that even some animals display group cultural behaviour). I think the different thinking that we need is to truly expose these mechanisms (which many people even without any assistance from theory often home in on, e.g. ‘CAGW is a cult’), and then mitigate against them. But going beyond that vague idea of cults and tribalism, does not get a lot of traction ):

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Incidentally, Schellenberger too is homing in on the secular religion aspect:

    “What’s really behind the rise of apocalyptic environmentalism? There are powerful financial interests. There are desires for status and power. But most of all there is a desire among supposedly secular people for transcendence. This spiritual impulse can be natural and healthy. But in preaching fear without love, and guilt without redemption, the new religion is failing to satisfy our deepest psychological and existential needs.”

    Unfortunately, for many who can no longer turn to the crumbling traditional religions in the West, the problem is that this ‘new religion’ *is* satisfying some of their deep psychological needs. Which is why it is so infectious. Those needs are not ultimately spiritual, but the need to belong to a group (cultures are in-group recognition and reinforcement mechanisms) and a narrative framework that cocoons them in the morally unassailable and invests everything with apparent deep meaning.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Geoff:

    I find Rice’s statement that “…WUWT, the GWPF, and Marc Morano, probably tells you all you really need to know” no more acceptable than thousands of anti-semitic observations in the early 20th century, like T.S. Eliot’s mention of “Bleistein with his cigar” in the 1920s. Eliot never murdered a single Jew, but he unwittingly helped to create an intellectual climate where “that sort of person” was fair game. Eliot and Rice are hardly in the same ball park, one being a Nobel prizewinner and the other being a blogger who goes by the first name of Andthenthere’s, which is a name even stupider than Beyoncé.

    “That Dreyfus is being defended by the socialist Zola and a bunch of people called Rosenstein probably tells you all you really need to know.”

    I don’t know if anyone in the 19th century was so thick and evil as to make such an argument. I doubt whether Dr Rice is either thick or evil. But his argument is the precursor of something bigger than himself. Ken Rice is a proto-Nazi. I invite him to come here and defend himself, or apologise.

    He didn’t apologise, from what I can see.

    I often think about this issue of antisemitisim in England between the wars, with the terrible sequel of the mass murder of the Jews under the Nazis in Europe from 1941. In the literary world one looks back and finds fault with Eliot and Tolkein, whereas Orwell and CS Lewis got it right. (Tolkein taking too lenient a view of fascism, at least in the early days, because of his Catholic anti-communism, Lewis seeing both totalitarian systems for what they were. My biased view, as always. But interesting because both ‘Inklings’ despised the modernism Eliot stood for as a poet. Though Lewis and Eliot are said to have reconciled somewhat after the War.)

    The reason it’s back as a theme is our current anti-racism movement. Would such a thing in the 20s and 30s in the UK have purged out the proto-evil and thus prevented the Holocaust? I very much doubt it. I think that racism, like the poor, will always be with us – though it’s our duty to fight it in ourselves, whenever we feel it rise. But more Orwells and Lewises would have helped, because they saw the extremes for what they were and were prepared to say so.

    Something here about the great Mike Shellenberger, who is helping in our own time, with its own challenges. Sorry Mike D!


  37. And I meant to say this:

    This is not normal. Ken and his friends are not normal. Something weird is happening that I don’t understand.

    People like Orwell and Lewis stood up against proto-tyranny, and the real thing, in Europe and in Russia, in 1930s, before full understanding set in, even for them. At least that’s my thesis. That’s one of the things that makes true resistance so hard, without the gigantic benefits, and comforts, of hindsight.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Geoff:

    “He phones up climate scientists and asks them questions. That must have been a bit of a shock.” Indeed, unfortunately, neither of the people he quotes, Kevin Anderson and Johann Rockstrom, are climate scientists. But then, neither were most of the authors for SR15.

    Anderson is a former marine engineer and mathematical modeller, who takes IPCC conclusions and weaves fantastical doom-laden outcomes from them. He is based at Manchester Tyndall and from 2016, has had a position at Uppsala University in Sweden. https://www.uu.se/en/news-media/press-releases/press-release/?id=3366&typ=pm

    “Kevin Anderson is the new Zennström visiting Professor in Climate Change Leadership”. He claims to have not flown since 2012, so has not been phased by the lockdown. He is a mentor to Greta.

    In 2005, he was promoting personal “carbon” credit cards, which would give everyone an allowance which would be debited from your card at the checkout, by the attributed amount of “carbon” from every purchase. He still mentions the idea from time to time.

    Rockstrom was previously head of the Stockholm Environment Institute and has taken over Schellnhuber’s mantle at Potsdam. He has been pushing the Planetary Boundaries meme for some time: https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/planetary-boundaries.html.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. Andy, back a while on New Guinea and monotheism: I was thinking about it overnight, before reading your two responses, and I think you’re right about the peace child idea not being connected to monotheism per se. I read Richardson’s later book Eternity in Their Hearts long ago and have I think imported some elements of those stories into the Peace Child one. The people group with a monotheistic sky god mythology that I remember best is the Karen in eastern Burma, as was. They, with the neighbouring Shan people, then became the target of a near-genocidal campaign from troops of the current Myanmar regime. A medic friend of mine has made numerous trips across the border from Thailand to try and help both tribes, protected by ex-US special forces with a humanitarian string to their bow. I don’t think detailed anthropological study has been priority there, just saving as many lives as possible without losing any of the westerners.

    New Guinea as a whole is as you say a remarkable test-bed for any theories. As some friends from Cambridge days used to tell me, you cross a mountain ridge, go down into the valley and are confronted with a new language that is as different from the last one as Japanese is from English. Except it’s never been analysed, let alone written down. Worldviews are another thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. aTTP:

    What do you think it being promoted/defended by WUWT, the GWPF and Marc Morano tells you?

    Not so much. But added to Richard Rhodes, Tom Wigley, Steven Pinker, Jonathan Haidt, Andrew McAfee, Kerry Emanuel, John Gamboa, Erle Ellis, Paul Robbins, Mark Sagoff, Steve McCormick, Samir Saran, Claire Lehmann, Robert Bryce, Jonathan Adler, Robert Stone, Charles A. Casto, Martin W. Lewis, Steven F. Hayward, Michelle Marvier, Jon Entine, John Horgan, Michael Lind and Peter Kareiva it might be worth a read.

    What do you think this full list of endorsements tells you?

    Liked by 3 people

  41. I am amused that there is praise for the book from Tom Wigley and Kerry Emmanuel, both of whom are ardent pursuers of CO2 as a climate altering gas. To parody ATTP, the book can’t be all that sceptical if those two like it…

    There is a still very pertinent Forbes article from 2013: https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2013/02/05/in-their-own-words-climate-alarmists-debunk-their-science/#45496feb68a3

    Tom Wigley gets a mention.

    The best expose out there at the moment is the website, http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/ The author is certainly not a climate sceptic nor a Conservative.

    There is also a very detailed look at the making of Greta Thunberg here: http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2019/01/17/the-manufacturing-of-greta-thunberg-for-consent-the-political-economy-of-the-non-profit-industrial-complex/

    There is a lot of well researched information, written before the Planet of the Humans came into being and highlighting many of the same individuals, but with more background, as well as the major NGO’s, who really have a good relationship with the global companies they pretend to attack. It really is worth setting some time aside to go through all the sections. For example, Jennifer Morgan, currently of Greenpeace, but with a long history with WWF, E3G, WRI and the Climate Action Network: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/covid19-climate-change-greenpeace-jennifer-morgan/

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Richard, “The people group with a monotheistic sky god mythology that I remember best is the Karen in eastern Burma, as was. They, with the neighbouring Shan people…”

    The Karen and Shan are different prospects altogether, being major population groups that have been in close touch with mainstream trends likely since their inception. In practice, the Karen cover a range of cultures (so religious practice too) on which a sort of common identity was later stamped, though most of the people we think of as native to that whole region are relatively new imports (from say about 1500 years ago). Wiki tells me the Shan converted to Buddhism around the 1300s, the Karen to Christianity (minority) and Buddhism (majority) in early 1800s, depending upon what sub-tribes were backed by the influential powers in the region at the time. But not what they believed before.

    Could be some of that un-neat variation. But I think it unlikely those now known as the Karen would have had an original common prior religion. Yet if some ‘core’ Karen had a sky god, this doesn’t mean they were any more truly monotheistic than say the proto-Bulgarian tribes and their Tengriism, which likewise has a sky god. I see that ‘Thus, when they collected Karen myths, the missionaries selected the most suitable, that is, those most easily adaptable to Old Testament creations’, which process hugely biases which myths got recalled or recorded into modern times. At any rate, these peoples even in their early proto-forms before reaching Burma are likely contemporary with monotheistic developments elsewhere (and not necessarily isolated from them), plus certainly not pre-dating same. And, ‘In the beginning, the religious leaders whom the missionaries met were wearing a white dress, known as bu kho in Sgaw Karen, with a string around their wrists and beads around their necks. They urged their followers to abstain from drinking alcohol and from killing chickens and other animals as *offerings to the spirits*…’ my emphasis, does not bode at all well for monotheism.

    But it would be interesting to see the key points that ‘Eternity in their Hearts’ sets out for a true montheistic case. I’m beginning to think this guy is pretty seriously over-egging the narrative. His blurb for the book says “Eternity in Their Hearts shows how God uses redemptive analogies to bring all men to Himself, bearing out the truth from Ecclesiastes that God has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” But ‘redemptive analogies’ applies to any bits and pieces of local religion or tradition or practices that can be best adapted to Christian narratives, as indeed the missionaries above were exactly doing. And indeed I see that he terms the peace-child thing as a ‘redemptive analogy’, when it has nothing whatsoever to do with a supreme being. Other ‘redemptive analogies’ may indeed be to do with supreme beings *plural*, or spirits or whatever, but that doesn’t mean any kind of match with monotheism. It’s just about optimising a cultural 3-way adaptor plug.


  43. Dennis: Wigley and Emmanuel are key signals for me. With Greta and XR alarmism pushed things too far. The relationship between Lindzen and Emmanuel at MIT around 1990, say, was very close – until it wasn’t. Now even the cowardly participant in that breakdown has had enough.

    Shellenberger hasn’t been courting sceptics but I think what happened to Roger Pielke Jr had a big impact. He knows the political game he’s playing and he’s doing it very well.

    Meantime Bjorn Lomborg brings out a book at almost exactly the same time and I only spotted this free volume today: Green Market Revolution – How Market Environmentalism Can Protect Nature And Save The World. Has that been mentioned on Cliscep?

    Yep, the greenies have overplayed their hand.


  44. Andy: I don’t want to discuss it at any further length on this thread, for Mike D and Mike S’s sakes. I’d be very interested to retread my own steps in this area though, on another, later thread. Redemptive analogies are whatever they are in the mind of the missionary and the tribe that gives up cannibalism as a result, for example. I was also very influenced by Bruce Olson in my 20s and his astonishing line “Jesus had become a Motilone” in ‘For This Cross I’ll Kill You’. The bit where the massive tapeworm crawls out of his stomach because it’s so hungry, as Olson is alone and about to perish in the jungle having been rejected by the murderous tribe … that bit sticks as well. But I’ve not been following these people for a long while. My memory has probably garbled some of what I just said!


  45. The Woke Cultural bubble is definitely a bit wobbly today. One moment it looks like it’s the Blob to End all Blobs, the next it looks really quite fragile and vulnerable. Starmer’s u-turned on his support for BLM, the Premier League have just belatedly realised that they’ve pissed off miilions of wage-paying fans by kneeling to honour a bunch of racist anarchist Marxists, the ‘new normal’ of 40C in the UK prognosticated by the Met Office is being widely ridiculed, Paul Homewood thinks that Boris has rejected a Green New Deal (I’m not so sure about that one), climate models and climate alarmism are both coming under increasing attack from significant actors and even Covid Karen is having some doubts about locking down Leicester. Belief, whether it be in science, or in politics, or in activist movements for positive change is being challenged by an emerging harsh reality which is beginning to dawn upon everyone – we are all going to be a lot poorer, a lot less safe and a lot more miserable in the Brave New World which beckons. It’s probably just a blip. The Woke Zombies will regroup tomorrow and continue their march to oblivion.

    Liked by 4 people

  46. Remember me mentioning Zion Lights and her rather entertaining interview, on behalf of XR, with Andrew Neil in October last year? Don’t worry, I didn’t either. But WordPress search can be a powerful thing.

    Anyway on the day that Mike D gave Cliscep the gift of this post Zion announced on CityAM that she’d left XR and joined, guess who? Mike S.

    A message from a former Extinction Rebellion activist: Fellow environmentalists, join me in embracing nuclear power

    She’s advocating for nuclear in the UK. I’d missed that until today. The world it is a-changing. (And, as I said, Shellenberger sure hasn’t been courting sceptics, has he? He knows his truth-to-toxicity ratios that guy. Life is indeed unfair.)

    Liked by 2 people

  47. …ATTP said:
    Surely the issue here isn’t so much my tweet, but how you’re choosing to interpret it. What do you think it being promoted/defended by WUWT, the GWPF and Marc Morano tells you?

    It tells me you think who you know is more important than what you know.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. When people start looking into the origins of various modern movement I can’t help thing about Edward Bernays, and his theories of advertising and propaganda, and L. Ron Hubbard, who showed it is perfectly possible to instigate a pseudo-religious cult for personal gain.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Bill Bedford. Thank you for the Spiked Article.
    The only aspect the author missed was the intense racism commonly felt by long term residents when your neighbours en block move out and your neighbourhood changes ethnically – everything, the people living around you, the shops, the language of signage everywhere. My parents were so stranded and became very bitter when their East London borough became essentially a Pakistani suburb. By this time my parents were elderly and couldn’t do anything but rant about their lot, but other younger whites, similarly isolated, sometimes became violent. Not a pleasant place to live for anyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Bill, that Spiked article brilliantly captures the absurdity of the Left’s accusations of systemic racism against all non-Caucasians by Caucasians, in today’s society:

    “So I’ve experienced a lot of racism in my life from people of all hues. I’ve been hissed at by black girls when I’ve tried to sit next to them on a bus. I’ve been refused service by a black man in Ridley Road market in Dalston – he actually said to me, ‘I don’t serve white people’. I’ve been spat at by white neo-Nazis. I’ve even been told to ‘fuck off back to Malta’ by a policeman – which I thought was impressively random. And I’ve heard people, mostly BAME, slagging off ‘them Jews’ to me, not knowing I myself am Jewish.

    My father, who is very dark-skinned, has been called a ‘fucking Paki’, mugged, ‘steamed’ and attacked by an impressive variety of different-looking assailants. Violence, ignorance and hatred seem to be admirably multicultural. My dad, whoever he was assaulted or abused by, would just shrug his shoulders philosophically and, in his heavily accented English, say: ‘These bloody stupid ones.’”

    It also highlights the significant parental aspect of racial intolerance and bigotry. Her dad was obviously a wise and very tolerant man and he passed on his understanding to his daughter. Bigoted, ignorant, racist parents pass on their negativity to their kids. Also, in the case of the woke, middle class, Islington metro-luvvies filled with self-loathing and guilt on account of their imagined ‘white privilege’, they pass this onto their offspring too and their kids naturally therefore think that the hatred they’re getting from non-whites is natural, that they deserve it, so of course it’s natural to get on their knees and ask forgiveness for their racist genes. What a messed up world!

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Alan, personally, I wouldn’t call what happened to your parents racism; I would say it is genuine and understandable resentment at being made to feel like an alien, a foreigner, in the neighbourhood where you grew up and lived and felt a sense of belonging in a familiar and comforting community. The same happened in my South London home. It was once a white working class estate with a strong sense of community. Increasingly, whites moved out, or were moved out by the council; invariably, black families moved in and it became a majority black neighbourhood. Being displaced, having your community and your sense of belonging taken away, often due to deliberate, discriminatory housing policies, breeds resentment. That is called being human, not being racist. We all crave a sense of belonging, a place to call home, familiar faces, cultural identity. Change is good. Society evolves, changing gradually, accommodating new norms. Complete transformation over a short period is threatening.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Jaime, Alan, if in principle they’d have felt the same had the neighbourhood been overwhelmingly adopted by say white orthodox Russians or white Muslim Bosnians, then for sure while there are not true biological races in humans, it is not about skin colour. Or indeed not about disliking particular ethnicities / traditions per se. But indeed as Jaime says, about social isolation, and due to high influx in too small an area in too short a timescale.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Locals in Boston got very upset about the huge influx of Eastern European farm workers, who spoke in their own languages and made little attempt to integrate. They weren’t racist, not even xenophobic, they just wanted stability and familiarity to return to their town. Having said that, things have settled down and the Eastern Europeans are gradually integrating and adapting to the British way of life. That is key. Adapting to the existing culture. That’s easier for Europeans, not so easy for, say, Pakistani Muslims who have a very different cultural outlook.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Jamie. Thank you for trying to be understanding regarding my parents resentment of the position they found themselves in. At the time I was living in North America and only saw the end product after several years away. However, I learned much from my younger sister who still lived at home. It was, I’m afraid racism. Initial stages involved residents trying to get everyone not to sell to people of colour (pure racism). This failed and a stampede ensued as people not wanting non white neighbours left in droves. This lowered house prices and my parents were trapped. Eventually the area became predominantly Pakistani and my parents’ resentment grew. But it became linked to what was decidedly racism and racist sentiments.
    I was extremely shocked. My father was a shy and gentle man who showed no indication of racism previously. He worked for decades alongside similarly skilled black co-workers who I was introduced as a boy at Christmas. I always thought he was born too early, he never went to university (although in my opinion he fully merited going). If he had, his life would have been very different – as mine became.
    Like you I find his late life racism explicable, but never excusable. After all he had a coloured granddaughter whom I know he deeply loved – our adopted north american indian daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Lots of reactions to the book here but this one from an Ahmadi Muslim in the UK struck me most.

    What does anyone think the post-alarmist landscape is going to look like?

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Jaime. Thank you, but it was long ago (45 years), was a very short episode in my life – just over a week, and our children were too young to understand. My father was also in the earliest stages of Parkinson’s disease. It was just the total unexpectedness of it that made such an indelible impact. My father was the last person I expected to be racist.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. It was just a blip. The Woke Zombies have regrouped and continued their march to oblivion.



  58. Re: ATTP Tweet

    Ken suggests that, “Maybe you should ponder why you seem so bothered by my tweet”. After all, as he explains, all he had said was, “an awareness of the sites promoting the book probably provides some information”.

    Typical backsliding from Ken, I’m afraid. What he had actually said was that the promotion “probably tells you all you really need to know”, which, as Geoff explains, is a milder example of the logic that led some to thinking that you could learn everything you need to know about a person from the length of their nose.

    It is quite true that one needn’t expect a tweet to abide by a prescribed norm for engaging with criticism but one can at least expect it to abide by a prescribed norm for engaging with human beings. And rather than spending his time dog-whistling on Twitter, Ken would have impressed me a lot more if he had indulged me in my recent attempt to engage in an adult discussion on causal inference, rather than leaving his children of the night to suck me dry of the will to live.

    And before Ken rushes to his keyboard to register his accusation of hypocrisy, I should say, yes I know about it and I’m past caring.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. BREAKING: green journalists tend to be quite thick.

    Liked by 2 people

  60. John,
    Apologies for not engaging with you in the manner that you expect. I don’t think this actually makes sense

    which, as Geoff explains, is a milder example of the logic that led some to thinking that you could learn everything you need to know about a person from the length of their nose.

    My comment in no way referred to an individual’s characteristics in any way. It simply highlighted those who were promoting/defending the work and suggesting that it could be judged on the basis of who was doing so. It doesn’t feel all that different to highlighting those who’ve been quoted praising the book.


  61. Ken,

    Your response is currently in moderation and it is the author of the post who has the prerogative to approve or otherwise. However, in anticipation of its approval, I will say this:

    It is your use of the phrase “everything you need to know” which I think Geoff and I find problematic. I don’t think we are accusing you of personalising but we have concerns regarding how this rhetoric can deflect from the substance of a debate and can interfere with personal interaction. For example, I still harbour a desire to have an open-minded and respectful debate with you, but I fear that guilt by association has been getting in the way. I sensed this from you from the outset and I responded negatively. We now have nothing good to say about each other. We should stop it, but I suspect the opportunity for pressing the reset button is long gone.

    Liked by 2 people

  62. Ken,

    You said, “I don’t actually recall ever having said anything bad about you (I may, of course, have forgotten something). I don’t have any great interest in doing so either.”

    That’s precisely the point. You don’t ever need to get personal because you are working hard with the class action. I see you as an individual and criticize you as such. You deal with me as a type and so you don’t need to personalize in order to cause offence. As I said, you have nothing good to say about me, and that is because you have nothing good to say about ‘deniers’.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. John,
    A bit odd having a discussion where one half is moderated 🙂 My response to people may well depend on my perception of their views; it’s hard to completely remove one’s biases. I suspect it’s probably quite tricky to avoid. FWIW, I don’t think of you as a “denier”.


  64. Ken,

    “A bit odd having a discussion where one half is moderated.”

    I couldn’t agree more, but I have to respect the prerogative of the author to moderate, and yet I didn’t want to ignore your responses.

    “My response to people may well depend on my perception of their views; it’s hard to completely remove one’s biases. I suspect it’s probably quite tricky to avoid. FWIW, I don’t think of you as a ‘denier’.”

    Yes, we are all anchored to our different views and there is nothing wrong with that. Gaining agreement is important but not nearly as important as how one deals with disagreement. We can all do better in regard to the latter, and I thank you for exempting me from the ‘denier’ epithet.

    I would like to leave it there because, as you imply, the moderation situation is awkward for us both.


  65. John: The author (Mike Dombroski) just asked a couple of us to look at taking Ken out of the automatic moderation queue. I’ve now tried to do this! It was never Mike’s intention for this thread. I don’t remember how Ken got put in this kind of detention but it would be a while back and would have been applying to all threads. Apologies all round.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Thanks for that, Richard. I wasn’t suggesting that Mike was responsible for placing Ken in moderation but that he would be the one to subsequently adjudicate since he would receive the notification. Rightly or wrongly, I did not feel it my place to do so.

    Liked by 2 people

  67. ATTP

    My response to people may well depend on my perception of their views; it’s hard to completely remove one’s biases.

    No it’s not. Not in an affair as simple as this one. You’re just not trying. Try saying: “Despite the fact that Shellenberger’s book/article has been praised by WUWT, the GWPF, and Marc Morano, I’ll give it a read and see what I think.” You will then have joined the world of rational people, as the term has been understood since the Enlightenment. About 300 years late, but better late than never.

    Liked by 2 people

  68. This looks a pretty helpful conversation on Shellenberger’s journey from being a renewables advocate in the early days of the Obama administration (that recent) to where he is now.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Geoff,

    I too am puzzled by Ken’s incurriousness and do not think it can be entirely justified by reference to a universal human nature. There are sufficient credible supporters of the book to pique anyone’s interest, I would have thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Here’s an interesting question for assembled sceptics. Does Shellenberger need to go further?

    Roy is a standup comedian in Australia, I gather, but I take him to be dead serious here.

    And I need to say that I haven’t read the book yet.

    But let’s assume that he’s at best non-committal on how important it is to either reduce or increase atmospheric CO2. His commitment to nuclear power suggests a long-term view that CO2 reduction is better than the opposite. Is that part of his message going to spoil the rest?


  71. This article
    does what I dream of doing – linking Shellenberger, Michael Moore, and Thunberg with dodgy computer modelling and the scepticism aroused by the Covid-19 débâcle in one big optimistic take-down. It’s anonymous, signed simply “editors,” and whoever wrote it has a wide perspective that can only come from having studied the climate story closely for years.

    It’s published the same day as an article by Shellenberger himself, but otherwise it seems to be their first article on climate change in six years. It’s difficult to believe Shellenberger didn’t have a hand in it.


  72. New interview with Shellenberger on Quillette’s podcast: https://quillette.com/2021/04/23/podcast-146-michael-shellenberger-on-the-case-for-nuclear-power-progressive-hypocrisy-on-energy-policy-and-his-new-book-apocalypse-never/

    Dunno what they talk about, because haven’t listened yet.

    At some stage I suppose it will be time to evaluate just what effect his book had on climate alarm. On the face of it, not much, but I’m not sure how to measure it. Personally I agreed with some of it but not all; I’ll have to skim back through to remind myself what bits I thought he was right/wrong about.


  73. JIT: I think there’s reasonable hope in the approaches of Shellenberger and Lomborg and ‘Planet of the humans’, because they are all strongly pro-environment and it’s much harder for the orthodox to dismiss them as simply denialist tactics or whatever. I’m guessing their impact would be to divert rather than to destroy the dominant narrative, but divert to a much better place.


  74. I got Apocolypse Never once I heard the climatistas attacking it. Their complaints indicated that it would be good. I was not disappointed

    Liked by 1 person

  75. Intermittent, unreliable , expensive and landscape- destroying
    ‘renewables’ are not good for the environment and they’re not
    good for YOU … ( or the critters.)


  76. Oh Beth, do renewables really destroy landscapes? They change, recast, modify or spoil them but if we disappeared, the renewables wouldn’t last and essential features of the landscape would again become visible. On the other hand, massive quarrying does remove landscapes wholesale Pedantic perhaps but poetic language needn’t be inaccurate, just beautiful and thought provoking.


  77. Agree Alan, ‘destroy ‘ was not the operative word, ‘spoil’ is better. Certainly the natural landscape would be spoilt for a long time in human terms, all those stricken fallen wind turbines and solar panels littering the landscape long after what little useful life they served.

    Liked by 1 person

  78. Beth, I think the massive concrete blocks in their many thousands that reach below the water table, not to mention the massive quarrying of exotics to build them in the first place, will spoil on a geological timescale.


  79. Unlike many here I am ambivalent about many wind turbines. I don’t see them as an eyesore, and in many wild and mountainous areas an individual or small cluster of turbines adds a sense of scale to the majesty of their setting. When I lived in Northern California one of the main routes south crossed Altamont Pass where Wikipedia now tells me there are almost 5000 turbines. My children were fascinated by this area with the serried ranks of turbines climbing up the otherwise rather barren hillsides. The only negative, as far as I am aware, is the toll on raptors (including eagles) and the threat to the rare Californian Condors. In large part this is so severe because the turbines are small and fast moving. It’s interesting to read in the Wikipedia entry that the small turbines are being replaced by much larger, but slower moving, turbines. These are described by Wikipedia as more “bird friendly “, which beggars belief.

    What I also cannot understand is the opposition to wind turbines as being alien, whereas approval is given to windmills and their like (even to giving them protected status).


  80. Alan, I’ve spent a lot of time in the bay area and been through the Altamont pass many times, first in1986. I think they look appalling, and have good friends in the area who think likewise. I little thought in earlier years that areas of the UK would be similarly blighted in coming decades. I noticed last time I went past, maybe 7 or 8 years ago, about half of them weren’t turning, I guess many of the old smaller ones must be past their lifetime by now (and as Beth implies they are not recyclable). Plus as you say, it’s highly unlikely that the bigger ones are going to let up much on the raptor toll. Maybe from terrible to only awful. It’s highly significant that the commitment to renewables across nations very clearly matches a cultural pattern; hardly what one would expect from engineering reasons or technical policy. Due in part to a historical coincidence, this also results in some bizarre outcomes, for instance the less annual sunshine hours countries that have, the more of them have more solar power commitment, i.e. exactly where it is least useful. While they do produce power, outside of off-grid situations, Turbine and Solar installations are essentially cultural icons, more akin to churches than they are to power stations:

    When there are only a couple of dozen wind turbines left out of the current hundreds of thousands, we’ll probably protect them too. It’s the historic significance and rarity that causes the protection, not the fact that they both happen to be devices that harvest wind power. As brutalist architecture is slowly replaced, a couple of examples of these are protected now too; I find the style ugly and matching of its name, but I think it’s right to protect some examples.

    Liked by 2 people

  81. My objection to wind turbines is that they are a not well thought out political choice. They only get built when people like Warren Buffet get subsidized with a tax credit. Their intermittency is a huge unsolved problem. They congest the grid making it very hard to build new nuclear plants and locking in gas powered backup. Fewer larger wind turbines might give an economy of scale advantage over smaller ones, but to the over all grid they are an assault on economies of scale. You have all kinds of extra concrete, steel and wiring sprawled out over the landscape as opposed to everything (including the waste) contained in one compact nuclear plant location. Also, the rare earth metals that are clearly used in their magnets could be better used in other things like electric cars.

    As far as aesthetics go, they’re sleek looking machines but when you have thousands of them they can get monotonous. If you want to get a serious fraction of your electricity from them and you want to electrify a lot more stuff, they’re going to get even more monotonous. What happens in lean times when budget constraints start putting pressure on new paint, blades and grease seals?

    Liked by 2 people

  82. Alan, it does look as if you’re in a very small minority here (perhaps even a minority of one) when it comes to wind turbines.

    I would endorse the comments made by Andy W and by Mike D. I would add that while I suppose it’s possible that in some locations they might not be too visually intrusive, in the only places where I encounter them regularly (hills in Scotland and northern England) the environmental damage they cause is obvious. They seriously blight those locations, both in terms of damaging the aesthetic and in terms of causing damage to the local ecology.

    Windmills are on a completely different scale and are much more bucolic (at least the old ones that might be listed are). Mostly they fit into, and possibly enhance, the landscape, in a way that massive wind farms never will. They also don’t cause large-scale environmental and ecological damage.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. Most new wind farms in the UK – certainly by capacity – will be offshore and, moving further and further offshore, largely out of sight. Eyesores they won’t be. I have a number of issues with wind farms, but the top is bird kills. To me, building structures that we know will kill birds goes against every principle in ecology, and yet it is done in the name of protecting nature. All thanks to that magic molecule carbon dioxide. Where are the bird charities?

    The newer ones will be larger and therefore fewer in number. This may well mean birds are less likely to pass through the blades of a new wind farm than one of the current ones. (The danger is still incrementing up year by year.) It also means that the blade tips will be moving at colossal speeds.

    Liked by 2 people

  84. I probably could have written your responses to my deliberately provocative 3.29pm piece. I know all the arguments against erecting turbines, but seriously I don’t believe they are as bad as many other things we do to our environment and which we scarcely mention here.

    And for me Altamont Pass was a fascinating place to visit, every time we drove through it. Even my kids learnt to count large numbers of objects on the fly or make estimates (how many turbines were turning, how many stationary)


  85. For ugliness and the despoiling of majestic views you just can’t beat electricity pylons. Search in vain here for adverse comments about them.

    Nevertheless a view of pylons struggling up a mountainside gives two immediate messages: the scale and massiveness of the mountain climbed, and the determination (and skill) of humans to overcome adversary, regardless of spoiling the pristine nature of the landscape.


  86. Alan, I share your dislike for ugly electricity pylons, but I can’t share your view that “For ugliness and the despoiling of majestic views you just can’t beat electricity pylons.” Yes you can – wind farms win that contest every time! Your comment is timely, however, given this:

    “UK gets first new-style pylons in a century”


    “The first 36 of a new T-shaped design of electricity pylon have been wired up, National Grid has announced.

    The pylons, the first new design in the UK since 1927, will be rolled out where possible across England and Wales.

    Instead of an Eiffel-Tower-style lattice A-frame with a series of arms holding the electricity cables, they are strung below a cross-arm atop a single pole.

    The aim is to reduce the visual impact on the environment.”

    I’m not convinced they’re an improvement. Burying cables underground would be better – at least in terms of impact on the VISUAL environment.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. Alan: “For ugliness and the despoiling of majestic views you just can’t beat electricity pylons.”

    Always thought they are awful, but indeed they can be beaten, as Mark notes, by the massed ranks of enormous industrial turbine factories that coat entire landscapes; cables should be buried, but that’s more expensive so presumably why they usually aren’t. However, highly dispersed wind and solar power, hugely increases the need for grid cabling, which like the older infra-structure, will inevitably be via pylons. Double whammy.


  88. I’d guess that it’s easier to bury cables in the open fields or along the access roads through wooded areas where wind farms are situated. They don’t have to dig across as much existing infrastructure.


  89. Jit – from your Spiked link.
    partial quote –
    “The idea that the world is coming to an end is mainstream among journalists. In global surveys, somewhere between a third and half of people on Earth think that climate change threatens human extinction. That’s not something that’s in any United Nations scientific report. It might be stated at United Nations press conferences, but there’s no science for that.”

    the public only hear the MSM view, but I wonder how/if these “global surveys” were carried out?


  90. Beth, we already know what’s behind the green door! Or at least, all sceptics have their own idea of what lies there. “Behind the Green Door” would make an excellent title for a blog post, giving folk their chance to spell out what they are afraid of. I do not doubt for a moment that we have more to fear from climate change policies than we do from climate change itself.

    Dougie, I don’t trust opinion polls, since you just don’t know what the respondents really think, nor what subset of the people those willing to be surveyed represents. Nevertheless, it would be surprising if the relentless propaganda we are exposed to had not caused many of our fellow citizens to fear for their lives. Cf. https://cliscep.com/2022/11/24/advice-for-climate-worriers/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.