The Global Environmental Apocalypse Has Been Canceled

"Environmental humanism will eventually triumph over apocalyptic environmentalism."


"What we're playing for now is to see if we can limit climate change to the point where we don't wipe out civilizations," the environmental writer Bill McKibben declared back in 2018. "The climate crisis is way worse than people generally realize, way worse," said former Vice President Al Gore in January of this year. Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden evidently concurs: Announcing his $2 trillion climate change plan in July, he said that the world has "nine years before the damage is irreversible."

And climate change isn't the only environmental disaster that people see looming. "We cannot hide away from human population growth," argued primatologist Jane Goodall in January. "All these [environmental] things we talk about wouldn't be a problem if there was the size of population that there was 500 years ago." The Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich co-wrote an article this year in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences declaring, "The ongoing sixth mass extinction may be the most serious environmental threat to the persistence of civilization, because it is irreversible." And as fires burned to clear agricultural land in Brazil last year, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: "The Amazon rain forest—the lungs which produces 20% of our planet's oxygen—is on fire. It is an international crisis."

According to these activists and politicians, humanity is beset on all sides by catastrophes that could kill off civilization, and maybe even our species. Are they right?

Absolutely not, answers the longtime environmental activist Michael Shellenberger in an engaging new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. "Much of what people are being told about the environment, including the climate, is wrong, and we desperately need to get it right," he writes. "I decided to write Apocalypse Never after getting fed up with the exaggeration, alarmism, and extremism that are the enemy of positive, humanistic, and rational environmentalism." While fully acknowledging that significant global environmental problems exist, Shellenberger argues that they do not constitute inexorable existential threats. Economic growth and technological progress, he says, can ameliorate them.

Shellenberger's analysis relies on largely uncontroversial mainstream science, including reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization. And as a longstanding activist, Shellenberger is in a good position to parse the motives behind the purveyors of doom.

Shellenberger's activism is the real deal. To raise a donation to the Rainforest Action Network, he charged his friends $5 to attend his 16th birthday party. At 17 he went to Nicaragua to experience the Sandinista revolution. In the 1990s he worked with the Landless Workers' Movement in Brazil.

In 2003, Shellenberger and allies launched the New Apollo Project to jumpstart a no-carbon energy revolution over the next 10 years. In 2008, Time named him "A Hero of the Environment." He co-founded the ecomodernist Breakthrough Institute, which advocates the use of advanced technologies such as nuclear power and agricultural biotechnology to decouple the economy from the ecology, allowing both humanity and the natural world to flourish. More recently, he founded Environmental Progress, which campaigns for, among other things, the deployment of clean modern nuclear power. He is an invited expert reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's next assessment report.

So what does he say about climate change? "On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years," he wrote in an essay to promote his new book. "Climate change is happening. It's just not the end of the world. It's not even our most serious environmental problem." Needless to say, there are environmentalists everywhere who do not believe they have anything to apologize for. A group of six researchers assembled by the widely respected Climate Feedback fact-checking consortium rated his article as having low scientific credibility.

Shellenberger doesn't devote much of Apocalypse Never to the science behind man-made climate change. He basically accepts the consensus that it's a significant problem and instead focuses on various claims about the harms it is supposedly already causing. In that promotional essay, he argues that (1) human being are not causing a "sixth mass extinction," (2) the Amazon rainforests are not the "lungs of the world," (3) climate change is not making natural disasters worse, and (4) fires have declined 25 percent around the world since 2003.

Shellenberger isn't denying the reality of man-made climate change. He's arguing that humanity is already adapting to the ways climate change has been making weather patterns evolve, and that we will continue to adapt successfully in the future. His book is ultimately a sustained argument that poverty is world's most important environmental problem, and that rising prosperity and increasing technological prowess will ameliorate or reverse most deleterious environmental trends.

Shellenberger vs. Climate Feedback

To see how persuasive Shellenberger is, let's parse those four claims and the Climate Feedback researchers' pushback against them.

First: the so-called sixth mass extinction. Biologist Gerardo Ceballos, the chief Climate Feedback respondent on this topic, has co-authored several prominent studies arguing that current extinction rates are well above the natural or background rates of the past million years. What does this increase suggest will happen over the rest of this century? In a report last year, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warned that the "global rate of species extinction is already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than the average rate over the past 10 million years and is accelerating."

The IPBES researchers estimated the background extinction rate without human influence at about 0.1 species per million species-years. In other words, if you follow the fates of a million species, you would expect to observe an average of about one going extinct each decade. IPBES says the planet harbors around 8 million species, suggesting that around eight species naturally go extinct every 10 years. Boosting the natural background rate by a factor of 1,000 would mean that 8,000 species go extinct every 10 years, or 800 per year. At that rate, some 64,000 species—about 0.08 percent of species—could go extinct by the end of this century. That's not good, but it's nowhere near the level of earlier mass extinctions, when 70 to 95 percent of species went extinct.

The IPBES report attributes the recent declines in biodiversity primarily to—in order of importance—"changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution; and invasion of alien species." Shellenberger agrees: "Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change."

In his book, Shellenberger argues that the most effective way to prevent biodiversity loss is to speed the adoption of modern crop technologies to greatly boost agricultural yields in poor countries. This frees up land to revert to nature, and it prompts more rural people to move to cities, where they can enjoy greater educational, economic, and entertainment opportunities.

Partially as a result of these trends, global tree cover expanded 7 percent from 1982 to 2016. In addition, officially designated protected areas have grown to cover about 15 percent of the world's terrestrial and inland waters, 10 percent of the coastal and marine areas, and 4 percent of the global oceans. The risks of a sixth mass extinction will likely abate as an increasingly prosperous humanity continues its withdrawal from nature.

Second: the idea that the Amazon rainforests are the "lungs" of the planet. Zeke Hausfather, the Breakthrough Institute's director of climate and energy, wrote in the Climate Feedback response that "climate scientists—and the majority of activists—have never claimed this to be the case." Still, a quick search of the Nexis media database using the terms Amazon and lungs turned up more than 4,000 stories in just 2019. And several environmental activist groups, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Rainforest Action, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, did not refrain from using the lungs metaphor in their statements decrying the Amazon fires last year.

In any event, the Amazon actually absorbs about as much oxygen as it produces. Pace Macron, it does not produce 20 percent of Earth's oxygen.

What about the 2019 fires in the Amazon? "The first thing is that they're not wildfires. Almost all of the fires have been set, so they're anthropogenic in origin. A minority are actually in the rainforest," the University of Maryland geographer Matthew Hansen, head of a NASA satellite project that tracks changes in earth's vegetation and forests, told Maryland Today. "The vast majority look like maintenance fires set on already cleared land, which farmers might be burning to reduce vegetation cover in expanding land use, pastures in most cases."

Nor was the extent of the 2019 Amazon fires unprecedentedly large. According to Brazil's National Space Research Institute, whose records begin in 1998, the number of active fires detected by satellites for the month of August (33,405) were indeed more than double what they were in the previous year (15,001). On the other hand, the number of current fires is way down from earlier years. Since 1998, fires exceeded the 2019 number in eight prior years, with 73,683 fires in the peak year of 2005.

Meanwhile, though the annual deforestation rate in the Brazilian Amazon has increased a bit recently, it is still about two-thirds lower than it was just 15 years earlier. As Shellenberger notes, about 80 percent of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest still stands.

In his critique of Shellenberger, Hausfather suggests that because of deforestation and climate change, much of the Amazon may be at the tipping point of a dieback that could turn it into a savannah-like ecosystem by the end of this century. "The risk of triggering tipping points increases at higher planetary temperatures, and thus our goal should be for reduce emissions and keep temperatures as low as possible without undermining economic development," writes Shellenberger. Helping Brazilian farmers to double the productivity of the land already cleared, he argues, would go a long way toward preventing the Amazon from reaching such a tipping point.

Third: the belief that climate change is making natural disasters worse. "While disasters related to non-climate-change events (such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis) have not increased in frequency, those associated with climate change have tripled in frequency since the 1980s," argues Jennifer Lewis, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, in Climate Feedback's response. As evidence, she cites a chart from the German reinsurance company Munich Re; it shows a rising trend since 1980 in the number of loss events due to natural disasters that exceed set monetary and fatality thresholds. Oddly, Lewis fails to note another Munich Re chart in the same source document, which shows essentially no trend in normalized natural disaster losses since the late 1980s. (Normalization is a process that attempts to estimate direct economic losses from a historical natural disaster as if that same event were to occur under contemporary social conditions.)

Are natural disasters becoming more frequent? While more heat waves and intense rainfall events are occurring, no strong trends in floods, tropical cyclones, or tornadoes have been identified.

Using Munich Re data, the University of Colorado political scientist Roger Pielke Jr. recently reported in Environmental Hazards that climate- and weather-related losses declined from 1990 to 2017, dropping "from more than 0.25% of global GDP to below 0.20%." As Pielke later noted, "This means that as the world has become wealthier, weather disasters are costing relatively less." Basically, the Munich Re data shows that natural disasters have been destroying a falling percentage of humanity's accumulating stuff since 1990. Keep in mind that the United Nations, under its Sustainable Development Goals framework, has identified a reduction in disaster losses as a proportion of GDP as a key indicator of progress.

A fascinating 2019 study in Global Environmental Change looked at the global effects from 1980 to 2016 of seven climate-related hazards: floods, flash floods, coastal floods, cold waves, heat waves, drought, and wind. The authors found "a clear decreasing trend in both human and economic vulnerability, with global average mortality and economic loss rates that have dropped by 6.5 and nearly 5 times, respectively, from 1980–1989 to 2007–2016." Not surprisingly, the researchers report that their "results also show a clear negative relation between vulnerability and wealth." Richer countries and richer people are less vulnerable to natural disasters and are better able to protect their property from the weather.

Overall, the number of people who die in natural disasters annually has dropped by 99 percent since the 20th century peak in 1931. World population has nearly quadrupled over that period of time.

So are natural disasters getting worse? With respect to overall human welfare, the answer seems pretty clearly to be no. Shellenberger's point, again, is that rising wealth and continuing innovation will let people adapt to possibly worsening weather as the century unfolds.

Fourth: the number of fires. "There was a whopping 25 percent decrease in the annual area burned globally from 1998 to 2015, thanks mainly to economic growth," Shellenberger observes in his book. In his essay, he says that "the build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California." The Swansea geographer Stefan Doerr responded for Climate Feedback: "It is correct that the total global area burned has OVERALL declined over the last decades, BUT this is incorrectly used to argue that climate change is not affecting wildfires."

Both Shellenberger and the Climate Feedback researchers accept the findings from in a 2017 Science article that used satellite data to measure the extent of the world's fires. From 1998 to 2015, that paper says, the global burned area declined by around 25 percent despite the influence of climate change. The article attributed the decline to agricultural expansion and intensification. A 2018 study in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres similarly reports a strong, statistically significant global decline in active fires from 2001 to 2016.

What about the fires in California and Australia? "Here Shellenberger sets up a false dichotomy," writes Hausfather. "All three factors—buildup of vegetation due to fire suppression, more people living in the wildland-urban interface, and hotter and dryer conditions have contributed to severe wildfires in regions like the western US in recent years."

For example, a 2019 study in Earth's Future noted that since the early 1970s, California's annual wildfire extent has increased fivefold. The researchers concluded that this increase "was very likely driven by drying of fuels promoted by human-induced warming." A 2016 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a similar climate-change-driven drying trend had doubled the cumulative forest fire area in the western U.S. since 1984.

That said, the recent fires in the western U.S. are not unprecedented. While the area burned annually in the American West has been increasing in recent decades, a 2018 study in Earth's Future points out that the "area burning in recent years is a small fraction of what burned prior to the 1920s." Even in 1930 and 1931, more than 50 million acres of wildlands burned, compared to the recent high of 10 million acres burned in 2015.

Setting aside last year's conflagration in Australia, a 2017 study reported that from 2001 to 2015 the trend in Australian fire activity was downward. "These decreasing fire regions are relatively highly populated, so we suggest that the declining trends are due to improved fire management, reducing the size and duration of bush fires," suggested the researchers. A 2019 study in Environmental Hazards found no rise in Australia from 1966 to 2017 in normalized losses from weather-related perils, including wildfires. Again, this suggests that rising wealth and improving technology are enabling people to adapt to and limit the future risks of wildfires.

How will man-made climate change affect future fire trends? A 2019 climate modeling study in Geophysical Research Letters reported that anthropogenic climate change is already causing fire weather conditions to rise above natural variability across many regions of the globe. Contrariwise, a 2020 report by Brazilian researchers found that the length and severity of fire seasons have been on a global downward trend since 2003. That study divides the global land area into grid cells and finds in more than half of them that both the length of the fire seasons and the number of fires have been declining. The researchers caution that their "historical data may not take into account climate change, which may considerably modify the fire seasons in the future." But notwithstanding climate change's effects, fires have not been increasing globally nor burning more land. This may change if the models projecting worsening fire weather turn out to be right.

What About Rising Sea Levels?

In his Climate Feedback response, the University of Illinois atmospheric scientist Ryan Sriver observes that Shellenberger made "essentially no mention of arguably the biggest risk of climate change: sea-level rise! The only statement I see is the claim: 'Adapting to life below sea level made the Netherlands rich not poor.'" In Apocalypse Never, Shellenberger does cite an earlier IPCC estimate for sea level rise of as much 2 feet and 8 inches by the end of this century. Last year, the IPCC raised its high-end estimate to an increase of 3 feet and 7 inches by 2100.

Sriver notes correctly that coastal flooding has been increasing. "Sea level rise flooding of U.S. coastlines is happening now, and it is becoming more frequent each year," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported in July. But Sriver is missing Shellenberger's larger point—that the Netherlands, where portions of the countryside lay 22 feet below sea level, is a successful example of how countries can adapt to rising seas.

In his 2019 book Falter, Bill McKibben argued, citing worst-case sea level rise studies, that much of the world's coastlines are "not defensible"; in a throwaway claim, he declared that "no one is going to pay to build a seawall around the Bengali coast." McKibben is already wrong about that. The poor country of Bangladesh, which accounts for about two-thirds of the Bengali coastline, has built more than 3,500 miles of walls and dikes to protect against coastal flooding. The World Bank has committed an additional $400 million to strengthen and extend the country's defenses against sea level rise. And Dutch experts are working with the Bangladeshi government on plans to defend against encroaching seas.

After the catastrophic North Sea flood of 1953, the Netherlands embarked on a huge project to build and reinforce the nation's dikes and sea walls. Real per capita income in Holland stood then at about $6,000 per person. In the last 10 years, Bangladesh's GDP growth has hovered around 7 percent per year. Assuming that growth rate until 2050, Bangladesh's real GDP will exceed $2 trillion by 2050. The country's projected population will be just over 200 million by then, yielding a real per capita GDP of around $10,000 per person.

If the Dutch of the 1950s, with a lower real GDP per capita, could protect the third of their country that lies below sea level, there is every good reason to think that richer Bangladeshis with access to better technologies will be able to do so too. Still, it should be acknowledged that if sea levels were not rising, the Bangladeshis could spend their money on other projects.

The key question is whether it is better to mitigate climate change by investing in low carbon energy sources, or to adapt to climate change by investing in sea walls. The best strategy will most likely be a mixture of both sorts of investments.

A 2018 study in Global Environmental Change calculated the costs and benefits of protecting coastlines against rising sea levels. If the waters rise as high as 6 feet by 2100, the researchers found, protecting 13 percent of the world's coastline would safeguard 90 percent of the population and 96 percent of the assets in the global coastal floodplain. In the study's worst-case scenario, the cost for such protection would be around one percent of GDP for 41 countries. Yet again, better technologies and higher wealth will ameliorate the problems caused by climate change.

The Future of Food Security

"The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land," argues Shellenberger. The good news, he notes, is that while the amount of land devoted to agriculture has increased 8 percent since 1961, the amount of food produced in that space has increased 300 percent. Meanwhile, the amount of land devoted to raising the livestock we use for meat has "declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska." As Shellenberger reports, providing farmers in poor countries access to modern agricultural techniques—e.g., better seeds, pesticides, and fertilizer—could increase corn, rice, and wheat yields fivefold.

As the world warms, will farmers be able keep up with the rising population and increasing demand for better foods? In its 2019 report on climate change and land, the IPCC observes that many studies using different methods to project how climate change will affect crop yields have "consistently showed negative temperature impacts on crop yield at the global scale."

Most studies do project deleterious effects from climate change on crop yields. That being said, analyses that seek to find a consensus on the topic report the effects are likely to be small prior to 2050.

For example, a 2015 Environmental Research Letters study finds that, depending on the climate change scenario, global grain yields will nevertheless be 45 to 60 percent greater than now in 2050. This is well within a 2017 BioScience study's projection of a global food demand increase by 2050 that ranges 25 to 70 percent above current global production.

Similarly, a 2017 policy report for the European Commission found that "the impact of climate change on agricultural production in 2050 is negative but relatively small at the aggregated global level." A 2019 study in Environmental Research Letters concluded, assuming reasonable adaptations on the part of farmers, that "average impacts of climate change on crop yields up to the 2050s are generally small (but negative) for rice and wheat, and modest for maize."

And these studies tend to extrapolate current crop yield trends without taking into account how breakthroughs can enhance crop yields even as the climate warms. Among the possibilities: boosting photosynthetic efficiency, drought and salinity tolerance, self-fertilizing cereals, and genomic editing.

Shellenberger claims that transitioning to an economy that uses only renewable energy "would require increasing the land used for energy from today's 0.5% to 50%." In his Climate Feedback response, Hausfather argues that this is a huge overestimate, citing a 2017 study from the Strata think tank comparing the land requirements of renewable and non-renewable electric power generation as evidence. The study finds that—setting aside the acreage devoted to power transmission—coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants, plus mines, wells, and waste storage currently occupy just over 3,000 square kilometers (just under 1,200 square miles) of U.S. land.

A useful comparison would be to the land area requirements of a 2015 Stanford proposal to supply all of the country's energy needs via wind, solar, and hydropower by 2055, entirely replacing both non-renewable electric power generation and transportation fuels. A 2017 critique of that plan calculated that the wind and solar components of the proposed infrastructure would occupy more than 600,000 square kilometers (about 232,000 square miles). That is just a bit smaller than Texas.

It's not completely clear how Shellenberger calculated that 50 percent increase in land use, but it may be related to his calculations of how much land would be needed if gasoline were entirely replaced with bioethanol. Producing that much ethanol would require planting 653 million acres annually. Since cropland in the U.S. totals to about 400 million acres, this implies an acreage increase of more than 50 percent to fuel our vehicles.

Shellenberger's statements in his promotional essay were clearly meant to be provocative, and they did indeed provoke the researchers associated with Climate Feedback. Both Shellenberger and the Climate Feedback respondents sometimes seem to be talking past one another. But Shellenbeger, on balance, seems more right than are his critics.

Beyond Malthusianism

Over his career as an activist, Shellenberger engaged with many of the leading intellectuals of the environmental movement. Looking back, he now recognizes Malthusianism's central role in ideological environmentalism. In 1798, Thomas Robert Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population, which argued that human population growth would always outstrip increases in food supplies, thus forever condemning some portion of humanity to starvation, misery, disease, and death.

Malthus' argument was initially embraced by patrician conservatives. "What gave Malthus his popularity among the ruling classes was the fact that he furnished a plausible reason for the assumption that some have a better right to existence than others," the economist Henry George explained in his 1879 book Progress and Poverty. But after World War II, Shellenberger recounts, "Malthusianism switched sides and became a left-wing political movement in the form of environmentalism." He traces modern environmentalist permutations of Malthusianism from the now discredited overpopulation panic through the debunked oil and non-renewable resource depletion scares to the current fears of a climate apocalypse.

From his vantage point in the movement, Shellenberger suggests that for many adherents, environmentalism fills a spiritual emptiness and gives meaning to their lives. "Apocalyptic environmentalism gives people a purpose; to save the world from climate change, or some other environmental disaster," he writes. "It provides people with a story that casts them as heroes, which some scholars…believe we need in order to find meaning in our lives." He further speculates: "If the climate apocalypse is a kind of subconscious fantasy for people who dislike civilization, it might help explain why the people who are the most alarmist about environmental problems are also the most opposed to the technologies capable of addressing them, from fertilizer and flood control to natural gas and nuclear power."

Solve poverty, Shellenberger says, and problems like species extinction, rainforest deforestation, natural disaster risks, wildfires, rising sea levels, and food insecurity become tractable. Shellenberger persuasively argues that the key to alleviating poverty is to supply poor people with access to reliable and cheap energy. Yes, burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and to transport people and goods loads up the atmosphere with globe-warming carbon dioxide. But coal, oil, and natural gas are much better for the natural world than forcing 3 billion poor people to keep chopping down forests for wood and charcoal to cook their food and heat their houses.

"Environmental humanism will eventually triumph over apocalyptic environmentalism," Shellenberger predicts, "because the vast majority of people in the world want both prosperity and nature, not nature without prosperity." He's right.

Disclosure: Shellenberger endorsed my 2015 book, The End of Doom, in which I predicted, "New technologies and wealth produced by human creativity will spark a vast environmental renewal in this century. I don't fear for future generations; instead, I rejoice for them."

NEXT: Brickbats: August/September 2020

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  1. I follow several skeptical and science podcasts and news sites. The "apology letter" was widely covered - and universally condemned. Even among scientific skeptics who theoretically encourage rational discourse and science-based reasoning, condemnation was universal. There were even a few who went so far as to say "I agree with what he is saying, but I think he says it terribly and it is just a horrible letter and I don't know why he would do such a thing!"

    Basically, the analysis seems to come down to "climate change deniers are seizing this thing as proof that we don't need to panic!"

    The mix of politics and science, science communication and skepticism is just plain destructive.

    1. It is weird how the people who sustain their careers over climate alarmism decried that letter.

      There has been done more to hurt science in the name of climate science than almost any other field. From fixing the peer review process to only let condoned narratives through, convincing people models are better than data, changing recorded data with modeled data, etc, etc.

      1. So, what, you think scientists, for mustache-twirling career advancement reasons, stopped collecting data one day in favor of what you seem to think are wild guesses? You know that models that can be tested by plugging in the data?

        Do you actually know what you’re talking about, or are you just mashing some words together that you learned as you were developing your taking points?

        1. We already know you are bullshitting so accusing others of it smacks of self hatred.

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        2. Yes, models can be tested by validating predictions against future measurements. Climate mods have failed in this regard predicting almost a 200% faster temp growth rate than reality. This is why they "re align " the models to fit the last every few years. The models are not useful especially from a predictive standpoint.

          Each model has different knows they use to hindcast their models. These models do not use the same values or distributions for their knobs. One will have a high particulate knob effect and another will have a low. They are basically polyfitting past data into a model with their wildly differentiating knobs.

          1. The models have proved very useful for predictive purposes, and if anything have erred on the side of optimism. I don’t know what to tell you, if you’re going to ignore the facts, we’ll just lob assertions at each other. I suspect you’re picking some vague prediction you think “alarmists” made about the future and declaring that prediction a failure. As for how modeling is done, I don’t think you get that either. But if you have discovered a methodological problem across the field, you should jump in and add your expertise and take the glory from all those utter incompetents currently working in the field.

            1. They have proved useful or for fund raising. They can't predict squat except more funds.

              They cannot predict the past they were trained on, Tony! Why would you trust them?

              1. Because Tony is scientifically illiterate.

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            2. "The models have proved very useful for predictive purposes..."


        3. Tony, just shove your big black dildo back into your asshole and let the adults talk. M’kay?

          1. Why are you bringing Sarah Palin but plug into the discussion?

            1. Is Tony now PB’s power bottom? I thought PB only fucked small children.

              1. Tony IS a small child.

                1. Intellectually anyway.

        4. You know that models that can be tested by plugging in the data?

          You know that the models you rely on cannot even predict the last 20-30 years? What the hell good is a model, trained on the past, that can't even predict the past that it was trained on?

          1. Just a false assertion.

            1. As for showing that current models can't predict the past 20, I no longer have such links. But for starters, look up the IPCC profiles from the last 20 years. Even the most optimistic ones do not match current reality.

              Not a single one has predicted current climate; they all predicted hotter temperatures, less polar ice, higher seal level rise.

              Now you show me where any IPCC model has correctly predicted today's climate. You can't.

            2. literally every word you have typed here is a false assertion. No one can point to a single "useful" climate model in the last 35 years. Its quite the dreamland bubble you have constructed for yourself

            3. "...Not a single one has predicted current climate; they all predicted hotter temperatures, less polar ice, higher seal level rise..."

              Not ONE, you lying piece of lefty shit.

        5. No, but I know scientists and programs follow the grant and support money, which is often allocated by politicians. In the 80's I had a one year fellowship at a French university, where a global powerhouse group did research in one branch of earth science that had nothing to do with climate. Soon after I left, the French government decided that climate research was more important, and in a few years the prestigious program was gone. Some researchers left; others re-branded themselves. And when the money comes from sources looking for certain answers, that tends to drive the research direction and conclusions--or the money might stop.

          1. Which is literally the argument climate apocalypse cultists make when they talk about "oil companies" funding research.
            The doublethink is a key feature of their faith

          2. "which is often allocated by politicians." --- Therein lies the problem and is the fundamental reason the U.S. Constitution never gave government the authority to dispense "commie money" for science. Only to ensure it's just practice of patient and copyright.

        6. My thesis publication was delayed for a year while my professors got their grants renewed.

          My data contradicted their grant applications. Which was fine but only AFTER the grants were renewed for 5 more years.

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    3. We have active methane seeps now in Antarctica!!
      We have done it, and we cannot stop it now.

  2. The climate crisis isn't even a crisis. People have been moving to warmer climates for decades. Now the warmer climate is moving to them, slowly.

    Sea levels haven't risen an inch since the alarm was sounded a few decades ago. They may rise a foot in the next century, but there isn't much ice left to melt to raise them, as there was at the end of the last Ice Age.

  3. “A group of six researchers assembled by the widely respected Climate Feedback fact-checking consortium rated his article as having low scientific credibility.“

    This fact check nicely summarizes the problems with Shellenberger’s argument, so people should read that.

    1. Lol. Climate feedback is only widely respected by other alarmists. You are basically proving group think exists. Which is something his letter called out.

      1. Groupthink isn’t so bad when you have empirical facts on your side. What’s the excuse for deniers’ groupthink?

        1. There are almost no empirical facts in climate science. Even the global temperature is 90% modeled estimates from a very sparse measurement grid. And even then the measured data is constant modified due to things like UHI effect which is a guess for the most part.

          Plus this group was shown to have a bias over some leaked emails a few years ago where they said their goal was narrative building.

          1. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/04/21/leaked-email-shows-website-climate-feedback-plans-a-propaganda-push-under-guise-of-standwithscience/

            Tony, you've already admitted you don't actually know science. So stop falling back to appeals to authority with shit you don't understand in these threads.

            1. Oh great teacher of how science works, if only I had known sooner that the process begins and ends by consulting a kook denier blog.

              1. Tony: "Believe Science!"
                *Is shown empirical evidence*
                Tony: "Not science, believe Science!"

                1. Top Men

              2. Why don't you try refuting the kook denial arguments instead of just shooting the messenger?

                1. I don’t have time to address every kook with an agenda. You consult the actual science and then we’ll talk.

                  1. You have time to insult everybody here, but not time to refute an actual argument?

                    Weak tea, Tony, weak tea.

                    1. He has time to address comments here, just not the information within those comments.

                  2. How about addressing concrete empirical evidence. That would be a start.

                    1. You wouldn’t know concrete empirical evidence if you were bashed over the head with it. It’s not whatever Alex Jones spittles in your direction.

                      The absurd arrogance of you people. You get all your thoughts on blogs that rehash the bizarre incantations of your political death cult, then you have the ludicrous gall to strut around and claim you are smarter than all the scientists of earth. I do not get how you people’s brains work, but it’s not something you picked up in any school.

                    2. "The absurd arrogance of you people"

                      The abysmal ignorance of a lefty shit in the face of evidence he doesn't like.
                      Stuff it up your ass so your head has some company.

                    3. Tony, I get my evidence from scientists who actually put out concrete evidence. Not politically controlled hacks who publish what they’re ordered to.

          2. You don’t know what you’re talking about and you’re not interested in learning. No amount of evidence could sway you from your position, which goes against the consensus of every relevant expert everywhere, but you’re still gonna have the gall to lecture me about how science works.

            1. wattsupwiththat has lots and lots of science-based arguments. Why don't you refute those articles instead of just labeling them kooks? Labels are not science.

              1. Seriously, Tony, why not try refuting those actual kooky arguments on that kooky website? Surely any refutal would be more persuasive than just insulting everybody as kooks and deniers.

                It can't be because you yourself lack scientific knowledge, or you wouldn't have the knowledge to call wattsupwiththat kooky. We all know you wouldn't stoop to insults just because you have no actual science arguments.

                1. Sigh. “I believe it to be genuine.” We’re off to a very empirical start, huh?

                  I in no way endorse the lame kook conspiracy blog wattsupwiththat by addressing one of its lame kook arguments.

                  So as to the argument... what argument? What science does this article call into question? It’s just a whiny tirade trying to turn an email about messaging into a nefarious conspiracy. I can’t even begin to work with this.

                  1. You have been steadily insulting everybody here with comments that their so-called science is really just assertions, that wattsupwiththat has no science posts, and that no one has yet posted any comment for you to refute.

                    OK, Tony, tell us what kind of argument you *would* deign to refute. Don't just say "science" arguments. Give us some clue as to what kind of argument you consider science.

                    You continually point to the IPCC predictions. Yet they have not predicted the last 20 years. Why is that not a valid argument? Do you claim that they have indeed predicted the last 20 years? Then show us a link to any page backing up that claim.

                    It's a real simple argument: No IPCC model has predicted the climate of the last 20 years. Should be real simple to refute: show us a URL of a valid prediction for the last 20 years.

                    1. There comes a point when you have to wonder whether engaging at all with disingenuous hack arguments is not giving them more air than they deserve. But if I haven’t learned that lesson by now perhaps I won’t ever. Anyway, here’s a good overview with links to as much detail as you could desire:


                    2. Tony, this is a real simple refutation, if it can be refuted.

                      I claim that there is not one site showing any IPCC model prediction that predicts its future (which is now our past) correctly.

                      You cannot find any site showing a 2010 model's prediction for the next 10 years which matches the now-known 2011-2020 climate.

                      All you have to do is provide one simple link showing a correct prediction from 2010 for 2020.

                      How could it be any simpler or easier? You claim the models were correct. Then you should have a plethora of sites to link to, and you only have to provide one such link to refute my claim.

                      Tony, be a sport, refute me. Take one minute to find such a site and post its link here.

                    3. Not a very good choice, Tony. For instance, it uses "model projections for 1990-2010 from the IPCC Third Assessment Report". But Tony, the IPCC assessments all differ! Why did they pick just one, and why are they covering up that their own models differ from each other?

                      The climate models, far from being melodramatic, may be conservative in the predictions they produce.

                      I'd say that when each IPCC model refutes its own ancestor, that's pretty melodramatic.

                      Here, the models have understated the problem. In reality, observed sea level is tracking at the upper range of the model projections.

                      Except their sea level data is bunk, because it claims coastal cities just 100 miles apart have different sea level rises. Look at any of those reports you want, Tony, compare cities on the US Atlantic coast. There are a lot of them, it's easy to find them close enough that the sea level rise should be the same -- and yet they are not. Not good, Tony. Not reliable.

                      Do better, Tony.

                    4. Let's be clear here, Tony. It was a trick question, because you cannot provide a site showing IPCC models matching reality for the simple reason that their models don't agree with each other.

                      If the 2000 model was correct, then the 1990, 1995, 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2020 models must be wrong, no? If they all differ, they can't all be right, can they, Tony? You might get one right, by chance, just like the stopped clock, but in my part of the world, if someone is wrong 7 times, we don't much care if the 8th time turns out to have been correct.

                    5. Tony, you have an admirable kind of simple-minded faith in the IPCC, so it was cruel of me to spoil your fantasies about their models. You probably wonder how they can have so many models all in disagreement with each other. It may even have been news to you that each assessment has new models; you probably thought they had won working model and would have no need for more -- I mean, how can you improve on perfection, amiright, Tony? But you should have paid attention to that page you linked, because it even tells you the trick in almost plain English -- the key is their phrase "hindcasting".

                      So here's some insight into that, Tony. They come out with a model, they train it on the past 10-20 years, then they run it on that same training data to see if its predictions match the reality, which is a good way of making sure your models works like it trains, and trains like it works. Being good modelers, of course their hindcasting runs predict the future known as the training data! They aren't incompetent modelers.

                      Then next assessment, they have five more years of data, and of course they have to enhance their models to take the new data into consideration, otherwise their model couldn't predict the training data, could it?

                      That's why every five years, they have a new model which incorporates the new training data, and naturally it hindcasts the known future properly.

                      But that's also why you can't rely on their models, Tony. The 2010 model can't predict up to 2015 because that data was still unknown when it was created.

                      Sorry to burst your bubble, Tony. But that's how IPCC models work.

                    6. "There comes a point when you have to wonder whether engaging at all with disingenuous hack arguments is not giving them more air than they deserve."

                      This from a disingenuous hack.

                    7. All this text to make the point that models from a year in the past don’t match with the better updated versions? Science is not a game of gotcha.

                    8. "All this text to make the point that models from a year in the past don’t match with the better updated versions? Science is not a game of gotcha."

                      No, you lying piece of lefty shit, all this text to show that not ONE single model has gotten within 20% of the claimed predictions.
                      Not ONE.

              2. Because he can’t. Tony isn’t very bright. He’s a vapid gadfly, more concerned about getting his ass plowed or attending his next dinner party. He doesn’t actually know anything about science.

                It’s jut part of his Progressive Orthodox religion.

          3. @JesseAz When you say this to Tony: "There are almost no empirical facts in climate science. Even the global temperature is 90% modeled estimates from a very sparse measurement grid. And even then the measured data is constant modified due to things like UHI effect which is a guess for the most part."

            He interprets that as: "Nunc molestie pellentesque mi. Etiam condimentum bibendum viverra. Pellentesque facilisis urna nec nisi egestas cursus. Nullam bibendum porttitor mauris, quis sollicitudin odio vulputate eget."

            He doesn't understand even "sparse measurement grid" then using models to interpolate. He doesn't even know what interpolate is. I know you know this but it bears repeating.

        2. Yeah, groupthink is still bad.

          1. By definition.

            1. Groupthink? You’re soaking in it

            2. Tony, I read the article you gave us to read on this url, https://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models.htm, AND the comments section. You should do this, if you can understand it. The climate "deniers" had superior arguments than the lackeys that just nodded in agreement and offered arguments based on things they didn't entirely understand (which is obvious by the fact they didn't have good counterarguments when their comment was taken apart). This doesn't mean the "deniers" were correct (although I think they are), but it does mean you read this article and didn't even dig deeper. Lame.

    2. Based on what?

    3. "A group of six" --- Wow.... Out of the six weather stations I get they still get tomorrows temperature WRONG... ALL six of them... If the "weather experts" cannot even give an accurate prediction on tomorrows weather by what stretch of a persons imagination would one rely on six researchers to predict weather within the 0.1C range a 100-years from now???

      It ALL has and will always be a religion not a science. Science relies on being tested truth with repeated results. Non of which the climate scare has obtained.

  4. I love that Ehrlich still gets mentioned as if he was anything but a crank after all of these years of laughable predictions.

    QAnon has a better batting avg than he does in predictions.

  5. It does not matter because the commies have figured out how to capture youth into their takeover plans. All they have to do is scream about environmental disaster and the kids are ready to change the banners and rat out their families.

    Science doesn’t matter in this age. Just how loud you are. It serves the purpose of the state not the people.

    1. IOW, it's not about climate science. It's about political science.

      1. More specifically, it's about political power.

  6. Yes climate change is real. However Biden's trillion dollar boondoggles will only exacerbate the crisis as a pretext to demand more: "Give us another trillion - we learned from our mistakes and this time we'll fix it!"

    the key to alleviating poverty is to supply poor people with access to reliable and cheap energy

    No the solution is freedom, equality and capitalism. Giving people cheap/free stuff never worked and never will.

    Billionaires should establish low-cost, low-carbon voting colonies. People can retire to them and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and thereby obviate big government and charity. In return they vote for libertarians. And continue the process until we're all retired and the robots are doing all the work (using renewable energy and planting trillions of trees). This will fulfill the promise of America and the Judeo-Christian tradition (yes it is real) and is the pathway to paradise!

    1. Notice he said "access to reliable and cheap energy". Not handouts, aid, giveaways, or anything but getting the ecofreaks out of the way, get rid of the government obstacles, red tape, and ideology that poor people must remain poor lest they start wanting the same riches that the ecofreaks have and don't want to give up.

    2. Tree planting drones can plant a lot of trees. Apparently 10 drones with 2 pilots could plant 400,000 trees a day. That's a lot of trees. Go robots go.

      Utilities access is tricky. A hypothetical rural community with no broadband and no electricity is going to have a harder time accessing financial opportunities. The choice to leave and move to a city while still poor has created large urban shantytowns in some places. Some policy about infrastructure access makes sense to me. I don't know if microfinance investment does this better than government policy.

      1. You obviously don't know a fucking thing about planting trees if you think drones can plant trees in a natural enviornment ala Forest Service land. Plantations on already cultivated land is a different story.

    3. Geeeeezzzzz - "Yes climate change is real." Its funny how no-one takes substantial notice of the complete change of wording not even less than a decade ago. It use to be "global warming" but now since that theory never materialized now it's just "changing"...

      The Climate Changes..... OMG!!! Lets all pretend to be gods and stop it from changing... The idiocy behind it is just too much....

  7. As usual, the core problem is monolithic coercive government. Government can never innovate, only destroy, or at best stall and meddle. The bigger government gets, the more its politicians and bureaucrats have to find new things to destroy and frustrate to justify their mere existence, and to compete with other politicians and bureacrats all angling for control.

    1. Yes of course. But a simple strategy for small government is for billionaires to create no frills resort colonies so people can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and not need big government, which will then be scaled back by the voters in these colonies. Colonies can be placed in electorally strategic swing states. Just a few thousand votes can make a difference for a generation in some cases. Whereas UBI (as supported by Musk) would be a complete disaster and will backfire in a million ways. Presumably I'm preaching to the choir.

      1. "...But a simple strategy for small government is for billionaires to create no frills resort colonies so people can retire and leave jobs for others to work and support themselves and not need big government, which will then be scaled back by the voters in these colonies..."

        You ARE joking, right?

          1. Yeah, that's an example of something which will scale to, oh, 1-1/4 the current value.
            So we'll got with stupid.

  8. What annoys me most about the species extinction claim is it makes no allowance for the inflated species count of living critters. There are a zillion varieties of butterflies, salamanders, mosquitoes, birds, fish, gophers, and other small critters that will not be apparent as unique species in any fossil record even 1000 years from now. Take all those butterfly species, bury them in the ground, and see if you can even find any trace of them 10, 100, 1000 years from now.

    Then look at how long species are recorded as present in the fossil record 100 million years ago. Some stretch over 10-20 million years.

    I have never seen any mention of this discrepancy.

    1. Extinction is a natural part of the evolutionary cycle.
      Those who try to stop or even delay the extinction of a species are science deniers.

      1. "...Those who try to stop or even delay the extinction of a species are science deniers."

        At the San Diego zoo several years back, the docent bragged about the millions of dollars CA (me, that is) spent 'preserving' the Condors.
        Shoot 'em.

  9. No discussion of California forest fires is complete without mentioning the incredible red tape bureaucracy that prevents people thinning their land. The Tahoe forest is more crowded now than when the first whites saw them in the early 1800s; the stumps left over from clear cutting for the Nevada silver mines are either 1/3 fewer per acre, or 3 times farther apart (I forget which), than now, and when you have 3 (or especially 9) times as many trees seeking the same water supply, no shit things will be drier! Yet the ecofreaks have made it difficult, slow, and expensive to get permission to thing forests on both public and private land.

    People in my community have been asking how to thin, and the advice is universal: you will not make any money from selling the lumber, you will have to pay to get it hauled away, and the state makes it so hard and slow and expensive that few actually try. If the ecofreaks and bureaucrats were actually interested in reducing forest fires, they'd restore forests to where they were before the ecofreaks took over and put individual tree survival above forest health.

    1. I'm not in CA anymore but I know controlled burns have gained popularity in some areas. Around homes though that's probably impossible. They do need to become interested in it, you're right, but they probably cant do it by suing Caltrans or any of the other old standbys, maybe suing PG&E will be attractive enough.

      1. "...maybe suing PG&E will be attractive enough."

        PG&E is bankrupt.
        And why would you sue the outfit which was, in effect, bankrupted by government regulations over government regulations?

  10. "...Bill McKibben argued, citing worst-case sea level rise studies, that much of the world's coastlines are "not defensible"; in a throwaway claim, he declared that "no one is going to pay to build a seawall around the Bengali coast."

    Check out Denethor over there.

    He makes that claim without considering that people won't accept their fate and will move to protect themselves.

    It's almost as if he wants it to sink so he can be proven right.

    In fact, we're seeing this macabre fatalism playing out with the corona porn. Media is politicians are behaving as though they expect the worst and don't seem to react to any kind of good news. Look at sports journalists basically praying sports fails this summer.

    I think they're all psychopaths really. They want to to see death and mayhem.

    Why else constantly beat this doomsday drum since at least the 60s?

    It's a marvel how people even take it seriously.

    Then again, the same people are wearing masks these days.

    1. I have little faith in seal level rise data. I have seen datasets showing coastal cities just one hundred miles apart with different seal level rises. Ergo, they are measuring ground sinkage, not sea level rise.

      1. I think the smart modelers try to account for both. "How much higher up will the water be on the wall of my house?" is a relevant measurement, taking sinkage and rise both into account.

        1. Their stated facts, their stated measurements, of sea level rise, were several inches different for two coastal cities 100 miles apart. Same ocean. That is impossible. It means they were not correcting properly for ground level changes, and puts all their so-called measurements in doubt.

          1. I've wondered the same thing. Apparently "post-glacial rebound" is responsible for some of it.



            I won't be surprised if most models turn out not to be correct. I'm willing to buy that they're onto something though in terms of a general upward trend. From what I've heard about the Fukushima tsunami/meltdown, an earthquake of that magnitude was considered so unlikely that it wasn't financially prudent to design safety systems that could withstand it. So I actually don't mind some environmental worst-case scenarios being presented, just from a design standpoint, it might make a better solution. The question of how much to spend and on what has so many different answers depending on each local community's needs. Of course everything in California would have to go through the Coastal Commission and that would be huge. I like the idea of designs that could be expanded if it turned out the sea rose higher. The initial slipperiness of the numbers doesn't interest me as much as starting to get infrastructure in place to handle whichever amount we do get. The discussion about abandoning some lower-income coastal communities that were starting to flood is one that I've heard the beginning of in northern California and I thought it was terribly shortsighted.

      2. Are you sure you don't mean WALRUS levels?

        I keep mixing up seals with walruses.

  11. 1. I think alarmism is not a productive problem-solving strategy. That's a point worth making. Some amount of alarmism has been thought to be useful when deployed as a motivator towards inert governments. When everyone engages in "the sky is falling!" behaviors it clogs up rational thought, however. When I hear the "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention" line, my teeth clench and I think to myself, "if I let these jerks outrage me, the baddies win, and I must maintain my emotional equilibrium and think clearly." This may be a regionally popular but nationally unpopular emotional response, I don't know.

    2. As usual in climate change discussions, much of the above turns on interpretations of statistics. The section about whether natural disasters are "worse" is interesting for this. "Worse" in terms of financial loss/insurable asset loss is not the same as "worse" in terms of a storm having higher winds, heavier rainfall etc. I read something about an agency proposing to create a new "Category Six" category for hurricanes because there are simply storms that are too powerful now to be described with the old system. Granted they didn't mention hurricanes in the list of things that aren't worse, but I think it goes for tornadoes too.

    Similarly, the NYT had a thing about the frequency of severe thunderstorms in Argentina (I think it was yesterday). Apparently there are more and worse storms over a certain area than there used to be. Looking at global patterns, there could be a 1-1 replacement of fires and storms in one area with fires and storms in another, and the averages would look the same, while the affected regions would be dealing with very unfamiliar weather and have to respond. I think Shellenberger may have done that with his "fires" section.

    3. Sea level rise. I am glad to hear that the Netherlands is working with Bangladesh on coastlines. Rotterdam has some incredibly cool engineering and that expertise can and should go global. This morning in the NYT the article about proposed climate mitigation engineering on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana was very interesting. A project is proposed which would do x,y,z things which are considered beneficial, but in so doing it would sediment the shrimp and oyster and crab fisheries and potentially wipe out an element of the coastal economy. "Alarmism" becomes relevant on a local level when people really are looking at a massive disruption, either because their home island is flooded or some aspect of the economy is threatened, or because a mitigation of some other problem will ruin them.

    4. Groundwater salinity. When seas rise the water table apparently does too, pulling in salt water into the ground on the coast where before it was only fresh. The hydrology of all that is not familiar to me but I've been told multiple times that the floods are only half the problem posed by sea level rise. I am not familiar with how people solve that either. But saying "oh look Holland solved floods" is only part of the problem's solution. Bangladesh building seawalls is great but how they will deal with the groundwater is another thing. I think salted groundwater is affecting the Everglades negatively.

    4. I don't know if apocalyptic/millennarian thinking is always a historical side effect of some Christian denominations, but I think at times it has been. Environmentalism as with several isms are absolutely replacements for a spiritual emptiness. Being apocalyptic about it is either a religious or a political strategy. However, some communities have been damaged (poison gas releases! toxic waste! birth defects!) in awful ways and it's necessary to not shy away from that either. Tech to solve problems is invented when people with money decide it's important, so things have to look like problems in order to be solved.

    5. Human society doesn't always adapt fast enough. The Paradise wildfire in CA is an example of a community designed based on one understanding of the world, suffering massive consequences when conditions changed and people didn't really realize. PG&E admitted fault in cases stemming from some bad fires which started due to transmission lines. They used to be able to get away with not being as careful about the lines, conditions changed and now they can't. Some of those fires were certainly apocalyptic, people trying to flee on crowded, burning roads, people surviving only by staying underwater in their backyard pool for hours. The challenges of grieving it contributes to the alarmism.

    1. Please note that one reason PG&E has such old equipment is because solar roof panels, which create energy which, by law, PG&E has to buy back at the highest rate it pays for other energy, was so wildly popular that PG&E asked their PUC overlords for permission to raise their rates and was denied; the PUC told PG&E to cut expense elsewhere. PG&E is a classic inept bureaucracy, but here they were trying to do the right thing and the government stopped them.

      1. That's miserable. Have they had any partial grid shutdowns this summer? i forget the acronym, PSPS i think.

        1. None yet that I know of.

          1. Is there a way to work out partnerships with the firewood-selling folks? There's a market for all that wood, probably not too far away, unless it's wood that doesn't burn well, but still. When I left Norcal there was that program where senior citizens could get firewood vouchers and it was always at or beyond capacity. How to turn people's yards into firewood I don't know, but you might be able to turn it into a charitable donation tax writeoff. The firewood guys might do it in exchange for keeping a few cords to sell. It's probably way, way harder than that but I thought I'd put it out there.

            1. A. Most of the trees are pine, which is terrible fire wood.

              B. The government has made all timber cutting expensive and slow, and firewood, even good oak, does not cover the costs.

              C. Timer cutting without the proper permits is illegal.

            2. Between enviro 'studies' and mitigation for 'habitat degradation', one friend found the only way to log some trees on his property meant they had to be 'coptered out of where they were cut; the costs were such that only a few very valuable old-growth Redwoods were deemed a business proposition.
              Of course, a lot of that 'habitat degradation' would include removal of the dead undergrowth.

              1. "...the dead undergrowth."

                AKA "kindling".

    2. 4. Yes. That's why you often hear the charge it's a religion or cult.

    3. I think alarmism is not a productive problem-solving strategy.

      What? Look how well it has done with the virus!! /s

    4. "Environmentalism as with several isms are absolutely replacements for a spiritual emptiness."

      Or if you want to take the religious part out... Humans generally have a distinctive desire to feel important/significant.

      Some will resort to dishonestly trying to cheat that desire with 'illusions' of significance by their own screaming banners, 'isms' and control over others (i.e. enslavement) while others will find their significance in being productive and helpful to others.

      And within that notion lies the difference between an evil dictative slaver and a decent human being.

  12. Shellenberger wins the prize of the day. He recognizes one thing all these fear mongering jerk offs forget or don't respect: Human ingenuity.

    When you tell someone, 'Hey, the sea is gonna flood you' human nature's natural instinct is to try and solve the problem. Not run from it.

    Look at Venice. They're putting all the power of human ingenuity at trying to save it. I know it's not a climate change problem but you get this gist.

    When I told a friend, arguing to not underestimate technology and not over estimate government interventionism, about that kid who figured out a way to clean waters of plastic he didn't say, 'I know! Great stuff!' No, it was 'it's not enough' and we need more regulations and all that shit.

    It's dumb, backward thinking. We can't contextualize the scale of the issue and so we revert to our most primal emotion: Fear.

    Again, just like we're doing with the virus. Lockdowns! Masks!

    Instead of taking a much more reflective and enlightened approach all we do is rile people up with 'worst case scenarios' and sad emotions stories about healthy people keeling over despite them being outliers.

    Again context and perspective gets shelved. That takes a lot of guts to consider because it means saying stuff like, 'we need to learn to live with the virus. But it's ok. The death rate isn't as bad as first thought and that's a big win right there. It does spread too quickly for our taste but we're better prepped and even have treatments now as we await the vaccine. But we can't stop living. Move forward. Enjoy your life. Smile at each other. Be strong.'

    Instead it's fuckheads screaming, 'Wear the masks you selfish prick or else we're gonna fine you. As for you gym, we're shutting you down and I'll lockdown shit up if you don't follow and listen to me. These 'treatments' don't work and so mask up and we'll keep this charade going indefinitely until I feel it's politically expedient to stop.'

    Essentially, it's the difference between Sweden (the former) and USA/Canada (the latter).

    But Sweden isn't off the hook. They gave the world Greta.

    1. Yeah, there's a willful contradiction in much alarmist thinking: first, that all the "bad stuff" is 100% human-caused, and often directly related to specific human behavior and technology. Then, there is both demanding that humans must change behavior immediately but apocalyptic prediction that salvation is beyond human capacity, at least in terms of human innovation and technology.

      I am not surprised that the average human, and even (or especially) elite humans, default to a human-centric view of the natural world. But if we are all-powerful in terms of destruction, we should be equally powerful in terms of continued flourishing. of course, the concept of flourishing is anathema to most Luddites.

      1. There are many more ways to destroy the environment than there are to preserve it. And a powerful political faction that opposes any such attempt is certainly no help.

        1. Ecofreaks want to preserve the environment, as if it were a museum exhibit. Better to let the environment be itself. But that would require not controlling it, and ecofreaks and proggies and socialists are all about control. That is their number one concern. Everything else is just an excuse for the control.

          1. Preserving the status quo means doing unchecked damage to the environment. I don’t think I should have to explain the fallacy in the claim that doing nothing is not the same thing as not affecting the environment.

            1. Your word, Tony: "There are many more ways to destroy the environment than there are to preserve it."

              You said preserve it, not me. You said you wanted to preserve it, not restore it.

              Suppose I give you this take-backsie and let you change your word to "restore". To what condition would you restore it? Before 1492? Before the Younger Dryas? Before the Siberians crossed Beringia? Before the comet wiped out the dinosaurs?

              1. How about we start with what’s necessary to sustain human life and whatever other species we can save?

                1. "How about we start with what’s necessary to sustain human life and whatever other species we can save?"

                  How 'bout we start with some at least some minor attempt at honesty on your part?
                  You fucking lying piece of lefty shit, we are swimming in food, and there are no lack of 'other' species.

                  1. I would like to eliminate the species ‘Homo Progressivus’. Or at least Homo Tony.

                    1. Most of time I find the sniping in this threads childish. Other times I find it quite funny. Kuddos

                    2. Thank you. Very kind of you to say so.

        2. Tony, which moment in time do you want to preserve? Micro and macro changes have occurred throughout geologic history, before Homo sapiens and certainly will do so after. The earth once had an atmosphere without oxygen, until plants (actually, cyan-bacteria) ruined things and made the environment hell for organisms that could not protect themselves from abundant free oxygen. The past few million years have seen the earth oscillate from glacial to inter-glacial conditions, with greater changes in temperature, climate, sea level, ice coverage, and any other parameter you want to worry about that any modern climate catastrophist would dare predict. And pre-industrial humans had some dramatic impacts on their natural environments, even before the evil capitalists arrived.

          So again, what magic moment in time has the "right" climate?

          1. A couple of years ago we visited the La Brea Tar Pits (Fred Flintstone growl). I think Tony wants that.

            1. If you sat through the presentation, the vid mentions how the climate has changed drastically many times before.

              1. Yes. I did and I remember thinking to myself that this should be mandatory in all schools. Made you realize the scam this cottage industry is.

                1. I grew up in SoCal. Field trips to the tar pits were common when I was in school, not that that has helped much, it would appear.

                  1. Dunno what version you saw, but I was impressed that the entire vid did not attempt to make one political statement at all.
                    Nor did it seem to make any attempt at dodging any; "here are the facts as best we know them".
                    The LAT can do the editorial...

                    1. It was an excellent and purely scientific presentation.

                      We enjoyed it.

                      Won't be long Tony and BLM will step in and fuck it all up.

          2. Not the one we’d get if we ignored climate change like you seem to want. Don’t use so many words next time. “Climate always changes and I am illiterate” would suffice. (Most of the denier apes leave the last bit off, implied as it is.)

            1. /sticks tongue into inner lower mouth. Scratches armpits. Makes gorilla sounds.

            2. You're just an ass hole.

              (Fewer words)

            3. ‘Denier’........ yes, you would see it that way. As climate alarmism is part of your Progressive Orthodox religion.

        3. "...And a powerful political faction that opposes any such attempt is certainly no help..."

          Still dragging that strawman around, you lying piece of lefty shit?

        4. "There are many more ways to destroy the environment than there are to preserve it."

          So far Mother Nature has proven beyond any doubt to be the most destructive to the quest of, "preserving the environment" (at which time?) however mankind has certainly done leaps at preserving it to habitable forms with HVAC units, water distribution, sun-glasses, etc.. etc.. etc..

          Environmentalists mentality, "I see smoke! Who's smoking! Make them stop!"

    2. This another of those "there are two groups of people" things, but I believe it is true that you basically have the choice of either focusing on avoiding death or focusing on living life. They are definitely not the same thing. It seems to me that the "living life" crowd has far more joy than the "avoiding death" crowd.

  13. I can personally assure you all of two things:
    Man cannot destroy the world.
    Man cannot significantly change the world.

    All of these ever changing names, and causes, and stuff all revolve around a single point; political power.
    It has nothing at all to do with the planet.

    1. What makes you think humanity can’t destroy itself?

      1. Fire and Ice
        Some say the world will end in fire,
        Some say in ice.
        From what I’ve tasted of desire
        I hold with those who favor fire.
        But if it had to perish twice,
        I think I know enough of hate
        To say that for destruction ice
        Is also great
        And would suffice.

        1. The truth is all around you, plain to behold. The night is dark and full of terrors, the day bright and beautiful and full of hope. One is black, the other white. There is ice and there is fire. Hate and love. Bitter and sweet. Male and female. Pain and pleasure. Winter and summer. Evil and good. Death and life. Everywhere, opposites. Everywhere, the war.

          —Melisandre of Asshai

          1. As quoted by Tony of Asshat

            1. Three beers in and that's a big LOFL.

          2. Male and female???

            Binary prejudice is strong in this one!

          3. George R.R. Martin is known to hold problematic political views, despite his public support for Democratic candidates, as indicated by that quote reinforcing outdated binary oppositions.

            Medieval fantasy is an inherently reactionary genre, as it whitewashes and glorifies a toxic era of misdirected male violence, religious superstition and sophistry, LGBTQ+ invisibility, extreme classism, and all manner of patriarchal oppression, such as chivalry and courtly love. Explains why "sword & sorcery" fantasy nerds are almost always cis straight white, neck-bearded, pimply-faced, socially regressive, autistic manbabies.

            1. I am almost certain that GRRM does not share the political worldview of his character Melisandre.

      2. Because like cockroaches, we are here to stay. Just think: we could exterminate 99.9% of humans, but that would leave 8 million to procreate and re-invent all the same shit all over again.

      3. "What makes you think humanity can’t destroy itself?"

        On average, humanity would have to be as stupid as you.
        We aren't.

        1. Tony is a true Annelid among gods.

  14. "..."We cannot hide away from human population growth," argued primatologist Jane Goodall in January..."

    I wondered why she could converse with the chimps; now it's clear.

  15. I wonder how many "environmentalists" who make a living in this "industry" have a hard science degree (sorry not biology but Physics or Chemistry)? How many make a living off "grants" which we know is very corruptible in terms of how "scientists" make conclusions.

    It sounds to me like the author who sounds pretty left wing is just admitting to what we all knew for decades...cultural marxists using environmentalism to destroy liberty and free markets...

    Cut govt and all these folks will have to find a real job and not make millions in various meal ticket programs...

    1. Have you seen "real jobs" lately? The argument that the workplace forces some kind of correction to poisoned young minds straight out of college vanished years ago. Corporate virtue signaling, which is worse than any company-madated union or political affiliation, makes bureaucrats look like impish children. BLM is now the biggest tagline on my Fortune 500 company's intranet site. If I didn't need to make a living, I'd write a 10-page letter of hatred for them all and walk off into the wilderness, which I hear is a place only white supremacists go.

    2. "Commie education" carries many 'degrees' for useful idiots that will preform a societal worthless task funded by gun-stolen "commie money" because not a single free-willed person would actually pay for their "commie work".

      There-in lies the "progressive" food chain of nothingness.

  16. Schellenberger has a book to sell, but his polemic overkill in selling it has led not just to editorial pushback, but a blurb writer's revolt by some of his allies in the energy wars:


  17. Trump hitting liberal talking points:


    “ Too much income disparity. Changes must be made, and soon!”

    1. "In our time, what might have been a rational discussion about how best to cope with the risk is drowned out by extremists, such as those who refuse to wear masks, whose voices are amplified by social media."

      Oh, so not choosing to wear a mask on the grounds the evidence of wearing one is specious makes one an extremist now?

      Fuck off asshole.

      And he didn't really do a good job of persuading. He went for the stupid 'extremist' bit and it set the tone for the piece.

      I don't think anyone 'denies' (and anyone who calls a person a 'denier' is no different than a witch hunter in my view) the climate doesn't change.

      They're just disputing policies that cost a lot and render little in return. And like the masks, a lot of the data and evidence is inconclusive and in some cases manipulated.

      Did I mention fuck off slaver?

      1. Oops. This was a response meant for the link provided by entelechy.

      2. We should start savagely beating maskers. Progressives should learn their place. Which is living in fear.

        1. I did an informal survey among my employees: They're angry. And I mean angry. It's not a habit they want to form and they're also concerned about the possible impact on their health. They largely think the masks are horse shit.

          A girl I know - as docile and agreeable as they get - expressed frustration today. She was at the mall and suddenly finds it disconcerting to see people persist with this and complained of breathing issues as well as her glasses fogging up. At which point she had to adjust her mask constantly. Game. Over. Get another quarter.

          This mask thing is hysteria and once again politicians are messing with our health like they did the lockdowns. That's why I refuse to wear one and tell my daughter to never wear one in public outside. In the stores she has no choice because of criminal mandates but I'll be damned if I let bad science and medical bureaucrats endanger her health. They can straight fuck off like that asshole from MIT.

          How we tolerate this shit is beyond me.

          1. You’re insane.

            You let politicians give you pants-shitting hysterics out of a hygiene practice during a national emergency. You let them do that to you. And apparently your children, not that they apparently have any say in the matter.

            1. You're a lying piece of lefty shit.

            2. National emergency my ass. They’re tracking cases because the number of deaths (which is grossly exaggerated) isn’t significant enough to warrant these unlawful government actions. It’s a power grab. Nothing more.

              1. The number of deaths is most likely undercounted, but you have a political belief that requires you to believe otherwise. That’s sad.

                1. Talk about projection. Your political beliefs dictate that more government is the solution to every problem. Did I say political? I meant religious. Government is your god.

                  1. No it doesn’t and no it’s not.

                2. Tony, the people who need to be dead are the ones who Are like you. The numbers of progressives will eventually have to be thinned out until your numbers are manageable.

                  When this happens, it will be your doing. As scum like you attempt to run things and tell the rest of us how to live. This cannot be. You must learn your place which will require painful negative reinforcement. Which is far better than you deserve

            3. Dude, did you see what they're doing in Australia under this 'national emergency'?

              Why don't you just imprison people already.

              The suppression theory is so spectacularly wrong headed its distressing.

              This calls for intelligent and enlightened thinking.

              Like we see in Sweden.

              Instead what we get are inhumane lockdowns, masks mandates and governors asking cops to go bust up heads in restaurants.

              1. I don’t think it’s enlightened to willfully permit more death because you are whining about a minor inconvenience. You can’t kill other people by ignorance or neglect. Surely even you guys have that rule.

                1. Tony, suck a bag of dicks with that 'granny' shit. Questioning the trade-offs and the measures is not tantamount to wanting people to die. You can't save everyone Tony. The flu, cancer, cars and heart disease kill us all at much higher rates across the demographic board. Do we stop life for them? No. We live with it and work towards improving our life odds against them.

                  HCQ is effective. By not using it leads to deaths. Do you care?

                  1. Not according to the medical community, but what do they know about medicine? We must consult Trump!

                    And let’s not pretend that if the president had a different letter after his name, you’d see mass death as a bad thing. Right now you can’t see clearly enough to view it as anything other than a polling problem.

                    1. The only part of the medical community that counts for you are the ones who obey progressives and stick to the narrative

          2. I don’t claim to be all up on the scientific studies behind masks, but on the one point: my glasses fog up, too. On that one, suck it up. That is a minor annoyance.

            1. I have friends who are getting adult acne because of the masks. Being 40 with a pizza face is more than a minor inconvenience. IMHO

            2. Oh, what a hero.

              And there's more than just that. People are getting skin irritation and hives. I know someone at Pratt and Whitney and the FIRST day the moronic mandates went into effect, the engineers complained because it was impossible to work that way for EIGHT HOURS as all sorts of health complications happened. Thankfully the company adjusted what to do.

              Maybe you should read up on it. That way you can stop pretending to be virtuous. You're being manipulated.


              1. Like I said, I’m only addressing the specific complaint about fogged glasses.

              2. I had to go back and review, by the way, how we got on the subject of masks instead of why Trump is repeating liberal talking points about income disparity.

                1. Not sure.

                  /narrows gaze.

          3. "The mask thing is hysteria, and once again politicians are messing with our health..."

            Yeah, the "one size fits all approach".

            I'm 74 and have COPD, Stage 4. Now, I'm in better shape than most in Stage 4 because I do exercise, including Tai Chi (Yang 24 and Yang 32 Sword). Nevertheless, a mask decreases the oxygen in your lungs by about 20%. That may not be such a big deal for others, but after about 2 hours of wearing a mask, I feel nearly exhausted, while without the mask, I can still do all the routine maintenance around the house and yard, care for our chickens, etc.

    2. As for that Tweet, one of the more pernicious outcomes of the lockdown was the shutting down of small business and the impact it had on millions as corporations remained open. This was outrageous.

      If you lockdown you lockdown for everyone. Everyone has to share the pain. What we did to millions, aside from likely being illegal, was immoral.

      Now there are Harvard experts stupidly demanding 13 states lockdown. How about this? How's about those experts forego their pay checks. Let's see how serious they take the pandemic then.

  18. Its a good news.

  19. We should protect the earth and the environment.

      1. I don’t care what anybody says, I think you are hilarious.

        1. I don't care what anyone says, I think you're a slimy piece of lefty shit.

        2. You know what would be REALLY funny Tony? You drinking a whole bottle of Drano.

          Try this and report back.

  20. Listening to Paul Ehrlich is like listening to q anon. Every prediction is wrong, they just keep moving the goalposts.

    1. I don't follow q anon but I've heard their claims. I'm glad they're wrong.

  21. I'm with Jane Goodall. Get population down to what it was right after the plaque wiped out 75% of Europe. It created the middle class and ended mass starvation. Viruses are a good thing. Now, if only corona really was deadly rather than a massive hoax perpetrated by corporate media.

    1. "Now, if only corona really was deadly rather than a massive hoax perpetrated by corporate media."

      Just stop eating if you want to die. You don't need a virus for that.

  22. Start making cash online work easily from home.i have received a paycheck of $24K in this month by working online from home.i am a student and i just doing this job in my spare HERE? learn More

  23. Solving poverty has been a goal of humanity for a lot longer than solving carbon emissions has been. And the efforts have been a lot less successful. And Shellenberger's solution to poverty is to spur economic growth with wealthy countries financing and building coal mining and burning facilities in Africa, something which can't help but exacerbate carbon emissions. Economic growth can be as vapid a goal as ensuring Africans have a similar choice of the 500 odd breakfast cereals the wealthy nations now enjoy.

    As for the 'high tech' solutions, Shellenberger doesn't even consider, high voltage direct current transmission of electricity, allowing us to avail ourselves of the sun's energy on the other side of the planet, the only way solar makes any sense.

    1. Solving poverty is relatively easy. Allow people to create wealth. That’s it. With secure property rights and contract enforcement, capitalism can flourish. Wherever it flourishes poverty diminishes. It really is that simple.

      1. "Allow people to create wealth. "

        People have been creating wealth for millennia without capitalism. Capitalism is also handicapped by being in thrall to magical thinking concepts like 'the invisible hand.' Adam Smith and his early followers thought that Capitalism would lead to a society of small, independent producers. Instead we got a few large producers, and the rest of us living out our working lives as employees. That's not the issue. Shelleberger is talking about fostering economic growth, a concept so vague that it could mean pretty much the opposite of what we consider wealth. As in oil spills and natural disasters boost GDP figures.

        1. The invisible hand isn’t magical thinking. It’s understanding that millions of individual decisions have better results than the will of the few being imposed on the many. Or as Hayek put it, human action not human design. Large producers come and go. Compare the Fortune 500 of today with that of fifty years ago. Based upon your argument the list should be the same, but it’s not. Many on the old list no longer exist, while many in the current list didn’t exist. To be honest I don’t understand your argument, or if you even have one.

          1. "To be honest I don’t understand your argument, or if you even have one."

            That's not surprising. Adam Smith and his contemporary followers (like Thomas Jefferson) thought that Capitalism would bring about a situation where producers would be independent individuals. This hasn't turned out to be the case and an overwhelming majority of workers are employees with bosses exercising control over larger and larger areas of hitherto private activity. Pissing into a cup for drug tests, for example.

            1. "...Adam Smith and his contemporary followers (like Thomas Jefferson) thought that Capitalism would bring about a situation where producers would be independent individuals..."

              It's also not surprising that the cite for your idiotic claim got lost.

              1. You can find Smith's famous book, The Wealth of Nations, online. Get back to me after you finish it.


                There's a link to the book in question. Excuse the pdf format.

                1. mtrueman
                  August.2.2020 at 7:23 pm
                  There’s a link to the book in question. Excuse the pdf format."

                  The book is right there in the 'econ' section of my shelves. Nothing anywhere suggests your pile of shit has any validity.

                2. "
                  There’s a link to the book in question. Excuse the pdf format."

                  No, I won't excuse your idiocy and dishonesty, you slimy piece of shit.
                  Suggesting someone 'read a book' is a pretty good indicator that you have not done so and haven't a clue as to the content of that book; you're a lying piece of lefty shit every bit as pathetic as Tony claiming to have read "Atlas Shrugged"; he, like you, seems to have read some Cliff Notes, and you both hope those of us who have read them might buy your bullshit. Stuff it up your ass, along with a running chainsaw.
                  Anyone who does 'read a book' for other than grins tend to make marginal notes or otherwise find a way to cite a particular claim by page number; shitbags who claim to have read them offer nothing other than 'read this book'.
                  As a fucking lefty ignoramus, you have yet to offer a single cite to support your continual bullshit in the entire time I've been here.
                  Do you really think those of us who post here accept that as other than an obvious bullshit claim bullshitter?

                  1. "No, I won’t excuse your idiocy and dishonesty, you slimy piece of shit."

                    You had your chance. I no longer ask you to excuse the format.

                    1. "You had your chance. I no longer ask you to excuse the format."

                      Fuck you, you pathetic piece of lefty shit.

            2. Because of specialization and division of labor creating increasingly complex goods and services, it only makes sense that people would be employees instead of independent producers. Can you make a toaster independently? No, you can’t. That requires many people operating complex machines that individuals simply cannot afford.

              1. Sure you can make a toaster. You've been conned into thinking toaster making abilities are the sole province of huge companies like GE.

                1. Now I’m gonna write you off as a dumbass.

                  1. What makes you so sure you can't make a toaster? I bet you haven't even tried.

                    1. Alright. Maybe you could. But why?

                      The whole point of division of labor and specialization is that you don’t have to. Self sufficiency is poverty. I have to work (for my employer) a fraction of an hour to buy a toaster. It would take me days to design and build one myself. That’s what makes capitalism awesome.

                    2. And whatever I made would be crap compared to something I could buy at Walmart.

                    3. The only way to deal with Sarcasmic is to speak softly and carry a big stick with a marshmallow on the end.

                    4. Adam Smith never conceived of Capitalism as self sufficiency. He thought it would lead to a society of independent producers. He thought employment would be a temporary thing like apprenticeship. He never foresaw the situation where the vast majority lived out their working lives in servitude as employees. He was also critical of the stupifying effect on dividing labor.

                    5. Servitude? You mean wage slavery? Nobody forces you to work. You’re free to become an entrepreneur or be homeless, and not have to answer to anyone.

                      I still don’t understand your criticism of capitalism.

                    6. "I still don’t understand your criticism of capitalism."

                      Maybe try perfecting your toaster making skills before we move on to the highfalutin stuff like theory.

                    7. "What makes you so sure you can’t make a toaster? I bet you haven’t even tried.

                      Because you are full of shit.

                    8. mtrueman
                      August.2.2020 at 3:34 pm
                      Adam Smith never conceived of Capitalism as self sufficiency. He thought it would lead to a society of independent producers. He thought employment would be a temporary thing like apprenticeship. He never foresaw the situation where the vast majority lived out their working lives in servitude as employees. He was also critical of the stupifying effect on dividing labor."

                      Amazingly enough your bullshit is not supported by any sort of cite.
                      You truly are a pathetic piece of lefty shit.

                  2. "Now I’m gonna write you off as a dumbass."

                    You are too kind; truman is a fucking ignoramus and a liar besides.

        2. "...Capitalism is also handicapped by being in thrall to magical thinking concepts like ‘the invisible hand.’..."

          You are one fucking ignoramus.

        3. I wasn't aware that opportunity costs was "magical thinking". Albeit, slightly different in context, but the two are essential the same concept.

      2. Allow people to keep the wealth they create.


        1. I thought that was a given. If you can’t keep the fruits of your labor, why bother? Incentives matter.

          1. Taxation goes back thousands of years. In fact it is so prevalent there’s a saying:

            The 2 things you can’t escape are death and taxes.

            So, no, it is not a given.

  24. “His book is ultimately a sustained argument that poverty is world's most important environmental problem, and that rising prosperity and increasing technological prowess will ameliorate or reverse most deleterious environmental trends.“

    Yet the left sees poverty as the solution.

    1. "Yet the left sees poverty as the solution."

      Yet communist China is pretty much the only place in the world today that is seriously committed to Shellenberger's solution of nuclear power.

      You are just parroting someone else's talking points.

      1. No, I’m not. I coined that one myself. Along with “equality is the lowest common denominator.” People on the left want fewer choices by reducing wealth. Self sufficiency is poverty. Specialization and division of labor creates wealth. Large producers make us wealthy by lowering costs.

        What is your argument, other than ad hominem attacks like “you’re a parrot”?

        1. "People on the left want fewer choices by reducing wealth."

          Communist China is about the only place in the world today following Shellenberger's hortations.

          "What is your argument"

          My argument is that you are wrong. The Chinese are not offering poverty as any kind of solution.

        2. The Chinese have increased their standard of living by allowing capitalism in a limited way. Before market reforms people were literally starving to death. The American left would do the opposite.

          1. The American left? They have no influence on China's policies and are completely marginal in the American context.

            1. By the opposite I mean they would bring us closer to China before the market reforms that have allowed them to enrich their lives.

              1. I think we're all going to be closer to China before we're through. Have you tried to learn Chinese? Speaking is surprisingly easy if you can wrap your mind around the system of tones.

                1. One of my coworkers was telling me about tones. She is from China.

                  1. For the tones, you have to develop an ear for them. Not all Chinese learners can do this making their speech incomprehensible to all but themselves and fellow students. Of course to really master Chinese, you have to learn reading and writing. A long and tedious journey which takes up most of the elementary school curriculum. I'm nowhere near fluent, having learned my characters through the back door, so to speak, thanks to obsessive study of Japanese, which only uses officially a 2000 character subset of Chinese characters plus relatively easy native syllabaries.

                    1. Fuck you, you pathetic piece of lefty shit.

                2. "...I think we’re all going to be closer to China before we’re through..."
                  Fucking ignoramuses tend to do so.

                  1. If you prefer, I'll just ignore your comments. But if you want me to answer them, you'll have to do better than quoting me (which I always welcome) followed by inane bluster.

                    1. Fuck you, you pathetic piece of lefty shit.

          2. "The Chinese have increased their standard of living by allowing capitalism in a limited way." Well, consumerism anyway. I've been to a Walmart in Nanchang. It covers an entire square block, is several stories high, and sells groceries, liquor, pharmaceutical drugs, tires and other auto parts and accessories, clothing, consumer electronics, sporting goods, kitchen and laundry appliances, etc. It was just an entire mall in one big building and even had restaurants.

          3. Equally, they have increased their standard of living by retaining a whole bunch of authoritarian and communist aspects.

            1. "Equally, they have increased their standard of living by retaining a whole bunch of authoritarian and communist aspects."

              Of course you idiotic claim is lacking cites, you lying piece of lefty shti

            2. You do realize that wealth inequality in China makes America look like a gold medalist on the subject? And we can skip the discussion about China's leading income comes from America as well as how the Obama Crisis of 2008 damaged China far worse than the USA.

              1. Okay, so don’t hold up China as one of the great successes of capitalism then.

                1. The CCCP outfit is communist and frankly the Democrats here should be the same thing. A completely VOLUNTARY enslavement enlisting except they should have zero-legislative ability outside their own party. Republicans support Democrats ability to voluntary to be a socialist but Democrats insist everyone be forced into it.

                  1. ... but who would volunteer to be enslaved? I don't know; but they volunteer to to be a Democrat so let them go be enslaved and leave the rest of the people alone.

                    1. And no-more 'bailouts' from the Republic (of course the US Constitution doesn't allow those). Let the D-mob volunteers all become Detroit.

                      Oh yeah; Democrats have ALWAYS had the ability to become a socialist VOLUNTARY commune except no-one want's to willingly join them (as proven by those that fled the ghost-town of Detroit). Well, it looks like CA is well on it's way to being a voluntary commune also. See the problem is all these Democrats want to force their will over 'those' people but none of them want their own will being forced. Thus their plantation has zero volunteers and a million and one dictators.

                    2. Today ONLY.... DNC "medicare-for-all" 1/2-off. You be a slave for only 15-years and the DNC will supply "medicare-for-all" that JOIN... Tomorrow ONLY... DNC "rich houses for poor folks" 1/2-off. You be a slave for only 65-years and the DNC will supply "rich houses" for all that JOIN...

                      Wait, wait; Isn't that exactly to a T what slavery was? The plantation supplied housing, food and medical attention (to their almighty discretion of course) in exchange for labor?

        3. Explain why I’m wrong. Your example of China doesn’t cut it, as I explained.

          1. You're wrong because leftists are not advocating poverty as a solution to climate change. China is spending huge resources on electrical generation, including nuclear. Of all the countries in the world today, it's the one following Shellenberger's hortations most closely.

            1. I still don’t understand your point.

              You appear to be anti-capitalism, yet you keep siting China as an example of... what?

              Under Mao millions died of starvation. Since they allowed free(ish) market reforms millions have been lifted from poverty.

              Yet you say capitalism sucks. I don’t get it.

              1. China is the country where the left are most powerful and most influential thanks to the role played by their communist party. They are not advocating poverty as a solution to climate change. They are following Shellenberger closer than anywhere else.

                1. China ain’t doing shit about “climate change,”

                  Again I fail to see your point.

                  1. According to Shellenberger, nothing needs to be done. Nothing except building a shit load of nuclear reactors. Which China is doing.

                    1. According to you, something should be done and you have no evidence to tell us why.

      2. And a place gay people can’t get married or have kids.

        It’s too bad communists are such bigots.

        1. "And a place gay people can’t get married or have kids."

          They can and do, I assure you. Just not with each other.

          1. The Chinese allow for fewer legal immigrants than the US. That makes them racists, too.

            1. Which other aspects of Chinese society would you like to emulate?

              1. Their pork dishes are delicious.

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  26. I have to agree with Shellenberger that solving poverty would go a long way to help the climate crisis (or problem if that's your preferred term). But that is controversial as well. Getting impoverished people cheap reliable power is good, but getting them fossil fuels or nuclear may be difficult. Delocalized solar and wind power could be done faster in many areas. Many impoverished area are politically unstable, do you want to be setting them up with nuclear power? Fossil fuels often require larger infrastructures, some of which are not available. Where do you get cooling water for large power plants in some desert areas or on islands. Finally are rich nations ready to share their wealth with poorer nations?

    1. I wouldn't take Shellenberger too seriously. He goes on at length about elephants in Africa are foraging in villages destroying crops and making a nuisance. Yet the coal he wants to exploit would only lead to more loss of pachiderm habitat. He also writes about enormous solar infrastructure development without a grid. He's a charlatan.

    2. "Where do you get cooling water for large power plants in some desert areas or on islands."

      Sounds like half of a two-pipe problem.

    3. "...Delocalized solar and wind power could be done faster in many areas..."

      Maybe one of these days, you might try 'thinking'.

  27. re: "widely respected Climate Feedback fact-checking consortium"

    Widely respected by who?

    1. "Widely respected by who?" -- Themselves... Didn't you see it printed in their letterhead! 🙂

  28. Just think, if the enviro-loons didn’t fight our conversion from fossil fuels to nuclear power in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s we wouldn’t be talking about carbon emissions.
    Yesterday was my 60th birthday so I can put things into perspective for no other reason than I’ve been around long enough to be better able to. The enviro-loons are hysterical and irrational and they can’t be reasoned with.
    So I take what they say with a grain of salt. No, I don’t believe we’re doomed. I believe we’ll adapt just find.
    I also believe the earth will be around a lot longer than humans will be.

  29. We don't "solve" climate change, we deal with it.
    Its causes are geological and astronomical.

    1. This guy gets it.

    2. We already - "“solved” climate change"... It's an HVAC unit.

      1. They only work indoors.

        1. What's next; Radiation control on the planet HD202772... Seems satisfaction is never an option for compulsive victimhood. 🙂

          1. Air conditioning works indoors. It won't help our crops from the more frequent and longer heatwaves that are on their way. Crops like wheat, corn and rice grow outdoors for the most part. Conclusion: air conditioning is not the solution you imagine it to be.

    3. Greenhouse gas emissions are insignificant compared to the power of Mercury in retrograde.

        1. Sunspots are geological and/or astronomical.

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  31. The fact that anyone still listens to Paul Erlich, whose every chicken little claim has been debunked for almost 50 years is testement to how weak or intellectual discourse has become.

  32. How dare you?

    Greta does not approve.

  33. Before thowing the Apocalypse under ther Cancel Culture bus, Ro should give social distancing a try.

    The world will muddle through if he can round up all the black swans and arrange to pen them six years apart.

  34. MMGW exists the same way the oceans rise each time I flush the toilet, technically true but only an imbecile imagines action is needed

    1. The planet can warm for many reasons. It’s currently warming now thanks to human activity. That is just not a controversial statement in the scientific community anywhere on planet earth.

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