Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: environmentalism

Environmental Humanism: Hope

The final chapter of Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger gave me more hope of humanity and inspiration to help than all the environmental anger, hate, bawling, and disruption I have seen in my life combined. I’m convinced that showing the world how we have advanced, focusing on the positives, and providing ideas and inspiration is how we move forward on this planet together.

Humans are amazing creatures. We know we will die and use our intense imaginative abilities to forestall that event as long as possible. We create elaborate story systems to keep the fear of annihilation at bay. We physically and naturally need social groups and systems to survive and create nuanced political and religious reasons for it.

What if instead we faced reality? Not likely, I know. There’s no power structure to that. Simply wearing a “memento mori” symbol, taking a step back, allowing others to find their own way, living your life and loving the people around you…nah…too easy.

What does this book have to do with all that existential stuff? I had come to understand by observation that enlightenment was the reason we have become so ready to throw ourselves into the religion of environmentalism and politics. And this book showed me how and why in the last chapters.

The best part is that it isn’t a book of “Look what the bad guys are doing!” or “These other people are so stupid!” It’s a book filled with reason and compassion for others. Of course, some people are doing this or that, they are trying to survive and thrive just like we are. How can we do this together and better?

environmental humanism
“Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Adapts”

It’s hopeful and encouraging. And I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The closing of the book suggests a look at “environmental humanism” instead of “apocalyptic environmentalism,” and I whole heartily agree. Statistically, things are getting better. We are affecting change because we are becoming more and more wealthy, productive, and efficient. Humanity is evolving.

“The stories we tell matter. The picture promoted by apocalyptic environmentalists is inaccurate and dehumanizing. Humans are not unthinkingly destroying nature. Climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, and species extinction are not, fundamentally, consequences of greed and hubris but rather side effects of economic development motivated by a humanistic desire to improve people’s lives.”

Apocalypse never by michael shellenberger

Which do you think would make someone want to change the way they do things, take risks to create new systems, and grow: “humans suck and should be eliminated,”” or humans do great things and have the potential to do so much more?”

This book was so much, and I enjoyed every page, even the ones that make me look at my husband and say, “You will not believe this.” It’s enlightening, positive, and joyful at the end. If you are tired of the doom and gloom, the “we’re all going to die, the sky is falling” rhetoric of the environmentalists, but you still believe we could be doing something better, read this book. You won’t regret it.

Looking for a place to start, I found this site to be very helpful, Neutron Bytes – List of Pro-Nuclear Groups

Apocalypse Never: New Read

I’m finally getting to read Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All by Michael Shellenberger.

The first time I heard from Michael Shellenberger was on Conversations with Coleman back in August of last year. I talked about it in my post, Buddhism, Economics, Racism, and More: A Podcast Roundup.

Confession: I have been accused of being what people call a “climate change denier” most of my adult life for all the reasons that Michael Shellenberger is writing about in this book. The statements I hear from activists don’t make sense. There doesn’t seem to be any real research backing up the radical claims that I hear spread all over the media. The fearmongering “sky is falling” rhetoric makes me tune anything you say out. If we’re all going to die, right now, and there’s nothing we can do but go back in time and start over…well…yeah. What do you expect?

That interview last year is what piqued my curiosity and enticed me start listening. His assessments made sense. He seemed logical. And I wanted to know more. I read some of his articles after the interview and put his book on my wish list for future reading. And here we are.

This book is based on the idea that we can do more for the environment by increasing tech, helping developing nations stabilize their governments, and moving forward, not backward. How we got here, history, is important. Technology has made things better, not worse.

From the introduction:

“I wrote Apocalypse Never because the conversation about climate change and the environment has, in the last few years, spiraled out of control…”

Like every other conversation, true. Everything has turned into a religious war.

“I also care about getting the facts and science right. I believe environmental scientists, journalists, and activists have an obligation to describe environmental problems honestly and accurately, even if they fear doing so will reduce their news value or salience with the public.”

Because lying and exaggerating get you nowhere. You only lose credibility.

“Finally, Apocalypse Never offers a defense of what one might call mainstream ethics. It makes the moral case for humanism, of both secular and religious variants, against the anti-humanism of apocalyptic environmentalism.”

I’m looking forward to reading this. It’s far more inspiring than, “Humans are bad!” and “Let’s all live in dirt huts and eat ants!” Or making feel-good recycling and banning laws.

Want to read more? Check out: Nuclear Power & Vacations and Environmental Humanism: Hope

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