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?
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