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Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,323 ratings  ·  467 reviews

An environmental expert unleashes a scientific, fact-based broadside against eco-alarmism and the excesses of the left, arguing that climate change and other environmental problems are real but not apocalyptic and require practical, not radical, solutions.

Many environmentalists claim the world as we know it will soon come to an end unless we radically change how we liv
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published June 30th 2020 by Harper (first published June 23rd 2020)
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Smokey Dymny I guess he doesn't know, or avoids the fact, that the immense quantities of concrete used to build nuclear plants, are in themselves a huge contributo…moreI guess he doesn't know, or avoids the fact, that the immense quantities of concrete used to build nuclear plants, are in themselves a huge contributor to GHGs in the atmosphere. Read Geo. Monbiot's 2008 book, "Heat: How to stop the planet from burning". He devotes a whole chapter to concrete. And if you want "developing nations" to use nuclear to "become more wealthy", how will they do that going massively into debt buying nuclear technology from --- you guessed it --- the people who already caused most of the GHGs on the planet? And has anyone ever found a way to get rid of tonnes and tonnes of irradiated concrete when nuclear plants need to be decommissioned? And have you ever seen pictures of Chernobyl? And do you know that Laplanders are no longer able to eat reindeer meat because of the fallout of that little accident? Hermann Sheer, former German Minister, gave a talk in Ontario, telling businessmen that the new nuclear power plant Ontario was building would take too long and cost too much. In ten years Ontario could install 20 megawatts (I think that was the unit) of solar and wind energy for much less cost. At the time, 20MW was the total of energy used in Ontario. Go read some better books, John. Maybe your child will grow up safer.(less)
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Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps it’s fitting that a book aimed squarely at climate 'alarmism' is so fatally undermined by its own over-reach. It's not that Shellenberger doesn't spell out some legitimate questions and dilemmas, but over-confidence in his conclusions and the flimsiness and incompleteness of the evidence on which many of them are based made this an insubstantial and unsatisfying read. There are far too many such instances to mention, but the sections on fire, food and energy provide examples.

In claiming
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely well-researched and very much needed now. Shellenberger offers real solutions as to how when we protect the environment and mitigate climate change using both the private and public sector. Along the way, Shellenberger debunks hysteria surrounding climate change and nuclear using hundreds of citations. You don’t even need to be an academic to understand the arguments being made. Before reading this book, I highly recommend listening to the author’s TED Talk on nuclear energy. The autho ...more
Benjamin Dave
Jul 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the worst books I have ever read. Awful in every respect, but especially morally. Its author can only be a person of really shocking moral degeneracy. It is exactly what one would expect from its publisher, Rupert Murdoch.

Shellenberger is an astonishingly mendacious writer. He constantly misrepresents facts and reaches conclusions only a Fox News viewer would fail to see through on nearly every page. For example, were you aware that plastic is actually good for nature because without it w
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is not climate critical, only climate-solutions critical, providing an alternative viewpoint on how to solve the problems inherent in climate change. I expect it will generate a lot of knee-jerk responses from people that rate it without actually reading it, or who will read it bad-faith, or who are upset at its valid criticism of radical environmentalist groups. Criticism that, by the way, are shared by many climate scientists, just seldom reported upon. Many are upset by the provocat ...more
Jul 02, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very misleading and overstated claims. I invite everyone to read "Shellenberger's op-ad" on This is written by Michael Tobis. An actual climate scientist. Of which, Michael Shellenberger is not one.

Read this book with every bit of skepticism and further research it deserves. It was clearly written to rile up the deniers. Of course there are some on the other side that are written in the same vein. It's about time we start listening to actual scientists...
Book Clubbed,
Jun 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stop throwing firecrackers at your nosy neighbor and listen to full pods here.

Like any halfway concerned citizen, I pay attention to the news headlines about our slowly eroding world. Huh, plastic in the ocean? Damn, fast fashion is filling landfills? Plastic bags are the worst, amirite? Once we get rid of those, climate change is definitely defeated. So glad to be done with that.

I do my little part too, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience my life too much. Recycling is cool, energy efficient l
Greg Watson
Apr 18, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, Michael Shellenberger makes a generally convincing case against alarmism on several environmental issues. Perhaps the most emphasized argument of the book is nuclear power as the cleanest and least expensive form of energy instead of solar and wind power. These (as Shellenberger demonstrates) are unreliable, expensive, and environmentally unfriendly.

In 1953, U.S. President Eisenhower addressed the UN General Assembly, delivering what
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Apocalypse Never (2020) by Michael Shellenberger is a fascinating book by a twenty year social and environmentalist on how the environmental movement exaggerates some dangers and itself causes more environmental harm. Shellenberger has been an environmental activist for decades and was involved with the Obama administration’s renewables policies.

Note also that on Goodreads there are a number of 1 star reviews from people who haven't read the book. There is a pile on of 'likes' for these reviews.
Bradley West
Jul 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shellenberger unfortunately makes so many misrepresentations and half-truths in the book. I'm quite disappointed. ...more
Jul 26, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Think, if you will, of the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets in “Romeo and Juliet.” Or of the 1863-1891 classic American feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, warring families in West Virginia and Kentucky. Full Review https://www.yaleclimateconnections.or...-

In the decades-old tensions involving environmental science, population, resource dynamics, and ecology, it’s the Malthusians and the Cornucopians. Subscribing to the wisdom of English economist Thomas Malthus, Malthusians ex
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A highly needed book that clarifies and straigthens many misconseptions about climate change and the state of the environment. Considerate and well researched (1/4 of the book is notes), the book tries to present different issues in their proper context and offer rational solutions. It makes the convincing case that climate change is not the catastrophic event many people claim it to be, and also addresses many other topics, like plastic waste, animal conservation, food production, energy and fo ...more
Ben De Bono

Environmental thought, especially when it comes to climate change, is perpetually trapped in the prison of two ideas. One side paints humans as destroyers of the planet and insist only the most radical action has the chance to save us. The other claims it's all a hoax and that any environmental protection is unneeded.

Michael Shellenberger is not trapped in that prison. He's an environmentalist and activist. He believes in anthropomorphic climate change. He's well versed in the sc
John Devlin
Apr 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shellenberger takes a jackhammer to the edifice of modern environmentalism.

As a former priest of the environment, the author speaks with the power of Martin Luther assaulting the ramparts of Catholicism.
However, unlike religious pedantry, shellenberger has facts to back up his assertions.

Technology is good
Nuclear power is carbon free and safe
Environmentalists have a fetish over a Thoreau like vision of walking hand in hand with nature.
Environmentalists have been taking payoffs from big oil for d
Mar 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Schellenberger is a left-wing, Progressive Democrat and environmentalist. Yet he’s the kind of person who will seek the truth and get to the bottom of debate without caring about any agenda. So he visited the rainforests and sweatshops and endangered species sanctuaries. The book exposes how environmental alarmism is a hoax and damages the environment more than it helps. He explains how certain popular books are wrong, whether intentional or not, and busts today’s popular myths about the ...more
Luke Jacobs
Honestly, this book did a really good job at challenging my default assumptions about climate change. A good deal of modern activism is rooted in ideological misgivings and not on rational policy. Especially with the rise of social media movements like The Sunrise Movement, which are echo chambers of semi-coherent, well meaning but ultimately counterproductive policy advocates.

That being said, this book kinda sucked. The author constantly rambles on about specific random scientists he disagrees
Mandalorian Jedi
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Must Read on the Truth About Climate Activism

I found this book to be extremely well written, interesting and informative. With the volume of I formation covered in this book it could easily become a painstaking experience to read. The author covered a exhaustively wide range of topics in great detail without losing the humanity of the subject matter. His arguments were clear and concise with documentation for even the most mundane of references.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone wit
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great Contrast to mainstream environmentalists

Shellenberger is not a heretic, or a climate denier. He’s pretty good at analysis and excellent at pointing out the differences between what scientists actually said and what the media and activists reported. There are so many good quotes in the book, I’m going back to try to make a summary. That’s the only problem with the book. It covers so much ground that it’s hard to find an ultimate theme . It’s a calmer, more reasoned read than the books fro
Steven Dzwonczyk
Michael Shellenberger hit it out of the park with "Apocalypse Never." He has brought into focus a lifetime of environmental science and propaganda, explaining which is which and how you can tell the difference. He gives the reader several simple-to-understand concepts to help evaluate any environmental claim that is put before one to make it easier to see if it is a net good or net bad.

In each chapter he lays out the conventional wisdom, explains what is wrong in the reasoning, and suggests alte
Jul 30, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There is just too much cherry picking of information and clear factual errors on subjects I am very well read on and are in my field of expertise. Which makes me call into question the information provided in this book in areas I am not as well versed. This leaves me to wonder what is this authors possible hidden agenda?
I heard about Apocalypse Never on Michael Shermer's Science Salon podcast. Author Michael Shellenberger is a Time magazine “Hero of the Environment”; the winner of the 2008 Green Book Award from the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Center for Science Writings; and an invited expert reviewer of the next Assessment Report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He has written on energy and the environment for the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Natu ...more
Shawn M.  Connors
Count me in as one of the people that feels a lot of anxiety when we're told the earth is getting beyond the point of no return, the planet is dying, the storms and fires are out of control, the animals are suffering and disappearing, and our kids are totally screwed. What have been the "bold" solutions that are being proposed by the most high profile "experts?" You're the cause of these problems, cut way back on the energy you use, don't eat meat, don't have kids, don't fly anywhere, get ready ...more
David Harestad
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been in the green movement now for 7-8 years, I worked for the Green party in Norway in the election of 2019, I even flirted a bit with Extinction Rebellion the summer that same year, and I can surely say that Shellenberger is right on the money. The main reason I heard about him is because he supports nuclear power as one of the real solutions, clever guy (yes, he is a paid lobbyist for nuclear power, but soon so am I).

Shellenberger is no climate change denier, quite the opposite. He ha
Feb 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
It's too bad this book is written the way it is, because there are actually policy points worth considering in here, chief among them considerations of economic growth (and the ensuing increases in consumption and resource extraction) against environmental impacts, as well as the true complexity of reducing carbon emissions in modern economies (and where it gets hard not only with different renewables, but where nuclear energy belongs in the mix). It is also worth considering the veracity of som ...more
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Antidote for the disease of environmental alarmism. Well researched/documented and exposes the corruption of environmental activism. Even explains the psychology of environmentists.
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Activist refutes Cilmate Apocalypse

Yes there is hope. The IPCC reports are intentionally exaggerated so politicians can say we need to act now. The news media then exaggerates it more to scare people into action. The world will not end. It's also interesting to see how green groups are supported by and support fossil fuel interests.
John Gallagher
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great analysis
Aug 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, science, climate
Worth the time it took to read it, even if some of the facts are presented as more rosy than they are in reality. An example would be Temple Grandin and her efforts to ease life of animals raised for food - I read a few of her books and while what she was able to do was absolutely amazing, she bemoaned the slow degradation of animal welfare standards throughout the farming industry as soon as the public spotlight moved on the next crisis. The systematic abuse and cruelty in farming is well docum ...more
L.A. Starks
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Shellenberger has worked around the globe for environmental causes, so he is coming at the subject of energy, poverty remediation, industrialization, and the environment from a vast level of experience. He has seen what works, and what doesn't--why people want dams and electricity, why residents prefer charcoal to wood pellets near the Virunga National Park, and why nuclear is a better long-term large-scale answer than intermittent renewables.

He is clear that most countries require coal
Jul 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's amazing that Shellenberger ran for public office using many of the arguments that he now - having lost the election - suddenly does a u-turn on to sell his book. ...more
Mar 16, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This book should have a warning label

Michael Shellenberger can’t be dismissed as a standard-issue climate change denier. He acknowledges that average global surface air temperature is going up and that fossil fuels under human control have had, still have, a big role in that rise. He denies however, that efforts to radically lower CO2 emissions in the next few years are justified, arguing that the rate of change in surface air temperature and the effects of that change are exaggerated by “apoca
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When author TJ Klune was growing up, he never saw queer characters in books in a way that felt true to his experience.  “They were the...
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“nuclear has saved more than two million lives to date by preventing the deadly air pollution that shortens the lives of seven million people per year.” 2 likes
“The news media also deserves blame for having misrepresented climate change and other environmental problems as apocalyptic, and for having failed to put them in their global, historical, and economic context.” 1 likes
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