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Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  1,826 ratings  ·  377 reviews
Michael Shellenberger has been fighting for a greener planet for decades. He helped save the world’s last unprotected redwoods. He co-created the predecessor to today’s Green New Deal. And he led a successful effort by climate scientists and activists to keep nuclear plants operating, preventing a spike of emissions.

But in 2019, as some claimed “billions of people are goin
ebook, 272 pages
Published June 23rd 2020 by Harper
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Jul 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Benjamin Dave
Jul 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
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 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
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...
Bradley West
Jul 01, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shellenberger unfortunately makes so many misrepresentations and half-truths in the book. I'm quite disappointed. ...more
Jul 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Joshua Williams
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Steven Dzwonczyk
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
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 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Luke Jacobs
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
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
John Gallagher
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great analysis
Shawn M.  Connors
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
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
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
Jul 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
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?
John Bigelow
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Helped explain many of the odd features of the climate change discussion, particularly as related to nuclear energy. I always have trouble understanding why, if the world is coming to an end without drastic reductions in our carbon output, we do not consider nuclear energy with its zero carbon emissions and almost unlimited energy output. There are a lot of cynical people out there.
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
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Twenty years ago, reports on Global Warming had a milder tone. They focused on CO2 in the atmosphere, doubling from pre-industrial levels only by the end of the twenty-first century and its consequences. During the last decade, the pitch has become shriller and the horizon for the catastrophe a lot nearer. For example, Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University, pronounced in 2012 that Arctic ice would vanish by 2015 if we do not mend our ways. Activists saw every natural ...more
There tends to be two sides to most arguments, and noticing lately the steady apocalyptic drumbeat of news on climate change I was interested in hearing a good faith argument as to why civilization is not on the verge of environmental collapse. I'm not really capable of evaluating Shellenberger's argument here but I would forewarn that this is not a book primarily about climate change. It is rather about the familiar thesis that the way to maximize net human wellbeing in any environment is to al ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
Weak, unsubstantiated, arguments. It's amazing that Shellenberger ran for public office using many of the arguments that he now - having lost the election - now suddenly does a u-turn on to sell his book. ...more
Charles Haywood
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whenever, which is often, I see in the media that “experts say . . . ,” I immediately assume what follows is lies. The utter tone-deafness of using this locution, given that many, if not most, people assume as I do, amazes me. Or it did, until I realized it isn’t actually propaganda. Rather, for the media, the mouthpiece of the Left, the invocation of supposed experts has become an incantation, one that wholly substitutes for reason and by its magic keeps at bay the night, dark and full of terro ...more
John Mccandlish
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Let me state my bias before giving this review. I have lived in the deep south of the US for most of my life. I accept the science of climate change and that man has been a major contributor to it. But I am not an alarmist. In short, I roll my eyes when Trump says it's a Chinese hoax and slap my forehead at AOC's Green New Deal. Like most Americans (according to polls), I want us to take some action but not go crazy.

I feel this book should be read by alarmists or environmental activists; but not
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book consists of two major points:

1. Climate change is not the death knell it has been made out to be. Yes, it will cause a lot of serious problems, but the IPCC only considers those problems to shave 5% or so off global GDP by 2100 in their high warming scenario. (5% is a lot, but apparently only half as bad as a global pandemic!)

2. If you want to preserve the environment, advocate energy intensification. The world's poorest sustain themselves by slashing and burning virgin forests and inf
Garrett Cooper
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apocalypse Never left me feeling all sorts of emotions. At times I felt a little relieved. For once in my life, this book stood as a sign of hope in the midst of overwhelming nihilism being projected by leading activists. Then at other times I literally screamed in frustration as I read about the political blunders and corruption that have hindered our current environmental progress. I’m still debating the validity of the sinister anti nuclear proponents he talks about, but there is certainly go ...more
Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A highly needed book, not without its flaws and some nitpicking, but that comes with the contentious subject. It is best read alongside other positions on environmentalism. It is true that it attacks easy targets in the affluent west (Greta, Extinction Rebellion, AOC) but there is a wealth of research, care & experience behind it that no one interested in environmental politics can neglect. The first half is weaker, but in the second half, when Shellenberger digs into the subject of nuclear ener ...more
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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.” 1 likes
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