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Green Guru Michael Shellenberger, formerly Time Magazine’s “Hero of the Environment’: “On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem. I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30.
But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.”
Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution…I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network…In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them…
Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicization of science.
Until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist…I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding.
But then, last year, things spiraled out of control. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.”
On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem.
Here are some facts few people know:
- Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction”
- The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”
- Climate change is not making natural disasters worse
- Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003
- The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska
- 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
- Carbon emissions have been declining in rich nations for decades and peaked in Britain, Germany and France in the mid-seventies
- Adapting to life below sea level made the Netherlands rich not poor
- We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter
- Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change
- Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels
- Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture
I know that the above facts will sound like “climate denialism” to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism.
In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other leading scientific bodies.
At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia.
At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions
Until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilization, and called it a “crisis.”
But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.
I even stood by as people in the White House and many in the news media tried to destroy the reputation and career of an outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke, Jr., a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist who testified in favor of carbon regulations. Why did they do that? Because his research proves natural disasters aren’t getting worse.
But then, last year, things spiraled out of control.
Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.
As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.
Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened.
I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence.
And so my formal apology for our fear-mongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All.
It is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialization, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.
Some highlights from the book:
- Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress
- The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land
- The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium
- 100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50%
- We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities
- Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%
- Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did
- “Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions
- Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon
- The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants
Why were we all so misled?
In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never I expose the financial, political, and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable.” And status anxiety, depression, and hostility to modern civilization are behind much of the alarmism
Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped.
Will Apocalypse Never make any difference? There are certainly reasons to doubt it.
The news media have been making apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change since the late 1980s, and do not seem disposed to stop.
The ideology behind environmental alarmsim — Malthusianism — has been repeatedly debunked for 200 years and yet is more powerful than ever.
But there are also reasons to believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power.
The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, Covid-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people and shattered economies around the globe.
Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicization of science. Their future existence and relevance depends on new leadership and serious reform.
Facts still matter, and social media is allowing for a wider range of new and independent voices to outcompete alarmist environmental journalists at legacy publications.
Nations are reorienting toward the national interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.
The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to.
And the invitations I received from IPCC and Congress late last year, after I published a series of criticisms of climate alarmism, are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment.
Another sign is the response to my book from climate scientists, conservationists, and environmental scholars. “Apocalypse Never is an extremely important book,” writes Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “This may be the most important book on the environment ever written,” says one of the fathers of modern climate science Tom Wigley.
“We environmentalists condemn those with antithetical views of being ignorant of science and susceptible to confirmation bias,” wrote the former head of The Nature Conservancy, Steve McCormick. “But too often we are guilty of the same. Shellenberger offers ‘tough love:’ a challenge to entrenched orthodoxies and rigid, self-defeating mindsets. Apocalypse Never serves up occasionally stinging, but always well-crafted, evidence-based points of view that will help develop the ‘mental muscle’ we need to envision and design not only a hopeful, but an attainable, future.”
That is all I that I had hoped for in writing it. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll agree that it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems that a lifelong environmentalist, progressive, and climate activist felt the need to speak out against the alarmism.
I further hope that you’ll accept my apology.
Don’t know who wrote it, but it’s spot on.
WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME BOAT …
I heard that we are all in the same boat, but it’s not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.
For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial & family crisis.
For some that live alone they’re facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest & time with their mother, father, sons & daughters.
With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment some are bringing in more money to their households than they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales.
Some families of 4 just received $3400 from the stimulus while other families of 4 saw $0.
Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk and eggs for the weekend.
Some want to go back to work because they don’t qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine.
Some are home spending 2-3 hours/day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending 2-3 hours/day to educate their children on top of a 10-12 hour workday.
Some have experienced the near death of the virus, some have already lost someone from it and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don’t believe this is a big deal.
Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020. Others say the worst is yet to come.
So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different.
Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.
We are all on different ships during this storm experiencing a very different journey.
Realize that and be kind.
RIDE don’t RUSH . . .
Massachusetts DOT / RMV extends motorcycle safety inspection sticker deadline to July 31st, resolving a recent lawsuit. No need to wait in line the next 3 days trying to find one of the 143 motorcycle inspection shops for you annual sticker –
An agreement was reached Friday afternoon to end a lawsuit filed June 24th by three citizen-biker activists / advocates* against the Governor, MA DOT Secretary and the Registrar, in their official capacities, seeking the extension for the more that 150,000 owners of motorcycles in Massachusetts. A hearing at the Lawrence Superior was scheduled for Monday, June 29th at 2:00, before June 30th deadline.
For a copy of the entire 27 pages of pleadings message see our web site. It cited delays caused by the COVID-19 shut-down for opening shops, social distancing, and the State having already extending car and trucks sticker deadlines to July 31st but motorcycles only to June 30th – the Agreement rectified that inequity for bikers and harm faced after June 30, after being stopped, cited, towed and over 5 years of insurance surcharges for expired stickers.
–Paul W. Cote
Bikers of Lesser Tolerence
AMA MA Chapter State Director
TONS of thanks to Sue Hart, Marc Teatum, Cindy VanVoorhis, Mike O’ Handley and Betsy Lister ! . . . and the local shops / dealers who gave us some stats .
In mid-June, “news” started circulating on social media platforms that the Hells Angels and Mongols were riding together “on their way” to Seattle, Washington, to scrap with Antifa, or anti-fascists, in the city’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), a so-called “cop free” area that was set up by protesters amid widespread rioting against police brutality and racial injustice.
This incendiary hoax was supported by little more than unfounded tweets and unrelated years old YouTube videos, but no evidence was ever provided to support this claim, and Sonny Barger of the Hells Angels has issued a statement refuting these rumors in a Facebook post on June 13, 2020, in which he wrote:
“People have asked me about these fake articles involving the Hells Angels and another club going to face antifa. Stop, it’s untrue and will never happen.”
In light of such fake news abuzz across the Internet, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) would like to invite all concerned motorcyclists to sign up for our free NCOM Biker Newsbytes, a trusted source you can turn to for fact-based reporting and current news items of interest to all riders. Simply send a “subscribe” e-mail to NCOMBish@aol.com.
See Bill’s complete report on Bikernet tomorrow.–Bandit
Yesterday was a GREAT day for the motorcycling community on Capitol Hill. The House Transportation and Infrastructure passed out of committee H.R. 2, the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act” or the “INVEST in America Act.” This nearly 1,000-page bill includes four provisions that both protect motorcyclists and acknowledge our unique place in the transportation system. The legislation approved Thursday night would authorize highway, transit, and rail programs through fiscal year 2025.
Remember, this is just the first step in the Highway Bill Reauthorization process. The House of Representatives still need to take a final vote on the measure, and the Senate has yet to introduce their version of the bill. The House plans to bring this massive surface transportation bill to the floor for a vote on June 30, 2020. The deadline for Congress to act on a Highway Bill Reauthorization is September 30, 2020.
A special thanks to MRF members and SMRO’s who called and emailed their representatives to support these amendments. These victories in Washington D.C. would not be possible without the grassroots efforts of our members around the country. Your voices matter, and with your help, we can deliver more victories for motorcyclists.
The MRF would also like to thank our champions on the committee who worked during the hearing, and behind the scenes, to protect and advance the priorities of motorcyclists. While not an exhaustive list, the MRF would like to thank: Representatives Troy Balderson (OH-R), Sharice Davids (KS-D), Rodney Davis (IL-R), Pete DeFazio (OR-D), Mike Gallagher (WI-R), Sam Graves (MO-R), Jared Huffman (CA-D), Chris Pappas (NH-D), Donald Payne (NJ-D), Harley Rouda (CA-D), Pete Stauber (MN-R) and Don Young (AK-R).
Below is a brief summary of the bill and its amendments that address motorcyclists’ issues.
Autonomous Vehicles – Congressman Troy Balderson (OH-R) introduced a two-part amendment focused on autonomous vehicles and motorcycles. The first part requires that when the Department of Transportation (DOT) conducts safety studies on autonomous vehicles, the unique profile and characteristics of motorcycles and riders must be included in any study.
The second part ensures that a motorcycle safety group is included in the DOT working group on autonomous vehicle deployment. Motorcyclists need a seat at the table, so that our voices are heard.
Speaking on the topic, Congressman Balderson said, “As a rider, I have a unique perspective on how transportation issues affect the everyday lives of Ohioans. Our nation’s roads get us to where we need to go each day, yet they are crumbling at our feet. We need to make sure a broad infrastructure package addresses these needs and works for all Americans—not just some of us.”
The Balderson Amendment #21 PASSED UNANIMOUSLY and is now part of the final bill.
Checkpoints / Profiling – The provisions passed in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act” known as the “FAST Act” in 2015 regarding motorcycle-only checkpoints were not changed in this bill. This means that states and local governments will continue to be prohibited from using federal funds to establish motorcycle-only checkpoints. This federal provision complements the nearly 20 states who have outlawed motorcycle-only checkpoints.
In addition to retaining the prohibition on funding motorcycle-only checkpoints, Congressman Balderson offered an amendment that would prohibit using federal funds to profile and stop motorcycle operators or passengers using, as a factor, the apparel they are wearing or their mode of transportation. This amendment is consistent with our anti-profiling resolution and would be an acknowledgment by Congress that motorcyclists should not be profiled because of what they wear or ride.
The Balderson Amendment #25 PASSED UNANIMOUSLY and is now part of the final bill.
Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) – Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-R) introduced an amendment that would reestablish the Motorcyclist Advisory Council and create dedicated seats at the table for motorcycle rights groups and manufacturers. The MAC has existed for over a decade and allows federal policymakers, state highway officials and motorcyclists to discuss the unique demands of riding a motorcycle and how roads, bridges and other infrastructure can be built to better account for motorcyclists needs.
While speaking on behalf of his amendment, Congressman Gallagher said, “My amendment reauthorizes an important advisory council at DOT for the motorcycle community. Motorcycle usage has increased 25% since 2012 with nearly 9 million registered vehicles on the road. With this many motorcycles on the road, it is vital that this industry has a direct line of communication to the regulators.”
The Gallagher Amendment #116 PASSED UNANIMOUSLY and is now part of the final bill.
Safety Funds – The bill passed today by the House Transportation Committee would increase funds made available to states for motorcycle safety by $1,488,285. This is an increase in the program of approximately 35% over current funding levels. Under this bill, the total amount available to states in the next fiscal year would be $5,776,785.
MRF Vice President Jay Jackson commented, “Now more than ever, state rider education programs need this assistance to continue to offer quality programs to train motorcyclists.”
While we at the MRF are happy to see Congress increase the funding for state motorcycle programs, the increase in these funds only allocates approximately $0.67 per motorcyclist in the country. This is a good first step, but motorcycle safety isn’t something we should skimp on.
Prize Package Includes:
As a result of continuing concerns/restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the HighPipe Motorcycle Festival presented by GEICO Motorcycle, originally scheduled for July 17-19 at Mountain High Resort in Wrightwood, CA, has been rescheduled and moved to Stagecoach Trails in Julian, CA. The new dates are Friday, November 6—Sunday, November 8.
Stagecoach Trails is part of the scenic Laguna Mountains, Anza Borrego Desert and Cleveland National Forest.
All of the same exciting features and activities that were originally scheduled will still be part of the HighPipe Motorcycle Festival. Camping and activities/events will now take place at the same location, benefitting riders and participants.
Participants who have already registered will automatically have their registrations transferred to the new dates and can use their original registration confirmation to pick up credentials on-site in November.
If a registered participant cannot make it to the rescheduled dates and needs to request a refund, they will have to contact the Box Office via email at ParticipantRegistration@bonniercorp.com or reply to the email they received from the Box Office Staff. All requests for refunds must be received no later than Sunday, July 19, 2020.
The staff of the HighPipe Motorcycle Festival appreciates your patience and support during this unprecedented situation as we look to protect the health and safety of our attendees, participants, exhibitors and staff.
For more information on the HighPipe Motorcycle Festival presented by GEICO Motorcycle, visit www.highpipemoto.com and follow our social media channels.
Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson knocked off S&P 500, a key benchmark for the U.S. stock market
Harley-Davidson Inc. has been removed from the Dow Jones S&P 500 list, a key benchmark for U.S. stocks, but analysts say investors are more concerned about Harley’s share price and company performance.
Dow Jones announced the move Monday, saying that Harley and two other S&P 500 companies, Nordstrom Inc. and Alliance Data Systems Corp., will move to the S&P MidCap 400 list. Harley will move to the S&P MidCap 400 GICS Motorcycles Manufacturers Sub-Industry Index.
The S&P 500 is viewed as an important benchmark index for the U.S. stock market. Composed of 500 companies across a wide range of industries, the index captures the pulse of the American corporate economy.
Harley, Nordstrom and Alliance will be replaced on the S&P 500 list by current S&P MidCap 400 companies Tyler Technologies, Bio-Rad Laboratories and Teledyne Technologies.
The changes will be effective prior to the opening of trading June 22.
In 2019, Harley-Davidson saw its motorcycle sales in the U.S. drop for a fifth straight year and its global bike shipments at the lowest level in a decade.
For its first fiscal quarter of this year, Harley reported lower sales and earnings and said it was launching a new strategic plan and conserving cash as motorcycle sales fell worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also slashed its dividend to 2 cents a share from 38 cents and said it was in talks with major U.S. banks to secure $1.3 billion in liquidity.
For most investors, getting Harley back to financial strength is far more important than whether it’s on the S&P 500, according to Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough.
“Near term, it could bring some pressure to the stock,” but long-term it’s more symbolic, Yarbrough said.
There are certain investment funds, and some retirement plans, that can only invest in the S&P 500 stocks. So not being on the list eliminates a small portion of investors, said George V. Reis, president of GVR Investment Management Inc., in Two Rivers.
“I don’t think it’s significant,” Reis said. “I would guess it might have an impact on the share price for a day or two. After that, I don’t think it makes any difference.”
“There are a lot of companies that are not on the S&P 500 that are of significance,” he added.
Harley has launched a set of actions that will eventually lead to a new strategic plan for the company. It refers to the plan as The Rewire. Among the goals is to “…reset the company’s operating model in order to reduce complexity, sharpen focus and increase the speed of decision making.”
Those kinds of changes, and consistent profitability, are what investors care about, according to Reis.
Following Monday’s announcement, Harley shares closed at $25.02, down six cents. Over 52 weeks, the shares have traded in a range of $14.31 to $40.89.