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Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed theDeclaration of Independence?

By | General Posts


Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, 

and tortured before they died.


Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.


Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; 

another had two sons captured.


Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or

hardships of the Revolutionary War.


They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, 

and their sacred honor.


What kind of men were they?


Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.


Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large 

plantation owners; men of means, well-educated, but 

they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing 

full well that the penalty would be death if they were 



Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, 

saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. 

He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and 

died in rags.


Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he 

was forced to move his family almost constantly.  He served 

in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in 

hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty 

was his reward.


Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, 

Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.


At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson,Jr., noted that 

the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson 

home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George 

Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and 

Nelson died bankrupt.


Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed.  The

 enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.


John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was 

dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His fields and 

his  gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he 

lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife 

dead and his children vanished.


So, take a few minutes – hope you enjoyed your 4th of July 

holiday and silently thank these patriots.  It’s not much to 

ask for the price they paid.


Remember: freedom is never free! We thank these early

 patriots, as well as those patriots now fighting to KEEP our freedom!

–Joe Smith


By | General Posts

July 4th 1776

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. They’d been working on it for a couple of days after the draft was submitted on July 2nd and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes. It goes something like this….

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Amazing words from an amazing document and even more important as we witness anarchists and criminals defile our homes, businesses, lives and country. There are many in our country today that don’t value the words and their meanings found in the Declaration. However, the people who truly love this country and respect our flag, our culture and goals..these are the people who will fight and die for her while those other people stand on the sidelines and complain.
Remember our American veterans, active duty Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and First Responders while you are celebrating this great day, for its because of them that you get to celebrate!
God Bless America!

–Ben Kudon

American Prime

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)

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Many of the traditions that we cherish surrounding the 4th of July will be missing this year. Whether it be a cancelled parade, fewer friends gathering for a BBQ or a postponed summer road trip, we know this Independence Day be will different for many of us.

As author William Faulkner said, “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”

While the events and surroundings this 4th may be different, we hope that no matter how you celebrate, you take time to reflect on the cherished freedoms we have in this country. We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation wish you a happy and safe Independence Day. Thank you for your support of the MRF and for your commitment to defending the rights of motorcyclists nationwide.

And as always, RIDE FREE

–MRF team

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

And plan to vote and stand up for Freedom this year.–Bandit

Eperjesi Headlines PMRA Tulsa Results

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Professional Motorcycle Racers Association (PMRA) ran its first race of 2020—and its first under new director Shannon Mendenhall—this past Saturday, June 27, at hot and windy Tulsa Raceway in Oklahoma.


And right at the hit, Shane “Showboat” Eperjesi set the internet on fire with a PMRA record 6.34 at 215.48 miles per hour on Robert Valera’s Pro Open bike, tuned by Dan “The Man” Wagner.


“The track was pretty good that first pass,” said Eperjesi. After that, trying to tame the hot track and wild winds was the big chore for Eperjesi and crew. “The wind was horrible and we should have moved it to eighth mile, ‘cause down track was some freaky stuff!”


Shane practically apologized for not going quicker and faster. He and fellow finalist Rob Garcia decided to save their equipment and settle the final on a handshake, with Eperjesi taking the beam for the win.


“I was being a good teammate and allowed Shane to go up to break the beams, since he will be running the points series there and I do not have those plans,” said Garcia.


It was the second outing ever for the Varela bike, and the first with Mitch Brown’s Monster head on top. “We ran a Vortex head in Valdosta, but Robert wanted to try the Monster so he built another motor,” said Eperjesi. “It’s stupid fast!”


Defending class champ Mark Rendeluk was sorting out his new Weismann transmission, qualifying third and losing first round to Mark Chisholm.

Martin Miller beat up on his old man Jim in an all-Miller Super Gas final. Defending class champ Jim took the tree but was .009 quicker to the stripe in the double breakout race.


Afterwards, Martin had quite a story to tell. “Two years ago I decided I wanted to be a dirt bike racer and went out on a Saturday morning against a lot of people’s word who told me I shouldn’t—like my mom, my dad, and my wife,” said Martin. “I ended up crashing, breaking my leg in five places, and having surgery


“Prior to this I had been saving up money to buy the dragbike that I now ride: ‘Bad Company.’ I had made the first deposit to my dad. He was the middleman, pulling the ropes to get the bike to our family again. Him and his brother Kevin built it in 2005 and won multiple PMRA races and four championships.


“I ended up having to take the money back from my dad to keep up with bills while I was off of work and lost my chance at getting the bike.


“I spent three months working really hard to get to walk again and spent the next nine months after that buckled down and working really hard at getting another bike. The gentleman who had ‘Bad Company’ held onto it for the nine months while I got back on my feet without telling me, so that when I had enough money I could buy the bike back.


“I had to change a lot off the track and a lot about my young life, and lose my teenager punk attitude to change my life on the racetrack. And I believe I did that, so God rewarded me the motorcycle I wanted in the beginning


“I have now won my first championship after 12 years of racing, and I’m leading the points in PMRA and in the Summit Series right now. I know it’s early in the year, but I stay competitive to keep my mindset


“But I’m also humble. Winning this past weekend against my father meant more than words or pictures could ever tell, but what most of those people back at the starting line couldn’t see is my dad out-running my butt. He took the finish line by 0.009 too fast and still had half a wheel on me. Anyone that can judge that kind of distance at that rate of speed is a pro.


“I owe everything to my parents who stuck by me when I was in the wrong. They also molded me into what I am today.


“I also owe a bit of gratitude for my life both on and off the race track to Chris Wedman. He’s like that uncle that’s a second dad. He sees the good in you but won’t hesitate to slap you straight when you start to slip up. I can talk about Chris Wedman and all the good he’s done for a lot of people, but that would be another article itself.”

David Ellenbecker overcame some first-race-of-the-season jitters aboard his gangsta Kawasaki ZX14 to take out Kermit Lottie in the Outlaw Grudge final.


“The start of the 2020 season has been chaos!” said Ellenbecker. “The team has endured tremendous amounts of stress, hours of work, and several weeks without a full night’s sleep. But this weekend we got to reap some of the fruit of our labor. We secured our first heads-up win of the season and our first PMRA win. We’ve been long overdue and this one feels damn good.


“I can’t thank everyone enough for all that they do. None of this is remotely possible without a team behind you. Wil Marquardt particularly has sacrificed an awful lot for this portion of our program in the belief that a few punk kids in a 2-car garage can do something extraordinary.


“Also a big ‘Thank You’ to our sponsor Ag & Drag machine shop. Dan put a lot of hours into the bike these last few weeks. Thanks to Robinson Industries and Rob Bush for helping us get the parts we needed to rebuild and the awesome turnaround time. It couldn’t have been done without them.”

Lucas Townsend’s .008 light pretty well finished off Alan Martin in the Super Comp final as Martin’s game try to catch came up exactly .008 short at the stripe.


“Got up real early at 5:00 am to make the trip up to Tulsa,” said Townsend. “Got there, got ready for open trials, and took the ‘Grinch’ green 8.90 super comp bike up for the first run and ran 8.85 outta the trailer, and parked it till first round.”


Townsend qualified fourth with an 8.964. Number one qualifier Mike Hudson failed to make the call against Townsend in round 2 on Lucas’ march to the win.


Top Gas was an all-Townsend final, as Lucas faced his cousin Chad. “We decided to split the money before we ran, so I made up my mind I just wanted to run him to the finish no matter what.”


Chad took the tree .069 to Lucas’ .080 and—sure enough—Lucas kept the throttle pinned. “I ran under with an 8.185 (at 163) and crossed in front to his 8.235/160,” said Lucas “He got the winlight but I out-ran him!


“All in all, a great day of racing. The bikes were dead on the number.


“Thanks to Tulsa Raceway Park and PMRA for having us a place to race. Can’t wait to go back!”


“Potato Salad Racing’s” Louis Brown took Heavy Hitter Grudge on his purple ‘Suzuki Hayabusa, with Mac McKnight the runner-up. “We’ve been going to Carolina, working a bunch with Billy Vose, and somehow we ended up getting one of his bikes he had jus put together,” said Brown. “It’s been a dream come true! Kinda crazy, he tuned my bike all the way from Darlington on Saturday and it ran like a bracket bike all day.”


In actual bracket racing, Brian Wood’s .013 light pushed Division 4 champ Ricky Kay (.048) to breakout in the Pro ET final. “It was a warm one by the time the afternoon rolled around,” said Wood. “Had alright time trials and found my stride come eliminations. Won first round and earned the buy second round, and raced my way to the finals where I faced Ricky. He missed the light and I was 13 and pushed him out the back door.”

Tim “Nuke” Robbins put .070 on Aaron Vaughan at the tree and kept the gap on his GSXR for the win in the Street ET final.


“First time back racing in a while and it was exactly as I remembered—hot and a mad rush a few times to make the round!” said Robbins. “But I managed to walk away with the win.


“I gotta thank Shannon Mendenhall and Cycle World PowerSports for picking up the reigns of the PMRA. There wasn’t much time for them to prepare for the event but still pulled it off and made it a great time. Next one should be smoother and I know we’re all looking forward to what the future of organization is going to look like with them in control!”


The Pro Stagger 5.60/6.0 final saw both Josh Pilcher and Tony Taylor working the 6.0 index. Pilcher had an .040 advantage at the tree and kept closer to the index on his Kawasaki ZX10 for the win.


Shawn Stevens took the Harley-Davidson win over Chris Martin. Shawn’s .059 to .237 starting line advantage pretty well settled this one early. He ran it out to a 10.21 at 129.4 to Martin’s 10.32 at 126.45.


Neither Dean Shayna nor John Powers had lights to brag about in the V-Twin final—Shayna with a .236 and Powers with a .330. Both also obliterated their dial-ins, with Shayna taking the double breakout win.


At the end of the day it was a great debut for the “new” PMRA, and director Mendenhall has some great momentum to carry into the next event—August 14-15 back at Tulsa Raceway Park, with test and tune on Friday, qualifying and eliminations on Saturday.


Find out more about PMRA at



By | General Posts

Veteran Non-Profit Organization Uses “Motorcycle Therapy” to Rehabilitate & Support Veterans Returning from Comba

Veteran Riders to Honor COVID-19 First Responders & Front-Line Workers with PPE Items


 Indian Motorcycle®, America’s First Motorcycle Company, today announced its continued support and sponsorship of the sixth annual Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) to Sturgis. This year, in addition to using the organization’s unique brand of motorcycle therapy to aid combat veterans dealing with PTSD, the veteran-operated, non-profit organization will implement a “service before self” initiative to show appreciation to first responders who have been working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Veteran’s Charity Ride uses “motorcycle therapy,” a proven remedy that provides therapeutic solutions to help fellow veterans move forward and adjust to civilian life. The 2020 ride will include 15 total veterans – nine new veterans, along with six returning veterans who will serve as mentors.

“During these extraordinary times, getting our veterans out of the house and supporting them with the liberating power of motorcycle therapy is more important than ever,” said Dave Frey, U.S. Army Veteran and Veterans Charity Ride Founder. “To be able to combine those efforts and honor our selfless and invaluable first responders during this unprecedented pandemic makes this journey even more gratifying. In light of COVID-19, we will be implementing necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy, as we come together to heal and support one another on our ride to the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”


This year’s ride to Sturgis will start on July 29, 2020 in Moab, Utah where the group will cruise through the mountainous roads of Utah, stop in the cities of Craig and Fort Collins, Colorado and ride through some of the nation’s most scenic backroads and highways before arriving at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota on August 7, 2020. The travelers will be riding a variety of Indian Motorcycle models, outfitted with ReKluse auto clutch systems and custom-built Champion Sidecars for amputee and paraplegic veterans. The journey provides an experience for veterans to bond by implementing team-building exercises that allow riders to share stories and memories of their service during a two-week, mind-cleansing motorcycle ride.

For years, VCR has supported veterans by creating a healing atmosphere through motorcycle riding and camaraderie when stopping at several small towns to commemorate and honor our nation’s veteran heroes. This year, the event will have an added focus on lives outside of veterans, extended to first responders who have courageously held the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.  By following strict safety and sanitary guidelines, VCR will extend an additional hand out to these frontline workers by providing personal protection equipment and hosting barbecues at select tour stops.

“Our nation’s veterans and healthcare workers are an inspiration, and we’re grateful to be a part of an experience that honors their selflessness and sacrifices for our country,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “We’re honored to continue supporting the Veterans Charity Ride and are humbled by their work and positive impact on our veterans.”


The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis was conceived and developed by veteran Army Paratrooper Dave Frey and Emmy Award-winning producer and director Robert Manciero, leveraging the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding to create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans.


To support the Veterans Charity Ride, donate, or to learn more visit and Riders can also follow along on Indian Motorcycle’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and Veterans Charity Ride’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Today marks our Fourth Anniversary being open at Jacobs Gallery! Wow, time has FLOWN by, but boy has it been FUN!

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Reflecting back on our opening days, we were scrambling to understand our POS system, catch up on tagging inventory and educating our brand new staff on Scott, the building and our family.  There was so much we had to learn and even more we had to finish when we opened our doors and welcomed in our first customers inside.

We are so proud of our family, amazing team and you guys, our wonderful collectors and supporters!


By | General Posts

Today the full House of Representatives passed H.R. 2, INVEST in America Act (Moving Forward Act), also known as the highway bill. The bill is over 2,000 pages and includes five beneficial provisions for motorcyclists.

At every step along the way, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), our State Motorcyclist Rights Organizations (SMRO) partners, and individual members have fought for the inclusion of these policy changes. The original bill included an increase in motorcycle safety funding; however, this was the only specific mention of motorcycles or motorcyclists. During the Transportation Committee markup of the bill, protections related to profiling, autonomous vehicles and the Motorcyclist Advisory Council were added via amendment. Finally, during the final vote on the House floor, an additional amendment was added that helps collect data on motorcycle profiling.

With the passage of this bill in the House of Representatives, focus will now turn to the Senate. The Senate will likely roll out its own version of a “highway bill” in the coming weeks. The House and Senate will then have to negotiate and compromise to develop a bill that can pass both chambers and be signed into law. Remember, the current legislation expires on September 30, 2020, so Congress must act to ensure important transportation programs are funded.

After the final vote, MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “I am pleased that in this massive 2,300 page piece of legislation passed today, the rights and freedoms of motorcyclists were not ignored. Let’s now take the same enthusiasm and passion that won us these victories to the Senate. Our work is not done, we must remain vigilant in the defense of these hard fought priorities.”

We at the MRF will fight to ensure that these hard-fought victories in the House of Representatives are included in the Senate’s bill. Thank you to everyone who reached out to their Representative over the past few months. These victories for motorcyclists would be impossible without the grassroots efforts of our members. Let’s celebrate our successes and get to work on making sure the Senate follows suit.

Below is a brief recap of the five provisions that the House of Representatives has now passed and included in this major piece of legislation:

Profiling: An amendment by Congressman Troy Balderson (OH-R) during the committee process changes federal law to prevent state and local governments from using funds from the Department of Transportation to “profile and stop motorcycle operators or motorcycle passengers using as a factor the clothing or mode of transportation of such operators or passengers.”

A second amendment by Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-R) and Congressman Michael Burgess (TX-R) added the term “mode of transportation” to a newly created grant program for racial and ethnic profiling. The program allows states to use federal money to collect data on traffic stops. Originally the only information that states were required to record was the driver’s racial and ethnic makeup. With this added language, states will be required to collect the “mode of transportation” of the person being stopped as well. Motorcyclists will now be able to review state data on traffic stops and determine if motorcyclists are stopped disproportionally by law enforcement. This amendment was a joint effort by the Co-Chairmen of the House Motorcycle Caucus and was added just hours before the final bill was passed.

Motorcyclist Advisory Council: Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-R) used the committee amendment process to re-establish the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) and make needed changes. 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.

Congressman Gallagher’s addition to the bill creates dedicated seats at the table for motorcyclists’ rights groups and manufacturers. It also requires a report every two years to be made to the Secretary of Transportation and Congress.

Autonomous Vehicles: During the committee process, Congressman Troy Balderson (OH-R) won protections for motorcyclists in the rollout of autonomous vehicle technology. The bill now includes specific language requiring that when the Department of Transportation conducts safety studies on autonomous vehicles, motorcycles must be considered as unique roadway users. Additionally, a newly formed working group on autonomous vehicles must include a motorcyclist safety group as part of its membership. As with the MAC, motorcyclists need a seat at the table when our safety and freedoms are being debated.

Motorcyclist Safety Funds: The bill, as first introduced, would increase the 405 safety funds made available to states for motorcyclist safety by $1,473,285 for the next fiscal year with increases through 2025. This is an increase in the program of roughly 34% over current funding levels. Under this bill, the total amount available to states in the next fiscal year would be $5,761,785.


By | General Posts

Hey everyone,

Earlier today, we put out a Call to Action (CTA) asking our members to engage with their representative in the House of Representatives to ask them to “Vote Yes” on H.R. 2 when it comes to the floor later this week. We have just been informed that H.R. 2 will be voted on tomorrow, July 1st, instead of on Thursday, July 2nd. The window to have our voices heard is short this week, and the sooner they hear from us, the better. I noticed that some organizations have already shared our CTA by emailing your members directly and/or sharing our post on Facebook. We appreciate your efforts to help us reach more people when we are pushing a legislative issue here in D.C.


If you have not already, would you consider sharing our post of Facebook or sending it via email to your members directly?


You can copy and paste our updated message below:

On Wednesday, July 1st, the full House of Representatives will take a final vote on H.R. 2 INVEST in America Act, also known as the “Highway Bill.” This 2,000 plus page bill includes three important protections for motorcyclists, they are:


Sec 3011: The Stop Motorcycle Check Point Funding, which helps protect motorcyclists from profiling by law enforcement because of their mode of transportation or clothing.

Sec. 3012: Motorcyclist Advisory Council would be reestablished, allowing motorcyclists a seat at the table when discussing federal infrastructure programs.

Section 5304: Study on Safe Interactions Between Automated Vehicles and Road Users ensures that motorcycles are included in any safety study on autonomous vehicles and that motorcyclists are involved in government working groups on these autonomous vehicle studies.

Please take 2 minutes to reach out to your lawmaker and ask them to vote YES on H.R. 2. If this bill passes, the Senate will then be “on the clock” to pass a version of their Highway bill before the September 30th deadline.

Direct link to CTA:


Facebook page if you want to share:




Director of Government Relations

Motorcycle Riders Foundation

Cell: (202) 725-5471



Direct link to CTA:


Facebook page if you want to share:


VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE DAY Monday, August 10, 2020

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Vintage Motorcycle Day
In Association with Antique Motorcycle Club of America and Cycle Source Magazine
Monday, August 10th, 2020
Gates open early, ride in at 9:00 am.
Awards to follow in the afternoon.
All vintage motorcycles are welcome to ride in at Iron Horse Saloon.
No cost to join the show!
Many categories receive trophies or prizes:
  • Most Knowledgeable Rider
  • Oldest Machine & Rider
  • Longest Standing Member
  • Longest Ride / Oldest Bike
  • Most Miles on Machine
  • Cycle Source Magazine Favorite
  • Iron Horse Saloon Favorite
  • Most Weathered
  • Most Unique

Prominent climate activist Shellenberger officially recants: ‘On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare’

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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.

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From the Climate Depot