I wrote about Shellenberger's new bestseller in @LAReviewofBooks. My review is 4000 words which is way too long for your twitter attention span.

This tweet thread is not a substitute for reading that piece but complements and kind of summarizes it. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-stories-michael-shellenberger-tells/
Reading the book made me mad in ways that didn't quite come out in the published piece, which -- don't get me wrong -- was very critical of Shellenberger and his work. But since twitter is the proper medium for emotional discharge I might go a little harder here. Angry face:
Shellenberger's promo piece for Apocalypse Never was full of bullet-point lists of half-truths and misleading statements about environmental issues. With help from @g_kallis I took to twitter to fact-check: https://twitter.com/ii_sambliss/status/1278796324301942784
Shellenberger was getting lots of attention from conservative media: Fox News, Heartland, Breitbart... They loved this born-again PR guy bashing environmentalists, claiming he once was one. "Climate change is real but no big deal" was a hit message. https://www.mediamatters.org/media/3883631 
Shellenberger has been telling this same story since 2004 if not before. @g_kallis and I had wondered publicly when the denialist right would take up his ecomodernist ideas, as Giorgos recounts in this thread: https://twitter.com/g_kallis/status/1280630209050546180
In his 2020 book, Shellenberger not only argues, as usual, that environmentalists are wrong about how to save the planet and therefore impede his preferred technological solutions, but now also claims that climate change and species extinction are not terribly threatening anyway.
I read the book. I've read a lot of ecomodernist books. For science. You're welcome. This one was real bad. Like Andrew McAfee bad.
I learned a lot reading @sapinker's Enlightenment Now, even if I disagree with much of it. I appreciated @symons_jon's Ecomodernism too, which was balanced and humble and honest. Those books changed my mind about several things. Shellenberger's book was comparatively garbage.
Shellenberger spends much of the book bashing environmentalists and the rest trotting out cherry-picked facts to defend right-wing talking points. I write about that in the review (link again), but want to show some particularly egregious quotes below. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-stories-michael-shellenberger-tells/#_edn3
For starters, look at Shellenberger's chapter titles, such as "Sweatshops Save the Planet" and "Greed Saved the Whales, Not Greenpeace." He means it.
Or this quote. Step aside colonial theft, violence, and unequal exchange, the real reason some countries are poor is bad weather for working.
Shellenberger's derisive tone turns maniacal in his chapter on nuclear power. Up to this point, he had been providing references for his factual claims, but here there is no superscript number corresponding to an endnote.
On nuclear, instead of paying attention to the evidence as he promised to do in the book's introduction, Shellenberger simply asserts the rightness of his opinion.
Shellenberger goes on to tell us, twice, that nuclear power plants produce “zero pollution” (which no energy source does) and that “nuclear weapons were created to prevent war and end war, and that is all they have been used for and all they will ever be good for.”

Excuse me?!
In an earlier draft I'd remarked that Shellenberger's word choice and tone reminded me of a Trump rally, especially when discussing nuclear energy. That bit got axed because it needn't be said. But I stand by it. Look at the quotes in those tweets upthread^^^
I don't think either side argues in good faith in the nuclear-energy-as-a-climate-solution debate. There are literally two separate scientific literatures, the pro- and anti-nuke ones. But Shellenberger is something else entirely.
I'll write more about nuclear in another thread. Or, hopefully, a full article. For now, back to Shellenberger's book.
Shellenberger's thesis is that environmentalists are wrong and bad. (I try so hard not to get sucked into arguing that Shellenberger is wrong and bad, but here I am.) He gives two reasons for why enviros deny his "facts" and oppose ecomodernist solutions.
First, Shellenberger argues that environmentalists find existential meaning in the idea of apocalypse and therefore need to both believe it is coming and reject obvious ways to avoid it (like nuclear energy or geoengineering). Here he implies that environmentalists hate humans:
Second, Shellenberger claims environmentalists worship natural things, when really -- according to him -- artificial things are better for the environment. For him, though he doesn't say it, artificial means mined minerals and natural means harvested beings.
For a moment, ignore that he's wrong and see Shellenberger's argument: he is saying that environmentalism is a religion that worships natural things and stirs up fear of the apocalypse.
Shellenberger's alternative to environmentalism is humanism, "which affirms humankind’s specialness” and “secularized the Judeo-Christian concept that humans were chosen by God to have dominion over Earth.”
This is revealing in two ways. First, if humans are the chosen kings of the earth, then we are justified in pursuing development for all people, heating and extinctions be damned, while maintaining acceptable populations of animals we love like gorillas and sea turtles.
Second, men in power have rationalized many forms of domination by claiming that they facilitate economic development, which is purportedly great for people and nature. I can't find @a_vansi's original tweet, but: https://twitter.com/NickClimate/status/1313517476588785666
After 26 tweets I have surely surpassed anyone's passing interest and fleeting attention.

cherry-picks science,
argues with straw men,
commits errors in logic,
uses poor black and brown people as props,
and appeals to folks with hateful ideologies, on purpose.
He's also wrong about how to save the environment, but I'll save that argument. I hint at it in the my review, which I will shamelessly self-promote to you once more. Anyone with the stamina to reach tweet 28 of this thread can surely read it: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/the-stories-michael-shellenberger-tells/#_edn3
You can follow @ii_sambliss.
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