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Bob Meinetz's picture
Nuclear Power Policy Activist Independent

I am a passionate advocate for the environment and nuclear energy. With the threat of climate change, I’ve embarked on a mission to help overcome the fears of nuclear energy. I’ve been active in...

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  • Aug 12, 2020
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Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger is a rabble rouser. It's a label he freely accepts - he wants to upset the status quo. But anyone who dismisses him as an attention-seeking charlatan maybe isn't aware he's been awarded Time Magazine's "Environmentalist of the Year"; he's been invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to be an expert reviewer of the organization's Sixth Assessment Report (AR6); as a teenager, he traveled to the Congo to help in preservation efforts to save Silverback Gorillas threatened by encroachment.

And that's just for starters. His recent book, Apocalypse Never (Harper Collins), denies politics a place in deciding the fate of the world. Sure, it's about preventing climate change, but it's also about viewing the world through the eyes of others - and somehow, in 2020, that's become a subject of controversy.

The 2020 documentary Juiced: How Electricity Explains the World features an interview with Shellenberger. "The only people who say that there are too many people in the world, that we all have to reduce our energy consumption, are rich people," he says with a smile. "I go around the world, I interview small farmers everywhere. India, Africa, Latin America, Asia. I've never had a small farmer tell me there's too many people, that we consume too much." That has become his overarching theme: until we afford those in developing countries access to the energy we take for granted - clean energy, that's available night or day, windy or calm - fighting climate change is a lost cause.

That radical outlook has apparently become dangerous in the halls of Congress. As he was in January, he was recently invited to testify before a House subcommittee on climate change. This time, however, his credentials and motives were attacked mercilessly - then, he was denied an opportunity to defend himself. Why? Helping people who can't afford to be at the mercy of nature for energy apparently wasn't a priority. That's a shame, because with climate change, like COVID-19, we're all in this together.

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Geoff Thomas's picture
Geoff Thomas on Aug 17, 2020

This guy Quilette, or Shellenberger, advanced no proofs, figures, extrapolations, summaries, analysees nor whatever, not surprising he was not allowed to testify, - he was just yet another empty Asseverationist, totally empty, totally not even Scientific method, driven by political emotions based on nothing but greed.

 

I would love to have a tooth to tooth debate with this charlatan. Any say starting Now.

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Bob Meinetz on Aug 17, 2020

"he was just yet another empty Asseverationist, totally empty, totally not even Scientific method, driven by political emotions based on nothing but greed..."

Apparently you aren't familiar with committee hearings, Geoff. Mathematical proofs are not part of the process - congressmembers don't understand them, and don't want to understand them. They want respected figures in various professions to come forth and inform them about policy matters.

Shellenberger did so, but his facts didn't please a couple of committee members. And no surprise: Sean Casten's company, Renewable Energy Development (RED), makes big money selling ineffective energy recycling centers; Jared Huffman is an ex-attorney for natural gas shills Natural Resources Defense Council.

But let's ignore for a moment the conflicts of interest that taint the perspectives of these representatives. I take it you would disagree with the invitation offered by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to have him review their upcoming world-standard assessment of climate change. What are your qualifications?

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