Skip to content

Green Activist, Michael Schellenberger, Apologises For Climate Scare

June 30, 2020

By Paul Homewood



Following Michael Moore’s film, Planet of the Humans, which you may recall the climate establishment tried to ban, another green activist, Michael Schellenberger is the next to break rank:


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 an Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

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.

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. 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.

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California.

In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them.

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 spiralled out of control.

Full post here.


This Climate Change Dispatch post was copied from the original article at Forbes. Astonishingly Forbes have now pulled the article without explanation:



The Climate Mafia must be getting very worried indeed.

  1. AndyG55 permalink
    June 30, 2020 9:56 am

    Book coming out soon.

    This is a pre-release sales pitch !

    • June 30, 2020 12:05 pm

      I am a little amused at the friendly book reviews, one from Tom Wigley, of climategate fame.

      • Mike Jackson permalink
        June 30, 2020 2:14 pm

        Take a deep breath and look back those 12 years. What the IPCC is saying now is more conservative than some of what they were saying then, while what the political activists are saying now is rank scaremongering.

        Dig deep enough and you find that the IPCC not only admits that RCP8.5 would mean a complete reversal of all the changes made in energy generation over the last 20 years but that it is highly possible that there is not enough coal to burn to reach the projected temps by the end of the century.

        The very people who have been demanding that we obey “the science” are the ones now ignoring the science because it’s not producing the answer they desperately need.

        “Climate Change” in all its various incarnations was never about CO2 emissions per se — else why are its advocates so dead set against nuclear generation? Demonising CO2 is the only (reasonably) sure way to end the use of coal, gas, and oil — between them the lifeblood of modern economies. The end of “civilisation as we know it” is the objective and always has been.

        [Incidentally, it’s “Shellenberger” — no,’c’]

  2. Simon Kelly permalink
    June 30, 2020 9:56 am

    Brilliant isn’t it. I’ve listened to a number of his interviews and its compelling stuff. I’ve pre-ordered his book too. Onwards and upwards.

  3. June 30, 2020 10:16 am

    Any person with more than three active braincells should sit up and pay attention when people stepping out of line are “dealt with”. They “should” start wondering “hey if all this climate stuff is scientifically proven and real then there should be no need to silence people, unless of course ……………..”
    Sadly this is a multiheaded hydra covering not only climate but race and gender and feminism and all the rest of their miserable developments of Critical Theory. The pervasive solution is socialism (thinly veiled marxism) and all of the institutions are rotten to the core with it which is why no one stands up and says “Hey, hang on a minute”. Those who want to are scared about losing their jobs. Why do you think professors only stand up and comment on climate nonsense AFTER they retire? If they do they are either ignored or put down the same way. What was it that the Anti Christ Al GoreITHM said about the father of Global Warming of whom he waxed lyrically about as a great influence on him at University after they guy changed his mind and said Global Nonsense is not as bad as he previously thought? Al Gore said of his mentor “He is senile”. The fact that the Charlatan in Chief got away with such an outrageous slur shows how deep the rot was even then. Think recently about Dr Peter Ridd ( Great Barrier Reef), Dr Susan Crockford ( Polar Bears) losing their positions because they behaved as REAL scientists should. This is a nasty disgusting business fuelled by money and power and they will deal ruthlessly with anyone who interferes with their plans. 1$ Billion a day and counting is at stake here. All of the universities see the easy money coming in so consequently all of the appalling low grade output they are producing with the words “climate change” inserted as often as possible. You cannot get a position now in a range of scientific disciplines if you show you are a critic of climate (non) science as well as not being of course of a preferred victim group. What will science be like in 20 or 30 years time when populated by not very good toadies like that? This is the end of the Enlightenment.

    • JimW permalink
      June 30, 2020 11:22 am

      Yes ‘Critical Theory’ is the philosophy behind all this. Now used by Corps and Elitres to grab control and power in a feudal world, which we have just entered thanks to the covid fear mongering.

  4. June 30, 2020 10:20 am

    “The Climate Mafia must be getting very worried indeed”.

    Not really. They have very deep pockets and as has been shown on numerous occasions, behaving outrageously does not produce a flicker from the MSN which dictates public opinion which they also own.

  5. Mack permalink
    June 30, 2020 11:01 am

    Shellenberger has been gravitating away from the ‘Dark Side’ for a while now but this article is very illuminating.

    The two most interesting points for me are his admission that he toed the line of the climate scare for years because he was afraid of ‘losing friends and funding’ and the fact that Forbes subsequently pulled the article.

    It’s not much fun being a ‘Billy No Mates’ pariah living hand to mouth when it’s so much easier to just swallow your principles and bathe in the land of milk and honey with the rest of the sell outs. The toxic, corrupted world of climate science is littered with the corpses of once, honourable scientists who have swallowed their doubts along with their principles and willingly taken the long leap off the scaffold of their integrity. Characters like Roger Peilke, Bob Carter, Tim Ball, Ridd & Crockford etc are the exception, sadly. Takes true courage to stand up for principles of honesty and the scientific method in this nasty, toxic world.

    As far as Forbes are concerned, a cynic might suggest that a lot of their readership have backed a horse in this game and it isn’t the one Shellenberger has just jumped on! Not only would this piece have had the usual suspects chucking their toys out of the pram, screaming for it to be censored, but a fair few billionaires and politicians too would be getting more than a little jittery at the sentiments expressed. Interesting times.

  6. Thomas Carr permalink
    June 30, 2020 11:54 am

    It will be interesting to see if a reasoned counter to Shellenberger is attempted and by whom. I think we can expect ‘hissy fits’ from those with serious cash, funding and reputations at risk. It’s the attempts at a reasoned riposte with stats. of the sort that Paul has shown us which need to be monitored.
    I await with increasing pleasure the same treatment of the contradictions and conceit of the Woke movement but that may have to be work for the next generation.

    • George Lawson permalink
      June 30, 2020 4:13 pm

      Perhaps more important is – where he leads will others have the courage to follow?’ There must be many scientists and pro global warming commentators who have been quietly embarrassed, like Shellenberger, about having to toe the line rather than speak freely about their global warming doubts. It is quite possible that his courage as a hitherto major player in the fraud could lead to others following suit. If it does then the whole pack of cards will quickly come down and we will be rid of the scourge, and hopefully the perpetrators of it, once and for all. Shellenberger is to be praised for his courage and deserves our full support.

  7. June 30, 2020 12:30 pm

    Several months ago, I watched a lecture from the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, Canada by John Harris from the George C. Page Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, LA. He posited that a reason for the mega-fauna extinctions at the end of the last Pleistocene resulted in part from the very low levels of CO2. The low CO2 caused a problem with plant growth and even plant reproduction. Thus the food supply for herbivores was shrinking. That led to fewer herbivores for the carnivores to eat. Eventually they just died out. Harris referenced a scientific paper and I was able to find it and other similar papers from additional scientists.

    • Philip Mulholland permalink
      June 30, 2020 12:57 pm

      One of the more interesting features of the Coast Redwoods is their low seed viability.
      All of the conifers have a truly ancient lineage, they are mostly unchanged in form from the Jurassic age.
      So, and purely as a speculation, because the carbon dioxide levels were much higher in the Jurassic and the Cretaceous when these species first evolved, it is possible that viable seed setting for these modern specimens is hampered by the Quaternary low CO2 gas levels??

      • July 1, 2020 12:06 pm

        A number of years ago I was on a field trip following the Association of Southeastern Biologists which was in Statesboro, GA that year. The purpose of this trip was to see the Elliottia racemosa in the Ericaceae (Rhododendron family) which is endemic to Georgia. As with the Georgia Franklinia alatamaha, this was also found by the Bartrams and grown in their Philadelphia garden.

        The talk on the trip was why Elliottia seemed to be on the “way out.” It and many other species are very ancient. Most of these now reproduce by cloning and are not producing viable seeds. It is surmised that because of this, the species are just not able to roll with the punches as there is no genetic variation. The stand we saw was all a clone.

        No telling how many species the environmentalists’ war on CO2 will eliminate.

      • Philip Mulholland permalink
        July 2, 2020 7:48 pm

        It is also worth noting that the Coast Redwoods produce suckers, and so can form cloned stands.

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    June 30, 2020 1:01 pm

    Check this out

    Look at the minimum renewables contribution recorded as at 9a.m 26th June BST (in reality 11p.m. local, when the domestic water heaters switch on). Across the entire South Australian wind farms it was negative, with total reliance on gas generation, imports and a tiny contribution from the battery. Scroll down to see the record, and mouse over the charts to see the data detail in the panel below

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      June 30, 2020 11:44 pm

      There was very little wind across SE Australia from Friday the 26th to Monday the 29th. The wind ‘farms’ were producing very little in South Australia & Victoria and s.f.a. in NSW.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        July 1, 2020 12:28 am

        Our capital Canberra claims to be powered by 100% renewables. They don’t allow any wind turbines in the territory but do have a little household solar (it’s not noted for sunshine), but they ‘import’ wind energy from SA and Vic.
        From Wed. 24 to Sun 28 they got 8,074 MWh from renewables (14%) and 49,523 from coal fired.
        The nominal capacity of renewables was 14,300 and that of the 17 year old (black) coal fired plant is 426MWh.
        It seems that if we go to 100% renewables we will need either 33+ times capacity to supply the demand, or at least 5 days storage. Not cheap either way.

  9. Sobaken permalink
    June 30, 2020 1:05 pm

    It was surprising that someone controversial (by modern western standards) like him was allowed to write for something as mainstream as Forbes in the first place.
    His previous articles are still available on the site
    though I imagine not for long, as they are just as critical of malthusianism as this new one that got censored.

  10. Broadlands permalink
    June 30, 2020 1:35 pm

    Here is the reason that FORBES pulled the article…

    Professor Shepherd is the climate authority for Forbes…and a full-blown climate alarmist.

    • John189 permalink
      June 30, 2020 2:04 pm

      I am fluent in 4 languages but could not make head or tail of Professor Shepherd’s professional expertise in any of them.

      • Broadlands permalink
        June 30, 2020 3:59 pm

        You need to listen to him speak… He spends most of the time commending himself for his wide expertise and extensive background. Doesn’t like to take potentially annoying or distracting questions. I know. I’ve heard him on two separate occasions.

  11. Pat Swords permalink
    June 30, 2020 2:01 pm

    While it’s only a small publication in Ireland, it will be interesting to see the reaction to this:

    • Tonyb permalink
      June 30, 2020 6:24 pm


      The worst part is that we are completely irrelevant as 96 percent of co2 is natural anyway. As you know if that 4 per cent is resized as 100 we contribute 1 per cent and china 30

      We could destroy all the eu and uk economies and no one would notice. Sheer madness

  12. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 30, 2020 2:13 pm

    So pandemics, like climate change, are to become the never ending scare story?

    And weekly death rate now definitely completely normal.

  13. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 30, 2020 2:42 pm

    Nearly every Michael Shellenberger reference that I can find (even BBC world site in 2012) puts him very much more in the Bjørn Lomborg arena than the Mann sewer.
    One old article on Forbes seems very much in the same vein as the one just removed. Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment” – he must have been walking a very clever tightrope to have been tolerated by the climate establishment for so long?
    Most likely, he has concluded that nuclear must be embraced as the answer or there is no answer. Only the skeptic camp will endorse that. The alarmist leaders have ulterior political motives, they are not primarily concerned about the environment at all, so they will never support a viable solution.

  14. June 30, 2020 4:55 pm

    A bit perplexed here. As soon as I saw the tweet about this being pulled at Forbes, I pulled up Forbes and there it was. Still loads in the moment just fine. Perhaps – oddly – they just moved it??

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      June 30, 2020 6:05 pm

      Nope. Doesn’t load.

      • June 30, 2020 6:09 pm

        I give up. LOL. I still have it up on my desktop from yesterday. But correct, when I copy the URL and try to open it in a new link – get the taken down page.

        What’s interesting is that I closed Firefox last night – and when it repopulated my open links this morning, it opened just fine. Copied it to Word. Wonder what happens if I simply hit refresh? Perhaps I should video that.

    • Tonyb permalink
      June 30, 2020 6:19 pm


      I had no problem either, I think it depends on what server or browser you have as many, especially in Oz and America, have said it has disapoeared

    • June 30, 2020 6:46 pm

      Strange – it still says no longer active when I use that link. I wonder if it varies by country?

      • June 30, 2020 7:43 pm

        Went the Forbes site and searched for ‘Schellenberger.’ Then went to the page where all of his pieces are. There’s one since this piece, and many before – but it is not there.

        This piece is still up on my desktop (Firefox) – but when I copy the URL and try to open it up – same as you. Copied it into Word – contemplating hitting F5 to reload.

        Well, there you go. rloaded the page and ka-boom, “this page is no longer active.

      • Philip Mulholland permalink
        June 30, 2020 8:21 pm


        I did the same as you. The article was still open in Firefox so I copied it to Word checked back and now it is gone. That is the last time I donate to the Wayback Machine

      • NickM permalink
        June 30, 2020 8:51 pm

        WUWT have a pdf of the original article.

        Click to access Schellenberger-Apology.pdf

        It is of great concern that a publication I once had respect for has caved in under pressure to remove an article that could in no way be ‘fake news’ or similar.
        Who gave the order to pull it ?

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        June 30, 2020 8:56 pm

        For me, it begins to load then fades out ‘sorry this page no longer active’.

        What you get probably depends on personal browser and ISP caching history.

        Forbes have definitely deliberately zapped it.

      • June 30, 2020 9:38 pm

        Yes, it leaves a sort of ghost image

  15. June 30, 2020 5:22 pm

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, automobile manufacturer Volvo apologizes for not being on the right side of the climate change issue and jumps into climate action with an exciting new climate action innovation.

  16. Jackington permalink
    June 30, 2020 5:59 pm

    We should send Macron a copy before he trashes the French economy with his new environment plans forced on hm by the Green Blob

  17. June 30, 2020 6:30 pm

    I sometimes click links on facebook pages and they always have /?fbclid= followed by a string of code as on all those long links above. Usually it’s possible to delete everything after the / and still access the page. So is this facebook also taking that link down as they are being told to do now with so many ‘unsuitable’ pages? Just a thought.

  18. Dodgy Geezer permalink
    June 30, 2020 9:41 pm

    Some senior journalist should ask Forbes why they have done this…. there is a story there…

  19. Steve permalink
    July 1, 2020 12:38 pm

    Should we have a whip round, buy a copy and present it to the Swedish Doom Goblin when she’s next over?

  20. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 1, 2020 6:07 pm


    • Philip Mulholland permalink
      July 2, 2020 4:25 am

      @ 8:51 “What the World Bank is basically doing is funding programs to make poverty sustainable rather than to make poverty history”.

      The money quote!

  21. July 5, 2020 1:49 am

    What makes shellenberger a spokesperson for the environmental movement?

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: