Coleman Hughes on The Myth of Climate Apocalypse with Michael Shellenberger [S2 Ep.18]

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Welcome to another episode of Conversations with Coleman.


Today's guest is Michael Shellenberger. Michael is a journalist, author, environmental activist and was dubbed ‘Hero of the Environment’ by Time Magazine. He's the Founder and President of Environmental Progress, a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating poverty and saving the natural environment. He's co-written and written a number of books, including An Ecomodernist Manifesto, and Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, which is the topic of today's conversation.

We talked about the trade off between reducing global carbon emissions and allowing third world countries to industrialize, how civilization would adjust to rising sea levels, whether climate change would lead to military conflict over scarce resources, the claim that we have to cut carbon emissions in half in the next decade, the importance of nuclear energy, cryptocurrency and its environmental consequences, are humans causing a mass extinction, is banning plastic bags a good policy, and much more.

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💬 Comments
Author

I just heard this Michael shellenberger guy in joe Rogan and I honestly wish it could’ve gone on for 3 more hours he was fascinating

Author — John Burn

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From the intro to Coleman's interview with Glenn Greenwald (S2 Ep. 22):

"It seems that Michael made some very misleading or outright false claims about the connection between climate change and extreme weather events. Specifically, he said that climate change did not contribute to the intensity of wildfires in California and Australia. This was a surprising claim to me at the time but I didn't push back in the moment, although in retrospect I should have because it turns out this is not the consensus of the climate science community. And some of his other claims, including that we're not in a sixth mass extinction, are at the very least far more controversial than he indicated. So to rectify this I'm going to get a mainstream climate scientist on the show very soon and cover all of these topics in detail."

Good man, Coleman. (But you might want to consider pasting this note clearly in the video description, as not everyone will see or hear your comment on this.)

Author — Tristan Flock

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Former liberal here: I totally agree that alarmism is useless and good engineering isn’t. What’s frustrating about this conversation, from my perspective, was that reasonable people on the left did have a point that climate change, while not apocalyptic, was worthy of some attention. Now that there are none of them left, it feels a bit like the remaining debate is between Greta Thunberg and Exxon Mobil.

Author — sosaysthecaptain

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Wow!!! What a relief to find a podcast that does not rely adversarial bickering between political extremes to build an audience. Host and guest are exceptional. Thank you!!!

Author — Pa Ro

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Thank you for this excellent discussion!

Author — IAM REAL

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I'm half way through but I'm going to have to watch this without headphones while I walk around my wife pretending to clean or paint a room so that she has to hear this. I got the hard cover and the audio version of Apocalypse Never and I especially love Michael's talks about nuclear energy, how and why it has been demonized.

Author — B

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Coleman, with regard to forest fires, I’d suggest getting a forestry scientist’s opinion rather than a climate scientist.

Author — InflatableLover

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30:51 "There's really never a scarcity issue with fossil fuels." While I agree that fracking has made available fossil fuel we formerly couldn't access, and future innovations might also increase, am I wrong to believe there is a finite amount of fossil fuels underground?
*If there is a finite amount of iron and copper on earth, why would there not be a finite amount of fossil fuels?*

Author — Miyojewolt S Nasonth

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He should have a list of references for claims. He had a couple I wasn’t sure about. Would like to read more. Thank you

Author — K T

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~37:00 Its worth noting Tesla only sold a small percentage of the BTC holdings around March, before Elon tweeted anything about it.

Author — Andrew Shantz

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Copied from Coleman's show notes on S2 Ep.22:
"...about my interview with Michael Shellenberger from a few weeks back. It seems that Michael made some very misleading or outright false claims about the connection between climate change and extreme weather events. Specifically, he said that climate change did not contribute to the intensity of wildfires in California and Australia. It was a surprising claim to me at the time, but I didn't push back in the moment. Although in retrospect, I should have because it turns out this is not the consensus of the climate science community. Some of his other claims, including that we're not in a sixth mass extinction are at the very least far more controversial than he indicated. So to rectify this, I'm going to get a mainstream climate scientist on the show very soon, and cover all of these topics in detail."

Author — Terry Maple

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whoa, that part on plastic recycling was really surprising

Author — DEADMAU-FIVE

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I think the idea that people oppose nuclear power because they associate it with nukes is ignoring the much more reasonable and common explanation. The reason people oppose nuclear power is because they associate it with catastrophes like chernobyl, three mile island and fukushima.

Author — Ian Sutton

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Such an important conversation. I really appreciate yours and Bjorn Lomborg's willingness to explore this subject with such nuance.

Author — Ecstatically Ever After with Claudia Lucida

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Can't wait to listen ik it's gonna be great 💞

Author — Miss Agyemang

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Thank you for this informative discussion

Author — Brian Blinstrup

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The saddest thing he said: Imagining a world where almost everyone lives in a city.

Author — Dev

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Really great interview Colman. Thank you! That drug overdose is so shocking. So awful

Author — Trish Page

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Thank you, Coleman. Always a voice of reason

Author — A M

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I’d like to hear his thoughts on Thorium as another nuclear fuel with no use in weapon applications.

Author — Luke Dickieson