In George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the central character is Winston Smith.
At the Ministry of Truth, Smith’s job is to alter archived news stories and photographs eliminating references to and images of “unpersons” – officials who have fallen out of favour with the governing party.
Smith also makes old headlines agree with new realities, such as when an autumn harvest comes in well short of the central party’s optimistic spring predictions and the old stories have to be reworked to make it look as if the party had been right all along.
Kind of like the way the CBC covers Justin Trudeau and the Liberals.
I’m betting Michael Schellenberger is about to become the next unperson at the Global Warming Ministry of Truth.
Schellenberger has been one of the world’s leading environmentalists for the past three decades. However, on Monday he wrote in Forbes, “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.”
You can turn off the alarm. Mute the hysteria. Pause the Greta.
The world is not going to hell in a manmade-emissions handbasket.
In his Forbes article (since expunged, Orwell-style, from Forbes’ site), Schellenberger confesses, “I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.”
This isn’t just some fringe player. Schellenberger is an expert reviewer of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the bible of climate change alarmism.
He goes further. “Humans are not causing a ‘sixth mass extinction.’”
“Climate change is not making natural disasters worse.”
“The Amazon is not ‘the lungs of the world.’”
Wildfires have actually declined by 25% over the past two decades. Many large, recent fires were caused by “the build up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change …”
In other words, the huge wildfires in Australia, California and Canada in recent years are more the fault of politicians and environmentalists refusing to allow forests to be selectively logged as they are of exhaust from idling SUVs.
Habitat loss due to human encroachment is a much bigger threat to species than climate change. So is poaching.
“Air pollution and carbon emissions have been declining in rich nations for 50 years.”
Climate change is not an “existential threat” to civilization.
Still Schellenberger admits he has said nothing until now (his book, Apocalypse Never, releases this month) because he “was scared.” He “remained silent about the climate misinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding.”
He suffered “harsh consequences” whenever he dared call out the distortions of his fellow eco-activists.
Schellenberger is not alone. Many scientists I have spoken with have worried about earning tenure in their universities if they break with the alarmism orthodoxy. And peer-reviewed journals often only review peers who agree in advance.
In many ways the reaction to Apocalypse Never will mirror the reaction to Michael Moore’s documentary, Planet of the Humans, which earlier this year debunked the “green” energy industry. Environmentalists worked hard to have Moore’s film “deplatformed” from YouTube and Facebook and anywhere else it was posted.
Similarly, you can expect them to pressure news sites (like Forbes) not to publish Schellenberger online or in print – and to take his apology down wherever it has been published.
In one way, Schellenberger’s book may be even more important than Moore’s film.
Moore doesn’t question the science behind the climate scare, he merely exposes the fallacy that “green” energy is somehow a solution.
Moore doesn’t say the climate alarm is a false alarm; Schellenberger does.