The Breakthrough Institute has scientists on the staff. Zeke Hausfather, Director of Climate and Energy, is a climate scientist and energy systems analyst whose research focuses on observational temperature records, climate models, and mitigation technologies. He spent 10 years working as a data scientist and entrepreneur in the cleantech sector. He has master’s degrees in environmental science from Yale University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and a PhD in climate science from the University of California, Berkeley. Seaver Wang is a Breakthrough Institute Energy Analyst. He holds a PhD in Earth and Ocean Sciences from Duke University. He has published in major peer reviewed journals like ISME Journal and Nature Communications. He has published research on the links between marine plankton ecology and oceanic cycling of carbon and nitrogen.
Michael worked for Global Exchange in 1993. Global Exchange is a far-left organization on human rights and environmentalism. He consulted to the Sierra Club and other environmental groups. Time magazine awarded him the Heroes of the Environment award in 2008. In his early 20s, he 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. He became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27, he helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In his 30s, he advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years, Michael helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions. He was afraid to speak out against the climate scare until last year.
In April 2015, Shellenberger joined with a group of scholars in issuing An Ecomodernist Manifesto. This proposes dropping the goal of “sustainable development” and replacing it with a strategy to shrink humanity’s footprint by using nature more intensively. The authors argue that economic development is, in fact, an indispensable precondition to preserving the environment.
The book is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialization, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.
Nextbigfuture has written on overlapping topics on energy and the environment. There are facts on how on a national scale nuclear is superior to solar and wind. France’s nuclear energy spending was 60% of what Germany spent on renewables. France gets about 400 Terawatt hour per year from nuclear but Germany gets 226 Terawatt-hours each year. 45 Terawatt-hours of Germany’s renewable power comes from burning biomass which generates air pollution. Germany’s solar farms will have to be rebuilt every 15-25 years. The wind farms will need to be rebuilt every 20-25 years. Nuclear plants can last 40-80+ years. This means that it guaranteed that the solar and wind farms will have to be rebuilt in 15-25 years.
Nextbigfuture has written about the policies in California that have allowed over one hundred million dead trees and dry brush to accumulate. This ignores forest management procedures to prevent wildfires that have been known for over 100 years.
Some highlights from the Apocalypse Never book:
* Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress
* The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land
* The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium
* 100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50%
* We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities
* Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%
* Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did
* “Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions
* Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon
* The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants
Why were we all so misled?
In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never, Michael exposes the financial, political, and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable.” And status anxiety, depression, and hostility to modern civilization are behind much of the alarmism.
Some other 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 are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s
Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level
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
SOURCES- Breakthrough Institute, Environmental Progress
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.