Climate scientists say “we’re hopeless unprepared” for climate change but that’s false. We’re more prepared than we’ve ever been. For politicians, activists, & journalists to spread falsehoods that cause anxiety & depression among schoolchildren is unconscionable
— Michael Shellenberger (@shellenberger) November 9, 2021
Michael Shellenberger: “I agree with Richard that the media has done a real disservice I think the United Nations officials have as well. I mean, Richard himself told The Guardian that we’re hopelessly unprepared for extreme weather events. That’s just false. We’re more prepared than we’ve ever been. Deaths from natural disasters are at an all-time low. They’ve declined by 90%. Around the world, they’ve declined by 99%. In places like Bangladesh. We’ve seen the there’s no increase in the cost of natural disasters once you account for rising wealth. These are things that people don’t know the media simply don’t report the fact that all of these trends are going in the right direction, including the fact that carbon emissions have been going down in Britain, France and Germany since the mid-70s. Carbon emissions have declined in the United States by 22% since the year 2005.
People are simply not being told these basic facts to provide the context. Yes, all else being equal. We would not want any climate change whatsoever. We wouldn’t want temperatures to get to change at all. We wouldn’t want to get colder or hotter. But we’ve got 8 billion almost a billion people in the world. The population is increasing. Everybody wants to live a decent life. They deserve to live a decent life and that requires consuming energy. And these important facts of context are simply being excluded from the conversation.
That’s what’s been making it so alarmist. That’s why one out of four British children are having nightmares about climate change. It’s why there’s widespread hysteria and anxiety among schoolchildren, including adolescents. My daughter’s age, she’s fine, but her friends are terrified. Some of them say they don’t want to have kids. I think that’s grossly irresponsible. And I think it’s important for scientists, including Richard and others who were involved in this process to speak out very clearly that we’re gonna have a better future than the ones are the better future and better lives. And our grandparents and parents had. I was just with my, my parents and my aunts and uncles in Indiana where they lived on a farm where they used horses before they transitioned to tractors. They suffered all sorts of diseases people died, that future that is not in our future that’s in our past.
We’ve got serious problems to worry about. Some of them have to do with rising levels of anxiety and depression among adolescents, including rising levels of suicide. I think young people need to know that climate change is not something that they’re going to address by marching in the streets.