Shellenberger began by highlighting his background, telling the Committee: “I am an energy analyst and environmentalist dedicated to the goals of universal prosperity, peace, and environmental protection. Between 2003 and 2009 I advocated for a large federal investment in renewables, many of which were made as part of the 2009 stimulus. And since 2013 I have advocated for the continued operation of nuclear plants around the world and thus helped prevent emissions from increasing the equivalent of adding 24 million cars to the road.”
“I also care about getting the facts and science right. I believe that scientists, journalists, and advocates have an obligation to represent climate science accurately, even if doing so reduces the saliency of our concerns,” Shellenberger continued. “No credible scientific body has claimed climate change threatens the collapse of civilization much less the extinction of the human species. And yet some activists, scientists, and journalists make such apocalyptic assertions, which I believe contribute to rising levels of anxiety, including among adolescents, and worsening political polarization.”
We quantified the dynamics of socio-economic vulnerability to climate-related hazards. A decreasing trend in both human and economic vulnerability is evident. Global average mortality and loss rates have dropped by 6.5 and nearly 5 times, respectively, from 1980 to 1989 to 2007–2016. Results also show a clear negative relation between vulnerability and wealth.”
In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court made several key findings regarding the youthful plaintiffs' standing. It found the kids showed they have indeed been injured by the federal government's policies. And they also held that the plaintiffs' argument that the government's policies are a "substantial factor" in causing the injuries could have been decided at trial. But the majority drew the line at whether a court could give the kids the relief they are seeking.