Move over, Green New Deal.
Move over, Saint Greta.
Long-time and much lauded environmental and climate activist Michael Shellenberger decided to separate fact from fantasy and science from politics with his new book, Apocalypse Never, just out yesterday from HarperCollins. Perfectly timed, I’d say.
To me, the most important takeaway from Apocalypse Never will be that science is not any more an “authority” than is religion. Science offers perspectives based, when authentic — i.e., not lying or otherwise overtly or covertly biased, whether consciously or unconsciously — on some limited point of view with assumptions that cannot themselves be proved. Therefore, whatever conclusions are drawn inescapably leave out all sorts of other variables. Why do I say that? Because THE MAP IS NEVER THE TERRITORY. Period.
I, and others equally awakened from the 300-year-old fundamentalist religion of scientism have long recognized that no matter what we think, or claim to “know,” we can never ever be absolutely certain, since that which surrounds us and lives inside us is ultimately mysterious, offering infinities within infinities, so that every point we seek to “nail down once and for all” dissolves into the ocean of awareness that holds us all in its loving embrace.
Or at least, claims this environmental activist, any near-future apocalypse won’t be due to climate change.
Here’s his original “apology,” which Forbes pulled a few hours later.
However, I imagine that I and other permaculturists wouldn’t subscribe to his 2016 TED talk on the necessity of nuclear power, or to his claim here that we need more industrial agriculture, not less. Even so, Shellenberger is well worth taking very seriously, if not just for his courage in standing up to all the “politically correct” and “scientific” map makers who pretend they know what they’re doing when both describing the present and predicting the future. This goes for pandemics, as well, by the way . . .