Magazine August 10, 2020, Issue

Alternatives to Climate Alarmism

(Mustafa Yilmiz/Getty)
False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet, by Bjorn Lomborg (Basic Books, 320 pp., $30), and Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, by Michael Shellenberger (Harper, 432 pp., $29.99)

I  first encountered Michael Shellenberger’s work in 2007 as a freshman in college.

Back then, Shellenberger identified as a progressive and, together with my now-colleague Ted Nordhaus, had co-authored The Death of Environmentalism and co-founded the Breakthrough Institute, the ecomodernist think tank where I am now deputy director. In those years, Nordhaus, Shellenberger, and a growing community of scholars that they had brought together around Breakthrough focused on the limitations of carbon taxes and regulation as the central strategies to address climate change, arguing instead for major public and private investments in clean-energy R&D and infrastructure in the name of economic

This article appears as “Alternatives to Alarmism” in the August 10, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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