I’ve spent the past few lockdown months working my way through a series of cracking books, of which my favourite by far is Apocalypse Never, by Michael Shellenberger, a US-based environmentalist. His book challenges those who insist on raising the alarm about an impending environmental meltdown at every available moment and scaring the heck out of all of us. Its core message is that the very best way of conserving our planet and feeding billions of people is to work with humanity, encourage growth and think laterally about energy policy, a message echoed by other observers, such as Andrew McAfee in the equally wonderful More From Less. Shellenberger’s idea is to ditch sustainable energy ideas (using wood, for instance) in the developing world and encourage “stepping stone” use of natural gas and, as power networks become more advanced, options such as renewables or, even more controversially, nuclear.
FT 3rd Sept 2020 read more »