Are ecomodernists “climate denialists”?

Ecomodernist Michael Shellenberger was interviewed on Belgian national TV this week. I’m glad that the Belgian public finally gets acquainted with ecomodernism, a broad international movement of environmental activists and scientists who want to “decouple” the economy from nature. However, the questions asked during this interview illustrate the sorry state of the debate about the climate in Belgium. For example, after a full 10 minute discussion about how we can decarbonize our economy and if nuclear energy is the right way, the journalist asks if the rumour is true that ecomodernists like Shellenberger are in fact “climate denialists” who deny that manmade global warming is real. Now, the whole point of decarbonization is to resist climate change. Global warming is the only deleterious effect of human CO2 emissions (to my knowledge). The other effects, like global greening due to increased plant growth, are in fact beneficial. The reality of man-made global warming, and the risks it poses for our future, is precisely one of the major reasons for ecomodernists to advocate nuclear energy, which is almost completely CO2-free. I hope that people now understand that not everyone who’s in favour of nuclear energy, or who criticizes the fairy tales about renewable energy, is a “climate negationist”. But I’m not holding my breath. Such dogmas have a long half-life time.