“I am a climate change lukewarmer”, asserts Matt Ridley, an award-winning journalist and best-selling author of “The Rational Optimist”. Writing for The Times, Matt defends his position by explaining that whilst he believes recent global warming is real, mostly man-made and will continue, he also thinks that it is not likely to be dangerous, and its slow and erratic progress so far is what we should expect in the future.
Despite being subject to “torrents of online abuse” for his stance, Matt maintains that his current view is still consistent with the “consensus” among scientists, as represented by the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): that climate change is happening, not that it is going to be dangerous. However, he notes that policies being proposed to combat climate change – far from being a modest insurance policy – “are proving ineffective, expensive, harmful to poor people and actually bad for the environment.”
Matt contends that the polarisation of the climate debate has gone too far, adding that “all the fury must mean that my arguments are hitting home, or efforts would be made to demolish them rather me.” He goes on to give examples of critics “playing the man and not the ball”, and demonstrates that his point of view seems to particularly displease publicly funded scientists and politicians, who insist that climate change is still a big risk.
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Check out this video of Matt Ridley, popular keynote speaker and best-selling author of The Rational Optimist, who gave an interview on the improving state of humanity at the Cato Institute – a think tank dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.
In his recent work on the greening of our planet, Matt discovered something interesting: likely scenarios in which humans contribute more to climate change (according to the IPCC) are the same ones in which incomes grow more slowly.
Matt argues that humanity’s impact on the environment need not be catastrophic. This is partly because there is a strong relationship between economic growth and a greener planet: “the richer we become, the lesser our impact on the environment will be.”
Since economic freedom and growth are correlated (i.e.: more economic freedom means higher growth), economic freedom encourages a higher quality of life and a healthier environment. As such, Matt contends that gloomy predictions about the future of the planet are based on unrealistic assumptions that are unlikely to happen. Watch the video to find out more!
To find out more about Matt Ridley, or to book him as a speaker, please contact Alex Hickman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0) 20 7792 8004.
In this week’s opinion piece for The Times, Matt Ridley, a prominent British journalist and member of the House of Lords, writes that the world’s climate change experts are now saying that strong growth doesn’t hurt the environment, but rather protects it.
Matt notes that there is a convergence between the 5 projections given by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which show that by 2100 the global average income per head should have increased 13-fold to $100,000 (in 2005 dollars) compared with $7,800 today. Inequality will have also declined, because people in poor countries will have been getting rich faster than people in rich countries, as is happening now.
Asking whether the planet can “survive this sort of utopian plutocracy,” Matt shows that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has done its own projections and concludes that more trade, more innovation and more wealth make possible greater investment in low-carbon energy and smarter adaptation to climate change.
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“We have a new climate change consensus — and it’s good news everyone” proclaims Lord Matt Ridley, best-selling author of The Rational Optimist, in his latest piece for The Spectator.
Matt is referring to the latest news from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose recent publication differs from the stories of national newspapers that regularly forecast the certainty of environmental Armageddon. Instead, the IPCC states that climate change is now a question of adaptation, rather than one of mitigation.
Matt argues that such a distinction is crucial, because until recently “the debate has followed a certain bovine logic: that global warming is happening, so we need to slow it down by hugely expensive decarbonisation strategies — green taxes, wind farms. And what good will this do?”
Adapatation has six obvious benefits as a strategy, which mitigation did not share. It required no international treaty, but would work if adopted unilaterally; it could be applied locally; it would produce results quickly; it could capture any benefits of warming while avoiding risks; it addressed existing problems that were merely exacerbated by warming; and it would bring benefits even if global warming proves to have been exaggerated.
Matt also points out that the report also toned down the alarm considerably, firmly stating that the impact of climate change will be small relative to other things that happen during this century, so “yes, the world is heating up. But in many ways, it will be a better world…Armageddon averted”
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