Matt Ridley Puts Gobal Warming Away, Or, May We Move Onto the Next Impending Catastrophe Now, Please?

 

Catching up on my reading, I just came across Matt Ridley’s article on global warming in the Wall Street Journal last week. Mr. Ridley—no, strike that; since the death of his father in 2012, Matt Ridley is more properly referred to as the Rt. Hon. the Viscount Ridley — Lord Ridley explained that, in its forthcoming report, even the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits that fears of global warming have been (forgive me) overheated.  A couple of excerpts from a column in which, in my judgement, Matt Ridley simply puts global warming away:

Even with its too-high, too-fast assumptions, the recently leaked draft of the IPCC impacts report makes clear that when it comes to the effect on human welfare, “for most economic sectors, the impact of climate change will be small relative to the impacts of other drivers,” such as economic growth and technology, for the rest of this century. If temperatures change by about 1C degrees between now and 2090, as Mr. Lewis calculates, then the effects will be even smaller….

There remains a risk that the latest science is wrong and rapid warming will occur with disastrous consequences. And if renewable energy had proved by now to be cheap, clean and thrifty in its use of land, then we would be right to address that small risk of a large catastrophe by rushing to replace fossil fuels with first-generation wind, solar and bioenergy. But since these forms of energy have proved expensive, environmentally damaging and land-hungry, it appears that in our efforts to combat warming we may have been taking the economic equivalent of chemotherapy for a cold.

Almost every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population “bomb,” pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued. Global warming is no different.

Global warming, no different from falling sperm counts and killer bees.

That does it. I mean it. From now on, I won’t care how fancy the cocktail party. Whenever somebody in some sort of comme il faut liberal setting here in Northern California starts to ooze concern and righteous indignation about global warming, I’m going to pour my martini over his head.

There are 18 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. C. U. Douglas Thatcher
    C. U. Douglas
    @CUDouglas

    Best way to serve a martini, in my opinion.

    • #1
  2. JavaMan Member
    JavaMan
    @JavaMan

    My guess is the seriousness of your threat is in direct proportion to the number comme il faut liberal cocktail parties you’re attending.

    • #2
  3. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Peter Robinson: Whenever somebody in some sort of comme il faut liberal setting here in Northern California starts to ooze concern and righteous indignation about global warming, I’m going to pour my martini over his head.

     What a waste of good alcohol.

    • #3
  4. Proud Skeptic Member
    Proud Skeptic
    @ProudSkeptic

    This is an interesting time for the climate debate.  I have been following it closely and I have never seen the skeptics so sure that this is the beginning of the end nor have I seen the alarmists so certain that they were right.  One thing that is for certain, the political classes have decided that it is time to elevate the level of shrillness and make climate change a big issue.  Clearly this could be a reaction to seeing the argument slip through their fingers but I am not optimistic about that.  I think it is more likely that (in the US, at least) they need a distraction from all of the mess that is happening everywhere else in government…ObamaCare in particular.

    I always tell my friends that when a Progressive is losing an argument on another policy issue, he falls back on climate change to change the subject.

    This ain’t over nor is it starting to be over.  My gut is telling me that this is the beginning of the pitched battle that will ultimately decide the outcome of the debate.

    In the end our fate will rest in our ability to control the regulatory agencies.

    • #4
  5. Mario the Gator Member
    Mario the Gator
    @Pelayo

    Proud Skeptic: I think it is more likely that (in the US, at least) they need a distraction from all of the mess that is happening everywhere else in government…ObamaCare in particular. I always tell my friends that when a Progressive is losing an argument on another policy issue, he falls back on climate change to change the subject.

    Don’t forget that Progressives also love to play the “race card” whenever they are losing an argument as well… 

    • #5
  6. George Savage Contributor
    George Savage
    @GeorgeSavage

    Statist solutions to non-problems can themselves be apocalyptic.  Exhibit A is Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring scam.  The resulting DDT ban that kicked-off the modern environmental movement proved a boon to mosquitoes carrying malaria, causing the unnecessary death of 50 million-and-counting in the developing world.

    • #6
  7. Proud Skeptic Member
    Proud Skeptic
    @ProudSkeptic
    • #7
  8. user_49770 Member
    user_49770
    @wilberforge

    Thoughtfull and well reasoned approaches to solutions are just too boring for a Proper Progressive.  Self gratification in the hype promotes self image and importance. That’s all that matters, funding aside.

    Would not waste pouring a good drink over any of them. Just be patient.

    • #8
  9. doc molloy Member
    doc molloy
    @docmolloy

    So, chivillrous Peter, you are stirred to pour – but not on a woman’s head it would seem- never shaken from your flas.. er, task. As Nelson deMille noted in The Gate House one martini, two martini, three martini, floor. The rest is anticlimax..

    • #9
  10. user_1050 Member
    user_1050
    @MattBartle

    Wait a minute – you mean I don’t have to worry about killer bees??

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Matthew Bartle: Wait a minute – you mean I don’t have to worry about killer bees??

     Well, you still do.

    • #11
  12. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    Peter,

    Chemotherapy for a cold.  The perfect analogy for socialism.  Some people don’t have health care destroy the health care of everyone else.  Surely that will help things along.  Worried about pollution and rapid growth just destroy the World’s economy.  Surely that will protect Gaia from The Man.

    Jim Lovelock woke up, Matt Ridley woke up.  NIPCC is waking lots of people up.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #12
  13. user_537146 Member
    user_537146
    @PatrickLasswell

    Peter,

    There is a lovely conversational tool you might enjoy implementing in your academic precincts: the Sjambok. Available for reasonable prices from the folks at Cold Steel, it is a polymer device that functions as a whip for thrashing the incorrigibly deluded. Since encountering the incorrigibly self-important is a hazard of your existence, you should take along this simple remedy. You might want to discuss the exact application with your legal representation before you put this plan into action. Given the craven nature of the opposition when confronted with real violence, perhaps you’re in the clear once you make it obvious that you have no problem applying force to settling disputes. 

    They openly say they want to put in jail for applying scientific methods and honest scrutiny. Let’s make sure they know the consequences of abandoning civilized practices.

    • #13
  14. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    George Savage: The resulting DDT ban that kicked-off the modern environmental movement proved a boon to mosquitoes carrying malaria, causing the unnecessary death of 50 million-and-counting in the developing world.

    There was a tidbit in a recent Radiolab podcast that said the majority of all humans who have ever lived were killed by malaria.  I recommend Riconizens give it a listen.

    • #14
  15. user_1184 Member
    user_1184
    @MarkWilson

    Peter Robinson: Global warming, no different from falling sperm counts and killer bees.

     That is, something to make disaster movies about.

    • #15
  16. user_142044 Thatcher
    user_142044
    @AmericanAbroad

    I am not willing to waste a good martini shaming the naive.  UN pronouncements on global warming have about as much value as the reports issued by the eminently august Human Rights Council of the UN.  That said, I would prefer if we debated climate change on the economic idiocy of the various plans to cut carbon emissions instead of the science behind climate change.  Very few people read Ridley or the IPCC reports directly, so arguing against the “settled science” and bogus “consensus of 97% of scientists” doesn’t get us very far.  I think we have better luck proving to people that we can dramatically increase their energy costs and not make one bit of difference in global emissions by adopting stupid plans like Kyoto.

    • #16
  17. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Mark Wilson:

    Peter Robinson: Global warming, no different from falling sperm counts and killer bees.

    That is, something to make disaster movies about.

    • #17
  18. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    It’s probably not a good idea to cut off your finger to cure a hangnail.

    • #18

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.