Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley


  • BA (Zoology), Oxford University. [1], [2]
  • D Phil (Zoology, 1984), Oxford University. [1], [2]
  • DSc FRSL FMedSci. [1], [2]


Viscount Matthew White Ridley is a Conservative hereditary peer in the British House of Lords, a science writer, journalist, and popular author. Matt Ridley has written several books on evolution and genetics including The Red Queen (1994) and Genome (1999), as well as books on economics including The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (2010). [1]

Ridley won a seat in the House of Lords in 2013, a position he has used to discuss climate change and advocate for the “Brexit” campaign to leave the European Union, later setting up the North East England branch of Business for Britain, an anti-EU campaign group founded by Matthew Elliott. [3], [4], [90]

Ridley chaired the UK bank Northern Rock until 2007, during which time the bank experienced the country’s first bank run in 140 years. Ridley resigned, and the UK Government bailed out the bank, leading to the nationalization of Northern Rock. Ridley was responsible, according to parliament’s Treasury select committee, for a “high-risk, reckless business strategy” which the bank was able to pursue as the result of a “substantial failure of regulation” by the state. [5][6], [7] 

From December 2010 to August 2013, Ridley voiced his skepticism of climate change through his regular column in the Wall Street Journal, “Mind of Matter.” He has written for The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, the Times, The Guardian, New Scientist, New Statesman, Time, Newsweek and The New York Times[1], [8], [9]

Ridley is an advisor to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a group founded by climate science denier Lord Nigel Lawson. The GWPF describe themselves as “deeply concerned about the costs and other implications” of policies designed to mitigate man-made climate change. [10]

Ridley has stated, “I am on its academic advisory council, but receive no pay and make no donations. I have income indirectly from unsubsidised coal, and have refused income from subsidised solar and wind power.” [11]

Ridley was also a policy adviser for the now-defunct UK2020 thinktank, founded by former Conservative environment secretary Owen Paterson. [89]

Coal Interests

Matt Ridley released the following statement in 2014: [12]

I have a financial interest in coal mining on my family’s land. The details are commercially confidential, but I have always been careful to disclose that I have this interest in my writing when it is relevant; I am proud that the coal mining on my land contributes to the local and national economy; and that my income from coal is not subsidized and not a drain on the economy through raising energy prices. I deliberately do not argue directly for the interests of the modern coal industry and I consistently champion the development of gas reserves, which is a far bigger threat to the coal-mining industry than renewable energy can ever be. So I consistently argue against my own financial interest.”

Talking with The Guardian, Friends of the Earth (FoE) campaigner Guy Shrubsole said: “We think it’s worrying that climate sceptic Viscount Ridley should be using his privileged position in the Lords to argue against renewable energy, whilst lobbying to benefit a coal industry he has a significant financial interest in. [13]

Ridley has always maintained his own coal interests are immaterial to his climate sceptic views and political activities,” Shrubshole said. “This disclosure paints a different picture – of a peer who attacks clean energy whilst seeking to extend the lifetime of the coal industry in this country.” [13]

The disclosure mentioned above consisted of communications between Ridley and the UK energy minister Lord Bourne in which Ridley promotes a Texas-based company with “fascinating new technology, which may well interest the Department of Energy and Climate Change.” The Guardian suggests this could be seen as an example of lobbying by Ridley on behalf of the energy industry. [13]

Ridley’s uncle, Nicholas, served as Transport Secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet and was responsible for the controversial ‘Ridley plan’ intended to overcome opposition to Conservative policies from trade unions, particularly during strikes over the closure of coal mines. Ridley was also the cabinet minister in charge of implementing the “poll tax,” which sparked riots and was later dropped. [87], [88]

Stance on Climate Change

February 15, 2022

Ridley began a long-read for Spiked, titled “Why global warming is good for us: Climate change is creating a greener, safer planet”, by arguing that while “global warming is real”, it is “also – so far – mostly beneficial”. He added: “This startling fact is kept from the public by a determined effort on the part of alarmists and their media allies who are determined to use the language of crisis and emergency.” [116]

Ridley referred to a claim made by Bjorn Lomborg, the author of two books that downplay the risks of global warming, to support the claim that “the biggest benefit of emissions is global greening […] I bet Greta Thunberg did not tell you that”. He added that because of extra carbon dioxide in the air, “dry areas, like the Sahel region of Africa, are seeing some of the biggest improvements in greenery.”

Another benefit of global warming, according to Ridley, is the prevention of premature deaths, “especially true in a temperate place like Britain”, citing a 2015 Lancet study which found that “cold weather kills about ‘20 times as many people as hot weather’”.

Further on, Ridley claimed that “on the whole more warming is happening in cold places, in cold seasons and at cold times of day” in comparison to tropical nations which “are mostly experiencing very slow, almost undetectable daytime warming”.

Ridley also wrote: “There’s no evidence to suggest weather volatility is increasing and no good theory to suggest it will”, and that “the effect of today’s warming (and greening) on farming is, on average, positive: crops can be grown farther north and for longer seasons and rainfall is slightly heavier in dry regions.”

Ridley also suggested that “real environmental issues are ignored or neglected because of the obsession with climate”, referencing his fight to protect the red squirrel in Northumberland. 

Ridley conceded that “rapid sea-level rise could be catastrophic” but writes that sea level rise is “nine times slower” than sea level rise “between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago”, and that “countries like the Netherlands and Vietnam show that it is possible to gain land from the sea even in a world where sea levels are rising”.

Explaining the cause of alarming predictions, Ridley wrote that “environmentalists don’t get donations or invitations to appear on the telly if they say moderate things”, implying that this is why “we don’t hear about the good news on climate change.”

September 2017

“What about the climate change debate? Because this is where I’ve been criticized for being too optimistic. And let me state very clearly that I am someone who thinks that global warming is real, is happening, and is at least partly, possibly largely man-made.

And that in that sense the physics is undeniable, and the trend is clear. But it is happening slower than forecast […] the effects of climate change are not showing up as bad as we had feared by now,” Ridley said in an address to the Wageningen University. [86]

January 19, 2015

“I am a climate lukewarmer. That means I think recent global warming is real, mostly man-made and will continue but I no longer think it is likely to be dangerous and I think its slow and erratic progress so far is what we should expect in the future. That last year was the warmest yet, in some data sets, but only by a smidgen more than 2005, is precisely in line with such lukewarm thinking,” Ridley wrote in “My life as a climate change lukewarmer” at The Times. [14]

November 2011

“I am not a ‘denier’. I fully accept that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the climate has been warming and that man is very likely to be at least partly responsible. […] you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be,” Ridley said in the 2011 Angus Millar speech on “Scientific Heresy,” reposted in its entirety at the skeptical blog Watts Up With That[15][48]

Key Quotes

July 20, 2022

In an op-ed titled “Liz Truss is the unconventional Tory radical Britain needs”, Ridley endorsed Liz Truss, claiming “she consulted me a few times” when she “reinvented herself as a passionate champion of free enterprise”. [114]

Ridley then addressed Truss’s stance on the UK’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050, writing: 

“There’s only one issue about which her views concern me, and that’s Net Zero. She has said little about it. Our unilateral embrace of a dogmatic target date for balanced carbon dioxide emissions is madness. It has driven up energy bills and will do so further. None of the candidates in this contest has seemed to appreciate the scale of the energy shock facing us this winter.”

Ridley went on to critique the government’s net zero policy, arguing that “Net Zero is hurting the poor, especially in the chillier North, and rewarding the rich” and that “It is causing serious environmental harm – the burning of wood in power stations, the planting of open land with alien conifers, the littering of the North Sea with concrete wind farm foundations.”

Ridley also wrote that wind energy supplied only 4 percent of the UK’s total energy in 2020, and that the renewable energy source “cannot be the answer, however hard we puff it up.” He concluded: 

“The aspiration to reduce emissions is right, but there is a better way to get there: encouraging innovation in fission, fusion, shale gas and carbon capture rather than forcing today’s thermodynamically inadequate renewable energy systems on us and further ruining our competitive edge.”

May 17, 2022

During a webinar hosted by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, a free-market think tank based in Canada, Ridley said

“If we try to solve climate change with today’s existing technology we will end up replacing a pretty efficient energy system based on fossil fuels with a somewhat inefficient one based on renewable energy which uses huge quantities of the landscape, you know, back to the medieval idea that you need the landscape”. [121]

He added: 

“I think we’d look really foolish if we’d dashed to net zero with some quite inadequate technologies before then. I think we need to be researching the heck out of all forms of nuclear in order to come up with some technologies that can solve this problem without having to constrain our economic growth or anything like that – which is what actually a lot of people want”.

March 27, 2022

Ridley wrote an op-ed for the Daily Mail titled “Madness of our worship of wind: They despoil our glorious countryside, add £6 billion a year to our household bills and are arguably the most inefficient solution to our energy crisis.” [115]

Ridley wrote: 

“The way wind power has managed to get politicians and others to think it is uniquely virtuous will deserve close study by future theologians. […] Tousle-headed eco-protesters go weak at the knees when they see an industrial wind farm on wild land, while angry anti-capitalists won’t hear a word against the financial firms that back wind companies.”

He also claimed that wind turbines kill “thousands of birds and bats every year”, including “rare eagles” and “soaring gannets”, summarising: “it is not as if wind turbines are good for the environment.”

Near the end of the article, Ridley advocated for more North Sea oil extraction and onshore fracking, saying: “Gas is currently very expensive in Britain, but it used to be cheap and it could be once more — particularly if we open up the North Sea and get fracking.”

February 12, 2022

In an op-ed titled “The hair shirt eco-elite don’t want pain-free fusion power”, Ridley argued in favour of the rollout of nuclear fusion power and criticised “green zealots” for being “far more interested in lecturing others than improving lives and the planet through technology”. [113]

He wrote: 

“Remember, for the eco-elite, hair-shirt asceticism is a feature not a bug. Giving ordinary people unlimited energy would horrify these high priests. What they love about climate change is the excuse it gives them to disapprove of people having fun. Imagine the scowl on Greta’s face when we tell her electricity is going to be abundant, cheap, reliable and low-carbon. It’s shooting their fox.”

May 9, 2017

Writing at The Times, Ridley ridiculed the Paris climate agreement and cited “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg (whose claims about the Paris agreement have been challenged by experts): [82], [83]

“Who could disagree? Lomborg wants Trump to can the Paris agreement, which he rightly judges to be a feelgood gesture that distracts attention from aggressive research into low-emitting, cost-effective energy technologies, which is the only realistic way to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

“Thus Paris embodies precisely what the green movement worried about after Copenhagen: that a weak and non-binding agreement would be worse than futile. Yet the disastrous Kyoto story is repeating itself; adherence to Paris has become a totem of global determination to tackle climate change while the agreement seems purpose-built to prevent the very economic sophistication on which any low-carbon future depends.” [82]

October 20, 2016

“So far, the benefits of global greening have been greater than expected, while the costs of global warming have been smaller than expected and the price of reducing carbon dioxide emissions has been higher than expected. That price is falling more heavily on poor than on rich people. The evidence suggests that this imbalance will persist for most of this century, perhaps longer. It is time for a rethink,” Ridley wrote at The Spectator. [65]

October 2016

Writing in The Times, Matt Ridley complained about the slow approval process of fracking in Britain: [55]

“[Fracking] has been tested tens of thousands of times in America with very few environmental problems. In that decade, America has used this technique to smash the oil and gas price, transform its economy and cut its carbon emissions. We’ve spent the decade in a futile attempt to placate a handful of implacable green fanatics.”

April 2016

“The GWPF [Global Warming Policy Foundation] often draws attention to the many studies ignored by greens that suggest climate change is not so dangerous, and to the economic and environmental harm done by climate policies. Remember the consensus is that global warming is ‘likely’ to be anything from mildly beneficial to significantly harmful (0.3-4.8C this century). And predictions of doom usually prove exaggerated: eugenic deterioration, dietary fat, population growth, sperm counts, pesticides and cancer, mad cow disease, the effect of acid rain on forests. […]

Climate policies are hitting mainly poor people while enriching mainly wealthy people. The lack of affordable electricity in poor countries is responsible for poverty and at least three million deaths a year from indoor smoke, yet western countries and international institutions largely refuse to support the cheapest source of electricity, fossil fuels. It is reasonable that journalists should occasionally report challenges to the evidence on which these policies are based,” Ridley wrote at The Times[11]

April 2014

“My Lords, this latest report clearly states that the impact of climate change by the latter years of the century is likely to be less than 2% of global income and will be small relative to other factors such as economic development. Given that the co-chair of that report, Chris Field, is on record as saying that the really big breakthrough in this report is the new idea of thinking about management of climate change, would my noble friend agree that the time has come to congratulate my noble friend Lord Lawson, who has been saying exactly this for eight years? I declare my energy interests as listed in the register,” Ridley said in testimony at the House of Lords. [16]

March 2014

“Obviously, the oil industry and the gas industry cause problems but hydraulic fracturing itself has not produced a single environmental problem,” Ridley said in testimony at the House of Lords[17]


“A cumulative change of less than 2°C by the end of this century will do no net harm. It will actually do net good […] rainfall will increase slightly, growing seasons will lengthen, Greenland’s ice cap will melt only very slowly, and so on,” Ridley wrote at The Wall Street Journal[18]


“Ocean acidification looks suspiciously like a back-up plan by the environmental pressure groups in case the climate fails to warm: another try at condemning fossil fuels. […] Even if the world warms as much as the consensus expects, the net harm still looks small alongside the real harm now being done by preventable causes; and if it does warm this much, it will be because more people are rich enough to afford to do something about it,” Ridley wrote in his book The Rational Optimist, as quoted in a New Scientist article examining his claims. [19]

Key Actions

December 3, 2022

Ridley wrote a piece for the Spectator criticising Tory MPs calling for an end to the ban on onshore wind farms. [123]

Ridley argued that there is “no ban on wind farms” and that they simply must be “confined to areas designated for that purpose and with community support”. 

Ridley also claimed that “the costs are high and rising” of wind power, and that “relying on the wind for power for guarantee that electricity is expensive for ever, because wind’s unreliability poisons the market, driving up the price of gas-fired power too”.

Ridley supported his arguments by citing Net Zero Watch deputy director Andrew Montford, writing:

“The Ukraine war has driven gas prices higher, but, says Andrew Montford of Net Zero Watch, it would be daft to assume that this is a permanent state of affairs and design a policy on the assumption that wind will be cheaper than gas in the future.”

July 14, 2022

In an article titled “Eco-extremism has brought Sri Lanka to its knees”, Ridley criticised President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s April 2021 decision to ban “most pesticides and all synthetic fertiliser” in order to make its farming system “fully organic”. [120]

Ridley disagreed with the idea that organic farming could be sustainable at scale, writing: “Farming was organic when millions died in famines every decade and the US prairies turned into dustbowls for lack of fertiliser to hold the soil during droughts.”

Ridley concluded by arguing that if farming ceased using chemical nitrogen fertiliser, “the impact on human living standards would be catastrophic, but so would the impact on nature”. He added:

“Given that about half the nitrogen atoms in the average person’s body were fixed in an ammonia factory rather than a plant, to feed eight billion people with organic methods we would need to put more than twice as much land under the plough and the cow. That would consign most of the world’s wetlands, nature reserves and forests to oblivion.”

June 1, 2022

In an op-ed for the Telegraph, Ridley argued that fracking has been “wrongly demonised by an unholy alliance of the Kremlin and Green activists”. [122]

Claiming that “we have enough gas beneath the ground to last for centuries but our political masters have chosen to leave it there”, Ridley suggested that “the greens mostly did not realise that they were the Kremlin’s useful idiots” by campaigning for a fracking ban.

He also criticised wind turbines, saying they had “failed”, and added: “wind gets 78.354 per cent of media coverage on energy and announcements from the Government: I made that number up, but it can’t be far off.”

Ridley concluded by arguing: “In the long term, we need to start extracting shale gas. In the short term, we need mothballed coal- and gas-fired power stations back on line fast.”

March 14, 2022

Ridley wrote an article for The Sun titled “How lying Putin spent millions spreading fake news about fracking – even branding drillers ‘as bad as paedophiles’”. [117]

Referring to campaigning efforts to ban fracking, Ridley wrote: “All this suited Vladimir Putin’s regime, because banning shale kept the gas underground and left us more dependent on Russia for our energy supplies”. He continued: “Not content with letting the radical Greens do this work for him, Mr Putin decided to give them a helping hand”, so “Russian interests lobbied hard for bans on shale gas”.

He concluded: “Much of the support for the anti-fracking movement was still homegrown. But it did Putin’s dirty work for him.”

DeSmog reported the same day that the claim Russia had supported anti-fracking protesters stemmed from an unsubstantiated remark from 2014 by the then NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Rasmussen said that Russia had “actively engaged” with environmental groups opposing shale gas “to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas”. Rasmussen, a supporter of fracking, declined to give evidence at the time, saying: “That is my interpretation.” [118], [119].

December 6, 2021

In an article for The Spectator titled “Britain’s hubristic green commissars can’t see the wood through the trees”, Ridley argued that events like Storm Arwen, which knocked out electricity in Scotland and northern England, were evidence of the necessity of fossil fuels. [112]

Ridley wrote that “five days of living in the cold and dark” reminded him of the value of “reliable electricity,” diesel cars and gas stoves, which “are about to be banned by the eco-commissars.”

In his final paragraph, Ridley implied that wind farms are “environmental mistakes” designed “simply to reward lobbyists on hobby horses”. Ridley also wrote that “tree planting policy in Britain of the past 50 years has been a man-made disaster.”

Ridley also critiqued the EU’s widely criticised decision that “burning trees in Drax power station, and others like it, is carbon neutral, even though it produces more carbon dioxide than coal”, and blamed the practice of burning wood-based biomass for increased timber prices. [112]

November 22, 2020

In an article for The Telegraph, Ridley criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10 point plan for a “Green Industrial Revolution,” disputing the urgency to counteract climate change. Ridley wrote: “there is no confirmed extinction of a species due to climate change. Nor has global warming resulted in more or fiercer storms or droughts. The extremists’ claims otherwise simply ignore the scientific evidence. Emissions have so far increased crop yields and made all ecosystems greener.” [108]

Ridley also cited the GWPF’s Deputy Director, Andrew Montford, writing: “To generate all our electricity from wind in the North Sea, taking into account the increased demand for electricity for heat pumps, electric cars and hydrogen manufacture, would require a wall of turbines 20 miles wide stretching from Thanet to John O’Groats.” [108]

September 8, 2020

Ridley appeared in a podcast for The Spectator alongside self-described climate “lukewarmer” Bjorn Lomborg and Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), discussing whether tackling climate change ought to be considered a top priority. [110]

Ridley characterised climate change as “a somewhat diminishing problem,” stating: “the more CO2 you add to the atmosphere, the less warming impact each additional bit has.”

Criticising the Paris Agreement, Ridley argued that the participating countries’ intended contributions to mitigating climate change  “add up to a very small diminution in the temperature rise in the 21st century” that amounted to “potentially trillions of pounds of spending”.

Ridley also disputed the effectiveness of renewable technologies, stating: “the reason the American economy dropped its emissions so fast in the last 10 years is not because it made a dash for renewables – if anything that was counterproductive because it killed a lot of nuclear power – it was because they had a shale gas revolution. Now nobody did that shale gas revolution because they wanted to reduce emissions. They did it because they wanted to make money out of selling gas.”

August 25, 2020

Ridley featured alongside Bjorn Lomborg in a six-part podcast series about climate change presented by economics correspondent for the Spectator and former Associate Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Kate Andrews.

In the first episode of the series, Ridley claimed that that the environmental movement had been “hijacked” by alarmism over climate change and criticised the UK’s commitment to a net zero by 2050 target, saying that the proposals had not been properly costed and calling it “one of the most shocking episodes in British politics.” [105]

June 5, 2020

In an interview with James Pethokoukis, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Ridley disputed the consequences of climate change, arguing: “so one of the things I try and do today is tell 12-year-old and 14-year-old kids that what they are told in schools — ‘you have no future’, ‘we’ve stolen your future’, whatever Greta Thunberg says — is just not true. Even the climate change projections show that we are going to get richer in this century. We just might not get quite so much richer if we have climate change, compared to if we don’t. That is literally what the models say.” [106]

March 27, 2020

Appearing on Julia Hartley-Brewer’s talkRADIO show, Ridley criticised the response of climate change activists to the coronavirus pandemic. [103]

Commenting on an unverified Extinction Rebellion poster that was circulated online claiming that the virus was “the cure” for environmental problems, Ridley said: [103] [104]

It reveals them to be the death cult that they are. A cranky cult of people who want things to go wrong in the world, and who believe that human beings are the problem, not the solution”. [103]

March 8, 2020

Owen Paterson tweeted a link to an article written by Matt Ridley for Global Vision entitled, ‘The Government’s energy policy could cripple global Britain’. The article stated that:

the purpose of decarbonisation is to alter the climate for the better. Yet nobody in their right mind thinks that net zero emissions will prevent wet winters and flooding. Such bad weather happened in the past anyway, and flood prevention and mitigation would be necessary even if the climate ceased warming. Rather than wasting money on subsidies to renewables, how about some flood defences? They work!” [107]

March 5, 2020

Speaking to Julia Hartley-Brewer on her talkRADIO show, Ridley claimed that the coronavirus was “reminding us what a real emergency looks like; not an emergency that is being largely got up by a crony capitalist industry trying to make money out of renewable energy. I exaggerate but I think that is a big part of what it is.” [102]

December 28, 2019

Ridley appeared on an episode of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, guest-edited by former Telegraph editor and GWPF trustee Charles Moore. During an interview with presenter Nick Robinson, Ridley criticised efforts to reduce emissions, claiming climate policies were responsible for “denying fossil fuels to Africa so that as a result they’re burning wood to feed themselves”. He also described climate scientist Kevin Anderson as a “doomsday cultist” who believed that there could be 4C of warming by 2050, something Anderson rejected when asked about the accusation on climate activist Greta Thunberg’s own guest-edited programme two days later. [99], [100]

Writing about the experience for the Reaction media outlet, whose advisory board he sits on, Ridley argued that there was a “sustained and deliberate pressure put on editors to toe the alarmist line on climate change”. He said that Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the London School of Economics, attempted to “put pressure on the media to censor people like me”. Ridley did not declare his affiliation with the GWPF during the article, despite mentioning the group. [101]

December 18, 2019

Ridley wrote an article in the Spectator claiming that humanity was “living through the greatest improvement in human living standards in history”. He argued that attempts to conserve energy “might cause problems” by slowing innovation and quoted work by John Constable of the Global Warming Policy Forum that claimed the UK had “driven much of our steel, aluminium and chemical industries abroad with some of the highest energy prices for industry in the world”. Ridley did not declare his affiliation with the Foundation. [98]

October 8, 2019

Ridley appeared on the radio show of right-wing commentator Julia Hartley-Brewer to discuss ongoing protests by Extinction Rebellion. He called the climate activist group “very much upper middle class people, doing yoga and things like that”, adding: [95]

“I saw that the Extinction Rebellion protesters had put out a call for people to bring them food. Now how’s that food going to be brought to them? Presumably with fossil fuels. It’s not likely to arrive on bicycles, so there’s a degree of extraordinary hypocrisy going on here.” [95]

August 31, 2019

Ridley wrote an article in the Spectator magazine entitled “The most dangerous thing about the Amazon fires is the apocalyptic rhetoric”, in which he said: [94]

“It is probably true that President Jair Bolsonaro’s rhetoric has encouraged those who want to resume logging and clearing forest and contributed to this year’s uptick in fires in the country. But was it really necessary to claim global catastrophe to make this point, and was it counterproductive?” [94]

August 12, 2019

Ridley was invited on a podcast with Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine. In a description of the episode, entitled “Optimism In The Face Of The “Bad News Industry””, Ridley was said to make “the airtight case that contrary to the unending stream of downbeat news and gloomy predictions about the future, the Earth has never been a better place in which to live than it is today”. The description also repeated Ridley’s claim that “Green areas on the planet are expanding.” [92]

July 11, 2019

Ridley appeared on the podcast hosted by climate science denier James Delingpole, in which he criticised renewables, while supporting fracking and carbon capture and storage (CCS) as solutions to climate change. [96]

June 15, 2019

Former Conservative and UKIP MP Douglas Carswell interviewed Ridley on his show Room for Thought. [109]

Ridley argued that switching to fossil fuels had provided an incentive to reduce deforestation, stating that:

a lot of the reason [for reductions in deforestation] was the switch to fossil fuels, which meant that we didn’t have to cut down forests. So when people demonise fossil fuels, you’ve got to remember that.”

Carswell disputed that climate change had caused global temperatures to increase, asking:

I’m right in thinking that the climate is in a constant state of flux, there have been periods in global history when the climate was a good deal colder than it is now, and periods when it was a great deal warmer. So by definition, it couldn’t have been human activity that caused that, is that right?”

In response, Ridley stated:

I’m prepared to accept that the current rate of warming is exacerbated or possibly even completely explained by human CO2 emissions, because CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But the idea that we’re heading for imminent catastrophe or that we’re already seeing those kinds of disastrous situations is simply wrong, and it’s not what the scientific consensus says.

Ridley also stated that the causal link between climate change and extreme weather was “simply not true,” adding: “you know, tropical storms, droughts and floods, there is no trend towards them getting worse.”He described wind turbines as “useless,” and “utterly unreliable,” asserting that burning wood for renewable technology “produces more carbon dioxide than burning coal would do.”

Ridley also characterised ‘Big Wind’ as a “gigantic user of subsidy” and a “very powerful influence behind the scenes.” He added: “The BBC’s coverage of climate change is almost always exactly what the wind industry wants to hear.”

October 31, 2018

Ridley wrote an article for The Times, disputing the severity of tremors caused by fracking near shale gas company Cuadrilla’s Lancashire site. He wrote that the tremors were “far too weak to be felt at the surface” and “were never going to threaten the integrity of the steel and concrete casing of the gas well itself, as some activists have since claimed.” [111]

Ridley also asserted: “Switching to gas has been the biggest cause of falling carbon dioxide emissions,” asking: “because a few fanatics have decided to campaign furiously against fracking, are we to turn our backs on this vital industry?”

August 2018

An Unearthed investigation published by the Guardian newspaper and a response published by the IEA, seen by DeSmog UK, revealed details of how climate science deniers, including Ridley and DUP MP Sammy Wilson, advocated for deregulation — including on food and environmental standards — as part of the IEA’s push for a “hard Brexit” and stronger trans-Atlantic commercial links. [93]

February 13, 2018

Writing at The Times, Ridley suggested that the two shale wells by Cuadrilla are “very encouraging.” Pointing to the expansion of shale gas in America, Ridley suggested that “Environmental problems have, contrary to the propaganda, been minimal.” [79]

“A glance across the Atlantic shows what could be in store for Britain, and what we have missed out on so far because of obstacles put in place by mendacious pressure groups and timid bureaucrats,” Ridley wrote. [79]

He concluded that, in Britain, “by letting the renewables lobby and green pressure groups rig the market against gas, the government is letting slip a historic opportunity.” [79]

January 2018

Ridley told the House of Lords that “the consensus among climate economists and, indeed, in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is that the economic impacts will be positive for the next 40 or 50 years.” [76]

Bob Ward, policy and communication director for the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment sent a letter to Ridley accusing him of having made a false statement in the House of Lords on 30 January. [77]

Ward said Ridley’s claims are entirely false and that most of the evidence suggests that the aggregate impacts of climate change are already negative and will becoming progressively worse.

According to Ward, Ridley later cited a study by Professor Richard Tol, a former advisor to the climate denial organization the Global Warming Policy Foundation, as the source for his statement in the House of Lords.

Ward criticised Tol’s study as “unsound“ because he said his findings were “based on overweighting of a single outlier study that is more than 15 years old.” [78]

October 16, 2017

DeSmog UK reported Ridley chaired a session at the Institute for Free Trade (IFT) Global Trade Summit in London. The panel was named after an article he wrote for The Conservative, which the IFT cross-posted to its own website. [84], [85]

Mark J. Perry, a scholar at the libertarian American Enterprise Institute (AEI), appeared on Ridley’s panel and thanked him for “the opportunity to be part of the inaugural event.” [85]


The Institute for Public Affairs (IPA) listed Matt Ridley as a contributor to Climate Change: The Facts 2017. Prior versions of the book featured contributions from a range of prominent climate change deniers. It describes mainstream climate change research as “pseudo-science.” [67], [68]

According to the IPA‘s media release, “Climate Change: The Facts 2017 contains 22 essays by internationally-renowned experts and commentators, including Dr Bjorn Lomborg, Dr Matt Ridley, Professor Peter Ridd, Dr Willie Soon, Dr Ian Plimer, Dr Roy Spencer, and literary giant Clive James. The volume is edited by Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. Fourteen of the contributors currently hold or have held positions at a university or a scientific research organisation.” [75]

Contributors listed include:

September 11, 2017

Writing at The Times, Matt Ridley claims tropical storms, such as Hurricane Irma in Florida and Harvey in Houston, are not getting more frequent and may or may not be stronger: [70]

“[I]t is reasonable to ask whether such tropical cyclones are getting more frequent or fiercer,” Ridley wrote. “The answer to the first question is easy: no. […] whatever global warming is doing or will do, it is not so far increasing the frequency of such storms.”

“The answer to the second question is less certain,” he admits. “It remains possible that tropical cyclones are becoming slightly fiercer, but slightly less frequent, which would be consistent with some predictions of climate-change theory.” [70]

According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, the intensity of hurricanes has increased since the early 1980s. “A study based on more than two decades of satellite altimeter data (measuring sea surface height) showed that hurricanes intensify significantly faster now than they did 25 years ago. Specifically, researchers found that storms attain Category 3 wind speeds nearly nine hours faster than they did in the 1980s. Another satellite-based study found that global wind speeds had increased by an average of 5 percent over the past two decades,” a feature on the NASA website noted. [71]

The World Meteorological Organization also issued a statement on the impact of climate change on extreme weather events like hurricane Harvey: [72]

Climate change means that when we do have an event like Harvey, the rainfall amounts are likely to be higher than they would have been otherwise,” UN spokeswoman Clare Nullis said at a conference. [72]

Ridley quoted noted climate change denier Judith Curry (who started writing reports for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) in early 2017): [73]

“Judith Curry said of Hurricane Irma last week: ‘The surprising thing about this development into a major hurricane was that it developed over relatively cool waters in the Atlantic, 26.5C, when the rule of thumb is 28.5C for a major hurricane’. So it was not exceptional warmth, but exceptionally low wind shear (high-altitude wind) that led to Irma’s birth.” [70]

Regardless of the cause, Ridley argues adaptation is better than trying to combat climate change through emissions reduction policy: [70]

“What does it mean for policy? Pause to notice one truly spectacular feature of Harvey and Irma: how few people they have killed so far,” Ridley wrote. “Wealth is the best defence against storms.[…] Adaptation is and always will be the way to survive storms.” [70]

In support of this concept, Ridley quoted GWPF‘s Nigel Lawson who has claimed, “adaptation policies had benefits over carbon-reduction policies.” However, as SkepticalScience noted, it is not necessarily cheaper to adapt to climate change than to combat it. There is no telling just how high the economic costs of climate change could be. [70], [74]

May 8, 2017

Matt Ridley, writing at The Times, suggested President Donald Trump is “right so be sceptical” of the Paris climate agreement and climate change denial is “one of the few things on which I half agree with him [Trump].” [69]

Ridley’s article criticizes the Paris agreement, writing “not only was the Paris agreement not legally binding, it was also deeply impractical.” He goes on to cite a paper by climate change denier Bjorn Lomborg that had concluded policies to combat climate change would “do little to stabilise the climate.” [69]

“Thus Paris embodies precisely what the green movement worried about after Copenhagen: that a weak and non-binding agreement would be worse than futile,” Ridley concludes. [69]

October 17, 2016

At the Annual GWPF Lecture at The Royal Society in London, Matt Ridley accused Professor Ranga Myneni of Boston University and his 31 co-authors of delaying publication of a paper in order to avoid it being taking into account by the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. [56], [57]

The Independent reported climate scientist Michael Mann responded to the lecture by accusing Lord Ridley of buying “into the sort of conspiratorial thinking uttered by Donald Trump.” Mann also criticized the Royal Society for allowing the presentation: [66]

“The Royal Society’s decision to host the speech was ‘presumably as a gesture of ‘open-mindedness’’, Professor Mann told The Independent.

The motto of the Royal Society is ‘Nullius in verba’, which translates to ‘take nobody’s word for it’. It is an affirmation of legitimate scepticism, but not the sort of pseudo-sceptical, anti-scientific, bad-faith contrarianism displayed by the Matt Ridleys of the world,” he added. [66]

Mann said Matt Ridley’s suggestion that scientists were deliberately exaggerating the danger of climate change was “classic projection”: [66]

It is the technique of accusing your ‘opponent’ of doing the very same thing you are doing, in the hope of confusing honest observers and deflecting attention from the awful things you are doing,” he said.

Matt Ridley is a coal baron who profits directly from the sale of fossil fuel reserves while the rest of us suffer the consequences. You couldn’t invent a better climate-change-denier villain.”

Video of Ridley’s presentation below.

According to Ridley’s lecture:

“Myneni’s results, however, remained unpublished. I was puzzled by this. Then I realized that one of the IPCC’s periodic assessment reports was in preparation, and that probably Dr Myneni and colleagues might delay the publication of their results until after that report was published, lest ‘the skeptics have a field day’ with it.

That last phrase, by the way, is from one of the Climategate emails, the one on 22 September 1999 in which Dr Michael Mann approves the deletion of inconvenient data.

Sure enough, Myneni’s results were eventually published three years later in April 2016 in a paper in Nature Climate Change, with 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries – when the IPCC report was safely in the public domain and the great Paris climate jamboree was over.”

Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science highlighted this as a serious allegation against Professor Myneni and his co-authors. “Viscount Ridley misrepresented Professor Myneni’s work in order to make this claim,” he wrote. [58]

In his lecture, Matt Ridley stated he first heard of Professor Myneni’s work in December 2012, by someone who directed him to a video of a lecture delivered on July 19, 2012. [59]

The original video showed Myneni reporting 20.5% of the Earth’s vegetated land had ‘greened’, something Ridley himself indicated in a January 4, 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal. [60]

Ridley claimed to have reproduced two slides from the July 2012 lecture showing the main results. Ridley said Myneni had found that 31% of the Earth’s vegetated land had ‘greened’ between 1982 and 2011, and that there had been an increase in gross productivity by 14%, about half of which could be attributed to carbon dioxide fertilization.

According to Ward, in Professor Myneni’s video, this is not the case. The video clearly showed Myneni reporting 20.5% of the Earth’s vegetated land had ‘greened’ (as Ridley reported in the Wall Street Journal). The slides Ridley reproduced were not from the July 2012 lecture, but rather from a different lecture delivered at a meeting on July 4 – 5, 2013 (PDF). [61]

In addition, Ridley did not make it clear that Myneni had suggested that 42% of the 14% increase in annual productivity “can be attributed to relaxation of climatic constraints to plant growth,” with “57% to other ‘anthropogenic factors’,” whereas the paper published in the journal ‘Nature Climate Change’ in April 2016 did not present a figure for annual productivity, instead concluding that 25% to 50% of the Earth’s vegetated area had greened, with about 70% of this trend attributable to carbon dioxide fertilization. [58]

Ward wrote:

“Crucially Viscount Ridley also failed to mention that Professor Myneni states clearly at about 42 minutes during his recorded 2012 lecture that “The attribution to fertilisation is somewhat speculative and not on very solid ground and we have to further refine this before this paper goes out to publication”.

“Hence, despite Viscount Ridley’s false claims, it is clear that Professor Myneni presented only preliminary results in July 2012, and so there is no justification for the allegation that he and his co-authors delayed publication in order to avoid its inclusion in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Indeed, it appears that Viscount Ridley obscured the truth about Professor Myneni’s work by showing slides from his July 2013 lecture, but claiming they were part of his earlier 2012 lecture.”[58]

To be considered for contribution by the IPCC working group I to the Fifth Assessment Report, papers had to be submitted by no later than July 31, 2012 and accepted by March 15, 2015 (PDF). Professor Myneni’s preliminary results were presented on July 19, 2012—just 12 days before the deadline for submission—and his July 2013 lecture was long past the cutoff date. [62]

The working group’s report, published in September 2013, did explicitly address the issue of carbon fertilization (pages 501-2, Chapter 6 — PDF):

Warming (and possibly the CO2 fertilisation effect) has also been correlated with global trends in satellite greenness observations, which resulted in an estimated 6% increase of global NPP, or the accumulation of 3.4 PgC on land over the period 1982–1999 (Nemani et al., 2003).” [63]

Despite this, Ridley chose to ignore the contribution of IPCC working group I. Ward reported that it is apparent, therefore, that the allegations Viscount Ridley made against Professor Myneni and his co-authors, and against Professor Betts, are “entirely untrue and based on misrepresentations of the facts.” Myneni himself published a statement directly refuting the allegations Ridley made against him. [64]

Despite this, Ridley since published another article in The Spectator titled “The world is getting greener. Why does no one want to know?” based on his original GWPF lecture: [65]

“Global greening is the name given to a gradual, but large, increase in green vegetation on the planet over the past three decades. The climate change lobby is keen to ensure that if you hear about it at all, you hear that it is a minor thing, dwarfed by the dangers of global warming. Actually, it could be the other way round: greening is a bigger effect than warming,” Ridley wrote in the piece.

August 11, 2016

Ridley was interviewed by the BP-funded free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs about the controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as “fracking”. He claimed technology existed to obtain fracked gas in the UK “relatively cheaply” and would be an “enormous benefit to the economy”. He said the “environmental problems of fracking had been hugely exaggerated to the point where they have become myths”, including the risks of contamination to aquifers. [97]

July 2016

Matt Ridley was accused of lobbying the UK government on behalf of the coal industry, reports The Guardian. Ridley wrote to energy minister Lord Bourne in April to tell him about a Texas-based company with “fascinating new technology, which may well interest the Department of Energy and Climate Change.” [13]

The email was released as part of a freedom of information request. It tells Bourne the company’s technology: “represents a PROFITABLE [sic] use for CO2 emissions from power stations, by turning them into cheap chemical feedstocks with a new process.” The company, said Ridley, is “interested in talking to the British government.” [13]

The Guardian noted that Ridley financially benefits from coal mines on his ancestral land. Ridley also spoke with The Guardian: “The company offers potential for emissions reduction (which I thought FoE favoured) as a byproduct of manufacturing something useful. I have no interest in it now or in the future, because my coal interests will expire long before anything happens. The distant possibility of interest I mentioned was on behalf of Northumbrian workers who might want to keep their jobs. I have not contradicted myself in any way.” [13]

May 2016

Lord John Kreps and other scientists wrote to the editor of The Times, accusing the paper of favoring climate change deniers and being influenced by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Matt Ridley and fellow climate change denier Nigel Lawson are regular contributors to the paper. [20]

Matt Ridley responded in The Times, accusing the letter of being part of a campaign to shut down debate and an attack on free speech: [11]

“This episode is part of a systematic campaign,” Ridley said. “When I cover this topic I am vilified as on no other subject, and many journalists now steer clear of expressing any doubts.”

Ridley described the Global Warming Policy Foundation as a “David” standing against the “Goliath” of the ECIU (Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit). ABC‘s Radio National quoted Matt Ridley in one of his previous appearances on the show:

“The first thing I should say is that I’ve lost some of my respect for those kind of consensus arguments since covering the acid rain story in particular, since covering a lot of the environmental scares, swine flu, everything,” Ridley said. “Acid rain in particular turned out to be, in terms of its effect on forests in Europe and North America…lakes and things are a different point to some extent…but forests; hugely, hugely exaggerated. And I should have taken that kind of story with a much bigger pinch of salt than I did when I was covering it in the 1980s as a science journalist. So I come to the climate debate now just a little chastened by that and saying well, okay, you say this is scary, show me the evidence. And I keep getting shown evidence that does not scare me. I keep getting shown evidence that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, yes, that we are increasing it, yes, that there will therefore be net warming, yes, but that the positive feedbacks on top of that that are being assumed, there is no evidence for. So I think we are looking at, certainly for the next few decades, just what we’ve had in the last few decades, which is a mild and gradual warming that will not do catastrophic harm either to human beings or to biodiversity, in fact probably the reverse.” [20]

Audio of the interview between John Krebs and Robyn Williams below: [20]

December, 2015

DesMogBlog UK reported how Matt Ridley became involved in the “dollars for denial scandal” where a Greenpeace investigation revealed a number of academics willing to accept payment for writing research for the fossil fuel industry. [21]

Ridley had written a number of articles in British and American publications, including a Wall Street Journal article titled “Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate,” where he supported his arguments by referencing publications by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). [22]

While Ridley claimed that the report had been “Thoroughly peer reviewed,” the Times described the same report as “not peer reviewed,” (later issuing a correction that the report had not been published in a peer-reviewed journal).

The Greenpeace UK investigation revealed that the GWPF academic advisory council was willing to use the same “peer review” process for a report praising carbon dioxide which he would write on behalf of a Middle Eastern oil company. [23]

According to Indur Goklany, the author of one of the reports Ridley cited, Matt Ridley had also approached Goklany to initially write the report. Talking with undercover Greenpeace reporters, William Happer revealed details of the GWPF‘s peer reviewed process. Happer explained that this process had consisted of members of the Advisory Council and other selected scientists reviewing the work, rather than presenting it to an academic journal. [23]

Sense About Science, which listed Ridley as a member of its Advisory Council, itself warned against such review processes, saying: “sometimes organisations or individuals claim to have put their studies through peer review when, on inspection, they have only shown it to some colleagues. Such claims are usually made in the context of a campaign directed at the public or policy makers, as a way of trying to give scientific credibility to certain claims in the hope that a non-scientific audience will not know the difference.” [23]

November 27, 2015

Shortly before the COP21 (Conference of the Parties) climate conference in Paris, Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser co-authored a Wall Street Journal article titled “Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate.” [24]

According to Ridley and Peiser, world temperatures had gone up “less than half as fast as the scientific consensus predicted in 1990 when the global-warming scare began in earnest” and “the planet was significantly warmer than today several times during the past 10,000 years.” [24]

Other claims included that there have been “no increase in frequency or intensity of storms, floods or droughts,” that sea ice isn’t melting considerably, and that there is supposedly no scientific consensus on global warming.  [24]

A group of 12 scientists analyzed Ridley and Peiser’s Wall Street Journal article, and found that it “contains numerous false statements, cherry-picked evidence, and misleading assertions about climate science. It attempts to surround the hard facts about climate change with clouds of uncertainty, even though these facts are agreed to by the scientific academies of every major country in the world and the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists.” [25]

Ridley and Peiser cited Richard Tol of the University of Sussex, saying his studies concluded that “warming may well bring gains, because carbon dioxide causes crops and wild ecosystems to grow greener and more drought-resistant.”

To put it bluntly, climate change and its likely impact are proving slower and less harmful than we feared, while decarbonization of the economy is proving more painful and costly than we hoped,” they write. In conclusion, “Any climate agreement should be flexible enough so that voluntary pledges can be adjusted over the next couple of decades depending on what global temperatures do.”

November 2015

As part of a three-part documentary series called Changing Climate for BBC Radio 4, Roger Harrabin, the BBC’s environment analyst, interviewed Matt Ridley, among a number of other people. The Open University has published many of the interviews online, both as recordings and full transcripts. [26]

Carbon Brief reported that Ridley made a wide range of claims throughout, touching on subjects from ocean acidification and climate sensitivity through to energy subsidies and the “benefits” of global warming. They sent transcript to scientists and energy policy experts for analysis. The response document (available on Scribd and embedded below) included responses from the following: [27], [28]

  • Prof Richard Allan, professor of climate science at the University of Reading
  • Prof Richard Betts, head of climate impacts in the Met Office Hadley Centre
  • Prof Piers Forster, professor of physical climate change at the University of Leeds
  • Prof Jean-Pierre Gattuso, research professor at the Université Pierre-et-Marie Curie’s Laboratoire d’Océanographie de Villefranche
  • Prof Sir Andy Haines, professor of public health and primary care at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute
  • Dr Chris Hope, reader in policy modelling at the University of Cambridge
  • Dr Sari Kovatz, director of the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Change and Health
  • Prof Ranga Myneni, professor at the Boston University’s department of earth and environment
  • Dr Gavin A Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Prof Jim Watson, professor of energy policy at Sussex University’s Science Policy Research Unit

Matt Ridley interviewed by Roger Harrabin, transcript by Carbon Brief on Scribd

June 19, 2015

Matt Ridley published an article in the Quadrant Online titled, “The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science.” Ridley wrote that “the great thing about science is that it’s self-correcting,” but “now, thanks largely to climate science,” Ridley “see[s] bad ideas can persist for decades.” [29]

These huge green multinationals, with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars, have now systematically infiltrated science, as well as industry and media, with the result that many high-profile climate scientists and the journalists who cover them have become one-sided cheerleaders for alarm, while a hit squad of increasingly vicious bloggers polices the debate to ensure that anybody who steps out of line is punished. They insist on stamping out all mention of the heresy that climate change might not be lethally dangerous.” [29]

Ridley contended, “there is no consensus that it’s [global warming] dangerous,” and that the 97 percent consensus figure “is derived from two pieces of pseudoscience that would have embarrassed a homeopath,” referring to John Cook’s, of the University of Queensland, 2013 study.[29], [30]

Ridley added, “97 per cent number […] has now been comprehensively demolished by Professor Richard Tol.” The Guardian’s Dana Nuccitelli published an article debunking Ridley’s claim, titled “Climate contrarians accidentally confirm the 97% global warming consensus.” She wrote that Richard Tol’s new paper “accidentally confirms the results” of the Cook et al. (2013) 97% global warming consensus study. [29]

March 1, 2015

Ridley was listed as a writer/endorser of a Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPFbriefing paper titled “The Small Print: What the Royal Society Left Out“ that accused the Royal Society of “presenting a misleading picture of climate science.” [80], [81]

As an example, the Royal Society addresses the question of why Antarctic sea ice is growing,” said Prof Ross McKitrick, the chairman of the GWPF’s Academic Advisory Council, “but in doing so they present a recently proposed hypothesis as if it were settled science. Failing to admit when the answer to an important question is simply not known does a disservice to the public. We believe that this new paper does a much better job of presenting the whole picture to the public.” [81]

The paper was written/endorsed by the following “experts”: [80]

January 2015

Matt Ridley published an article in the London Times where he outlines the reasons that he considers himself to be a “lukewarmer” on climate change. Ridley complained that “Rather than attack my arguments, my critics like to attack my motives.” [14]

The Guardian reported on Ridley’s article, providing a number of examples of why Ridley is not concerned about global warming. Some of Ridley’s claims, which the Guardian describe as inaccurate (using evidence from SkepticalScience), included: [31]

Ridley: “The failure of the atmosphere to warm anywhere near as rapidly as predicted was a big reason: there has been less than half a degree of global warming in four decades – and it has slowed down, not speeded up.”

The Guardian: “This is incorrect – average global surface temperatures have warmed between 0.6 and 0.7°C over the past 40 years (lower atmospheric temperatures have also likely warmed more than 0.5°C, though the record hasn’t yet existed for 40 years). “

Ridley: “Also, I soon realised that all the mathematical models predicting rapid warming assume big amplifying feedbacks in the atmosphere, mainly from water vapour”

The Guardian: “We know that water vapour (as a greenhouse gas) will amplify global warming because a warmer atmosphere can hold more of it. Observations have confirmed this is exactly what’s happening in the real world. This isn’t an assumption of models – it’s based on scientists’ understanding of basic atmospheric physics.”

Ridley: “Sea level has risen but at a very slow rate – about a foot per century.”

The Guardian: “Given that sea level has risen faster than predicted, if you’re arguing against the dangers posed by global warming, sea level is a poor choice.”

Ridley: “My best guess would be about one degree of warming during this century, which is well within the IPCC’s range of possible outcomes.”

The Guardian: “A further 1°C global warming by 2100 is only a possibility in one of the scenarios considered by IPCC (called RCP2.6 or RCP3PD, where ‘PD’ stands for a rapid peak and decline of carbon emissions). […]”

September 25, 2014

Ridley attended the “At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit” in Houston, Texas, hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and The Heritage Foundation. Ridley presented the “Opening Luncheon & Keynote Address.” [32]

June 16, 2014

Ridley was a guest speaker at an ideacity Conference in Calgary, Alberta with a lecture entitled, “A New Perspective on Climate Change.” Ridley contrasted Haiti’s and the Dominican Republic’s respective landscapes and suggests that Haiti has “pinched nature’s lunch to provide [its] energy,” through its dependence on wood for charcoal production, leading to “ecological devastation” due to reliance on renewable energy. He also stated the Dominican Republic imports fossil fuels so people “will not go out into the forest and cut down trees to burn”: [33]

7:35-8:24 “Haiti is brown; the Dominican Republic is green. Why? Because Haiti depends on wood—on charcoal—for nearly all of its energy. It uses charcoal not just in cooking but also in industry. And as a result, it’s almost completely deforested. It’s relying on renewable energy almost entirely and the result is ecological devastation, compared with the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic imports fossil fuels to use and actually subsidizes the use of propane as a cooking fuel so that people will not go out into the forest and cut down trees to burn. So let’s not forget that it’s quite a good idea to get energy out of a small hole in the ground, so we don’t have to pinch nature’s lunch to provide our energy.”

Later on in his lecture, he citeed work from Craig Idso, and claimed “the world is actually getting greener […] because of carbon dioxide in the air”: [33]

12:36-13:30 “The world is actually getting greener. I mean that quite literally. There are satellites measuring the greenness of the planet. The data is called the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, and there are several teams analyzing this and they are all agreeing that they are picking up a steady increase in the greenness of the planet. It’s showing up in different parts of the world, but it’s showing up in the Amazon, its showing up in the Sahel region of Africa particularly, and its going at the rate of about 2-3% per decade … Why is this happening? Well, it’s happening because of carbon dioxide in the air…”

In his closing remarks, Ridley acceped that industry is culpable for rising carbon dioxide levels, but he did not accept that “climate change is going to turn fast and dangerous […] or that renewable energy is the cheap and safe solution to that problem”: [33]

16:14-17:02 “Carbon dioxide levels are rising—that is our fault—it is industry that’s doing that. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, there’s no question about that. The climate has been warming, and I accept all of that. But what I don’t accept is that it is certain that climate change is going to turn fast and dangerous in the future or that renewable energy is the cheap and safe solution to that problem. Instead I think that global warming is slow and mild and renewable energy is proving to be expensive and damaging to the environment as well as the economy. In other words, the cure may be worse than the disease; we may be taking chemotherapy for a cold.”

September 17, 2013

In a Wall Street Journal essay, Ridley argued that global warming will be good for people and the planet: [34]

”[IPCC AR5] is significant because it points to the very real possibility that, over the next several generations, the overall effect of climate change will be positive for humankind and the planet.”

March 6, 2013

Ridley gave a lecture entitled “Good News Environmentalism” during a Climate Change Week at Northumbria University. A press release in advance of the event published on the university’s website said that Ridley would, in his lecture, “claim that climate change has, so far, been beneficial in leading to the “greening” of the planet while measures to combat it, such as renewable energies, are causing harmful effects on the globe”. [91]

September 21, 2012

In a Wall Street Journal piece, Ridley suggested that a growth of Antarctic sea ice is a reason to doubt the existence of global warming: [35]

“Antarctic sea ice shows no sign of summer retreat, and the current winter’s peak extent is well above average. The sea-dominated Southern Hemisphere is certainly warming more slowly than the land-dominated Northern Hemisphere, but it has still been warming. If warming is supposed to be “global,” shouldn’t sea ice retreat at both ends of the world?” he said.

The Associated Press spoke to experts in the area who described how scientists have “long predicted that Antarctica would not respond as quickly to global warming as other places.” AP reported that “Mark Serreze, director of the snow and ice data center, said computer models have long predicted that Antarctica would not respond as quickly to global warming as other places. Since 1960, the Arctic has warmed the most of the world’s regions, and Antarctica has warmed the least, according to NASA data.” [36]

September 2012

Ridley has compared climate scientists as eugenicists because he contends that both have insisted their “tenets were beyond reasonable challenge.” He has suggested climate science has more confirmation bias than other sciences because of “a monopoly focus on a single hypothesis.” Science writer Chris Mooney, who has written extensively about confirmation bias and climate science, told Media Matters for America that Ridley’s argument relies on the premise that there is a “unique reason not to trust” climate scientists, yet there is no reason to think “they’re acting differently than other scientists.” [37]

In an article on “the perils of confirmation bias,” published for the Global Warming Policy Foundation (a group firmly opposed to policies that counteract climate change), Ridley suggested that “governments should fund groups that intend to explore alternative hypotheses about the likely future of climate as well as those that explore the dangerous man-made climate change prediction.” He concluded that “Only then will that theory be properly tested.” [38]

Ridley also compared climate science to a “cult,” pointing to scientists who hold the theory that global warming may worsen malaria by increasing the range of mosquitos. He has previously compared those who accept climate change to conspiracy theorists in an article at the Wall Street Journal. [39]

He also compared predicting climate changes to predicting the weather (the IPCC has previously explained that comparing climate science to meteorology is invalid):

“Climate scientists and their media champions equate such scepticism with scepticism about, say, the theory of evolution. Yet evolution is an explanation of facts; dangerous man-made climate change is a prediction about the future. Theories about the future are always less reliable than theories about the past. I can have confidence that the reports that it rained last Tuesday are true, while doubting the forecast that it will rain next Tuesday.”

August 17, 2012

Ridley wrote a cover story for Wired magazine titled “Apocalypse Not: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About End Times.” Ridley asserted that “the net positive feedbacks from water vapor in the atmosphere [is] low, so that we face only 1 to 2 degrees Celsius of warming this century.” A number of climate change skeptics including Anthony Watts praised the article. [40]

This is one of a number of “misleading and inaccurate claims” according to Skeptical Science. According to environmental scientist Dana Nuccitelli, the “literature consistently shows” that water vapor has a strong positive feedback and amplifies warming. [41]

January 7, 2012

Ridley published a Wall Street Journal article that, according to some sources, misrepresented the issue of ocean acidification. Lisa Suatoni, a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council found that Ridley’s article “confuse[d]” the effects of short-term natural variation in pH with the effects of longer-term changes and “misstate[d]” the effect of higher acidity on marine species overall.

According to Suatoni, “The result [of Ridley’s article] is an exercise in obfuscation. As a scientist working on these issues for the past five years, I was struck by several gaping holes (and inaccuracies) in his piece – taking liberty to manipulate facts in order to misrepresent them.” [42]

When scientists reviewed a section of Ridley’s book on the same issue, they found that it contained “misconceptions,” “cherry-picked evidence,” and “unsupported” claims. That was from an excerpt of just 3 pages of The Rational Optimist: How prosperity evolves regarding coral reefs and ocean acidification. [43]

August 6, 2011

In a Wall Street Journal column, Ridley claimed that “97% of the carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere each year is from nature,” and that cutting man-made carbon emissions could “hinder us, in adapting to” a volcanic eruption: [37]

“The possibility of another [volcanic eruption like] Katla or Laki reminds us of the need to prepare for dangerous climate change of the natural as well as the man-made variety. Abrupt climate change has been a sporadic feature of history since long before the industrial revolution, mostly in the form of cooling caused by volcanoes.”

Scott Mandia, professor of Physical Sciences, wrote the following in a letter to Media Matters:

To argue that we need to keep drastically warming the world for generations in order to “protect” us from temporary volcanic cooling is about as silly an argument I have ever heard. Recall the massive Mt. Pinatubo volcano in 1991 that caused about 0.5C cooling for a few years? Where are we now? Obviously much warmer than we were in 1991 and Pinatubo is a distant memory. […] Ridley also repeats the very misleading meme that nature emits more CO2 than humans. He fails to tell his readers that nature also absorbs about the same CO2 that it emits. [37]

April 5, 2011

Ridley compared climate change, sea level rise and Arctic ice melt to just a “nosebleed.” Ridley’s “tourniquet theory” is as follows: [44]

“if you are bleeding to death from a severed limb, then a tourniquet may save your life, but if you have a nosebleed, then a tourniquet round your neck will do more harm than good. This metaphor can be applied to all sorts of scares and their remedies, but it is climate change that I have in mind. Over the past few years it has gradually become clear to me that climate change is a nosebleed, not a severed limb, and that the remedies we are subsidising are tourniquets round the neck of the economy.”

His article, published in The Times, describes rising sea levels as a “slight nosebleed” (i.e., insignificant): [44]

“Sea level is rising more slowly than expected, and the rise is slowing down rather than speeding up. Sea level rise is the greatest potential threat to civilization posed by climate change because so many of us live near the coast. Yet, at a foot a century and slowing, it is a slight nosebleed. So are most of the other symptoms of climate change, such as Arctic sea ice retreat, in terms of their impact. The rate of increase of temperature (0.6C in 50 years) is not on track to do net harm (which most experts say is 2C) by the end of this century.”

He went on to quote fellow climate change skeptic Indur Goklany with reference to biofuel production, stating that, “policies to stimulate biofuel production, in part to reduce the alleged impacts of global warming on public health, particularly in developing countries, may actually have increased death and disease globally.” [44]

The Carbon Brief examined Ridley’s claims especially with regard to sea level rise, which Ridley dismissed as a minor issue. The Carbon Brief notes that “Ridley does not however consider any other research in this area. Other research on this subject disagrees with its conclusion – a fact illustrated by comments made by oceanographer and climate scientist John Church. Church, who is writing the chapter on sea level rise for the IPCC‘s 2013 update, told Australia’s biannual climate science conference just earlier this week that sea levels are rising at the upper end of projections by the IPCC – meaning a rise of 60-80cm by 2100.” [45]

On the issue of Arctic ice, research published earlier this year suggested ice sheet loss has accelerated over the last 18 years. The Carbon Brief also noted that Ridley gave no supporting scientific literature regarding his statements on Arctic sea ice.

May, 2010

Ridley published his book, the Rational Optimist. According to an article in New Scientist, “Reading Ridley’s book, you find that polar bears are adapting as the Arctic ice vanishes, that the predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are highly improbable, and that global warming will bring the bounty of extra rainfall just where the world’s population needs it most.” [19]

New Scientist sent a sample of Ridley’s book (pages 339-341), a section on coral reefs that suggested “Local threats are far more immediate than climate change,” to a group of senior climate researchers. These researchers responded with a number of criticisms of the science behind Ridley’s assertions. The following are some examples: [43]

“Matt appears to have ignored the majority of papers carrying out a realistic change in future ocean chemistry and picked a single 2008 study by Herfort et al (Journal of Phycology, vol 44, p 91) that is:

  • irrelevant to the chemical nature of “ocean acidification” in the future (the study was looking at physiological mechanisms and was not designed to address future ocean acidification conditions);
  • associated with almost no pH change;
  • impossible to occur in the future, and probably has not existed in the ocean for 600 million years.” – Professor Andy Ridgewell.

“Many studies – some of them more than three decades old – show that increasing CO2 has physiological effects on animals beyond those observed on skeletons. […] Many uncertainties surround the effects of continuing pH decline on marine animals, but what we do know is not cause for complacency. Rather it is a call for experiments that can shed light on the issue. Suggesting that environmental concerns are like Y2K doesn’t strike me as a useful alternative.” – Andrew Knoll, Harvard Fisher Professor of Natural History and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University.

“The man does not understand the differences in ocean carbonate chemistry controls on short and long timescales, and he compares apples and eggs.” – Jelle Bijma, professor at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany.

“I think it is extremely unfortunate that Matt Ridley has missed many of the important points and concepts. In my view, he has also cherry-picked evidence to form opinions which are unsupported by the bulk of scientific evidence and understanding. This is demonstrated by the fact that he completely ignores the mainstream scientific literature. In my view, it is also clear that he has a very poor understanding of the core issues.” Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Professor of Marine Studies and Director of the Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, Australia.

Ridley responded, saying that “After reading their critiques, I stand even more firmly behind my conclusion that the threats to coral reefs from both man-made warming and ocean acidification are unlikely to be severe, rapid or urgent.”

There have also been critiques of others sections of Ridley’s book. One by The Guardian’s George Monbiot discusses Ridley’s claim that “11 of 13 populations” of polar bears are “growing or steady.” Recent research by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Polar Bear Specialist Group, 8 populations are declining, 3 are stable, 1 is increasing, and there is insufficient data to assess the other 7 subpopulations. [6], [46]

According to Monbiot who quotes Howard Friel, “Ridley chose to ignore the most credible studies, while relying instead on: ‘(a) a source that doesn’t mention polar bears, (b) an oil–industry funded source, and (c) a non–peer reviewed lecture at an undisclosed location in an undisclosed month and year’.” [6]

October 31, 2011

Ridley gave the Angus Millar Lecture at the Royal Society of the Arts in Edinburgh on the subject of “Scientific Heresy.” Ridley claims that he can see “confirmation bias everywhere in the climate debate.” He also claims that “apart from the hockey stick, there is no evidence that climate is changing dangerously or faster than in the past, when it changed naturally. It was warmer in the Middle Ages and medieval climate change in Greenland was much faster.” Listen to the audio of the full lecture below. [47], [48]

According to Ridley, the hockey stick graph was “utterly debunked by the work of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.” Steve McIntyre is a mining industry executive with an education background in economics, philosophy and mathematics, while Ross McKitrick is an Economist. [48]


Social Media


According to a search of Google Scholar, Ridley has not published any peer-reviewed articles in the area of climate. Ridley’s books include:

  • Warts and All
  • The Red Queen
  • Down to Earth Institute of Economic Affairs, 1995
  • Down to Earth IIInstitute of Economic Affairs, 1996
  • The Origins of Virtue
  • The future of disease
  • Genome
  • Best American Science Writing (editor)
  • Nature via Nurture
  • Francis Crick
  • The Rational Optimist; Harper Collins, 2010
  • The Evolution of Everything

Mind and Matter (WSJ)

Notable climate change articles that Ridley posted at his Wall Street Journal column include:


  1. Biography,” Archived September 20, 2016. URL
  2. Matt Ridley’s C.V.” Archived May 22, 2009. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  3. Viscount Ridley: Spoken Material by Date,” Archived September 19, 2016. URL
  4. Ex-Northern Rock chairman Ridley joins Lords,” BBC News, February 6, 2013. Archived September 19, 2016. URL
  5. Julia Werdigier. “Northern Rock chairman quits after criticism from lawmakers,” International Herald Tribune, October 19, 2007. Archived October 21, 2007. URL
  6. Matt Ridley’s Rational Optimist is telling the rich what they want to hear,” The Guardian, June 18, 2010. URL:
  7. Select Committee on Treasury Fifth Report: Summary, September 2007. Retrieved from URL
  8. Columns,” Wall Street Journal. Archived December 13, 2010. URL
  9. Columns,” Wall Street Journal. Archived August 15, 2013. URL
  10. GWPF Launched Today!”, The Global Warming Policy Foundation, November 23, 2009. Archived January 4, 2012. URL
  11. Matt Ridley: Climate Change Lobby Wants to Kill Free Speech,” The Times, April 25, 2016. Republished at The Global Warming Policy Forum. Archived September 19, 2016. URL
  12. Coal Interest,”, December 22, 2014. Archived September 19, 2016. URL
  13. Damian Carrington. “Matt Ridley accused of lobbying UK government on behalf of coal industry,” The Guardian, July 15, 2016. URL
  14. My life as a climate change lukewarmer,” The Times, January 19, 2015. Republished at Archived September 19, 2016. URL
  15. Thank you, Matt Ridley,” Watts Up With That, November 1, 2011. URL
  16. Lords Hansard by Date: Thursday, 3 April 2014.,” Archived September 19, 2016. URL
  17. Lords Hansard by Date: 17 Mar 2014: Column GC1,” Archived September 19, 2016. URL:
  18. Matt Ridley: Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change,” The Wall Street Journal, December 18, 2012. URL
  19. Matt Ridley: Optimism without limits,” New Scientist, June 10, 2010. URL
  20. The Times accused of biased reporting, misrepresenting climate science,” ABC News, May 7, 2016. Archived September 19, 2016. URL
  21. Brendan Montague. “Matt Ridley Caught up in Dollars-for-Denial Scandal,” DeSmog UK, December 11, 2015.
  22. Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser. “Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate,” The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. URL
  23. Lawrence Carter and Maeve McClenaghan. “Exposed: Academics-for-hire agree not to disclose fossil fuel funding,” Energy Desk, December 8, 2015. URL
  24. Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser. “Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate,” The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. URL
  25. “Analysis of Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser’s ‘Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate,’” Climate Feedback, November 27, 2015. Archived December 3, 2015. URL
  26. Changing Climate: Episodes,” BBC Radio 4. URL
  27. Scientists respond to Matt Ridley’s climate change claims,” Carbon Brief, December 7, 2015. URL:
  28. Matt Ridley Interviewed by Roger Harrabin,” Scribd. Uploaded by user Carbon Brief. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. URL
  29. Matt Ridley. “The Climate Wars’ Damage to Science,” Quadrant Online, June 19, 2015. Archived July 9, 2015. URL
  30. The 97% consensus on global warming,” SkepticalScience. URL:
  31. Dana Nuccitelli. “Matt Ridley wants to gamble the Earth’s future because he won’t learn from the past,” The Guardian, January 21, 2015. URL
  32. Matt Ridley. “Speakers,” At the Crossroads; Energy & Climate Policy Summit, Texas Public Policy Foundation, The Heritage Foundation, September 25/26, 2014. URL
  33. Matt Ridley. “A New Perspective on Climate Change,” ideacity Conference, June 16, 2014. Archived July 8, 2014.
  34. Matt Ridley. “Dialing Back the Alarm on Climate Change,” The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2013. Archived March 19, 2015. URL
  35. What Arctic Foxes Know About Global Warming,” The Wall Street Journal, September 21, 2012. URL
  36. EXPERTS: GLOBAL WARMING MEANS MORE ANTARCTIC ICE,” Associated Press, October 10, 2012. Archived December 30, 2012. URL
  37. Meet The Wall Street Journal Columnist Dismissing Science,” Media Matters for America, October 29, 2012. URL:
  38. Matt Ridley. THE PERILS OF CONFIRMATION BIAS” (PDF), The Global Warming Policy Foundation, Briefing Paper No 5. URL:
  39. Maybe We’re All Conspiracy Theorists,” The Wall Street Journal, September 10, 2011. URL
  40. Matt Ridley. “Apocalypse Not: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About End Times,” Wired, August 17, 2012. URL
  41. Matt Ridley – Wired for Lukewarm Catastrophe,” Skeptical Science, August 29, 2012. URL
  42. Can we keep discussions about ocean acidification honest?”, Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog, January 12, 2012. Archived September 6, 2015. URL
  43. Experts review a section of Matt Ridley’s book,” New Scientist, June 10, 2010. URL
  44. The Tourniquet Theory,” The Rational Optimist (blog). Archived January 2, 2012. URL
  45. Matt Ridley’s climate science based on weak foundations,” The Carbon Brief, April 7, 2011. URL
  46. Dynamic population information tool, IUCN/SSC PBSG. Archived September 2, 2013. (Tool no longer appears available).
  47. Matt Ridley’s Rousing Defense of Climate Change Skepticism,” Hit & Run (Reason Foundation blog), November 4, 2011. URL
  48. Angus Millar Lecture 2011 – Scientific Heresy” (event description), Royal Sociity for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Archived October 3, 2013. Archived .mp3 on file at Desmog. URL:
  49. ACADEMIC ADVISORY COUNCIL,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Accessed September 20, 2016. URL
  50. Professor Of Economics Professor Victor Halberstadt,” Archived September 19, 2016. URL
  51. Staff and Trustees,” Archivd September 19, 2016. URL:
  52. The Governors,” Ditchley Foundation. Archived October 11, 2008. URL:
  53. Advisory council,” Sense about Science. Accessed September 20, 2016. URL
  54. About us: Advisory Council,” Archived July 4, 2008. URL
  55. Matt Ridley. “We’ve become a nation paralysed by protest,” The Times, Ocrober 17, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  56. MATT RIDLEY: GLOBAL WARMING VERSUS GLOBAL GREENING,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation, October 18, 2016. Archived October 20, 2016. URL:
  57. Greening of the Earth and its drivers,” Nature Climate Change, 6, 791–795 (2016). URL:
  58. False allegations by climate change ‘sceptic’,” Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. URL:
  59. Ranga Myneni 2012,” YouTube Video uploaded by user NASA Earth Exchange, May 12, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.
  60. Matt Ridley. “How Fossil Fuels Have Greened the Planet,” The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2013. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. URL:
  61. “The Greening Earth: Probing Vegetation Conference From Past to Future” (PDF), July, 2013. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  62. “Cut-Off Dates for literature to be considered for AR5” (PDF), Updated December 12, 2012. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  63. “Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles” (PDF), Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.
  64. Vegetation Remote Sensing & Climate Research,” Boston University Department of Earth and Environment. Archived October 20, 2016. URL:
  65. Matt Ridley. “The world is getting greener. Why does no one want to know?The Spectator, October 22, 2016. URL:
  66. Ian Johnston. “Royal Society accused of allowing ‘anti-scientific coal baron’ to preach benefits of global warming,” The Independent, October 20, 2016. URL
  67. Donate to Climate Change: The Facts 2017,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived October 31, 2016. URL
  68. Climate Change: The facts 2014,” Archived October 31, 2016. URL
  69. Matt Ridley. “Trump is right to be sceptical of climate deal,” The Times, May 8, 2017. URL:
  70. Matt Ridley. “We are more than a match for hurricanes,” The Times, September 11, 2017.
  71. Storms are Getting Stronger,” NASA Earth Observatory. Archived September 12, 2017. URL:
  72. Tom Miles. “Storm Harvey’s rainfall likely linked to climate change: U.N.Reuters, August 29, 2017. Archived September 12, 2017. URL:
  73. “CLIMATE MODELS for the layman” (PDF)The Global Warming Policy Foundation. PDF document created January 19, 2017. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  74. What’s cheaper, mitigation or adaptation?SkepticalScience. Archived September 12, 2017. URL:
  75. NEW BOOKCLIMATE CHANGE: THE FACTS 2017” (PDF), Institute of Public Affairs, July 25, 2017.
  76. Climate-related Financial Disclosures,”, January 30, 2018. Archived February 16, 2018. URL:
  77. “Dear Viscount Ridley/” (PDF), Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, January 31, 2018.
  78. More flaws in estimates of the economic impacts of climate change,” Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, February 7, 2018.
  79. Matt Ridley. “Britain needs to embrace the shale energy revolution,” The Times, February 13, 2018. URL
  80. “THE SMALL PRINT: What the Royal Society Left Out” (PDF)Global Warming Policy Foundation, 2015.
  81. (Press Release). “Royal Society Misrepresents Climate Science,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 3, 2015. Archived August 17, 2014. URL
  82. THE PARIS CLIMATE TREATY IS WEAK, SO WHY DO CLIMATE ACTIVISTS DEFEND IT?“ MattRidley, May 9, 2017. Archived February 25, 2018. URL:
  83. Paul Karp. “Experts reject Bjørn Lomborg’s view on 2C warming target,” The Guardian, May 20, 2017. Archived February 25, 2018. URL:
  84. Mat Hope. “Climate Science Deniers and Brexit Campaigners Meet Under Banner of Free Trade,DeSmog UK, December 14, 2017.
  85. Matt Ridley. “The most surprising idea in economics,” The Conservative. Republished by IFT, July 5, 2017. Archived February 25, 2018. URL:
  86. Speech Matt Ridley at the Opening of the Academic Year 2017/18,” YouTube video uploaded by user “Wageningen University & Research,” September 6, 2017. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  87. Economy: Report of Nationalised Industries Policy Group (leaked Ridley report),” Margaret Thatcher Foundation, June 30, 1977. Archived March 26, 2019. URL
  88. Top 50 most influential people of Margaret Thatcher’s era [R-Y],” The Telegraph, April 9, 2008. Archived March 26, 2019. URL
  89. People,” UK2020. Archived May 20, 2019. URL
  90. Mike Kelly. “EU referendum: Viscount Ridley on why leaving Europe is best for the North East,” Chronicle Live, January 5, 2016. Archived May 20, 2019. URL
  91. Environment in focus,” Northumbria University, February 25, 2013. Archived July 17, 2019. URL:
  92. Steve Forbes. “PODCAST || Matt Ridley: Optimism In The Face Of The “Bad News Industry”,” Forbes, August 12, 2019. Archived August 12, 2019. URL:
  93. Chloe Farand. “How Hard-Brexit Thinktank the Institute for Economic Affairs Helps Climate Science Deniers Push a Deregulation Agenda,” DeSmog, July 31, 2018.
  94. Matt Ridley. “The most dangerous thing about the Amazon fires is the apocalyptic rhetoric,” The Spectator, August 31, 2019. Archived August 31, 2019. URL:
  95. Author Lord Matt Ridley: “A whole generation has been talked into this extreme apocalyptic rhetoric that is just not supported by the facts.” @JuliaHB1|@mattwridley |#ExtinctionRebellion,” Tweet by @talkRADIO, October 8, 2019. Retrieved from Archived .png on file at DeSmog.
  96. Delingpod 27: Matt Ridley, the Rational Optimist,” YouTube video uploaded by user The James Delingpole Channel on July 11, 2019. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  97. Matt Ridley: The case for shale gas,” YouTube video uploaded by user iealondon on August 11, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  98. Matt Ridley. “We’ve just had the best decade in human history. Seriously,” Spectator, December 18, 2019. Archived December 19, 2019. URL
  99. Today,” BBC, December 28, 2019. Archived January 8, 2020. URL:
  100. Richard Collett-White. “Climate Science Deniers Took Over BBC Radio 4 For a Morning During the Holidays,” DeSmog, January 6, 2020.
  101. Matt Ridley. “The BBC, Bob Ward and the climate catastrophists’ attack on dissent,” Reaction, December 30, 2019. Archived January 8, 2020. URL
  102. Science writer Lord Ridley criticises the Government’s new climate change committee: “The coronavirus is reminding us what a real emergency looks like”,” Tweet and video uploaded by @talkRADIO on March 5, 2020. Retrieved from Archived July 8, 2020. Archived .png and .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  103. Talk Radio. “Julia: “Eco-fascists seem to think coronavirus has been good for the planet.” Science writer Lord Ridley: “It reveals them to be the death cult they are, who want things to go wrong in the world.”,” Tweet by @talkRADIO on March 27, 2020. Retrieved from Archived July 8, 2020. Archived .png and .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  104. Anyone can make an Extinction Rebellion sticker,” Full Fact, March 26, 2020. Archived July 8, 2020. URL:
  105. Don’t Panic! How to talk about climate change – episode 1,” The Spectator, August 25, 2020.
  106. Jim Pethokoukis, Innovation, freedom, and prosperity: My long-read Q&A with Matt Ridley, The American Enterprise Institute, June 5, 2020. Archived October 5, 2020. Archive URL:
  107. Matt Ridley, ‘The Government’s energy policy could cripple global Britain’, Global Vision, March 8, 2020. Archived October 5, 2020. Archive URL:
  108. Matt Ridley. “Ten reasons why Boris’ green agenda is just plain wrong,” The Telegraph, November 22, 2020. Archived November 23, 2020. URL:
  109. Matt Ridley talks to Douglas Carswell,” YouTube video uploaded by user Douglas Carswell on June 14, 2019. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.
  110.  Kate Andrews, Matt Ridley, Bjorn Lomborg. “A question of priorities: should tackling climate change trump all else?,” The Spectator, September 8, 2020. Archived.mp3 on file at Desmog.
  111. Matt Ridley. “Fracking’s enemies are wrong to call these earthquakes,” The Times, October 31, 2018. Archived February 9, 2021. URL:
  112. Matt Ridley. “Britain’s hubristic green commissars can’t see the wood for the trees,” The Telegraph, December 6, 2021. Archived December 17, 2021. Archive URL:
  113. Matt Ridley. “The hair shirt eco-elite don’t want pain-free fusion power,” The Telegraph, February 12, 2022. Archived February 12, 2022. Archive URL: 
  114. Matt Ridley. “Liz Truss is the unconventional Tory radical Britain needs”. The Telegraph, July 20, 2022. Archived July 20, 2022. Archive URL:
  115. Matt Ridley. “Madness of our worship of wind: They despoil our glorious countryside, add £6 billion a year to our household bills and are arguably the most inefficient solution to our energy crisis”, The Daily Mail, March 27, 2022. Archived March 27, 2022. Archive URL:
  116. Matt Ridley. “Why global warming is good for us: Climate change is creating a greener, safer planet”, Spiked, February 15, 2022. Archived February 15, 2022. Archive URL: 
  117. Matt Ridley. “How lying Putin spent millions spreading fake news about fracking – even branding drillers ‘as bad as paedophiles’”, The Sun, March 14, 2022. Archived March 14, 2022. Archive URL: 
  118. Adam Barnett. “Media Repeats Kremlin Anti-Fracking Claims – While Ignoring Russia’s Promotion of Climate Denial,” DeSmog, March 25, 2022. 
  119. Fiona Harvey. “Russia ‘secretly working with environmentalists to oppose fracking’,” The Guardian, June 19, 2014. Archived October 9, 2022. Archive URL: 
  120. Matt Ridley. “Eco-extremism has brought Sri Lanka to its knees”, The Telegraph, July 14, 2022. Archived July 14, 2022. Archive URL: 
  121. Matt Ridley. “How innovation works: A discussion with Matt Ridley”. YouTube video uploaded by “The Macdonald-Laurier Institute”, May 17, 2022. Archived .mp4 on file at Desmog.
  122. Matt Ridley. “Britain faces blackouts thanks to Vladimir Putin’s war on shale,” The Telegraph, June 1, 2022. Archived June 1, 2022. Archive URL: 
  123. Matt Ridley. “The Tories’ wind power delusion,” The Spectator, December 3, 2022. Archived December 8, 2022. Archive URL:

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