Monday, July 15, 2013

Matt Ridley Preys on People Who are Scared of Being Scared

Sou | 8:09 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment

Is it just me or are the fake skeptics getting nuttier?  I used to think Matt Ridley was a "lukewarmer" but now he's jumped into bed with a couple of crackpots from down-under: Bob Carter and the cartoonist and science denialist John Spooner (who wrote an incoherent article I discussed some months ago).

Bob Carter is known for saying he doesn't know what is happening to the climate.  He says he prefers to be called agnostic on climate change but he's kidding you.  Bob Carter is not agnostic nor sceptical.  He's at best an ideological science denier when it comes to climate science. He's also a conspiracy nutter of the Lysenko kind.

According to Matt Ridley on WUWT, Bob Carter and John Spooner have written a book for the scaredy cats.  The article is even titled as such so the scaredy cats will know it's for them: "Abnormal extreme weather? Just another scare tactic".  It's targeted squarely at people who are looking for reassurance that climates are not changing, that extreme weather isn't happening more often.

Research suggests that the conservative brain is ultra-sensitive to fear.  It's no surprise then that the fear factor is what drives some people to reject reality and turn to charlatans like Carter, Ridley and Monckton to tell them not to worry.  There's a sucker born every minute.

Going by the Ridley piece, Carter and Spooner are most likely saying that the record heat waves, extreme floods, storms, disastrous droughts and killer wildfires in various parts of the world in the past few years are either "normal" or didn't happen.  Ridley writes:
After demolishing many other arguments for carbon taxes and climate alarm, Carter runs through recent weather events, showing that there is nothing exceptional, let alone unprecedented, about recent droughts, floods, heat waves, cyclones or changes to the Great Barrier Reef.
Carter isn't known for originality either.  One imagines he will say - there was a big flood in the 18-somethings therefore no flood can ever be considered extreme.  Tell that to the residents of Gympie, who had five floods in two years, four of those in twelve months, and two of those back to back in the space of four weeks.

A scan of the media reports from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology show that heat records, drought records and wet records continue to be broken, with very few cold records being set.  So it's not just "extreme" events that seem to be happening more it's record-breaking events.  One thing is for certain, extreme weather that wasn't "normal" last century will become "normal" this century.  Another thing, I'll pay attention to what climate scientists like Drs Lewis and Karoly find and not heed the mewings from people who feed off scaredy cats, like Bob "not a climate scientist" Carter, Matt Ridley and a conservative cartoonist.

Matt Ridley has now shifted well and truly into the anti-science denial camp.  Like Richard Tol, he's hooked up with the GWPF, a lobby group in the UK whose main purpose is to stop the world shifting to clean energy and keep the proletariat in their place.

Ridley is also losing his writing skills if the article on WUWT is anything to go by.  It comes across as a last ditch rant against global warming of the "it's not happening" kind.

Matt, have a gander at these indicators and tell us global warming is "not happening":

In case you can't tell, I have no patience for tricksters like Matt Ridley, Bob Carter and John Spooner or the fools who look to them for comfort.


  1. I did think Ridley was a decent writer but he's not one I have ever gone back to, unlike Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Steve Jones, Carl Sagan and others. Now I don't think I'll bother with his next book, whatever it is. Just comes across as someone who has decided to throw away all that science he has learnt. Weird.

  2. This WUWT post is a hardly comprehensible chain of lies.

    Matt Ridley writes:
    Two Greek scientists recently calculated that for 67 per cent of 181 globally distributed weather stations they examined, adjustments had raised the temperature trend, so they almost halved their estimate of the actual warming that happened in the later 20th century.

    The story this probably refers to has been completely debunked for more than a year. If you are interested in what was wrong about the study and especially about WUWT spin about it, please read this post from my blog.

    In the comments, Ed Hawkins asks people to read his own post and not the lies of Ridley about his comment:

    If you want to read the analyses by Dr. Ed Hawkins mentioned by Matt, then they are here:
    Ed Hawkins

    1. I see that your attempt to discuss this rationally, with reference to the science, was not met with enthusiasm at WUWT. I know that you've blogged this here, but just for the thread, this was the response:

      [sorry, but we aren't interested in your slanted opinion - mod]

      Scepticism ain't what it used to be.™



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