Dr Matt Ridley

Dr Matt Ridley

Why have so many of our recent viruses come from bats?

This is not the first disease bats have given us. Rabies possibly originated in bats. So did, and does, Ebola, outbreaks of which usually trace back to people coming into contact with bat roosts in caves, trees or buildings.


Dr Matt Ridley

Global Warming versus Global Greening

After covering global warming debates as a journalist on and off for almost 30 years, with initial credulity, then growing skepticism, I have come to the conclusion that the risk of dangerous global warming, now and in the future, has been greatly exaggerated.


Dr Matt Ridley

UK Welfare reform and unemployment

Whatever else you think about this government, there is no doubt it has presided over an astonishing boom in job creation like nowhere else in the developed world. The milestones are impressive: an average of a thousand new jobs a day over five years; a jobless rate half the eurozone’s; the highest percentage of the population in work since records began. All this while the public sector has been shedding 300 jobs a day.


Dr Matt Ridley

The net benefits of climate change till 2080

Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century. This is not some barmy, right-wing fantasy; it is the consensus of expert opinion. Yet almost nobody seems to know this.


Dr Matt Ridley

Global outlook rosy; Europe's outlook grim

A "rational optimist" like me thinks the world will go on getting better for most people at a record rate, not because I have a temperamental or ideological bent to good cheer but because of the data. Poverty, hunger, population growth rates, inequality, and mortality from violence, disease and weather - all continue to plummet on a global scale. But a global optimist can still be a regional pessimist. When asked what I am pessimistic about, I usually reply: bureaucracy and superstition.


Dr Matt Ridley

Gas against wind

Which would you rather have in the view from your house? A thing about the size of a domestic garage, or eight towers twice the height of Nelson’s column with blades noisily thrumming the air. The energy they can produce over ten years is similar: eight wind turbines of 2.5-megawatts (working at roughly 25% capacity) roughly equal the output of an average Pennsylvania shale gas well (converted to electricity at 50% efficiency) in its first ten years.