Matt Ridley

Mon, 2015-03-16 02:59Guest
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Ridley's Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Fixates on the Past and Ignores the Present to Try and Predict the Future

This is a guest post by US-based environmental communications group, Climate Nexus.

Longtime climate contrarian and “coal baron” Matt Ridley returns to the Wall Street Journal to try to argue against data that show clean energy rapidly scaling up, and the science of climate change that links last year's record heat and widespread extreme weather with carbon pollution.

Ridley, whose family estate has a coal mine on it that will generate an estimated £4 million (or $5.8 million) every year until 2020, does the Journal's readers a grave disservice by distracting them from the coming energy disruption as renewables scale up, argues Climate Nexus.

Ridley repeats unoriginal arguments, citing obvious benefits from the Industrial Revolution while dismissing the global consensus of the scientific community that carbon emissions are altering our climate, giving us record-breaking heat and contributing to extreme weather events like California's drought and, through warmed waters and atmosphere, strengthens hurricanes and cyclones like the one that just devastated Vanuatu.

Mon, 2015-03-02 00:01Guest
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'One of the Highlights of My Life is Being Called a Pagan Pornographer'

The ‘Lady of the North’, Northumberlandia, has been hailed by her supporters as an iconic gateway for the region, attracting visitors from all around the world, writes Matteo Civillini.

Standing 34 metres high and 470 metres long, the £3m landform sculpture in the shape of a reclining nude female sits proudly at the centre of Matt Ridley’s Blagdon Estate.

But was this really the best way of providing benefit to a community that would have to reluctantly accommodate the largest surface mine in England in its own backyard?

Tue, 2015-02-24 00:00Kyla Mandel
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Is Owen Paterson Funded by Monsanto?

Owen Paterson, the sacked environment secretary, claims his new right-wing think tank UK2020 is not funded by the GM industry.

The UK2020 founder “urged a revolt” against the “Green Blob” of NGOs and environmentalists while promoting genetically modified organisms (GMOs) today at the annual South African agricultural biotechnology media conference, which was hosted by the GMO-funded lobby group ISAAA.  

ISAAA receives donations from both Monsanto and Bayer CropScience. But when asked yesterday by DeSmog UK if UK2020 has received any funding from the GM industry, press representative Beatrice Timpson of Media Intelligence Partners said “I can’t answer that”.

Tue, 2015-02-10 03:00Kyla Mandel
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Climate Deniers Help Tories Weaken Fracking Rules

Climate deniers Viscount Matt Ridley and Lord Nigel Lawson defended a controversial fracking U-turn by the Conservative-led government in the House of Lords last night that will reduce safety standards for shale gas exploration.

The Labour party tried to force through more stringent measures in the hotly contested Infrastructure Bill currently going through Parliament designed to protect groundwater which could supply homes and businesses. 

But the government’s counter-proposal, tabled by Baroness Kramer, the Liberal Democrat transport minister, watered-down the language around safeguarding groundwater supplies from fracking. It now allows the relevant Secretary of State to define what constitutes a ‘protected area’.

Mon, 2015-02-02 07:45Kyla Mandel
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You Don't Want to Miss DeSmog UK's Most Important Stories From January

It has only been one month into the New Year and already so much has happened. We’ve scored some amazing achievements in the fight to clear the PR pollution clouding climate science.

So as we head into February – and incidentally the sixth month anniversary of DeSmog UK – we share here with you our January highlights and say thank you for your keen interest and loyal readership.

By far the most incredible moment has been climate denier Matt Ridley’s response in The Times to our #mattkingcoal investigation.

Mon, 2015-01-26 09:55Brendan Montague
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Matt 'King Coal' Ridley Loses Power Station Buyer Due to European Regulations

The latest exclusive from our #MattKingCoal investigation shows how climate denier Matt Ridley has been impacted by European carbon emissions regulations…

Lord Ridley, the aristocratic farmer and science writer, has weighted all the evidence and after due consideration decided that the world's leading researchers have become overly alarmed by the threat posed by climate change.

His views have nothing to do with the fact he has an opencast mines on his family estate. And his opinion is entirely unrelated to the fact his local power station will no longer buy his coal because European regulations have forced it to abandon fossil fuels.  

Ridley is currently expanding the two opencast mines on the family’s Blagdon Estate so that a total of 8.4 million tonnes (Mt) of coal can be excavated ahead of 2020, increasing his profits to an estimated £4.1m each year.

Tue, 2015-01-20 04:42Brendan Montague
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Why Does Ridley Still Mine Coal If He Could Make More Money From Renewables?


Lord Ridley, a landed aristocrat and prominent climate denier, will earn an estimated £4.1 million each year from opencast coal mines on his Blagdon Estate with income guaranteed until 2020, a DeSmog UK investigation has found.

The British peer and author of the Rational Optimist has a total 8.4 million tonnes (Mt) of coal currently being mined near his Grade I listed stately home in Northumberland, with an additional 550,000 tonnes of coal to be mined from new sites beginning this year.

The self professed “climate change lukewarmer” adamantly denies any suggestion his coal interests influences his “skepticism” about climate science. And he continues to mine the vast expanses of coal even though he “could probably earn even more from renewable energy”.

Mon, 2015-01-12 00:00Brendan Montague
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Does Climate Denier Lord Ridley Boast Britain’s Biggest Carbon Footprint?

Lord Ridley, Owen Paterson and miner Harry Banks

Lord Matt Ridley, a card carrying member of Britain’s one percent, is responsible for one per cent of the entire country’s CO2.

Lord Ridley is a powerhouse of climate denial in Britain – and a leading contender for the title of Britain's biggest individual carbon polluter.

The self-styled Rational Optimist is an advisor to Lord Lawson’s secretly funded charity, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), and acts as a one-man think tank to his brother-in-law, the sacked environment secretary Owen Paterson.

At the same time, the landed aristocrat will mine more than 10 million tonnes of coal from open cast mines scattered around his expansive Blagdon Estate in Northumberland during the next five years.

Mon, 2015-01-05 00:01Brendan Montague
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Lord Ridley: Make Mine A Large One!

Lord Ridley, the landed aristocrat and prominent climate denier, will start work this year on two new profitable opencast coal mines close to his Grade I listed stately home and acres of beautiful national park that make up his 8,500-acre estate.

The White-Ridley family has owned the stunning Blagdon Estate in Northumbria since 1700, where they have mined coal and fireclay to amass a considerable fortune while fuelling the Industrial Revolution and British Empire.


The peer’s property, held by a family trust, today covers a significant part of the open mines at Shotton and Brenkley Lane, north of Newcastle, which together contain 8.3m tonnes of coal, worth an estimated £607m on the spot market.

Tue, 2013-09-17 11:22Kevin Grandia
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Zoologist Matt Ridley Should Stick to Animals Instead of Butchering Climate Science

Since when is zoologist Matt Ridley an expert on climate change science?

Yes, I get it. The state of science versus opinion is at an all-time low in human history, with perhaps the Dark Ages the only exception.

There is currently a “debate” being led by Matt Ridley (you can read all about Ridley's complete lack of credentials in the field of climate science here) brewing in the right wing press about a possible “subtle drop” in the low end prediction of how fast global warming is occurring. Ridley's quibbling comes, not coincidentally, less than two weeks before the release of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a favorite whipping post of the climate denier echo chamber. 

Ridley and his pals at the Global Warming Policy Foundation have taken to the airwaves and the right-wing tabloids ahead of the official IPCC release date to try and pre-emptively discredit the IPCC's conclusions. It is a classic political move to get out first and fast before your opponents have a chance to tell their side of the story.

What they want to do (again) is create the appearance of controversy and debate to generate headlines and the perception that climate change science is not as solid as scientists say it is. Doubt is their product.

Hopefully the mainstream media will look past the thin veneer of credibility of Matt Ridley and the Global Warming Policy Foundation, and instead speak to actual climate scientists instead of an expert on animals. The issue of climate change and the state of the science is too important to leave to rookies.   


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