Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

When Journalists Question Catastrophe

Unlike most journalists, Matt Ridley has done PhD-level work in the sciences. He has served as science editor for the Economist. One would think his views on the climate debate deserve a fair hearing. Instead, he is pilloried by climate extremists.

Matt Ridley is the rarest sort of journalist. He holds a PhD in science – zoology, from Oxford University. This makes him better equipped than most of us to evaluate scientific findings.

Not only has Ridley served as science editor of The Economist magazine, he is the author of Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters and several other books about scientific matters.


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One would think that his bedrock qualifications and illustrious career would count for something. One would expect that even people who disagree with him would recognize that he is an experienced, informed journalist whose analysis is worthy of serious consideration.

But that has not been Ridley’s experience. In a recent column for The Times newspaper – also published on his blog – he explains that even though he personally believes that “recent global warming is real” and “mostly man-made,” he is nevertheless treated as a pariah.

His big sin? He doesn’t believe climate change will lead to catastrophe. The bile and venom directed his way whenever he writes on this topic is bizarre. His critics don’t merely declare him wrong – they go far, far beyond that.

This is one of those red flags that tells us something is gravely amiss. If journalists aren’t allowed to write anything other than ‘we’re all gonna die!’ climate change stories, the public is being denied the whole picture. Free speech isn’t alive and well; it’s being suffocated by climate extremists.

There is disgrace, shame, and scandal here. But Ridley isn’t the problem.

read Matt Ridley’s full blog post here



“My middle-of-the-road position is considered not just wrong, but disgraceful, shameful, verging on scandalous. I am subjected to torrents of online abuse for holding it…” Matt Ridley, My life as a climate lukewarmer


Ridley’s column is also discussed here



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This entry was posted on January 21, 2015 by in ethical & philosophical, free speech, media, quotations and tagged , , , .