23. Why should we be less alarmed about the environment? (Matt Ridley)

Coming 6 June 2022


Many of us have lived in fear of environmental catastrophe. Multiple catastrophes, actually, from climate change to ecosystem collapse to peak oil. There's no doubt that our environmental challenges are huge, but are they the existential threats they are made out to be? Are they being seen in the context of broader developmental challenges and associated trade-offs? Are they taking account of humankind's past achievements, and our ability to adapt? And is alarmist rhetoric the best or most appropriate way to motivate action? Several public intellectuals are asking and offering answers to questions like these. Among those who stand out, is the next guest on The Case for Conservation Podcast, Matt Ridley.

Matt or, more formally, "Matthew White Ridley, 5th Viscount Ridley", was until last year an elected member of the UK Parliament’s House of Lords. He has been been writer and/or editor for The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. His non-fiction books have sold more than a million copies. They include "The Rational Optimist" (2010), "The Evolution of Everything" (2015), "How Innovation Works" (2020) and, most recently, "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19" (2021). His 2010 TED talk, "When Ideas Have Sex", has been viewed more than 2.6 million times, and he’s appeared on various other podcasts including, a few months ago, the Jordan Peterson Podcast.