Matt Ridley has braved the brickbats of the vested interests and the greens with another hard-hitting piece in the Wall Street Journal, this time looking at the forthcoming Working Group II report, its downgrading of alarm and the new perspective of climate change among a number of issues facing the world.
Almost every global environmental scare of the past half century proved exaggerated including the population "bomb," pesticides, acid rain, the ozone hole, falling sperm counts, genetically engineered crops and killer bees. In every case, institutional scientists gained a lot of funding from the scare and then quietly converged on the view that the problem was much more moderate than the extreme voices had argued. Global warming is no different.
This, I think is likely to enrage those whose livings depend on the maintenance of a state of alarm and the reaction will therefore be aggressive. Let's make sure that the voices of reason are heard too.