Thursday, 3 March 2016


By Matt RidleyGlobal Warming Policy Foundation, 15 June 2010

As part of an `interview’ with me, New Scientist published a 
critique by five scientists of two pages of my book The Rational Optimist. Despite its tone, this critique only confirms the accuracy of each of the statements in this section of the book. After reading their critiques, I stand even more firmly behind my conclusion that the threats to coral reefs from both man-made warming and ocean acidification are unlikely to be severe, rapid or urgent. In the case of acidification, this is underlined by a recent paper, published since my book was written, summarising the results of 372 papers and concluding that ocean acidification `may not be the widespread problem conjured into the 21st century’. The burden of proof is on those who see an urgent threat to corals from warming and acidification. […]

In conclusion, I rest my case. My five critics have not only failed to contradict, but have explicitly confirmed the truth of every single one of my factual statements. We differ only in how we interpret the facts. It is hardly surprising that my opinion is not shared by five scientists whose research grants depend on funding agencies being persuaded that there will be a severe and rapid impact of carbon dioxide emissions on coral reefs in coming decades. I merely report accurately that the latest empirical and theoretical research suggests that the likely impact has been exaggerated.

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