Matt Ridley, in The Globe and Mail, 31 Dec 1993.
Global warming, too, has shot its bolt, now that the scientific consensus has settled down on about a degree of temperature increase over a century-that is, little more than has taken place in the past century.
Actually, the scientific consensus at the time, as summarised by the IPCC was for an increase about three times that. We can compare how the IPCC and Ridley’s projection fared over the next two decades:
(Graph modified from Skeptical Science)
Given how wrong his prediction was so far, Ridley reconsidered his beliefs. Ha ha, just kidding. Ridley still believes exactly the same thing. And being spectacularly wrong doesn’t stop a pundit from being published. Here is Ridley in the Wall Street Journal and reprinted in The Australian.
Given what we know now, there is almost no way that the feared large temperature rise is going to happen. Mr. Lewis comments: “Taking the IPCC scenario that assumes a doubling of CO2, plus the equivalent of another 30% rise from other greenhouse gases by 2100, we are likely to experience a further rise of no more than 1°C.”
It’s clear that Ridley’s approach to this issue is profoundly unscientific. He ignores twenty years of warming and all the other evidence that has accumulated during that period. The only evidence that counts for Ridley is that which supports his belief that warming will be trivial.
His approach also leads him to misrepresent scientific research. For example, he cites as supportive of his belief, a paper by Michael Schlesinger, who responds that Ridley
is just plain wrong about future warming. Our research shows that global warming will exceed 2C, defined as dangerous climate change, by the middle of this century.
Ridley also confuses water vapour with clouds and is unable or unwilling to make a correction.
Update: Ridley responds.