Greening the Planet – Dr. Matt Ridley

Via Reason.com:

Matt Ridley, author of The Red QueenGenomeThe Rational Optimist and other books, dropped by Reason’s studio in Los Angeles last month to talk about a curious global trend that is just starting to receive attention. Over the past three decades, our planet has gotten greener!

Even stranger, the greening of the planet in recent decades appears to be happening because of, not despite, our reliance on fossil fuels. While environmentalists often talk about how bad stuff like CO2 causes bad things to happen like global warming, it turns out that the plants aren’t complaining.

 

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  • Anarchy Pony

    So is anthropogenic global warming real or not then Camron? You spend a lot of time denying it, but now you’re saying(or promoting someone who is) it’s happening but is a good thing. So which is it? Or are you just suffering from a serious case of doublethink?

    And the greening? It’s just happening in arctic regions. There’s lots of browning happening at lower latitudes, and drowning. But don’t, you know, bother to bring that up. Or how there was a complex ecosystem dependent on the white. But I suppose all that’s relevant is whether or not humans can now start colonizing and farming (and mining, almost forgot) those regions right?

    Also, Reason? Bunch of fucking Randroids and Kochsuckers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryan.harsh.52 Ryan Harsh

    Had to cut this away at about 8 minutes.

    “The amount of extinct species since 1500, oh wait dont include the most diverse areas on the planet, umm.. islands and oh Australia too”, where we have 4 frogs, 23 birds, 27 mammals, 1 fish (EPBC list of threatened fauna) extinct, since 1788.
    This guy is a moron and probably owns shares in an oil company, your pom accent rides the shit out of me
    We could of had a net gain of 8 species according to his logic, if we had only lost 1- dickhead humans

    • Anarchy Pony

      Reason(dot)com[as if I'd ever link to those fascist pigs], website companion of Reason Magazine, a right-”libertarian”/”anarcho”-capitalist rag funded primarily by the Koch brothers to spew Randian talking points and pro corporate, pro “prosperity”, pro pollution, anti environmental, propaganda.

  • BuzzCoastin

    really excellent example of NewSpeak
    I’ve gotten 4 minutes into this and he hasn’t said anything
    but the word green comes up a lot

    archeological records clearly show that the Earth’s climate is changing continuously
    that these changes are sometimes cataclysmic
    especially at the beginning & end of interglacial periods
    it’s also clear that the Earth has been hotter than it is now
    but nonetheless Earth maybe approaching the end of this interglacial period
    those are simply the facts
    what if anything humans can do about those facts remain to be seen
    my suspicion is we will suffer the same fate that befell our ancestors

    • LucidDreamR

      It’s a shame really: Nature finally produced a form of life that had the capability of consciously expanding its territory past this orb, increasing its chances of avoiding such a fate; but instead it fights amongst itself and reveres personal happiness as a top priority, to name but a few distractions from a worthy goal… Perhaps evolution will work out the kinks next time around

      • BuzzCoastin

        it’s our limited perspective and a bit of hubris
        that makes present day humans believe
        that we are the first and best form of sentient beings
        when in fact, there is plenty of evidence
        that not only has all this happen many times before
        but we are not even the pinnacle of evolution
        but the detritus of some greater civilizations that preceded us

      • Anarchy Pony

        Personal happiness is not a top priority. Economic growth is this civilization’s top priority, followed by domination and exploitation, usually to facilitate the growth.

      • Anarchy Pony

        Personal happiness is not a top priority. Economic growth is this civilization’s top priority, followed by domination and exploitation, usually to facilitate the growth.

  • BuzzCoastin

    at around 6:00 he starts to wax eloquent about the food yields of industrial farming
    it’s an incredibly one sided positive view of unsustainable industrial farming
    all those positives he mentions are about to expire

    Uncle Homeland subsidies the growth of Grade #2 Corn
    Big ChemAgra then turns it into the Jetson’s pill food
    like a McNugget
    which has 38 ingredients, most of which is derived from Grade#2 Corn
    every soda is 99% HFCS derived from Grade#2 Corn
    the most eaten vegetable in America is corn
    but it’s usually disguised as something else

  • Kurt the Turk

    The change in amplitude of that sawtooth from beginning to end didn’t appear to change at all…then again he does have a smart accent.

  • Zampano Poniatovii

    I love how people like Ridley get wheeled out from time to time, as if they’re profound iconoclasts “suddenly” popping up with some insightful epiphany, after toiling anonymously for years in some specialized NASA climate lab beneath a mountain. Like most climate deniers, they’ve been around for years, doing the conference circuit, speaking at energy industry banquets. When they really build up a toxic aura, they lay low for a time, then someone pulls them out of mothballs so they can repeat the last “major new epiphany” as if it’s a “major new epiphany”.

    In this case, it just happens to be a variant of the classic denier yarn that “plants actually love CO2, they breath CO2 and produce Oxygen, which we need to breath! Why do you hate oxygen?”

    Grain of truth at the center of a massive intentional omission. If you don’t want people to look at the forest fire, take a picture of a tree that hasn’t burned yet.

    Is it just me, or does Disinfo seem a little overburdened with people trying to pass Glenn Beck-isms, Austrian School economics, climate denial, and other pet fascinations of the right-wing off as “counter-culture”?

    Seriously, I enter disinfo.com in the URL and feel like I got redirected to PrisonPlanet more and more often…

    • Reasor

      I think the number of Randroids and Ronulans among us is relatively few, but they submit articles often. Your point about them trying to pass right-wing talking points off as counter-culture is nonetheless legit. Were I more the conspiracy theory type, I would ask who they work for.

      • Matt Staggs

        Consider this: It is “counter-culture” for a lot of Disinfonauts. Counter to their culture, at least. A little contrarian weirdness spices up the stew. ;)

        • honu

          I agree some contrarian weirdness is good but if you’re going to be contrarian why bother with an issue like global warming where 97% of climate scientists agree on it? Also, Camron never addresses the issue that speaks beyond the battle line of whether climate change is man made or not. Personally I don’t care one way or the other because whether climate change is a natural occurring cycle or it’s produced by man’s toxic emissions and activities, we still live in a biosphere with finite resources and that alone should warrant policies that force changes in the way we use those resources and how we produce and industrialize. It ain’t rocket science.

          • Matt Staggs

            Ask Camron! He’s the main proponent of contrarian climate change articles. Were there to be any kind of bias here in terms of content I would suspect it would lean more toward the anthropogenic theory of climate change. Check around.

    • Matt Staggs

      Out of all the weird stuff here, one post from a contributor makes you feel unwelcome? This is a common complaint: Someone tries to tip a sacred cow and there are some people who are always going to start complaining of bias. If it makes you feel better, most of the Prison Planet and Infowarriors complained vociferously about what they called an “NWO” “Liberal” bias at the site and then fled the scene. I’d be sorely remiss if at least one or two things didn’t provoke or annoy you (or any reader) at any given time. I disagree strongly with the right wing narrative on climate change, but Camron is a longtime contributor and supporter, and he has just as much right to share his viewpoint as the anthropogenic climate change supporters There’s tons and tons of stuff on this site, and it’s a mixed bag. I like it that way. I’d never want an echo chamber here. Would you?

      • Zampano Poniatovii

        Apparently I pushed a button. My bad. Protestations not withstanding, I think there is some legitimacy to my observation that right wing pet fascinations seem to be deliberately trying to cultivate the marketing identity of “counter-culture”. It doesn’t make my speculation about the increased frequency of such posts on this site seem any more legitimate that your umbrage bears the logo of a disinfo moderator. Also, no conspiracy theories were knowingly implied in my previous post.

        If anything I would have suspected that this site was being targeted by SEO/marketing types before suggesting anything that might impune Disinfo’s mods directly.

        But your outrage looks odd. Maybe that was just a an overreaction on your part. You deserve the benefit of the doubt, Matt.

        Just saying… There’s just something oxymoronic about conservatism being floated as “counter culture”. I’m sure it sees itself that way, in that whole “we’re the majority mainstream, but we’re also an oppressed minority” way, but there’s something dubious about the whole idea.

        The pro-corporate propaganda aspect of the denialist industry makes this kind of the elephant in the room. JUST SAYING lol

        • Matt Staggs

          I’ve failed to communicate my message if you’ve interpreted my response as hostile or peevish in any way. Part of this is a limitation of the medium: There’s no emotional component to text. The other part is that we’re strangers. My goal was to express that claims of bias are very common whenever a highly politicized topic is questioned, and that the hard right had also targeted us for “liberal bias” for a long time after I started editing the site. I had hoped that this might provide some context for your own intimations, particularly in your comparison of Disinfo.com to Infowars.

          My question was a genuine one: “Out of all the weird stuff here, One post…makes you feel unwelcome?” I want to understand where you’re coming from. Do you suspect that there’s a meta-narrative that’s being promoted across the site regarding climate change, or perhaps some other issue? If so, then I want to know. I’m a moderator here, but my primary role is as site editor. I’ve expressed my hope that something here annoys or provokes every reader several times in the past many times in the past. It is not particular to this interaction nor is it aimed at you.

          You have some very good questions regarding the marketing of right wing “pet fascinations” as counter-culture. It’s something that would be lovely to expore here. However, and I had hoped that this might be clear in my initial response, Camron is a contributor in good standing. He’s no stranger, and I’m acquainted with him personally. I feel very strongly that he deserves a place here, if for debate if nothing else.

          An echo chamber of acceptable left-wing ideas is no more desirable than a right-wing one. I hope to offer a wide variety of content, most of which is themed around questioning ideas, inspiring a sense of wonder and provoking spirited debate.

          I’m disappointed that you’ve read hostility where none was intended. Whether or how I’ve “earned the benefit of a doubt” (or even if it is required) is ultimately up to you. I can assure you that no button was pushed, and my only hope was to better understand your concerns as a reader.

          Matt

          • Zampano Poniatovii

            I don’t want this to become too overblown, so let me apologize as well. I’m just typing out of raw, unlfiltered reaction to what I read, so forgive me if I came across as glib.

            What I meant by “benefit of the doubt” was that I wasn’t presuming any “conspiracy” by Disinfo to do anything. I was referring to fact that you seemed to think I was implying a conspiracy; it honestly hadn’t crossed my mind. You did come across as sounding irate with me, but I totally accept it if you say this was not your intent, because there are, as you say, limitations to the medium.

            Sorry if I came across as implying “a conspiracy” on your guys’ part to post specific content. It really hadn’t occurred to me. I mean, it’s not like I was asking if there was more of a particular type of content because I had done some kind of exhaustive or discriminating search. It was an offhand remark; I can only speak anecdotally on the matter of whether I personally perceive myself, as a user, encountering an unusual share of “conservative libertarian” kinds of content: global warming denialism, and the like.

            Let me be clear — my comments weren’t about Cameron. I was not targeting anyone. I don’t know, and have no reason to care WHO Cameron is… not at this point anyway. Sorry to Cameron if I caused offense.

            This is my gripe, as fairly and honestly as I can state it: my honest reaction when I come to a place like disinfo.com, and encounter the same kind of stuff I spend the rest of my time online either avoiding or trying to speak sense to (like global warming denialism), I roll my eyes and wonder what part of “the counterculture” is being served by posting mainstream anti-science propaganda?

            Is it really worth all that much to make “all sides” feel catered to, that I have to come to an alternative media site and wade through the same mainstream nonsense? That’s not me trying to sound peevish either, it’s just an honest, legitimate question as a consumer of this brand of media.

            “Fair and balanced” approaches have been widely and articulately criticized as a “back door” means of artificially embellishing a “side” that is less legitimate, or even non-existent; there just aren’t ALWAYS two equal sides, and its not good journalism to try to paint the picture that there are two entirely equally valid points of view on every issue. Pretending there are is actually part of a larger process of dumbing us down.

            It’s not about being fair to left and right — especially in cases like this where denialism is almost entirely fueled by corporate interests, not legitimate scientific ones. It’s science versus anti-science, and if that happens to align with some temporary left-right sense of spectrum, it’s incidental and irrelevant. It’s just pretend ignorance about the origins of this “side” of the argument to claim that not giving them their platform is being unfair somehow. It’s an artificial issue to begin with.

            I mean, I recognize that it’s right wing. I also feel that some things seem left wing, just haven’t noticed any really obvious left wing tends in posting. I would be peeved if I saw a trend in Daily Kos reposts, or Huffington Post links.

            There seems to be a push for Libertarian-ish stuff from Conservatarian sites like Reason to be treated as “counter culture” online in general — in a way that feels like a concerted marketing choice has been made somewhere to capitalize on a youth demographic or something — but how can it be? For example, the same kind of global warming denialism is almost 24/7 over at PrisonPlanet, but Alex Jones’ anti-science bible thumping is counter to what — not Judeo Christian white male establishment values, so… How can it be “counter culture” when it’s primary goal is some kind “restoration of traditional values”? That’s just my two cents, as a black sheep libertarian who finds this stuff galling.

            *Nor am I calling for censorship — if you post it, it’s fair for me to complain, isn’t it? I will probably behave as though it is until told otherwise. Not wanting to sound peevish, just saying.

            Anyway, thanks Matt — sorry for any fuss.

        • jnana

          Climate change denial doesn’t imply pro-corporate propaganda, nor conservatism. There are staunch anti-capitalists who also deny the mainstream climate change theories. Just because capitalists use the no anthropogenic climate change theory for their benefit doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Perhaps its part of their disinfo, although I don’t actually believe that, there are many layers within layers.

    • jnana

      I think people should stop complaining about the diversity of articles here. yes, debate them, but quit bitching about them. I enjoy the diverse range of subjects and would like to see even more diversity. it makes for interesting conversation and ya learn quite a bit. I don’t mind reading something I disagree with. I actually enjoy it, because I can see where people are coming fro w/ their crazy ideas.
      QUICHYER BITCHIN!

  • Zampano Poniatovii

    I love how people like Ridley get wheeled out from time to time, as if they’re profound iconoclasts “suddenly” popping up with some insightful epiphany, after toiling anonymously for years in some specialized NASA climate lab beneath a mountain. Like most climate deniers, they’ve been around for years, doing the conference circuit, speaking at energy industry banquets. When they really build up a toxic aura, they lay low for a time, then someone pulls them out of mothballs so they can repeat the last “major new epiphany” as if it’s a “major new epiphany”.

    In this case, it just happens to be a variant of the classic denier yarn that “plants actually love CO2, they breath CO2 and produce Oxygen, which we need to breath! Why do you hate oxygen?”

    Grain of truth at the center of a massive intentional omission. If you don’t want people to look at the forest fire, take a picture of a tree that hasn’t burned yet.

    Is it just me, or does Disinfo seem a little overburdened with people trying to pass Glenn Beck-isms, Austrian School economics, climate denial, and other pet fascinations of the right-wing off as “counter-culture”?

    Seriously, I enter disinfo.com in the URL and feel like I got redirected to PrisonPlanet more and more often…

  • Monkey See Monkey Do

    I just vomited in my mouth a little bit..

  • walcraeb

    This Man is either a fool or thinks everyone he’s speaking to is a fool. Not sure which.

    Just a small matter of clarification though, the reason there are Polar Bears and Walruses at the north pole when there weren’t before is because that’s the only place they can find the ice their instincts tell them they need to survive at lower latitudes, because… wait for it… those lower latitudes are getting greener (aka less white). That part of the earth was inhabitable for such mammals 30 years ago. The fact that it is habitable now is worth note.

  • honu

    It’s been 24 hours after Camron put up yet another climate change denial post yet he hasn’t been trolling his own post yet. Maybe he’s learning that if he’s going to flame throw, it’s better to just post and leave it alone and let the responses speak for themselves. Still I’m betting on a Camron litany of responses to nearly everyone on here. He’s just too narcissistic to leave it alone.

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