LATEST BLOG
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Sunday, October 19, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
Welcome to Matt Ridley's Blog

Matt Ridley is the author of provocative books on evolution, genetics and society. His books have sold over a million copies, been translated into thirty languages, and have won several awards.

Please note that this blog no longer accepts comments (there was too much spam coming in!). If you're reading this blog and want to respond then please use the contact form on the site.

You can also follow me on twitter.

Subscribe to this blog (RSS)

Archive for tag: the times

Time to start fracking

Opposition to shale gas is a storm in a teacup

The Times has published my op-ed on shale gas:

It is now official: drilling for shale gas by fracturing rock with water may rattle the odd teacup, but is highly unlikely to cause damaging earthquakes. That much has been obvious to anybody who has followed the development of the shale gas industry in America over the past ten years. More than 25,000 wells drilled have caused a handful of micro-seismic events that can barely be felt.

The two rumbles that resulted from drilling a well near Blackpool last year were tiny. To call a two-magnitude tremor an earthquake is a bit like calling a hazelnut lunch. Such tremors happen naturally more than 15 times a year but go unnoticed and they are a common consequence of many other forms of underground work such as coalmining and geothermal drilling. Earthquakes caused by hydroelectric projects, in which dams load the crust and lubricate faults, can be much greater and more damaging. The Sichuan earthquake that killed 90,000 in 2008 was probably caused by a dam.

Acid oceans and acid rain

Learning lessons from the 1980s

I have an article in The Times today (behind a paywall) on ocean acidification. Here's the gist:

Today in Beijing an alliance of scientists called Oceans United will present the United Nations with a request for $5 billion a year to be spent on monitoring the oceans. High among their concerns is ocean acidification, which `could make it harder for animals such as lobsters, crabs, shellfish, coral or plankton to build protective shells'.

As opinion polls reveal that global warming is losing traction on the public imagination, environmental pressure groups have been cranking the engine on this `other carbon dioxide problem'. `Time is running out' wrote two activists in Scientific American in August, `to limit acidification before it irreparably harms the food chain on which the world's oceans - and people - depend.'