Expert review of Matt Ridley’s latest book “The Rational Optimist: How prosperity evolves”

Any book that argues that things can only go on getting better, on average and for everyone, for ever and ever, sounds like a cheery read. And Matt Ridley’s latest book The Rational Optimist: How prosperity evolves is nothing if not long on good cheer, as we discovered when we met him recently to talk about the book.

Pessimism, however, is likely to set in when you find that his optimism depends on dismissing, or at least cherry-picking, research findings on important aspects of global warming.

This is why we decided to show some of those assertions to a group of experts from around the world. They were happy to comment – and to be quoted. What they say is tough going, forensic and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Enjoy.

Liz Else, associate editor. New Scientist blog, 10 June 2010. Blog post

1 Response to “Expert review of Matt Ridley’s latest book “The Rational Optimist: How prosperity evolves””

  1. 1 rationaloptimist 16 June 2010 at 01:58

    Anyone interested in the subject of Ridley’s book might also wish to know about my own book, THE CASE FOR RATIONAL OPTIMISM (Transaction Books, Rutgers University, 2009), which makes quite similar points and arguments, but develops the case for optimism over a rather broader range of subject areas. In particular, it has a somewhat different take on global warming, but still comes to an optimistic conclusion. See

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