The Power Line Show, Ep. 72: The Vindication of Progress?

Lord Matt Ridley

This week’s episode of the Power Line Show is a meditation on a great line from Macaulay: “On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?” Yet paradoxically doomsaying has been at the heart of so-called “progressivism” for a long time, as I noted in a post months about about Steven Pinker entitled “Why Do Progressives Hate Progress?

I was lucky enough on Friday to catch up with author Matt Ridley (that’s Lord Ridley to you!) and my old pal Chris Wright, CEO of Liberty Oilfield Services and one of the leading entrepreneurs in oil and gas technology, in a hotel lobby in Denver. Ridley is the author of several fine books, my favorite being The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves.

Our conversation ranges from explaining why the left is so wedded to apocalypticism, what’s the latest on climate change research that you’re not hearing about from the mainstream media, and the latest things happening in domestic oil and gas production. Please pardon the background chatter; we had to conduct the interview in a busy hotel lobby as everyone was in a rush to catch airplanes. Just think of it as listening in on a great barroom conversation.

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