Announcing the Matt Ridley Prize for Environmental Heresy

01/03/2012 17:02:15

FRASER NELSON reports in The Spectator on Matt Ridley's £8,500 essay prize in June.

The Spectator

Matt Ridley has long deplored the wind farm delusion, and was appalled when a family trust was paid by a wind farm company in compensation for mineral rights on land on which it wanted to build a turbine. The trust would be paid £8,500 a year for it, and Matt couldn’t abide the idea of profiting — even in part — from this. So he is donating £8,500 in an annual prize to be given to the best essay exposing environmental fallacies. Entries open today.

The rules are simple. We invite pieces from 1,000 to 2,000 words in length, to gore one of the sacred cows of the environmentalist movement. Matt says more in his cover essay for the new Spectator (which you can also read on Facebook) : ‘There are many to choose from: the idea that wind power is good for the climate, or that biofuels are good for the rain forest or that organic farming is good for the planet or that climate change is a bigger extinction threat than invasive species.’ A shortlist of six will be put to a panel of judges and the winning entry will be published in the magazine in July.

Entries, please, to and they close on 30 June 2012. And will do every year from now on. I’ll leave the final word to Matt: ‘The real enemy is not wind farms per se, but the groupthink and hysteria which allowed such a flawed idea to progress with a minimum of intellectual opposition. I shall donate the money as long as the wind-gelt flows — so the quicker Dave cancels the subsidy altogether, the sooner he will have me and the prizewinners off his back.’