The Ultimate Resource 2
"The most powerful challenge to be mounted against the principles of popular environmentalism in the last fifteen years."--The Washington Post Book World (on the first edition)Arguing that the ultimate resource is the human imagination coupled to the human spirit, Julian Simon has led a vigorous challenge to conventional beliefs about scarcity of energy and natural resources, pollution of the environment, the effects of immigration, and the "perils of overpopulation." The comprehensive data, careful quantitative research, and economic logic contained in the first edition of The Ultimate Resource questioned widely held professional judgments about the threat of overpopulation, and Simon's celebrated bet with Paul Ehrlich about resource prices in the 1980s enhanced the public attention--both pro and con--that greeted this controversial book.Now Princeton University Press presents a revised and expanded edition of The Ultimate Resource. The new volume is thoroughly updated and provides a concise theory for the observed trends: Population growth and increased income put pressure on supplies of resources. This increases prices, which provides opportunity and incentive for innovation. Eventually the innovative responses are so successful that prices end up below what they were before the shortages occurred. The book also tackles timely issues such as the supposed rate of species extinction, the "vanishing farmland crisis, " and the wastefulness of coercive recycling.In Simon's view, the key factor in natural and world economic growth is our capacity for the creation of new ideas and contributions to knowledge. The more people alive who can be trained to help solve the problems that confrontus, the faster we can remove obstacles, and the greater the economic inheritance we shall bequeath to our descendants. In conjunction with the size of the educated population, the key constraint on human progress is the nature of the economic-political system: talented people need economic freedom and security to bring their talents to fruition.
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This book contributes to the mythology that we can make something from nothing in violation of the laws of thermodynamics. It is a waste of paper containing much error, prevarication, ignorance, and ideology.
Numbers Writers and Believability
A Historical Afternote
TOWARD OUR BEAUTIFUL RESOURCE FUTURE
The Amazing Theory of RawMaterial Scarcity
Why Are MaterialTechnical Resource Forecasts So Often
Standing Room Only? The Demographic Facts
What Will Future Population Growth Be?
Do Humans Breed Like Flies? Or Like Norwegian Rats?
Population Growth and the Stock of Capital
Populations Effects on Technology and Productivity
Economies of Scope and Education
Population Growth Natural Resources and Future Generations
Natural Resources and the Risk of Running Out
Can the Supply of Natural ResourcesEspecially Energy
The Grand Theory
Famine 1995? or 2025? or 1975?
What Are the Limits on Food Production?
Are We Losing Ground?
Urban Sprawl and Soil Erosion
Water Wood Wetlandsand What Next?
When Will We Run Out of Oil? Never
Todays Energy Issues
Tomorrows Greatest Energy Opportunity
A Dying Planet? How the Media Have Scared the Public
Cambridge Reports International
The Peculiar Theory of Pollution
Whither the History of Pollution?
161a Mortality from Tuberculosis Standardized Death Rates 18611964
Specific Trends and Issues
Bad Environmental and Resource Scares
Will Our Consumer Wastes Bury Us?
Should We Conserve Resources for Others Sakes? What Kinds of Resources Need Conservation?
Conservation of Animals or People?
Coercive Recycling Forced Conservation and FreeMarket Alternatives
Why Do People Worry So Much about Wastes?
Conservation and the Government System
POPULATION GROWTHS EFFECT UPON OUR RESOURCES AND LIVING STANDARD
Population Growth and Land
Are People an Environmental Pollution?
Are Humans Causing Species Holocaust?
A Greater Population Does Not Damage Health or Psychological and Social WeilBeing
Population Growth and Intelligence
Population Growth and Living Standards in MDCs
The Evidence versus the Malthusian Theory
At the Cost of the Poorer Countries?
How Immigrants Affect Our Standard of Living
34la Population Density and Growth Selected Countries 19501983
BEYOND THE DATA
How the Comparisons People Make Affect Their Beliefs about Whether Things Are Getting Better or Worse
Does the End Justify
Forces Amplifying the Rhetoric
Planned Parenthoods Rhetoric
The Reasoning behind the Rhetoric
UltimatelyWhat Are Your Values?
The Key Values
Conclusion The Ultimate Resource
Epilogue My Critics and I