The Ultimate Resource 2

Paperback | July 21, 1998

byJulian Lincoln Simon

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Arguing that the ultimate resource is the human imagination coupled to the human spirit, Julian Simon 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 confront us, 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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From Our Editors

Combined with the human spirit, the human imagination is the ultimate resource. Until his death in 1998, Julian Simon promoted and argued for this idea. He challenged conventional beliefs about dwindling energy and natural resources, the effects of immigrations and the threat of overpopulation. Using comprehensive data, careful quantitative research and economic logic, Simon makes his case in The ...

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Arguing that the ultimate resource is the human imagination coupled to the human spirit, Julian Simon 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 o...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:778 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.66 inPublished:July 21, 1998Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691003815

ISBN - 13:9780691003818

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Table of Contents

Analytical Contents
List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments for the First Edition
Acknowledgments for the Second Edition
Introduction. What Are the Real Population and Resource Problems?3
1The Amazing Theory of Raw-Material Scarcity23
2Why Are Material-Technical Resource Forecasts So Often Wrong?41
3Can the Supply of Natural Resources - Especially Energy - Really Be Infinite? Yes!54
4The Grand Theory73
5Famine 1995? or 2025? or 1975?84
6What Are the Limits on Food Production?97
7The Worldwide Food Situation Now: Shortage Crises, Glut Crises, and Government109
8Are We Losing Ground?127
9Two Bogeymen: "Urban Sprawl" and Soil Erosion139
10Water, Wood, Wetlands - and What Next?151
11When Will We Run Out of Oil? Never!162
12Today's Energy Issues182
13Nuclear Power: Tomorrow's Greatest Energy Opportunity203
14A Dying Planet? How the Media Have Scared the Public212
15The Peculiar Theory of Pollution223
16Whither the History of Pollution?233
17Pollution Today: Specific Trends and Issues241
18Bad Environmental and Resource Scares258
19Will Our Consumer Wastes Bury Us?275
20Should We Conserve Resources for Others' Sakes? What Kinds of Resources Need Conservation?283
21Coercive Recycling, Forced Conservation, and Free-Market Alternatives297
22Standing Room Only? The Demographic Facts311
23What Will Future Population Growth Be?326
24Do Humans Breed Like Flies? Or Like Norwegian Rats?342
25Population Growth and the Stock of Capital357
26Population's Effects on Technology and Productivity367
27Economies of Scope and Education391
28Population Growth, Natural Resources, and Future Generations399
29Population Growth and Land412
30Are People an Environmental Pollution?429
31Are Humans Causing Species Holocaust?439
32A Greater Population Does Not Damage Health, or Psychological and Social Well-Being459
33The Big Economic Picture: Population Growth and Living Standards in MDCs471
34The Big Picture II: LDCs491
35How the Comparisons People Make Affect Their Beliefs about Whether Things Are Getting Better or Worse513
36The Rhetoric of Population Control: Does the End Justify the Means?519
37The Reasoning behind the Rhetoric537
38Ultimately - What Are Your Values?547
39The Key Values557
Conclusion. The Ultimate Resource578
Epilogue. My Critics and I593
Notes617
References653
Index691