The Ultimate Resource 2 by Julian Lincoln SimonThe Ultimate Resource 2 by Julian Lincoln Simon

The Ultimate Resource 2

byJulian Lincoln Simon

Paperback | July 21, 1998

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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.

Julian L. Simon, until his death in 1998, was Professor of Business Administration at the University of Maryland and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. Among his books are Population and Development in Poor Countries: Selected Essays (Princeton), The Economic Consequences of Immigration to the United States, Population Matters: Pe...
Title:The Ultimate Resource 2Format:PaperbackDimensions:778 pages, 10 × 7.75 × 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


Acknowledgments for the First Edition

Acknowledgments for the Second Edition

Introduction. What Are the Real Population and Resource Problems? 3

1 The Amazing Theory of Raw-Material Scarcity 23

2 Why Are Material-Technical Resource Forecasts So Often Wrong? 41

3 Can the Supply of Natural Resources - Especially Energy - Really Be Infinite? Yes! 54

4 The Grand Theory 73

5 Famine 1995? or 2025? or 1975? 84

6 What Are the Limits on Food Production? 97

7 The Worldwide Food Situation Now: Shortage Crises, Glut Crises, and Government 109

8 Are We Losing Ground? 127

9 Two Bogeymen: "Urban Sprawl" and Soil Erosion 139

10 Water, Wood, Wetlands - and What Next? 151

11 When Will We Run Out of Oil? Never! 162

12 Today's Energy Issues 182

13 Nuclear Power: Tomorrow's Greatest Energy Opportunity 203

14 A Dying Planet? How the Media Have Scared the Public 212

15 The Peculiar Theory of Pollution 223

16 Whither the History of Pollution? 233

17 Pollution Today: Specific Trends and Issues 241

18 Bad Environmental and Resource Scares 258

19 Will Our Consumer Wastes Bury Us? 275

20 Should We Conserve Resources for Others' Sakes? What Kinds of Resources Need Conservation? 283

21 Coercive Recycling, Forced Conservation, and Free-Market Alternatives 297

22 Standing Room Only? The Demographic Facts 311

23 What Will Future Population Growth Be? 326

24 Do Humans Breed Like Flies? Or Like Norwegian Rats? 342

25 Population Growth and the Stock of Capital 357

26 Population's Effects on Technology and Productivity 367

27 Economies of Scope and Education 391

28 Population Growth, Natural Resources, and Future Generations 399

29 Population Growth and Land 412

30 Are People an Environmental Pollution? 429

31 Are Humans Causing Species Holocaust? 439

32 A Greater Population Does Not Damage Health, or Psychological and Social Well-Being 459

33 The Big Economic Picture: Population Growth and Living Standards in MDCs 471

34 The Big Picture II: LDCs 491

35 How the Comparisons People Make Affect Their Beliefs about Whether Things Are Getting Better or Worse 513

36 The Rhetoric of Population Control: Does the End Justify the Means? 519

37 The Reasoning behind the Rhetoric 537

38 Ultimately - What Are Your Values? 547

39 The Key Values 557

Conclusion. The Ultimate Resource 578

Epilogue. My Critics and I 593

Notes 617

References 653

Index 691

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 Ultimate Resource 2, a revised and expanded edition of his 1981 classic. Economic statistics gathered during the 16 years between the publication of the two editions add even more credence to Simon’s assertions.

Editorial Reviews

"Julian Simon, an economics professor, systematically, shockingly, irresponsibly explodes each and every foundation of the whole environmental movement. And he does so with so many facts, graphs and examples that it would be a strange person who could walk away from reading this book without his or her faith in the assumptions of the environmental movement being just a little bit shaken up. . . . This is a magnificent book with the power to change minds."--Matt Ridley, The Sunday Telegraph