Not PC blogs on the Paul Erhlich v Julian Simon bet. The story of that bet was something I read some time ago, and it was one of the things that was key informing the opinions I have today.
For a decade beginning in 1968, Ehrlich insisted the population is exploding, resources are running out, and we’re all gonna die. Our time is up, he reckoned:
- The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Population control is the only answer.
—Paul Ehrlich, in The Population Bomb (Ballantine Books 1968)
- I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.
—Paul Ehrlich in (1969)
- In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.
—Paul Ehrlich, Earth Day (1970)
- Before 1985, mankind will enter a genuine age of scarcity…in which the accessible supplies of many key minerals will be facing depletion.
—Paul Ehrlich in (1976)
Ehrlich was taken seriously at the time, and his arguments are taken seriously still by Russel Norman and the Greens.
Julian Simon was the guy who challenged these defeatest ideas.
He pointed out that people are active minds, that create more than they consume.
That’s the problem with socialism in my mind. It sees people as problems, as mouths that must be fed. It sees 4 million people and creates a massive chaotic system to feed them, clothe them, care for them.
And it’s never worked.
See Not PC’s post for an updated chart of the bet.