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The Ultimate Resource 2 Paperback – July 1, 1998
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"Compelling and often brilliantly original. . . . [Simon's] economic analysis will leave a lot of readers heavily revising their thinking about the world around them." ― Fortune
"With a full understanding of the opposition and smears he would encounter, Simon nevertheless wrote The Economics of Population Growth, Population Matters, and his best-known book, The Ultimate Resource. To him, the ultimate resource was human intelligence. We should also add, in honor of Simon, the courage to use that intelligence."---Thomas Sowell, Chicago Sun-Times
"The truly delightful aspect of the book is its persistent iconoclasm. Page after page, Simon punctures myths of scarcity and offers instead the counsels of optimism." ― The American Spectator
"The Ultimate Resource is the most powerful challenge to be mounted against the principles of popular environmentalism in the last 15 years. . . . What is most startling is its deep-rooted optimism about the human condition. . . . [A] landmark book." ― Washington Post Book World
"Julian Simon's 1981 book The Ultimate Resource excoriated prominent environmentalists for resorting to scare tactics and data-bending.... As Simon notes, the past sixteen years have been kind to many of his ideas.... Much as Simon had predicted, global per capita food production edged upward steadily while population rose and air quality improved in many places and ways."---Kathleen Courrier, The Washington Post
"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
About the Author
- Publisher : Princeton University Press; Revised ed. edition (July 1, 1998)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 778 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0691003815
- ISBN-13 : 978-0691003818
- Item Weight : 2.56 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.1 x 1.96 x 9.2 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #689,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Reading this book is detrimental to your blissful
ignorance about the economic and scientific
realities of resource use by H. sapiens. If
you preserve your ignorance of Simon's analysis,
you will continue to have the warm fuzzy feeling
of moral superiority over anyone who disagrees with your agenda.
I'm a big fan of Julian Simon, but feel that, as amazing as human ingenuity is, he nevertheless overstates the case. Take that famous bet with Paul Ehrlich, for example. I think Simon got lucky. Look at the date of my writing: if they had made that bet 5 years ago, and petroleum had been one of the resources on the list, Simon would have lost. Petroleum has gotten more expensive, even adjusted for inflation.
Sure, his basic point is sound - that eventually human ingenuity will find a way around the problem. I agree: eventually. But in the meantime there are killer high oil prices and a lot of suffering and doing without. Simon seems to give that short shrift.
About Simon getting lucky, this isn't just my imagination. Here's Paul Kedrosky with the hard data:
"Without getting into it too deeply, here are some things worth knowing. Given the above graph of the five commodities' prices in inflation-adjusted terms, it will surprise no-one that the bet's payoff was highly dependent on its start date. Simon famously offered to bet comers on any timeline longer than a year, and on any commodity, but the bet itself was over a decade, from 1980-1990. If you started the bet any year during the 1980s Simon won eight of the ten decadal start years. During the 1990s things changed, however, with Simon the decadal winners in four start years and Ehrlich winning six - 60% of the time. And if we extend the bet into the current decade, taking Simon at his word that he was happy to bet on any period from a year on up (we don't have enough data to do a full 21st century decade), then Ehrlich won every start-year bet in the 2000s. . . . [This] means Simon was right but fairly lucky. There is nothing wrong with being lucky, of course, but compulsive Simon/Ehrlich-citers need to be reminded that it is no law of nature (let alone of rickety old economics) that commodity prices (inflation-adjusted or otherwise) trend inexorably downward, even over a decade."