Ultimate Resource

ISBN-10: 0691003815

ISBN-13: 9780691003818

Edition: 2nd 1998

Authors: Julian L. Simon

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Description:

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 ofThe Ultimate Resourcequestioned 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 ofThe 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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Book details

List price: $75.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/21/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 778
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 2.398
Language: English

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?
The Amazing Theory of Raw-Material Scarcity
Why Are Material-Technical Resource Forecasts So Often Wrong?
Can the Supply of Natural Resources - Especially Energy - Really Be Infinite? Yes!
The Grand Theory
Famine 1995? or 2025? or 1975?
What Are the Limits on Food Production?
The Worldwide Food Situation Now: Shortage Crises, Glut Crises, and Government
Are We Losing Ground?
Two Bogeymen: "Urban Sprawl" and Soil Erosion
Water, Wood, Wetlands - and What Next?
When Will We Run Out of Oil? Never!
Today's Energy Issues
Nuclear Power: Tomorrow's Greatest Energy Opportunity
A Dying Planet? How the Media Have Scared the Public
The Peculiar Theory of Pollution
Whither the History of Pollution?
Pollution Today: 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?
Coercive Recycling, Forced Conservation, and Free-Market Alternatives
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
Population's Effects on Technology and Productivity
Economies of Scope and Education
Population Growth, Natural Resources, and Future Generations
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 Well-Being
The Big Economic Picture: Population Growth and Living Standards in MDCs
The Big Picture II: LDCs
How the Comparisons People Make Affect Their Beliefs about Whether Things Are Getting Better or Worse
The Rhetoric of Population Control: Does the End Justify the Means?
The Reasoning behind the Rhetoric
Ultimately - What Are Your Values?
The Key Values
Conclusion The Ultimate Resource
Epilogue
My Critics and I
Notes
References
Index
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