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Special topic 13

Special topic 13 - Special Topics 13 Resources running out...

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Resources running out? Environmental Issues Special Topics 13
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Are we running out of resources? The earth’s natural resources are finite, which means that if we use them continuously, we will eventually exhaust them. This basic observation is undeniable. William J. Baumol & Sue Anne Batey Blackman Our exhaustible and unreproducible natural resources, if measured in terms of their prospective contribution to human welfare, can actually increase year after year, perhaps never coming anywhere near exhaustion. William J. Baumol & Sue Anne Batey Blackman Satellite Earth Sun Physical Law: Conservation of matter and energy
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Doomsday predictions fail to consider incentives Malthusian predictions : population outruns resources, creating famines and despair. Thomas Malthus (early 1800s) Paul Erhlich or Limits to Growth (1970s) We are not running out of resources; in fact, resources becoming relatively more plentiful in the last several centuries. Oil is a good example of defying See Simon /Erhlich wager, p 770
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Good news for people!!! Population is not the problem! Politics is generally the problem Consider Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, Estonia . . . Consider “Irish Miracle” [policy u- turn! (S.T. 7)] Generally, more wealth smaller families How does wealth impact the opportunity costs of having children?
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No shortage of energy in U.s.
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