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We will o utstrip k we cannot rely on a self

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Unformatted text preview: • Libertarian position on government intervention: market forces can solve problems -The market will take care of this : Market includes human t alent -Erlich: NO, humans are consuming so many resources. We will o utstrip K. We cannot rely on a self-regulating solution.. We must t ake preventative actions! 1 Paul Ehrlich, prominent neo Malthusian ecologist • Famous for The Population Bomb (1968) • Over consumption will exhaust K • Much media attention for dire predictions including famine and social collapse • Urged strong efforts by governments to curb birthrates; helped found Zero Population Growth -Urged gvmts to impose policy that moves towards 0 pop g rowth The first Ehrlich Simon wager: will resource prices rise due to scarcity? • 1980: Will market price of Ni, Sn, Cr, W, and Cu be higher or lower in 1990? • Ehrlich lost: all 5 metals became cheaper, mostly because of substitution -Erlich predicted that we are using all these metals at x rate -> finite amount -> we will run out -What he didnt consider: as Ni became more and more s carce, technological people (SIMON's argument) will s ubstitute the metals for other metals -Rising prices of Ni was an incentive to look for other metals instead. Erlich did not bank on this 5 20/03/2013 The Simon David South wager: will resource prices rise due to scarcity? • 1996: Will market price of lumber rise or fall over 5 years? • Simon lost, and paid up early… • …but blamed the pinko Canadian government for manipulating markets! -Trees are a renewable resource, but we must har vest s ustainably -Prices went UP! (opposite of Ni situation) The second (proposed) Ehrlich Simon wager, 1994: will selected conditions affecting humans get worse or better? • Temperatures warmer • More atmospheric CO2, N2O, ozone, SO2 • Less fertile cropland per person; less agricultural soil per person; less rice and wheat per person • In developing countries, less firewood per pe...
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