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Monday, March 12, 2007


Simon was an economist who believed that human progress is sustainable.

Perhaps he is popularly best known for his bet with Paul Ehrlich. Perhaps being more right than Ehrlich, who has promised an environmental Armageddon real soon now for 40 years. He said he would be prepared "to bet that England will not exist by 2000" - here are some others. However their bet would have seemed a certainty for Ehrlich had there been any truth in the idea that we are running out of resources. They bet on whether various elements would become rarer & hence more expensive over time. Simon's achievement was to get an "environmentally aware" person to test his theory against specific prices a specific period.

Simon won. Ehrlich refused an offer to repeat. So did everyone else. Running out of elements (with the exception of oil) which was the mainstay of the Club of Rome's scare story has since almost disappeared from the Green agenda.

He died in 1998 & has not been replaced.

I am linking to his articles

There is enough to provide a lot of reading to anybody. He consistently shows a concern for facts & for following the numbers wherever they lead. They led him to the conclusion that we have an unlimited future if we merely make the effort. That the doomsayers are making it up because their minds are to small to imagine what compound growth can achieve & retreat into medievalism & catastrophe.

I tend to think that we will have to change the way we live now. That doesn't mean we have to regress.

The most regressive influence on humanity today isn't the 'bloody weather', it's the bloody politicians and vested (should that be hair shirted?) interests
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