New Paper: Celebrating the Simon-Ehrlich Bet and a review of Sabin’s The Bet

My most recent paper, co-written with Pierre Desrochers, we have submitted it to International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development.  

It can be read in its entirety HERE

Snatching the Wrong Conclusions from the Jaws of Defeat: A Resourceship Perspective on Paul Sabin’s The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013)


Historian Paul Sabin’s The Bet aims to present the first full-fledged account of the 1980 wager on the future prices of five metals between ecologist Paul Ehrlich and economist Julian Simon. The Malthusian Ehrlich predicted that growing populations would rapidly deplete the world’s finite supply of valuable resources, causing their price to rise. Simon countered that, in a market economy, prices and technological change would result in resources being used more efficiently, new deposits discovered and substitutes developed, resulting in both less scarce resources and lower prices. Unfortunately, Sabin’s account is marred by a lack of historical perspective, an oversimplification of Simon’s theoretical framework, and a quest to find a middle ground between mutually exclusive positions. This review essay addresses these and other problems.


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