Dr. Ehrlich, Call Your Office

Michael Giberson

I ended my semester in “Energy and Environmental Economics” talking about resource optimism and resource pessimism, framed mostly as a big picture debate between Julian Simon and others against Paul Ehrlich and Neo-Malthusians. Simon reports being puzzled at how folks could look at data showing human health and well-being getting better and better and come to the conclusion we were all doomed and it was probably too late to do anything about it.

I’m sure upon reading this New York Times story the pessimists will be as troubled as ever: “Life Expectancy Rises Around the World, Study Finds.”

3 thoughts on “Dr. Ehrlich, Call Your Office

  1. Mike,

    Modern medicine has deprived the world of many of the historical causes of death, but has not changed its inevitability. Therefore, we will all die from one of the residual causes which modern medicine has not eliminated. Heart disease and cancer are the two remaining “biggies”; and, their “market” share will likely continue to grow.

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