|Julian Lincoln Simon|
|Born||February 12, 1932|
Newark, New Jersey
|Died||February 8, 1998 65) (aged|
Chevy Chase, Maryland
|Institution|| University of Maryland |
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
|Chicago School of Economics|
|Part of a series on|
Julian Lincoln Simon (February 12, 1932 – February 8, 1998)was an American professor of business administration at the University of Maryland and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute at the time of his death, after previously serving as a longtime economics and business professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences, a teacher of the highest rank.
Business administration is administration of a business. It includes all aspects of overseeing and supervising business operations, as well as related fields which include accounting, finance, project management and marketing.
The University of Maryland, College Park is a public research university in College Park, Maryland. Founded in 1856, UMD is the flagship institution of the University System of Maryland, and is the largest university in both the state and the Washington metropolitan area, with more than 41,000 students representing all fifty states and 123 countries, and a global alumni network of over 360,000. Its twelve schools and colleges together offer over 200 degree-granting programs, including 92 undergraduate majors, 107 master's programs, and 83 doctoral programs. UMD is a member of the Association of American Universities and competes in intercollegiate athletics as a member of the Big Ten Conference.
Simon wrote many books and articles, mostly on economic subjects. He is best known for his work on population, natural resources, and immigration. His work covers cornucopian views on lasting economic benefits from natural resources and continuous population growth, even despite limited or finite physical resources, empowered by human ingenuity, substitutes, and technological progress.
Economics is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
In biology, a population is all the organisms of the same group or species, which live in a particular geographical area, and have the capability of interbreeding. The area of a sexual population is the area where inter-breeding is potentially possible between any pair within the area, and where the probability of interbreeding is greater than the probability of cross-breeding with individuals from other areas.
Natural resources are resources that exist without actions of humankind. This includes all valued characteristics such as magnetic, gravitational, electrical properties and forces etc. On earth it includes: sunlight, atmosphere, water, land along with all vegetation, crops and animal life that naturally subsists upon or within the heretofore identified characteristics and substances.
He is also known for the famous Simon–Ehrlich wager, a bet he made with ecologist Paul R. Ehrlich. Ehrlich bet that the prices for five metals would increase over a decade, while Simon took the opposite stance. Simon won the bet, as the prices for the metals sharply declined during that decade.
The Simon-Ehrlich Wager describes a 1980 scientific wager between business professor Julian L. Simon and biologist Paul Ehrlich, betting on a mutually agreed-upon measure of resource scarcity over the decade leading up to 1990. The widely-followed contest originated in the pages of Social Science Quarterly, where Simon challenged Ehrlich to put his money where his mouth was. In response to Ehrlich's published claim that "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000" Simon offered to take that bet, or, more realistically, "to stake US$10,000 ... on my belief that the cost of non-government-controlled raw materials will not rise in the long run."
Paul Ralph Ehrlich is an American biologist, best known for his warnings about the consequences of population growth and limited resources. He is the Bing Professor of Population Studies of the Department of Biology of Stanford University and president of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology.
Simon's 1981 book The Ultimate Resource is a criticism of what was then the conventional wisdom on resource scarcity, published within the context of the cultural background created by the best-selling and highly influential book The Population Bomb in 1968 by Paul R. Ehrlich and The Limits to Growth analysis published in 1972. The Ultimate Resource challenged the conventional wisdom on population growth, raw-material scarcity and resource consumption. Simon argues that our notions of increasing resource-scarcity ignore the long-term declines in wage-adjusted raw material prices. Viewed economically, he argues, increasing wealth and technology make more resources available; although supplies may be limited physically they may be regarded as economically indefinite as old resources are recycled and new alternatives are assumed to be developed by the market. Simon challenged the notion of an impending Malthusian catastrophe—that an increase in population has negative economic consequences; that population is a drain on natural resources; and that we stand at risk of running out of resources through over-consumption. Simon argues that population is the solution to resource scarcities and environmental problems, since people and markets innovate. His ideas were praised by Nobel Laureate economists Friedrich Hayekand Milton Friedman, the latter in a 1998 foreword to The Ultimate Resource II, but they have also attracted critics such as Paul R. Ehrlich, Albert Allen Bartlett and Herman Daly.
Conventional wisdom is the body of ideas or explanations generally accepted as true by the public and/or by experts in a field.
The Population Bomb is a best-selling book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich, in 1968. It predicted worldwide famine in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth. Fears of a "population explosion" were widespread in the 1950s and 1960s, but the book and its author brought the idea to an even wider audience.
The Limits to Growth (LTG) is a 1972 report on the computer simulation of exponential economic and population growth with a finite supply of resources. Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and commissioned by the Club of Rome, the findings of the study were first presented at international gatherings in Moscow and Rio de Janeiro in the summer of 1971. The report's authors are Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III, representing a team of 17 researchers.
Simon examined different raw materials, especially metals and their prices in historical times. He assumed that besides temporary shortfalls, in the long run prices for raw materials remain at similar levels or even decrease. E.g. aluminium was never as expensive as before 1886 and steel used for medieval armor carried a much higher price tag in current dollars than any modern parallel. A recent discussion of commodity index long-term trends supported his positions.
His 1984 book The Resourceful Earth (co-edited by Herman Kahn), is a similar criticism of the conventional wisdom on population growth and resource consumption and a direct response to the Global 2000 report. For example, it predicted that "There is no compelling reason to believe that world oil prices will rise in the coming decades. In fact, prices may well fall below current levels". Indeed, oil prices trended downward for nearly the next 2 decades, before rising above 1984 levels in about 2003 or 2004. Oil prices have subsequently risen and fallen, and risen again. In 2008, the price of crude oil reached $100 per barrel, a level last attained in the 1860s (inflation adjusted). Later in 2008, the price again sharply fell, to a low of about $40, before rising again to a high around $125. Since mid-2011, prices were slowly trending downward until the middle of 2014, but falling dramatically until the end of 2015 to ca. $30. Since then prices were relatively stable (below $50).
Herman Kahn was a founder of the Hudson Institute and one of the preeminent futurists of the latter part of the twentieth century. He originally came to prominence as a military strategist and systems theorist while employed at the RAND Corporation. He became known for analyzing the likely consequences of nuclear war and recommending ways to improve survivability, making him one of three historical inspirations for the title character of Stanley Kubrick's classic black comedy film satire Dr. Strangelove.
The Global 2000 Report to the President was a 1980 report on sustainable societal development, commissioned by President Jimmy Carter on May 23, 1977. The report was released at a press conference in the White House on July 24, 1980. The report sold 1.5 million copies in 9 languages. There were many editions of the report.
Simon was skeptical, in 1994, of claims that human activity caused global environmental damage, notably in relation to CFCs, ozone depletion and climate change, the latter primarily because of the perceived rapid switch from fears of global cooling and a new ice age (in the mid-1970s) to the later fears of global warming.
Simon also listed numerous claims about alleged environmental damage and health dangers from pollution as "definitely disproved". These included claims about lead pollution & IQ, DDT, PCBs, malathion, Agent Orange, asbestos, and the chemical contamination at Love Canal.He dismissed such concerns as a mere "value judgement."
But also, to a startling degree, the decision about whether the overall effect of a child or migrant is positive or negative depends on the values of whoever is making the judgment – your preference to spend a dollar now rather than to wait for a dollar-plus-something in twenty or thirty years, your preferences for having more or fewer wild animals alive as opposed to more or fewer human beings alive, and so on.
Simon was one of the founders of free-market environmentalism. An article entitled "The Doomslayer"profiling Julian Simon in Wired magazine inspired Danish climate skeptic Bjørn Lomborg to write the book The Skeptical Environmentalist .
Simon was also the first to suggest that airlines should provide incentives for travelers to give up their seats on overbooked flights, rather than arbitrarily taking random passengers off the plane (a practice known as "bumping").Although the airline industry initially rejected it, his plan was later implemented with resounding success, as recounted by Milton Friedman in the foreword to The Ultimate Resource II. Economist James Heins said in 2009 that the practice had added $100 billion to the United States economy in the last 30 years. Simon gave away his idea to federal de-regulators and never received any personal profit from his solution.
Although not all of Simon's arguments were universally accepted, they contributed to a shift in opinion in the literature on demographic economics from a strongly Malthusian negative view of population growth to a more neutral view.[ not specific enough to verify ][ citation needed ] More recent theoretical developments, based on the ideas of the demographic dividend and demographic window, have contributed to another shift,[ how? ] this time away from the debate viewing population growth as either good or bad.[ citation needed ]
Simon wrote a memoir, A Life Against the Grain, which was published by his wife after his death.
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Simon challenged Paul R. Ehrlich to a wagerin 1980 over the price of metals a decade later; Simon had been challenging environmental scientists to the bet for some time. Ehrlich, John Harte, and John Holdren selected a basket of five metals that they thought would rise in price with increasing scarcity and depletion. Simon won the bet, with all five metals dropping in price.
Supporters of Ehrlich's position suggest that much of this price drop came because of an oil spike driving prices up in 1980 and a recession driving prices down in 1990, pointing out that the price of the basket of metals actually rose from 1950 to 1975. They also suggest that Ehrlich did not consider the prices of these metals to be critical indicators, and that Ehrlich took the bet with great reluctance. On the other hand, Ehrlich selected the metals to be used himself, and at the time of the bet called it an "astonishing offer" that he was accepting "before other greedy people jump in."
The total supply in three of these metals (chromium, copper and nickel) increased during this time. Prices also declined for reasons specific to each of the five:
In all of these cases, better technology allowed for either more efficient use of existing resources, or substitution with a more abundant and less expensive resource, as Simon predicted, until 2011.
In 1995, Simon issued a challenge for a second bet. Ehrlich declined, and proposed instead that they bet on a metric for human welfare. Ehrlich offered Simon a set of 15 metrics over 10 years, victor to be determined by scientists chosen by the president of the National Academy of Sciences in 2005. There was no meeting of minds, because Simon felt that too many of the metric's measured attributes of the world were not directly related to human welfare, e.g. the amount of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere.For such indirect, supposedly bad indicators to be considered "bad", they would ultimately have to have some measurable detrimental effect on actual human welfare. Ehrlich refused to leave out measures considered by Simon to be immaterial.
Simon summarized the bet with the following analogy:
Let me characterize their [Ehrlich and Schneider's] offer as follows. I predict, and this is for real, that the average performances in the next Olympics will be better than those in the last Olympics. On average, the performances have gotten better, Olympics to Olympics, for a variety of reasons. What Ehrlich and others say is that they don't want to bet on athletic performances, they want to bet on the conditions of the track, or the weather, or the officials, or any other such indirect measure.
The same year as his second challenge to Ehrlich, Simon also began a wager with David South, professor of the Auburn University School of Forestry. The Simon / South wager [ citation needed ] Simon died before the agreed-upon date of the end of the bet, by which time timber prices had risen further.concerned timber prices. Consistent with his cornucopian analysis of this issue in The Ultimate Resource, Simon wagered that at the end of a five-year term the consumer price of pine timber would have decreased; South wagered that it would increase. Before five years had elapsed, Simon saw that market and extra-market forces were driving up the price of timber, and he paid Professor South $1,000.
Simon's reasoning for his early exit out of the bet was due to "the far-reaching quantity and price effects of logging restrictions in the Pacific-northwest."He believed this counted as interference from the U.S. government, which rendered the bet worthless according to his economic principles. Simon's bet only considered the possibility of prices being driven up by Alabama's government; he did not believe anything worthwhile was shown when U.S. logging restrictions drove the prices up.
Jared Diamond in his book Collapse, Albert Bartlett and Garrett Hardin describe Simon as being too optimistic and some of his assumptions being not in line with natural limitations.
We now have in our hands—really, in our libraries—the technology to feed, clothe, and supply energy to an ever-growing population for the next seven billion years. (Simon along The State of Humanity: Steadily Improving 1995)
Diamond claims that a continued stable growth rate of earth's population would result in extreme over-population long before the suggested time limit. Regarding the attributed population predictions Simon did not specify that he was assuming a fixed growth rate as Diamond, Bartlett and Hardin have done. Simon argued that people do not become poorer as the population expands; increasing numbers produce what they needed to support themselves, and have and will prosper while food prices sink.
There is no reason to believe that at any given moment in the future the available quantity of any natural resource or service at present prices will be much smaller than it is now, or non-existent. (Simon in The Ultimate Resource, 1981)
Diamond believes, and finds absurd, Simon implies it would be possible to produce metals, e.g. copper, from other elements.For Simon, human resource needs are comparably small compared to the wealth of nature. He therefore argued physical limitations play a minor role and shortages of raw materials tend to be local and temporary. The main scarcity pointed out by Simon is the amount of human brain power (i.e. "The Ultimate Resource") which allows for the perpetuation of human activities for practically unlimited time. For example, before copper ore became scarce and prices soared due to global increasing demand for copper wires and cablings, the global data and telecommunication networks have switched to glass fiber backbone networks.
This is my long-run forecast in brief, ...The material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today's Western living standards. I also speculate, however, that many people will continue to think and say that the conditions of life are getting worse.
This and other quotations in Wired are supposed to be the reason for Bjørn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist . Lomborg has stated that he began his research as an attempt to counter what he saw as Simons' anti-ecological arguments but changed his mind after starting to analyze the data.
The Institute for the Study of Labor established the annual Julian L. Simon Lecture to honor Simon's work in population economics.The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign held a symposium discussing Simon's work on April 24, 2002. The university also established the Julian Simon Memorial Faculty Scholar Endowment to fund an associate faculty member in the business school. India's Liberty Institute also holds a Julian Simon Memorial Lecture. The Competitive Enterprise Institute gives the Julian Simon Memorial Award annually to an economist in the vein of Simon; the first recipient was Stephen Moore, who had served as a research fellow under Simon in the 1980s.
Simon was married to Rita James Simon, who was also a longtime member of the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and later became a public affairs professor at American University.Simon suffered from a long time depression, which allowed him to work only a few productive hours in a day. He also studied psychology of depression and wrote a book on overcoming it. Simon was Jewish. He died of a heart attack at his home in Chevy Chase in 1998 at age 65.
A Malthusian catastrophe is a prediction that population growth will outpace agricultural production – that there will be too many people and not enough food.
The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water, and other necessities available in the environment. In population biology, carrying capacity is defined as the environment's maximal load, which is different from the concept of population equilibrium. Its effect on population dynamics may be approximated in a logistic model, although this simplification ignores the possibility of overshoot which real systems may exhibit.
Economic growth is the increase in the inflation-adjusted market value of the goods and services produced by an economy over time. It is conventionally measured as the percent rate of increase in real gross domestic product, or real GDP.
Human population planning is the practice of intentionally controlling the rate of growth of a human population. Historically, human population planning has been implemented with the goal of increasing the rate of human population growth. However, in the period from the 1950s to the 1980s, concerns about global population growth and its effects on poverty, environmental degradation and political stability led to efforts to reduce human population growth rates. More recently, some countries, such as China, Iran, and Spain, have begun efforts to increase their birth rates once again.
I = PAT is the mathematical notation of a formula put forward to describe the impact of human activity on the environment.
A cornucopian is a futurist who believes that continued progress and provision of material items for mankind can be met by similarly continued advances in technology. Fundamentally they believe that there is enough matter and energy on the Earth to provide for the population of the world.
The Hubbert peak theory says that for any given geographical area, from an individual oil-producing region to the planet as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve. It is one of the primary theories on peak oil.
A scientific wager is a wager whose outcome is settled by scientific method. They typically consist of an offer to pay a certain sum of money on the scientific proof or disproof of some currently-uncertain statement. Some wagers have specific date restrictions for collection, but many are open. Wagers occasionally exert a powerful galvanizing effect on society and the scientific community.
Optimum population refers to the size of a population that produces the best results according to chosen end targets. One text from 1926 presented a single end target as being "...the largest per capita income of consumers' goods possible under the given conditions". Other potential end targets in favour of lower levels of population are cited, including: long term sustainability, efficient operation of democracy, the preservation of personal freedom and the preservation of biodiversity while potential end targets in favour of higher levels of population are cited, including the abilities to preserve and foster cultural diversity, to stimulate intellectual, artistic, and technological creativity and to facilitate social infrastructure.
Malthusianism is the idea that population growth is potentially exponential while the growth of the food supply is linear. It derives from the political and economic thought of the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus, as laid out in his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus believed there were two types of "checks" that in all times and places kept population growth in line with the growth of the food supply: "preventive checks", such as moral restraints, and restricting marriage against persons suffering poverty or perceived as defective, and "positive checks", which lead to premature death such as disease, starvation and war, resulting in what is called a Malthusian catastrophe. The catastrophe would return population to a lower, more "sustainable", level. Malthusianism has been linked to a variety of political and social movements, but almost always refers to advocates of population control.
A steady-state economy is an economy made up of a constant stock of physical wealth (capital) and a constant population size. In effect, such an economy does not grow in the course of time. The term usually refers to the national economy of a particular country, but it is also applicable to the economic system of a city, a region, or the entire world. Early in the history of economic thought, classical economist Adam Smith of the 18th century developed the concept of a stationary state of an economy: Smith believed that any national economy in the world would sooner or later settle in a final state of stationarity.
Human overpopulation occurs when the ecological footprint of a human population in a specific geographical location exceeds the carrying capacity of the place occupied by that group. Overpopulation can further be viewed, in a long term perspective, as existing if a population cannot be maintained given the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources or given the degradation of the capacity of the environment to give support to the population. Changes in lifestyle could reverse overpopulated status without a large population reduction.
The Ultimate Resource is a 1981 book written by Julian Lincoln Simon challenging the notion that humanity was running out of natural resources. It was revised in 1996 as The Ultimate Resource 2.
Peak copper is the point in time at which the maximum global copper production rate is reached. Since copper is a finite resource, at some point in the future new production from mining will diminish, and at some earlier time production will reach a maximum. When this will occur is a matter of dispute. Unlike fossil fuels, copper is scrapped and reused and it has been estimated that at least 80% of all copper ever mined is still available. Copper is among the most important industrial metals, valued for its heat and electrical conductivities and malleability. Copper is used in electrical power cables, data cables, electrical equipment, cooling and refrigeration tubing, heat exchangers, brass casing small arms ammunition, water pipes, and jewellery.
The Simmons–Tierney bet was a wager made in August 2005 between Houston banking executive Matthew R. Simmons and New York Times columnist John Tierney. The stakes of the bet were US $10,000.00. The subject of the bet was the year-end average of the daily price-per-barrel of crude oil for the entire calendar year of 2010 adjusted for inflation, which Simmons predicted to be at least $200. The bet was to be settled on January 1, 2011.
Peak minerals marks the point in time when the largest production of a mineral will occur in an area, with production declining in subsequent years. While most mineral resources will not be exhausted in the near future, global extraction and production is becoming more challenging. Miners have found ways over time to extract deeper and lower grade ores with lower production costs. More than anything else, declining average ore grades are indicative of ongoing technological shifts that have enabled inclusion of more 'complex' processing – in social and environmental terms as well as economic – and structural changes in the minerals exploration industry and these have been accompanied by significant increases in identified Mineral Reserves.
John Paul Holdren is an American scientist who served as the senior advisor to President Barack Obama on science and technology issues through his roles as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
...died at his home in Chevy Chase, Md., on Sunday.
Which cites: Miele, Frank. "Living without limits: an interview with Julian Simon." Skeptic, vol. 5, no. 1, 1997, p. 57.
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