Julian Simon

Mark D. Fulwiler (mfulwiler@earthlink.net)
Fri, 13 Feb 1998 13:00:23 -0700

> R <rls@wenet.net> wrote:

> Subject: Re: Julian Simon
> I may be speaking against the extropian principle of "dynamic optimism"
> but I
> think "dynamic realism" would do the faithful better. No one can
> honestly
> deny the environmental devestation we have wrecked on the planet, the
> many
> species we have driven to extinction, global warming, pollution, and
> cancer.
> You can't shrug that off as being "doom and gloom". It's reality like it
> or not.
> And as I receall, even Simon didn't say destroying Nature was a good
> thing.
> Rod

You are right that Julian Simon never said that destroying nature was a good
thing, but who is saying that?

Julian Simon was a man who was always concerned about the facts. He never denied
things that were true and he never denied the negative things humans have done
(like pollution and killing off some species), but he always pointed out that, in
general and in almost all specifics, things are getting better for human beings.

The facts are that life expectency is increasing, death rates are decreasing,
poverty is decreasing, standards of living are increasing, birth rates are
decreasing, prices of resources are decreasing, the forested areas of the U.S.
are increasing, air quality is improving, etc., etc. Of course, there are
problems, but the trends are encouraging across the board. That is reality.

In contrast, Paul Ehrlich continually insists doomsday is just around the corner
unless we adopt all sorts of authoritarian government controls. When his
predictions don't come true (and he has made so many bad predictions that he
makes the Psychic Hotline look good!), he moves back the date of doomsday or he
claims that he helped avert the catastrophe.

Mark Fulwiler