Re: ECON: Simon vs Ehrlich

Crosby_M (
Sat, 26 Apr 1997 18:10:27 -0400

Patrick Wilken asked about the most recent wager between Paul Ehrlich
and Julian Simon:
<The story told in the documentary what that Ehrlich's group was
basically only allowed to chose metals - no other commodities were
allowed. [SNIP] They did mentioned that much more recently there has
been a second challenge by Ehrlich to Simon, but that Simon had not
taken up the bet. Does anyone know what's become of this second bet?
And what the true story of the first bet is?>

Just this past week, Simon wrote a commentary on this in the Wall
Street Journal. Ehrlich and company lost the first bet and paid up.
As for the second bet, Simon said they could pick any measure(s) of
growth they liked and he would bet that over a period of ten years or
more the measure would increase.

I'm not sure I remember all the details, but apparently Ehrlich wanted
to use something like the amount of ozone in the atmosphere as a
measure of progress and Simon said, no, it would have to be some
measure of economic growth. So now, according to Simon, Ehrlich is
running around saying that Simon will no longer risk betting on
progress in the future.

Mark Crosby