Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on June 25, 2011

in Complexity & Emergence, Environment

… is from page 24 of Julian Simon’s still-indispensable 1996 book The Ultimate Resource 2:

“[N]atural resources are not finite in any meaningful economic sense, mind-boggling though this assertion may be.  The stocks of them are not fixed but rather are expanding through human ingenuity.”

If you doubt the truth of Julian’s undoubtedly true claim, ask yourself: what is it, exactly, that makes petroleum a ‘natural’ resource?  Or that makes such of trees?  Or of the electromagnetic spectrum?  Or of land itself?  The unavoidable answer is human ingenuity.

UPDATE: Mark Perry increases the value of this post by mixing it with some of Thomas Sowell’s wisdom.


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