Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on June 23, 2018

in Environment, Myths and Fallacies, Seen and Unseen

… is from page 127 of Steven Pinker’s excellent 2018 volume, Enlightenment Now (footnote deleted):

When predictions of apocalyptic resource shortages repeatedly fail to come true, one has to conclude either that humanity has miraculously escaped from certain death again and again like a Hollywood action hero or that there is a flaw in the thinking that predicts apocalyptic resource shortages. The flaw has been pointed out many times. Humanity does not suck resources from the earth like a straw in a milkshake until a gurgle tells it that the container is empty. Instead, as the most easily extracted supply of a resource becomes scarce, its price rises, encouraging people to conserve it, get at the less accessible deposits, or find cheaper and more plentiful substitutes.

DBx: The image above is what far too many people today have in their minds about the relationship between economic growth and resource supplies. It’s an image that is completely mistaken.


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