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Flat White

One man’s triumph over Malthusianism

17 August 2023

5:00 AM

17 August 2023

5:00 AM

Let’s gamble. I will bet you $1,000 that in 10 years’ time any five non replenishing commodities of your choosing will be cheaper.

This is exactly what happened between Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich between 1980 and 1990.

Biologist Paul Ehrlich is infamous for being wrong. The very first line in his entry on Wikipedia reads, ‘[Ehrlich is] best known for his pessimistic and inaccurate predictions and warnings…’

Famously, Ehrlich wrote the book Population Bomb (1968) predicting mass starvation in the 1970s due to a spiralling population boom in which agricultural output would not be able to meet the growing demand for food.

When the...

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