Julian Simon's
Pollution Fantasy

"Pollution. This set of issues is as complicated as you wish to make it. But even many ecologists, as well as most economists, agree that population growth is not the villain in the creation and reduction of pollution. And the key trend is that life expectancy, which is the best overall index of the pollution level, has improved markedly as the world's population has grown. This reflects the enormous decline during the past couple of centuries in the most important pollutions-diseases borne by air and water."

Julian Simon, 1996
The Ultimate Resource 2


"Simon claims, after warning us to 'grab your hat,' that pollution has really been decreasing rather than increasing. To test this hypothesis most investigators would probably look at parts per million of various substances emitted into the air and water by human activities to see if they have been rising or falling over time. Simon, however, takes life expectancy as his index of pollution: increasing life expectancy indicates decreasing pollution. If one suggests that the increase in life expectancy mainly reflects improved control of infectious diseases, Simon redefines 'pollutant' to include the smallpox virus and other germs. In this way an increase in emissions of noxious substances from the economy (what everyone but Simon means by 'pollution') would not register until after it more than offset the improvement in life expectancy brought about by modern medicine. Thus Simon 'measures' pollution by burying it in an aggregate, the other component of which offsets and overwhelms it."

Herman Daly, 1996
Minnesotans For Sustainability


The evidence is strong that global warming is in fact occuring as the northern glaciers and Arctic ice melts rapidly. It is caused by the emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other pollutants into the atmosphere by our exploding population. Julian Simon and his corporate followers seem to think that "global warming" is simply an environmentalist "chicken-little" scare tactic. The number one argument is that global warming is only a cycle that has occurred before in the history of the world and alarmists should be ignored in the name of profit.

And yet the evidence relentlessly keeps on coming in. Perhaps it takes a world catastrophe to convince them that the idea of an Arctic and probably a global peril is real. By that time it will be too late to do anything about it. Simon would say not to worry, human ingenuity will conquer all, besides let the Arctic as we know it now be damned because the forests will spread up there and we will all have more lumber. Never mind if whole cities like New York are indundated with sea water or half of Florida and the Netherlands is covered 200 feet deep, somehow our ever expanding population will bring new ideas and we will be better off than ever before.

Does anyone else see the sheer madness in Simon's ideas?