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Sabin responded that we should exercise “a measure of humility” when dealing with environmental claims and “make our best efforts based on our current level of knowledge.” He added, “At the same time it seems important to make prudent decisions based on our best knowledge of what works.” Well, yes. But it would seem to me that those who continue to predict imminent ecological catastrophe are especially in need of “a measure of humility.”
I asked Sabin who ultimately came out ahead, Simon or Ehrlich. “I am optimistic that humans can adapt and flourish,” he replied. “Of course, we must recognize the real environmental problems that we face, climate change in particular, and then apply our creative forces to solve them. I’m hopeful.”
I pressed him further: Do you believe that Ehrlich is right in his predictions about the impending collapse of human civilization? Sabin paused, “No, I don’t.”
Julian Simon was right: Betting against human ingenuity in free societies will always be a losing proposition.
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