Losing Proposition


Is the world running out of resources? Most environmentalists think so economist Julian Simon strongly disagrees.

In October 1980, Simon bet ecologists Paul Ehrlich, John P. Holdren, and Johr Harte that in 10 years the price of any raw material they selected would have fallen (measured in constant 1980 dollars). Last October, Ehrlich and his colleagues sent Simon a $1,000 check, since the prices of the five minerals they had chosen (copper, chrome, nickel, tin, and tungsten) had dropped substantially.

Simon would like to renew his bet upping the ante to $20,000. So far, no one has accepted the offer.