The End of Doom

The End of Doom: 'One of the year's best science books,' says Wall Street Journal

Makes a wonderful Christmas gift.



From the Wall Street Journal:

The Best Books for Science Lovers

Matt Ridley recommends new books from 2015.

Nov. 20, 2015

St. Martin's

One of the year's best science books is Ronald Bailey's "The End of Doom" ( Thomas Dunne, 345 pages, $27.99), which exposes the extraordinary failure rate of gloomy ecological prophets. With the world's population growth rate falling fast, species loss lower than predicted, oil and gas abundant, and land being returned to nature because of booming farm yields, the 21st century is proving much better than most forecasters said it would be. Mr. Bailey is especially acute in nailing the harm done by the "precautionary principle," which measures only risks and not benefits of new technologies, and, as Mr. Bailey says, in effect urges: "never do anything for the first time."

Confessing to mutual admiration, I also highly recommend Ridley's new book, The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge.

I wouldn't be much of a capitalist if I didn't take this opportunity to point out that a copy of The End of Doom would be a wonderful Christmas present for nearly anyone on your gift list.

I will also mention that today is my birthday. Just saying.

NEXT: Who Are the European Jihadists?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. How old?

  2. Bailey is a scientist? I’m gonna need some credentials here.

    1. H: Nope. But a science journalist.

      1. Scientist and a journalist? Such talent!

      2. I know, I was just joking in a sort of ‘Tony’s going to be here any minute now and call Bailey an engineer’ way.

  3. I will also mention that today is my birthday. Just saying.

    Does this birthday show a higher temperature anomaly than previous birthdays, Ron?

    Happy Birthday, Ron!

  4. Congratulations, Ron, on getting the blurb from the Journal. Ridley’s a voice in science that I respect.

    Many happy sales for you and yours.

    1. Coming up next, rave reviews of next books by
      Paul Ehrlich, Jared Diamond and Naomi Oreskes by
      Al Gore, Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein

  5. We need an official obnoxious H&R birthday song. You know, like kind they sing at crappy chain restaurants that have a bunch of wacky bullshit on the walls and serve deep-fried cheese.

    1. How do you pack Mexican butt-sex, marijuana, gay marriage, orphans and monocles into one short song?

    2. Happy Birthday to you
      May the coppers not shoot
      Your beloved little puppy
      Happy birthday to you

      1. Keyboard irrigated. Well done

    3. I have just the song for you.

      1. PERFECT

        By which I mean terrible. You’re terrible.

  6. Happy B-day Ron. Think I will add the book to my Christmas list.

  7. Unlike the other groupies you have here, I don’t care that today is your birthday.

    And it’s not surprising that WSJ gave your book a good review considering how much shilling you got going on.

    I heard some of your colleagues wrote books too. Look at what good it’s done them.

  8. I just finished reading Bailey’s book. I agree with the general upside evaluations. What Bailey misses completely is the assumption that (most of) the planet continues on a civilized path of peaceful trade, freedom to innovate, and freedom to profit from innovation.

    The event stream that could confirm the pessimists’ extreme downside is regression into authoritarianism and beyond. We have not yet seen episodes of billion-person starvation, but all we need is a well-meaning environmentalist anti-tech Mao.

    1. We have not yet seen episodes of billion-person starvation, but all we need is a well-meaning environmentalist anti-tech Mao.

      It’s only a matter of time.

    2. That’s always been my fear, but politics is rather unpredictable.

    3. D: First, thank you so much for reading the book!

      In my defense, I do address some of your concern in my section on Sustainable Development in the book, pp. 67 through 73 including:

      Top-down bureaucratization of the sort favored by many environ- mental activists moves societies back in the direction of natural states in which monopolies are secured and run by elites. Innovation would thus stall and the ability of people and societies to adapt rapidly to changing conditions, economic and ecological, via free markets and democratic politics would falter. “Ironically, instead of eliminating all complexity cascades, what the increasing bureaucratization of mature societies may do is increase the impact of the really big cascades when they overwhelm a society’s barricades,” argues Brunk. That’s entirely correct.

      What well-meaning activists and UN bureaucrats are trying to do is centrally plan the world’s ecology. History suggests that that would work out about as well for humanity and the natural world as centrally planned economies did. …

      There is one way to make sure that humanity runs out of re- sources?by slowing down the rate of technological progress. As it happens, lots of environmentalists advocate a policy that could in fact drastically slow down the rate of technological change?implementing the precautionary principle.

  9. Since Ron fights the good fight he gets a rough Canadian noogie from Rufus because Rufus doesn’t wish anyone happy birthday on the Internet.

    1. With a little genetic engineeering Rufus could have been a fast-growing Roundup Resistant Monocot Drupe Sprayer.

  10. Not for nothing, but does anyone else hear ‘Yakety-Sax’ when they look at Ron’s picture?

  11. It’s a lot easier to sell pessimism than optimism — but good luck, Ron, and happy birthday!

  12. Good book Ron. Thanks.

    You really nailed some stuff there.

    We still need to work on the AGW and open borders issue. Don’t worry, there’s time.

  13. Happy Birthday Ron! Your book is on my to-buy list.

  14. I will also mention that today is my birthday. Just saying.

    Bailey, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!

  15. Happy Birthday, Mr. Bailey!

    Well, it’s still your birthday on the West Coast.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.