NATS 1840 Lecture Notes - Paul Erlich, Thomas Robert Malthus, Ecocentrism

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Science, technology and the environment (sc nats 1840a) . Readings chapter 28, 26, 19. 1+19. 5, readings on moodle (m. hocking) Present resource use & growth is unsustainable. Pollution should be prevented rather than remedied. Thomas malthus predicted (~1800) that mass starvation would soon occur. Paul erlich made a similar prediction in the population bomb" (1968); Ability of earth to support growth is unlimited; Economic growth yields technological advances, less pollution, &improved human welfare. Consequences of pollution can be managed as needed; Julian simon (1932-1998) described human ingenuity as the ultimate resource (1981) Debate ongoing since 1970s between doomers" and optimists". Both sides are somewhat extreme viewpoints in the environmental debate; Neo-malthusians have tended to make strong predictions which turn out to be wrong. Simon made a bet with erlich on the price of commodities in 1980s simon won; Cornucopians appeal to induction to claim all will be well and that environmental problems are exaggerated.

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