Julian Simon Award Winner: Remarks by Stephen Horwitz

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 15, 2021 No Comments

“A defense of liberal institutions is needed now more than ever, and Julian Simon’s work, and the work of the previous winners of the Simon Award, will be crucial in providing it.”

“… for population growth to get translated into economic progress we need liberal institutions.”

Ed. Note: This completes a three-part series on the views of the late Steve Horwitz (1964–2021), the first two being on the climate debate and a carbon tax.

Since 2001, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, along with the Simon family, has presented an annual Julian Simon Award. The first award winner was Stephen Moore, a former research fellow for Dr. Simon (1982–85) who has promoted the Simon worldview ever since.

The most recent award winner was Stephen Horwitz, whose comments follow below.

Fellow professor and classical liberal Peter Boettke shared Horwitz’s remarks below on social media with the comment:

I do think in the interview so much of what was truly wonderful about Steve comes out.

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“The Special Case of Paul Ehrlich” (Julian Simon remembered)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 21, 2021 1 Comment

This reprint from a collection of essays at Julian Simon.com is published as an ode to Earth Day (tomorrow). This piece was finalized in Simon’s treatise, The Ultimate Resource 2 (1996), pp. 604–607. Simon’s relative politeness to his adversary is a tribute to open, honest, and respectful debate (versus the Paul R. Ehrlich approach).

“When you launch a space shuttle you don’t trot out the flat-earthers to be commentators. They’re outside the bounds of what ought to be discourse in the media. In the field of ecology, Simon is the absolute equivalent of the flat-earthers.” (Paul Ehrlich, quoted below)

For economy of treatment of the matter of attack rhetoric, let’s focus on just one critic, Paul Ehrlich, who has directed a great deal of colorful language in my direction (see also his comments in the Afternote to Chapter 15, and my interchange with him in Simon, 1990, Selection 43).

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“The Cheaper the Energy the Better” (Julian Simon in 1993 speaks to us today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 10, 2021 No Comments

[Editor note: This piece, written by Julian Simon (1932–1998) during debate over the BTU tax, is reproduced for its relevance for today’s push by Biden/Harris against affordable, reliable mineral energies in the name of “conservation” and climate change.

As the fight intensifies about an energy tax in the budget bill, some cool heads ought to reexamine the underlying belief that it is good for us to “conserve energy.” We see that belief in headlines such as “The High Cost of Cheaper Energy,” and Washington Post editorials like “A Totally Free Market Leads to Over-Consumption.”

Conservation Isn’t Necessary or Good

Some people simply believe that it is ipso facto a good thing to use less energy and have less economic growth. As Paul Ehrlich put it, “Giving society cheap abundant energy is .

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Joanna Szurmak Interview: Extending the Julian Simon Worldview (Part II: Population Bombed!)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 24, 2020 7 Comments

This completes our two-part review (Part I here) of the development and worldview of Joanna Szurmak, whose work with Pierre Desrochers is at the forefront of classical-liberal scholarship in sustainable development.

Q. And the shorter pieces led to something bigger—a book, Population Bombed!

A. Yes. Since Julian Simon’s influence and inspiration was in our minds, in late 2017 we realized that Simon’s nemesis, Paul Ehrlich, was approaching the 50th anniversary of his bestseller, The Population Bomb (1968). This slim book—really a collection of Ehrlich’s lecture notes that his wife and life-long collaborator Anne Ehrlich stitched together into a narrative—became a manifesto to population-control activists around the world.

Like Simon, we disagreed with both the premises and the arguments of those who Pierre likes to call the “population bombers.” But we had been noticing an upsurge in calls to impose controls on world population in the name of environmental health and climate justice.

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Joanna Szurmak Interview: Extending the Julian Simon Worldview (Part I: Worldview)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 23, 2020 2 Comments Continue Reading

Julian Simon: High School Debaters Hear His Message

By Greg Rehmke -- June 16, 2020 4 Comments Continue Reading

‘A Look at Resourceful Earth Day’ (Fred Smith Jr. on Julian Simon)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 23, 2020 No Comments Continue Reading

“Happy Earth Day” (Julian Simon’s 25th anniversary essay speaks to us on the 50th)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 22, 2020 No Comments Continue Reading

David Simon on Climate Alarmism (Julian Simon lives!)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 4, 2020 5 Comments Continue Reading

Greenwash Not! President Trump to World Economic Forum (a Julian Simon moment ….)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- January 22, 2020 3 Comments Continue Reading