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

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 24, 2020 5 Comments

This completes our two-part review 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 1 Comment

“Only a relatively large population able to engage in a complex division of labour in the context of trade, industrialization and urbanization can reap the benefits of the feedback loop between technological innovation, increased economic prosperity, and population growth.”

“The most resilient solution for a cleaner earth and better climate, even with the spectre of anthropogenic climate change, is that of intensive growth thanks to, and not in spite of, a large population.”

  • Joanna Szurmak (below)

Q. Joanna, you are a new name in the sustainable development field as co-author (with Pierre Desrochers) of Population Bombed! Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change (2018). How did you get to that point?

A. I am new in most areas of scholarship familiar to MasterResource readers. If they happen to have an interest in how amorphous hydrogenated carbon can be made to behave like a semiconductor, they will find my publications from the late 1990s.

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Julian Simon: High School Debaters Hear His Message

By Greg Rehmke -- June 16, 2020 4 Comments

“I began publishing Julian Simon’s upbeat analytical articles on the benefits of population growth…. [O]ur ‘Econ Update’ newsletter was mailed to every high school with a debate program. Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource thus joined the battle of ideas against ‘Growth DAs’ in debate classes, clubs, and tournaments across the country.”

When I worked at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in New York in the mid-1980s, Julian Simon used to call from time to time. Sometime he would send a letter with just a leaf inside.

High school debate was my connection to Julian Simon. 

Discovering Julian Simon

I learned about The Ultimate Resource (1981) from Andrea Rich’s Laissez-Faire Books catalog. A few years earlier, Economics in Argumentation had outsourced a debate resource guide to a former debater for the national high school debate topic.

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

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

Ed. Note: Fred L. Smith Jr. (1940–), founder and chairman emeritus of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, originally published this article in April 1999. Its insights remain as relevant today as 21 years ago.

April 22, once associated with the optimism of revolutionary Marxism (as the birthday of Lenin) and then with the pessimism of modern Malthusianism (as the environmentalist’s Earth Day since 1970), merits redemption.

A new label, Resourceful Earth Day, is appropriate as we enter the 21st century, a title selected to honor mankind’s increasing ability to solve environmental as well as economic problems.

This title, of course, is inspired by the late Julian Simon, author of “The Resourceful Earth,” who combated with passion and power those who viewed man as the cancer of this planet and his future as bleak and austere.

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“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 4 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

April 22: Julian Simon Day at Cato (with a special thanks to scholars Marian Tupy and Pierre Desrochers)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 22, 2019 1 Comment Continue Reading

Julian Simon Reconfirmed: A Half-Century Retrospective (population, progress positively correlated)

By Marian Tupy -- February 20, 2018 2 Comments Continue Reading

Julian Simon Remembered (would have been 86 today)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- February 12, 2018 8 Comments Continue Reading