A Free-Market Energy Blog

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

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 24, 2020

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.

Continue Reading

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

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 23, 2020

“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.

Continue Reading

“Seven Principles of Sound Environmental Policy” (Hayes and Myers on free-market environmentalism)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 22, 2020

Two leading free-market environmental scholars are Jason Hayes, Director of Environmental Policy at Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Midland, Michigan) and Todd Myers, Director of the Center for the Environment at Washington Policy Center (Seattle, Washington). The post below excerpts from their recent joint study, Sound Environmental Policy.

“… enlisting the power of free markets, property rights and rapid technological advances strengthens and improves environmental management at all levels.”

We recognize and embrace our responsibility to care for environmentally beautiful and productive lands. Proper stewardship of our forests, rivers, rangelands and open spaces is an essential part of our everyday life. We care for the environment and believe that individuals and organizations possess the local knowledge needed to make effective stewardship decisions. Moving land use and management decisions from state bureaucracies to individuals in the field will incentivize the best decisions and promote long-term benefits for our natural resources.

Continue Reading

Asphalt Paves the Way

By American Oil & Gas Historical Society -- June 18, 2020
Continue Reading

Petroleum Trash to Treasure: Market Incentives Spark Human Ingenuity

By Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak -- June 17, 2020
Continue Reading

Julian Simon: High School Debaters Hear His Message

By Greg Rehmke -- June 16, 2020
Continue Reading

GE: Contra-Capitalism’s Toll (lightbulb unit sold)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 15, 2020
Continue Reading

UK Not Really Buying Into Climate Activism

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 11, 2020
Continue Reading

Heart of Hawaii: Oil Powers Oahu’s Sustainable Energy Program

By David Shormann -- June 10, 2020
Continue Reading

LEEDCO Update: Offshore Lake Erie (Ohio) Project In Trouble in Year 11

By Sherri Lange and Suzanne Albright -- June 9, 2020
Continue Reading