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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

It’s another great day in the history of humankind as the quest for betterment in markets outpaces, in most areas of the world, the drag of Statism.

Today is especially august at the Cato Institute where a conference convenes in honor of the late Julian Simon (1932–1997). Hosted by Marian Tupy of the HumanProgress project, the event will be livestreamed beginning at 11:00 am.

Here is the announcement:

Are we running out of resources? That’s been a hotly debated question since the publication of Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb in 1968. The Stanford University biologist warned that population growth would result in the exhaustion of resources and a global catastrophe. University of Maryland economist and Cato Institute’s Senior Fellow Julian Simon, in contrast, argued that humans would innovate their way out of resource shortages. He believed that people were the “ultimate resource” that would make other resources more plentiful. 

The event will begin with David M. Simon recalling the humanism and optimism of his late father. Gale Pooley and Marian L. Tupy will then present the updated findings from their recent paper “The Simon Abundance Index: A New Way to Measure Availability of Resources” and launch The Simon Project, a new initiative. Finally, George Gilder will discuss the link between human ingenuity, innovation, and prosperity.

Kudos to Tupy

Event organizer Marian Tupy is continuing and expanding the grand tradition of Julian Simon, a pillar of classical liberalism. HumanProgress is, in effect, the Julian Simon Institute that was missing within the movement.

MasterResource began in late 2008 as a tribute to/forum in the Julian Simon tradition (see our Simon-related posts here). At that time I longed for what Marian Tupy would begin five years later.

Kudos to Desrochers, Too

There is a second classical-liberal scholar worth praising on this special day (Earth Day, Resourceful Earth Day, Julian Simon Day), although he is not part of the conference.

Pierre Desrochers has not only kept the Simon research program alive but also extended it. Along with co-author Joanna Szurmak, Desrochers’ Population Bombed (GWPF: 2018) is a tour de force that the other side has yet to comprehend from some combination of daze and disinterest.

I am humbled by a comment in the Authors’ note of Population Bombed:

Over the years, we have read the work of several specialists and commentators and discussed the various topics covered in this book with a wide range of individuals. Most of these influences can be found in our bibliography. Our special thanks, however, extend to Robert L. Bradley Jr. of the Institute for Energy Research whose historical scholarship and efforts to keep the legacy of the late Julian L. Simon alive deserve unqualified praise.

Yes, I did what I could during in the dark period after Simon’s sudden, untimely death in early 1997. But what a relief to hand the baton, so to speak, to two equally determined, faster/smarter teammates.


A heartfelt thanks goes to Marian Tupy and Pierre Desrochers, in particular. And appreciation to the bevy of Simon-aligned scholars, many now representing Generation II in the Simon tradition, many of whom are listed (with pictures) by Desrochers at his website (in addition to Julian Simon).

Some names are:

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