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Bill Gates on “The Bet” (Julian Simon’s continued march into the mainstream)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- August 7, 2014

“Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren, take note. Look who is in the mainstream now! Julian Simon, step by step, is becoming the intellectual king of the sustainable development hill. First came Bjorn Lomborg. Then Paul Sabin. And now Bill Gates.”

Julian Simon, with his revolutionary theory of “the ultimate resource,” was far outside of the mainstream of sustainable development thought in his lifetime. But Simon’s marketing prowess and business acumen went to work, culminating in the most famous bet in the history of economics against Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, et al. on the future scarcity of mineral resources in a more populated world.

Such is the subject of a recent book by Yale history professor Paul Sabin, titled The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future, which was reviewed by Bill Gates (see below).