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The Great Resource Debate (Part III: Pessimists get Optimistic!)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- June 21, 2011

[Editor note: The posts in this series are The Great Energy Resource Debate (Part I: Peak Oil was … is here!) and The Great Energy Resource Debate (Part II: Neo-Malthusian Alarmism). Part IV will look at the theoretical case for resource expansionism in light of the preceding posts.]

Julian Simon has commented that the logic of expanding oil supply is a hard case to make–not because it is incorrect but because it flies in the face of the deeply ingrained physical-science concept of fixity and depletion. But there is no question that for too many minerals and for too many long periods of time, supply has been expanding rather than depleting in a business/economic sense. And far too many of us have ‘jumped off a tall building and reported everything was nice and breezy on the way down’ but haven’t hit bottom.