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Cars, Washing Machines, or Both? (energy is the master resource ….)

By Greg Rehmke -- March 24, 2011

What did Julian Simon have in common with Bjorn Lomborg? Both had strong statistics experience, and both started their research believing in popular environmental and over-population fears. Both Simon and Lomborg were convinced they could employ statistical  research to document and address these problems.

However, both Simon and Lomborg unexpectedly proved themselves wrong by looking seriously at empirical evidence.  Simon’s Malthusian-paradigm-busting book, The Ultimate Resource (1981), influenced many with its optimistic pro-technology data, analysis, and conclusions. (1) Years later Wired magazine interviewed Julian Simon and put him on the cover, complete with Julian’s little red devil’s horns.

Bjorn Lomborg picked up the Wired issue at the Los Angeles airport and read Simon’s claims with skepticism and even dismay.  Simon had to be wrong! And as a statistic professor, Lomborg was confident he could document and popularize the errors. …