(Wikipedia on the original Julian Simon-Paul Ehrlich wager.)
Don Boudreaux responds:
"It’s not true that vigorous economic growth necessarily makes resources more scarce. In fact, history shows that, because of human ingenuity, the opposite is not only possible but prevalent. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution in the mid-18th century, available supplies of coal, petroleum, iron ore, and most other resources have increased significantly – and, as a result, their real prices have fallen."
#3 A New Bet ?
But I like best how Mark Perry sums it up here:
[T]he bigger Simonesque lesson is clear: the "ultimate resource," i.e. the human mind, human capital, human ingenuity, and human innovation, are infinitely abundant, and will meet, address and overcome any scarcity in natural resources. The bottom line as I understand Julian Simon is this: we'll never run out of the ultimate resource. And that is why limited or finite supplies of natural resources have never, and will never, result in any significant binding constraints or limits on human progress, economic growth, or the continual increases in our standard of living, wealth and abundance.
Julian Simon himself:
"Untruth is the ugliest and most dangerous pollution that humans face today. It is just about the only pollution that cannot somehow be transformed into a product of value.” (Ultimate Resource 2, pg 527)
“The common assertions that resources are growing more scarce, that environmental conditions are worsening and that the poor suffer from economic freedom are the gravest danger to the poor and the environment.” (Ultimate Resource 2, xxxvii)
Or as I summed it up in a previous post on Simon:
The finiteness of any specific physical resource is made irrelevant by the presence of the ultimate resource: human ingenuity unleashed in a free society.