Arnold Kling

Growth and the Environment

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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Ronald Bailey attempts to explain economic growth to environmentalists, who

concentrate solely on the environmental commons and ignore another commons that addresses and solves problems that arise in the environmental commons. Let's call it the knowledge commons. We all draw from the knowledge commons, which consists of the growing pool of institutional, scientific, and technological concepts, and the wealth and capital they create. It is true that the earth is finite, but it is also true that human creativity is not.

He cites various statistics, including

since1970 the U.S. economy has nearly tripled in size, while air pollution has been reduced. Ambient levels of sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide, for example, have dropped more than 75 percent since the 1960s.

... Forests are expanding, and water use per capita in the United States has been going down for two decades.

Discussion Question. How would you explain to a non-economist why we will not run out of resources?

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