The Ultimate Resource “Human beings are not just more mouths to feed, but are productive and inventive minds that help find creative solutions to man’s problems, thus leaving us better off over the long run” (Simon).While the first part of the quote is what most people think: that humans beings are just mouths to feed, the second part explain what they really are and puts something new in your mind, a new idea, a new way of thinking. I want to explain this theory to you and I’ll try to explain it with my own examples.
The ultimate theory states that if a particular resource is becoming scarce, it price rises and affects the people socially, economically and mentally, which creates an incentive for the people to discover more of the resource, ration it and, eventually, develop a new one or in other words a substitute.But in my words what Julian Simon it’s trying to explain that the theory is based on one thing PROBLEMS that we create and tell me what is behind from every solution, behind every solution there is a problem. The solutions we create will make our way of life better in other words leaving us better off over the long run. The Ultimate Resource theory views population growth as positive and necessary, explains how adaptation reduces our reliance on one particular resource, and claims that environmental pollution is getting better, not worse.Population growth doesn’t affect negative our economy in fact it has a positive effect. Why I am saying this it may look weird or stupid to you, but it’s real. El Salvador is the most populated country on Central America, but it’s also the country that has the most economical growth in Central America.
Now Nicaragua the least populated country in Central America, has the less economical growth in Central America. A simple way of explaining this is you have ten people and those ten people needs jobs. A normal thinker will say that they are just mouths to feed like in the quote.But Julian Simon will say that that three, two or at least one of them will have an idea, like creating a business or becoming a entrepreneur and this person creates ten or more jobs for the other ones. So this explains the idea of why we need population growth. Moreover, we don’t only need it for our economy but also for technological advances. Imagine the world’s population were 100 people.
Do you really think we would have invented the car or the telephone? Now remember also not everyone has the same gift; some people are better at creating jobs other people are better at inventing things and so on.Now imagine that for creating the light bulb Thomas Edison was one from the population world of that time and one man created something from a million. Now you see my point why do we need the population growth to improve our way of life. “The most important benefit of population size and growth is the increase it brings to the stock of useful knowledge. Minds matter economically as much as, or more than, hands or mouths. ” (Simon). Adaptation can be defined as improving the chances of survival or the people.
The Ultimate Resource theory it focuses on adaptation when it comes to resources.The theory holds that the Ultimate resource is not a physical object but rather a theory of the capacity for humans to invent and adapt. What Julian Simon it’s trying to explain is that we humans have the capacity to adapt and create. For example back in time the primary source of energy was carbon. The trains moved with that, and many other things. When the demand for carbon rose, the resource started becoming scarce. This make the resource become expensive and started affecting the population in a social, economic and in a mental way.
When this happens, the problem leads us to a solution or in other words an incentive on people to create a new resource. So now tell me what’s behind every problem, behind every problem there is a solution. Oil this was the solution at that time, when coal became scarce. People discovered oil and started using it, so this decreased the demand for carbon and the demand for oil increased so the prices for carbon became lower and the prices for oil started rising little by little. Practically this is what has happened always.How does this leave us better in the long run? Carbon polluted more than oil and affected people’s health more. Now what is going to replace oil, scientists have discovered many types of new energies renewable energies.
Hydrogen, Solar and wind energy etc. are some of those renewable energies are going to replace oil within the twenty years or more. Like Julian Simon said “Our supplies of natural resources are not finite in any economic sense. Nor does past experience give reason to expect natural resources to become scarcer.Rather, if history is any guide, natural resources will progressively become less costly, hence less scarce, and will constitute a smaller proportion of our expenses in future years. ” How can this be proven? Julian Simon made a bet with Paul Erlich on prices of the resources. Julian told Paul to say 5 resources that its prices will raise in ten years.
Julian Simon won the bet. The prices didn’t rise because of what was explained previously, we created a new source or material to use. Take copper for example. For the bet Paul choose copper which that time was used extensively for making the telephone lines and many other things.When it became too expensive that created an incentive for people to look for something new. So we created cell phones and satellites and we stopped using copper as much. “The main fuel to speed the world’s progress is our stock of knowledge, and the brake is our lack of imagination.
” (Simon) World environmental pollution is not getting worse it’s getting better. As you know people say is getting worse pollution. Well I think we are becoming better because everything new we make is for improving our way of life, not for making it worst.A perfect example is oil; the main source of energy and also one of the worst polluters in the world. As explain previously this problem is making us create something new and more important something better; the renewable energies that don’t create pollution. This is another example of how our ideas leave us better along the long run. Now also see you know that life expectancy has grown almost 50 years from the past 200 years, so this means that our health is becoming better.
Does that give the idea that our health is becoming worst or better with pollution?As Julian Simon say “Human beings create more than they destroy. ” (Simon) “Adding more people causes problems. But people are also the means to solve these problems. The main fuel to speed the world’s progress is our stock of knowledge; the brakes are our lack of imagination and unsound social regulations of these activities. The ultimate resource is people—especially skilled, spirited, and hopeful young people endowed with liberty—who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefits, and so inevitably they will benefit the rest of us as well. (Simon). Population growth will increase our economy and way of life.
There is no such thing as finite materials or resources. Environmental pollution will decrease instead of increase, and the Ultimate Resource is the people, we, us, me and YOU. So from where do those solutions come? The solutions come from the problem. Basically all the mains points are based on that idea of the solutions that we create for improvement on the long run (life). If this theory doesn’t change your way of seeing the world well then nothing will.