Typical off-the-shelf leftists are continually in full-on Chicken Little mode proclaiming the sky is falling. They wring their hands about “peak oil” and the dreaded “population bomb” all the while proclaiming the solution is an ever bigger government (this is when they tip their hand to what their ultimate goal) when the real solution to our ills is an increasing population:
This is the economic history of humanity in a nutshell: From 2 million or 200,000 or 20,000 or 2,000 years ago until the 18th Century, there was slow growth in population, almost no increase in health or decrease in mortality, slow growth in the availability of natural resources (but not increased scarcity), increase in wealth for a few, and mixed effects on the environment.
Since then there has been rapid growth in population due to spectacular decreases in the death rate, rapid growth in resources, widespread increases in wealth, and an unprecedented clean and beautiful living environment in many parts of the world along with a degraded environment in the poor and socialist parts of the world.
That is, more people and more wealth has correlated with more (rather than less) resources and a cleaner environment – just the opposite of what Malthusian theory leads one to believe.
Of course, when presented with this reasoning your typical leftist will whine “we will use all the natural reeeeeesoooourcccessssss.”
So by any measure, natural resources have getting more available rather than more scarce. Regarding oil, the shocking price rises during the 1970s and 1980s were not caused by growing scarcity in the world supply. And indeed, the price of petroleum in inflation-adjusted dollars has returned to levels about where they were before the politically-induced increases, and the price of gasoline is about at the historic low and still falling.
Concerning energy in general, there is no reason to believe that the supply of energy is finite, or that the price of energy will not continue its long-run decrease forever. I realize that it sounds weird to say that the supply of energy is not finite or limited; for the full argument, please see my 1981 book (revised edition forthcoming) (Science is only valuable when it arrives at knowledge different than common sense.)
Food is an especially important resource. The evidence is particularly strong for food that we are on a benign trend despite rising population. The long-run price of food relative to wages is now only perhaps a tenth as much as it was in 1800 in the U. S. Even relative to consumer products the price of grain is down, due to increased productivity, just as with all other primary products.
Famine deaths due to insufficient food supply have decreased even in absolute terms, let alone relative to population, in the past century, a matter which pertains particularly to the poor countries. Per-person food consumption is up over the last 30 years. And there are no data showing that the bottom of the income scale is faring worse, or even has failed to share in the general improvement, as the average has improved.
This article dovetails nicely with a video from the Adam Smith Institute that is posted here @ MCT from time to time that reinforces the fact that the American Left is full of it.
Doesn’t this make much more sense that the drivel pumped out by the doom and gloom crowd on the left?