Answer the following questions.
1.) What was The Bet?
2.) What is Ehrlichs Malthusian argument?
a.) Walk me through it.
3.) What is Simon's Cornucopian argument?
a.) Walk me through it
4.) Who won?
5.) Did he really win?
6.) Your Call! Where do you stand on the Ehrlich/Simon debate? (Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too! Nuance your answer!)
The bet was over the future prices of five metals. During 1980, the group of Ehlrich bet $ 1,000 on five metals which were tungsten, copper, chrome, tin, and nickel. The cost of each market was $200. Through the bet, a future agreement was drawn up which required Simon to sell the same quantities of the metals 10 years later, but at prices of 1980 to Harte, Ehlich, Holdren. If the prices of these metals increase in future, then Simon had to pay them as per the market price of 1990. If the prices of these metals fell in future, then Ehlrich group had to pay him. The agreement was drawn and signed by both.
Here, the economist and ecologist run two different intellectual institutions. These institutions are known as Cornucopians and Malthusians. These insititutions were run by two different persons and their points of view were also different. Ehlrich’s Malthusian argument was that the two different sides never seem to be looking at the same portion of the world at the same time. During 1980 all these proponent readied themselves to chart the global future and test it to analyze the outcomes. They all made promise to each other that they must abide by outcomes exactly after 10 years and should pay the whole amount out of their own pockets.
Cornucopian and Malthusians were known as the boomsters and doomsters, who utilized the latest technology in foundation-generated funds and computer-generated graphs to debate whether the performance of the world is getting better or not. A Malthusian argument could be fruitless as it is losing the shine. Cassandra states that rain forests should be decimated. Dr. Pangloss concluded that farm silos should be brimming with necessary harvest records. They all have their own point of view and gave arguments on the basis of their experience. However, it can be possible that the arguments proposed by others may be fruitful in the future.
Simon’s argument regarding Cornucopian was that cornucopian line was developed on the line of greenhouse crisis and may be the highest improbable event. Simon was not feeling surprised after becoming aware of the reaction of Ehrlich. Simon said that Paul Ehrlich had never been capable of learning from past experience. As per the view of Simon, Cornucopian might prove to be a significant event for global warming. However, Simon did not seem to be oriented more towards this argument seriously. He seemed cheerful and smiled during the discussion.
During 1980, the price of all metals started to decline. This led to decline in the price as per Cornucopian. Due to this, the metals were replaced by notable plastics, cheaper materials, which became less expensive as the price of oil declined.
Mr. Simon won the bet. The Antarctic and the Greenland ice sheets started to decrease at a high rate which led Ehlrich to feel slight disappointment. He sent a sheet of calculations about metal price along with a check for around $570. Simon composed a thanking letter in favor of Ehlrich, describing that he would be ready to raise the wage to $ 19,000.
No, Ehlrich did not win the bet. Each of the five metals chosen by Ehlrich group, when adjusted for inflation since 1980, had declined in price. The situation of decline was so fast that Simon could have come out a little ahead and complete even without the adjustment of inflation called for in the bet.
As per my opinion, the bet was not so serious. I think inflation in prices always comes in the picture year by year. Moreover, I think that the price of the metals moved up also. However, it can be considered to be a minor point. The most important aspect which could be considered during bet was the declining capacity of the planet to buffer itself against the impacts.
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