Scarcity or Abundance?: A Debate on the Environment

Scarcity or Abundance?: A Debate on the Environment

by Norman Myers, Julian L. Simon

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Myers (The Primary Source) and University of Maryland economics professor Simon vehemently disagree on virtually every environmental issue. On a philosophical level, Simon maintains that the quality of human life steadily improves and will continue to do so, while Myers argues that we stand on the brink of environmental catastrophe. The text is a transcript of a debate held at Columbia University in 1992, with pre-and postdebate summaries added for the book. Critical issues discussed are population growth, preservation of biodiversity, global warming, the ozone layer and air and water quality. Despite the variety of topics, this short book is repetitive; with neither author expounding beyond the veneer of his viewpoints, the debate emerges as superficial. Illustrations. (Aug.)
Library Journal
This book is a transcript of a debate held at Columbia University in October 1992. Myers, an award-winning environmental scientist, warns about the rapid environmental decline in terms of population growth, species loss, urban sprawl, and dwindling resources-concerns he has voiced in previous books, such as Ultimate Security (LJ 8/93) and Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management (Doubleday, 1992. rev. ed.). Simon (economics, Univ. of Maryland) offers a completely different viewpoint, arguing that the world is in better condition than in the past and will continue to improve because of our ability to solve problems. He uses data from his previous publications, such as Population Matters (Transaction Pubs., 1990). The authors raise interesting issues, but their arguments are often repetitious, and Simon is shrill at times. The authors' previous writings are preferable for a more in-depth treatment.-Teresa Berry, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Zom Zoms
See Focus on p.1906.
A transcript of the provocative debate held at Columbia University in October, 1992, between Norman Myers, renowned environmentalist, and Julian Simon, economist and outspoken sceptic of environmentalism. The authors provide position statements and replies; the purpose of the book is to encourage readers to judge for themselves whose arguments are more persuasive. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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Product Details

Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
12.14(w) x 6.50(h) x 0.96(d)

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