*Posted by Joe Wooddell
Today’s is the seventh and final post in our summary of Jay Wesley Richards’s Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem (HarperCollins, 2009), and it covers Chapter 8, “Are We Going to Use Up All the Resources?” In this chapter Richards confronts the “freeze-frame myth,” which believes that “things always stay the same – for example, assuming that population trends will continue indefinitely, or treating a current ‘natural resource’ as if it will always be needed.” The chapter discusses three broad topics – resources, global warming, and population – which we shall consider one by one.
Regarding resources, fear is always on the horizon. Doomsdayers constantly proclaim how we are running out of food, farmland, and fuel. Many think we are depleting the earth’s resources, but this is simply not true. 17th century England used wood for fuel, and after a while began to have lumber shortages. Prices went up in response, and people stopped using lumber, eventually switching to coal. Over time the forests grew again. Scarcity leads to rising prices, and in a free society with the rule of law and private property rising prices lead to creativity and technological breakthroughs. Necessity truly is the mother of invention. Continue reading