The End of Doom: Easterbrook v. Pielke v. Darwall
Editor's Note: Below are three contrasting reviews of Ronald Bailey's new book, The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century, and the author’s response.
It Is Getting Better
by Gregg Easterbrook
Outside your window, living standards are rising, crime is declining, pollution is down, and longevity is increasing. But in pop culture, we’re all doomed. The Hunger Games films have been box-office titans, joined by World War Z, Interstellar, The Book of Eli, Divergent, The Road, and other big-budget Hollywood fare depicting various judgment days. Over in primetime, the world is ending on The Walking Dead, The Last Ship, The 100, and Under the Dome. Read more.
Malthusians v. Cornucopians
by Roger Pielke Jr.
Reading Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom, I was reminded that the debate between prophets of a looming apocalypse and self-styled cornucopians has a long history, the modern version of which can be traced to the writings of Thomas Malthus in the eighteenth century warning that humanity’s ability to reproduce would outstrip its ability to feed itself. The twentieth century saw no shortage of neo-Malthusians, countered by those—such as Julian Simon, Bjorn Lomborg, Gregg Easterbrook, and Bailey himself—with a far more optimistic vision for humanity’s future. By now the combatants know their roles and lines too well. The debate has gotten pretty stale. Read more.
Against the Dogmatists
by Rupert Darwall
Environmentalist doom-saying, according to author Ronald Bailey, is not about scientific prediction but about ideology: one that says nature is good and humanity is evil. In The End of Doom, Bailey challenges modern environmentalism on its own ground. Cut loose from its scientific moorings, environmentalism attacks the human aspiration for a better life. Doing so, at the very least, it holds back the positive economic and social developments that, over the course of this century, will see nature become chiefly an arena for human pleasure and less a source of raw materials. Read more.
Author Ronald Bailey Responds
First, I want to thank all three reviewers for taking the time and spending the intellectual energy to engage seriously with my new book. In general, I think that both Darwall and Easterbrook fairly characterize and explain its contents and goals. Pielke has some reservations. Read more.