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Short term, yes there are fewer kids during crisis and more during booms. But that has little effect on longterm population size.

Or does Ridley back it up with more then the catchphrases he uses at his blog?

Because his blog was not reassuring.

The Rational Optimist

Yet, bizarrely, however much things improve from the way they were before, people still cling to the belief that the future will be nothing but disastrous. In this original, optimistic book, Matt Ridley puts forward his surprisingly simple answer to how humans progress, arguing that we progress when we trade and we only really trade productively when we trust each other. The Rational Optimist will do for economics what Genome did for genomics and will show that the answer to our problems, imagined or real, is to keep on doing what we've been doing for 10,000 years -- to keep on changing.

Progress through trade. So what is his view on progress?

Greens take the moral low ground

The OECD's economic models behind the two scenarios project that the average person alive in 2100 will be earning an astonishing four to seven times as much money - corrected for inflation - as she does today. That's a 300-600% increase in real pay. This should enable posterity to buy quite a bit of protection for itself and the planet against any climate change that does show up. So we are being asked to make sacrifices today to prevent the possibility of what may turn out to be pretty small harms to very wealthy people in the future.

By contrast, the cost of climate policies is already falling most heavily on today's poor. Subsidies for renewable energy have raised costs of heating and transport disproportionately for the poor. Subsidies for biofuels have raised food prices by diverting food into fuel, tipping millions into malnutrition and killing about 190,000 people a year. The refusal of many rich countries to fund aid for coal-fired electricity in Africa and Asia rather than renewable projects (and in passing I declare a financial interest in coal mining) leaves more than a billion people without access to electricity and contributes to 3.5 million deaths a year from indoor air pollution caused by cooking over open fires of wood and dung.

Let the rich people of the future worry about ecology! They can buy it, they will have so much money! And poor people in Africa needs more coal!

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Nov 7th, 2014 at 08:55:32 AM EST
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