Cartoon from Reason Magazine
From The Guardian :
We hear lots of concerned chatter these days – not least, here on this site – about peak oil, peak water, deforestation, resource depletion and the like, but a popular riposte offered by those doubting such concerns is something commonly referred to as the “Environmentalist’s Paradox”.
The argument goes thus: “Why, despite resource depletion and the degradation of ecosystems, is average human well-being improving globally?”
People such as Matt Ridley, author of the Rational Optimist, argue that environmentalists are needlessly downbeat about humanity’s prospects. After all, we are a resourceful, adaptable, highly intelligent species more than capable of riding out any current concerns (if only we would de-shackle ourselves from free-market constraints).