In This Review

The Ultimate Resource
The Ultimate Resource
By Julian L. Simon
Princeton University Press, 1981, 415 pp

This is an aggravating book. At the core is a well-reasoned challenge to simplistic views about the exhaustion of the world's resources. Arguments based on feedback and economic response, an emphasis on people (the "ultimate resource") as productive materially and intellectually, rebut the expectations of doom. Unfortunately, the polemical approach makes an optimistic outcome sound inevitable instead of something that can only be achieved by intelligent effort. The result is to encourage complacency which could in fact bring on the doom he shows can be avoided.