Streams

Episode 508: A Bet On The Future Of Humanity

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

A famous biologist predicts overpopulation will lead to global catastrophe. He writes a bestselling book and goes on the Tonight Show to make his case.

An economist disagrees. He thinks the biologist isn't accounting for how clever people can be, and how shortages can lead to new, more efficient ways of doing things.

So the economist, Julian Simon, challenges the biologist, Paul Ehrlich, to a very public, very acrimonious, decade-long bet. On today's show: The story of that bet, and the ugly precedent it set.

For more, see The Bet, by Yale historian Paul Sabin. We talk to Sabin on today's show.

Music: Lorde's "A World Alone" and Imagine Dragons's "Nothing Left To Say / Rocks." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

Tags:

The Morning Brief

Enter your email address and we’ll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.