Bjorn Lomborg wrote The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the true state of the world between 1997 and 2001 in association with his students and other colleagues after he read this statement by Julian Simon, did not believe it, and decided to test it.
This is my long run forecast in brief.
The material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, in most countries, most of the time, indefinitely. Within a century or two all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today’s Western living standards.
I also speculate, however, that many people will continue to think and say that the conditions of life are getting worse.
The 500 page book that emerged from his labours indeed demonstrated that almost everywhere and in most ways the human and environmental situation was on the up according to the best available evidence.The most obvious improvements in the west are in air and water quality, in the developing world it is life span and exit from grinding poverty.
As Simon predicted the doomsayers were not impressed. Of course there are devastating droughts, storms and floods as there always will be but they have not cancelled out the record of progress and they will not prevent more progress.
Good evidence refutes lies and so there was no place in the Australian universities for a unit led by Lomborg to do rigorous cost/benefit analysis.
Buy or borrow this magisterial work if you can, dip into it and enjoy it!