Contra Michael Moore – the Simon Human Abundance Index

A remarkable piece of work in the footsteps of the great Julian Simon who famously won a bet with Paul Ehrlich and prompted Bjorn Lomborg on his remarkable project to challenge his own Green ideas.

In 2018, we co-authored a study titled, The Simon Abundance Index: A New Way to Measure Availability of Resources. In that paper we looked at the prices of 50 basic commodities between 1980 and 2017. Counterintuitively, we found that resources have become more, not less, abundant. Our calculations confirmed the insights of the University of Maryland economist Julian Simon who observed in his 1981 book The Ultimate Resource that humans are intelligent beings, capable of innovating their way out of shortages through greater efficiency, increased supply and the development of substitutes. To arrive at our conclusions, we came up with four new concepts: Time Price Toolkit (i.e., time price, abundance multiplier, percentage change in abundance, compound annual growth rate in abundance and years to double abundance), Price Elasticity of Population, Simon Abundance Framework and Simon Abundance Index.

The Simon Abundance Index (1980-2019)

Liberty Quote

Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.

— Adam Smith
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17 Responses to Contra Michael Moore – the Simon Human Abundance Index

  1. NoFixedAddress


    The Green Nude Eel will soon give short shift to that codswollop.

  2. NoFixedAddress

    Did they talk about atmospheric CO2 per capita?

    Nah… didn’t think so.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    Currently about half the vast US maize crop is converted to ethanol and burnt in cars.
    Yet the Global Hunger Index has been falling world wide and in every region.
    While global population has risen by another 1.5 billion people this new century so far.
    That shows just how much abundance there is.
    Greens are bonkers.

  4. yarpos

    Its really not the argument is it? Its pretty clear that we are increasingly fat and happy to various degrees just by looking around. The common response is that we are “destroying the planet” in the process. If the abundance index has a dimension showing that we we have a upward trend in the abundance of healthy environments then its all good. If not we are really only looking at one side of ledger, and even then with our eyes firmly in the rear view mirror.

  5. H B Bear

    Respect The Science.

  6. Terry

    “destroying the planet”…yes, yes. One CO2 molecule at a time no doubt. Woe betide all the “Carbon Sinners”. The end is nigh unless you repent by paying me money (indulgences). Um, I think this is your Sandwich Board…

    No one should be ‘fat’ (we can fix that with a sugar tax) and definitely not ‘happy’ (no worries, we have the “fun police” for that).

    The planet is fine and in very little danger from humans. Our habitat less so, but nothing that cannot be solved by human ingenuity, which is greatly enhanced by the wealth and potential unlocked by capitalism (ie economic freedom). It is no coincidence that wealthy countries are superior environmental custodians. In short, they can afford to be (or should that be, used to be able to).

    A far greater danger to humanity is the increasing prevalence of low-rent authoritarians parading themselves as “experts” (or owning some), wanting to seize power, destroy wealth and prosperity, and hoard whatever is leftover for themselves leaving only diminishing crumbs for everyone else. No wonder they advocate “population control”.

    These would be the very same sanctimonious nannies that loudly becry “the wage gap”; small, lazy, envious, narrow-minded wannabe despots.

    Our greatest challenge as a civilisation is how to overcome these foul specimens of humanity and give them all of the attention and power they deserve – none!

  7. Roger W

    It is fascinating that humans have the capacity to exponentially increase their prosperity through their own effort and choices – and to destroy that hard won prosperity through their own effort and choices.
    I have often read that the first generation creates, the second generation consolidates, the third generation dissipates. A bit like solar cycles, I suppose, a fact of nature?

  8. Peter Finch, I'm Mad as Hell

    We seem to have an abundance of Chicken Littles at present yelling

    “the sky’s falling in because of the weight of CO2
    and we’re all doomed with the WuHanFlu”.

    I remember a million years ago when we used to programme down into machine code where we had two commands amongst others, namely POP (add to a stack) and NOP (non operation, pause). I used these command names to describe people as follows:
    POP – a positively oriented person, i.e. the cup is half full, a Simonian
    NOP – a negatively oriented person, i.e. the cup is half empty, a Malthusian.

    The current political class is a bunch of NOP’s and No-Ops.

  9. Chris M

    Very nice!

    Also looks like the electricity price in my state.

  10. Peter Finch, I'm Mad as Hell

    Terry “Our greatest challenge as a civilisation is how to overcome these foul specimens of humanity and give them all of the attention and power they deserve – none!”

    “Our” problem is that those of us who don’t think like a leftie are not aggressive enough or for the PC’s amongst us assertive enough. We, the silent majority, push on with trying to make a better life for our families and self and leave what we see as time wasting to the activists. The only way we will be able to assert our majority, because the politicians will not, is to take the activists on at their own game. In order to do so we need a centre of focus and a leadership team to advance our agenda. If this does not emerge then expect bracket creep to take yet another one of our freedoms.

    I don’t have the all the answers in regard to centre, leadership team and agenda but I would love to hear from others in regard to what they think leadership and agenda should be in regard to this issue. As Chairman Whitlam said “Its Time” so we need to take it.

  11. The other Contra Michael Moore is the relative insignificance of humans on a planetary scale as desscribed here

  12. Compu Gator

    Peter Finch, I’m Mad as Hell
    #3435567, posted on April 30, 2020 at 9:21 am

    I remember a million years ago when we used to programme down into machine code where we had two commands amongst others, namely POP (add to a stack) and NOP (non operation, pause).

    Well, I suppose I shouldn’t judge you too harshly for erring in a detail from “a million years ago”. But “POP” is issued to remove the top item from a stack. It’s “PUSH” that places a new item on a stack. Were you were working with Burroughs mainframes? Maybe the Atlas or ICL mainframes also had that instruction? If you were working with minicomputers, that would’ve been only 1/2 million years ago.

    So you could try “Positive Upbeat Simonian Human”, but that seems a wee bit verbose, and not at all elegant.

  13. Ian MacCulloch

    When I first started in geology over 50 years ago the required grade of gold to be profitable was >30 g/t or 1 oz. Sure it was it was under the fixed price for a few years before being under the current regime. Since then the grade required to be profitable has decreased to about 0.4 g/t on large bulk mines. Other metals have shown similar trends. While some prices have drifted up so have the costs. Prices still exhibit peaks and troughs. It is the continuing advances in technology that have contributed to this trend and will continue to do so.

  14. @Ian MacCulloch
    #3435833, posted on April 30, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    Many mines are reworks of old shut down mines. There are some good finds in old mine mounds.

  15. Professor Fred Lenin

    Surely the doomsayers must be happy the Wuhan Chinese Bat Plague will be carryingof lots of no greens inthird world countries including Spain and Italy ,all they need do now is cut off foreign aid and their goal of reducing world population will be achieved the majority dying will not be tertiary educated middle class greens ,surely that should make Fatty Moore happier?

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