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The Bet: Our Gamble over Earth’s Future

Thursday Lecture Series, Exhaustion

dateFebruary 19, 2015 timeThursday, 12:15pm EST location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
Kayford Mountain, WV, mountain with large portions of the top carved away

Are we headed for a world of scarce resources and environmental catastrophe, or will market forces and technological innovation yield greater prosperity? Paul Sabin, Associate Professor of history and American Studies at Yale University, takes up this question in his book The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble over Earth’s Future. Using a highly publicized wager between celebrated biologist Paul Ehrlich and iconoclastic economist Julian Simon over the future price of metals as a frame, Sabin examines the clash between environmentalists and their critics and traces the origins of the political gulf that separates the two sides. The Bet was named a Best Science Book of 2013 by New Scientist.