May 13, 2012
is one of my favorite pro-technology libertarian thinkers
of our time. In his essays and books (see, for instance, It’s a Jetsons World
Mr. Tucker eloquently draws the connection between free markets and
technological progress – and how the power of human creativity within a
spontaneous order can overcome the obstructions posed by stagnant
political and attitudinal paradigms. Mr. Tucker embraces the innovations
of the Internet age and has written on their connection with
philosophical debates – such as whether the idea of intellectual
property is even practically tenable anymore
, now that electronic technology renders certain human creations indefinitely reproducible. Because I see Mr. Tucker as such an insightful advocate of technological
progress in a free-market context, I was particularly surprised to read
his 2005 article, “A Lesson in Mortality
” – where Mr. Tucker contends that death is an inescapable aspect of the human condition. Seven years is a long time, and I am not aware of whether Mr. Tucker’s
views on this subject have evolved since this article was published.
Here, I offer a rebuttal to his main arguments and invite a response.
May 13, 2012
There are plenty of potential sources of
concern when it comes to the environment. We are polluting the air we
breathe and the water we drink; we are depleting the oceans of fish; we
are punching holes in the ozone layer; we are warming the climate to
dangerous levels—and all of these problems, we are given to believe, are
only getting worse. Taken together, these worries, along with
the ones discussed in more detail above, make up what Danish
statistician Bjorn Lomborg referred to as The Litany in his
controversial 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist.
Lomborg plumbs the available data and the environmentalists’ arguments
on each of these issues and discovers, to his surprise, that things are
not as bad as they are made out to be.
Gennady Stolyarov II, CPCU, ARe, ARC, AIS, AIE