In A Nutshell…

This wiki article (no, I don’t account them for much, which is why I’m going to copy the parts I want to refer to) has most of the modern arguments writ small….

K, first part:

In 1968, Ehrlich published The Population Bomb, which argued that mankind was facing a demographic catastrophe with the rate of population growth quickly outstripping growth in the supply of food and resources. Simon was highly skeptical of such claims, so proposed a wager, telling Ehrlich to select any raw material he wanted and select “any date more than a year away,” and Simon would bet that the commodity’s price on that date would be lower than what it was at the time of the wager.
Ehrlich and his colleagues (including John Holdren, later an advisor to President Barack Obama for Science and Technology) picked five metals that they thought would undergo big price increases: chromium, copper, nickel, tin, and tungsten. Then, on paper, they bought $200 worth of each, for a total bet of $1,000, using the prices on September 29, 1980, as an index. They designated September 29, 1990, 10 years hence, as the payoff date. If the inflation-adjusted prices of the various metals rose in the interim, Simon would pay Ehrlich the combined difference. If the prices fell, Ehrlich et al. would pay Simon.
Between 1980 and 1990, the world’s population grew by more than 800 million, the largest increase in one decade in all of history. But by September 1990, without a single exception, the price of each of Ehrlich’s selected metals had fallen, and in some cases had dropped significantly. Chromium, which had sold for $3.90 a pound in 1980, was down to $3.70 in 1990. Tin, which was $8.72 a pound in 1980, was down to $3.88 a decade later.[1]
As a result, in October 1990, Paul Ehrlich mailed Julian Simon a check for $576.07 to settle the wager in Simon’s favor.

Guy making give-me-power claims makes a fairly objectively judgable wager and loses. Then:

Simon offered to raise the wager to $20,000 and to use any resources at any time that Ehrlich preferred. Ehrlich countered with a challenge to bet that temperatures would increase in the future.[2] The two were unable to reach an agreement on the terms of a second wager before Simon died.

Garak style lesson learned: don’t make bets where there’s no favorable thumb on the scale.

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