Jonah’s reference to the famous Julian Simon-Paul Ehrlich bet prompts me to mention that I have been trying to recreate it in the last three years with environmentalists who say that Bush is “rolling back” the Clean Air Act. I have several times offered environmentalists to bet $10,000 or just $1,000 that the EPA’s measurements of air quality will find our air cleaner in 2009 than it was when Bush took office in 2001. Gov. Owens of Colorado has offered a similar wager in his state. No takers, of course. We get the talking point that “clean air is much too important to gamble on,” which only shows the utter bankruptcy of their position.
By the way, once the complete data have been tabulated, 2004 is going to record the lowest level of air pollution in the U.S. since we started monitoring it seriously back in the 1960s.