ERIC Number: ED228033
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
The Cornucopian Fallacies. TEF Reports.
Futurism is currently divided between two bitterly struggling camps. "Cornucopians" tell of the wonderful future that technology will bring and reassure us that our problems are not serious. "Jeremiads" warn of impending doom if something is not done about the particular problem troubling the futurist. Jeremiads include environmentalists, some (but not all) resource specialists, and those concerned about the rate of population growth. The debate between these two groups was sharpened in 1981 by the U.S. Government publication "The Global Report to the President: Entering the Twenty-First Century" and an article by Julian Simon ("Resources, Population, Environment: An Oversupply of False Bad News") published in "Science," volume 208, June 27, 1980, pages 1431-1437. The thesis of this paper is that there are logical flaws and oversights in the Cornucopians' approach that make the debate fundamentally asymmetrical. The Cornucopians have made assumptions and chose methodologies that simply ignore or dismiss the most critical issues; this has led the Jeremiads to their current concerns. Cornucopian fallacies and the reasoning processes and flaws/omissions characterizing the analyses of Simon and of Herman Kahn are discussed. (JN)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Environmental Fund, Washington, DC.