learning objectivesAfter reading this chapter you should be familiar with the following:
• fundamental premises of the neoclassical economic perspective of natural resource scarcity;
• why neoclassical economists are skeptical about the gloom-and-doom prophecies of the Malthusian variations;
• why the finiteness or absolute scarcity of natural resources should not be viewed as an ultimate deterrent to continued economic growth;
• the significance of differentiating between “general” and “specific” natural resource scarcity;
• the empirical evidence against the classical doctrine of increasing resource scarcity over time;
• some of the major criticisms of the neoclassical economists ‘empirical evidence for increasing natural resource abundance and their unguarded optimism concerning continued rapid resource-saving technical progress;
• the neoclassical perspectives of population and environmental problems.