I met with a very old ecnomist. Indeed, he is not that old, but he is a loyal subject of old economic thoughts. I met him because of the debate on real oil price. Without any doubt, he argues that real price of oil will be decreasing. When I send email for comment, he sent me a brief one sentence comment, "A higher price eventually induces a greater supply, and the effect is larger in the long run than the short." Oh, well, market will solve every problem? You wish!
We have been seeing long battle to let people understand that climate change is real. Even a few years ago, few lay persons accepted the fact or science. Now, if you say that global warming is fake, people think you are ignorant or crazy. I can see the same attitude in peak oil discussion. They don't buy science, but they just believe what they want to believe. How pity it is! Fact is fact, and science matters. After 5 or 10 years, I hope to meet the old economist again to check who was right if he is still alive.
Another thought. What do you think about universal health care? It is a big issue in this presidential election. Surely, I support the plan. It is such a shame that the US does not have one for its people; Korea has one, and we appreciate this pretty much. Even Rumania has one; myRumanian friend told me that he had to go back to his country to treat his dental illness because our student health plan does not cover much, while his universal health plan covers more. The old economist mentioned that he is against universal health care during today meeting. Many "economists" may think that the plan is bad because of efficiency issues. Beautiful efficiency! What a convenient decision rule for the people who live in an imaginary equilibrium world.
I don't deny that I am one of normative scientists different from natural scientists. But my norm, as an ecological economist, is on earth: make this world sustainable and happier. That is my normative decision rule. Is it true that when we increase efficiency, more of us can be better off? Efficiency does not make people happier. Look at the poor average life expectancy in the US without a universal health care. It is a shame. Shame on you, very old economist!