NPRA ’11: Benefits of chemical industry often understated – author

28 March 2011 17:53  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--The chemical industry suffers from the human tendency to complain even in good times, the author of the books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics said on Monday.

Speaking at the International Petrochemical Conference (IPC), Stephen Dubner said that in general, “the upside [of the industry] is taken for granted and the downside is understated”.

He noted that even critics of the chemical industry make use of the products made by chemical manufacturers.

Like Freakonomics, Dubner’s most recent book, SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, takes an unconventional look at economics, such as the environmental crises posed by horses more than a hundred years ago in New York City.

The automobile, now seen as a major source of environmental problems, was hailed as an environmental saviour more than a century ago in New York City by eliminating the accumulation of five tons/day of horse manure in the city.

He indicated that the industry should take an academic approach in making its case for the benefits of chemicals. “Show them the homework behind your argument,” he said.

Hosted by the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), the IPC runs through Tuesday.

By: Brian Ford
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