In the May 1959 introduction to the first issue of Resources magazine, Resources for the Future (RFF) President Reuben G. Gustavson reflected on the “unending source of wonderment” about humanity and the natural world that is shared across generations: “To explore the globe and no small part of the universe... and through communication to transmit our observations and interpretations to generations yet unborn—that is humanity’s greatest adventure.”
In that spirit, RFF continues to explore the relationships among economic activity, environmental health, and public policy. We also search for opportunities to improve our well-being within both the built and natural environments and infuse this understanding into decisions to enable progress.
Over the last six decades of Resources’s publication, this sense of awe and curiosity has been the hallmark of its articles on subjects spanning environmental, energy, and resource economics and policy. In that time, the magazine has been a laboratory for innovation and has helped decisionmakers design and implement fundamentally better policies. The ideas conveyed in this magazine also laid the groundwork for completely new areas of research, reoriented entire policy disciplines, and offered prescient wisdom about the future. We include in this special issue of Resources a selection of historic essays covering all of the above categories.
We also include compelling new material, including an interview with former astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan and an assessment of thirty years of cap-and-trade policy developments by Richard Schmalensee and Robert N. Stavins.
Finally, we mark an important moment: by popular demand, we are reviving the print edition of Resources, after a brief digital-only hiatus. We hope you will enjoy the pages that follow, animated as they are by those in pursuit of humanity’s greatest adventure.
Richard G. Newell
President & CEO
Resources for the Future