Economists insist that recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.
Richard Heinberg’s latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, explaining how and why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. Written in an engaging, highly readable style, it shows why growth is being blocked by three factors:
Crushing levels of debt
These converging limits will force us to re-evaluate cherished economic theories and to reinvent money and commerce.
The End of Growth describes what policy makers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth’s budget of energy and resources. We can thrive during the transition if we set goals that promote human and environmental well-being, rather than continuing to pursue the now-unattainable prize of ever-expanding GDP.
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"Clearly written and argued... Heinberg's contrarian view on growth is highly recommended to all [listeners] interested in economics, sustainability, and future trends." (
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Riveting and compelling
Heinberg's systematic approach to deconstructing the current world economy into understandable concepts and then linking the components into values that respond to energy use, proving why the status quo is unsustainable, and simply cannot, CANNOT - due to the laws of physics, continue on the trajectory it has been following. He also explains why attempts to restart the economies of Europe and America are proving so difficult, and what the future holds for the tiger economies of China and India. Not only does he show how the system simply HAS to crash, but he devotes two chapters at the end of the book to visioning a new possible world economy.
For me, the way in which Heinberg made the compelling connection between energy use and money was a real 'aha' moment for me. When one looks at the relationship between energy, particularly cheap energy, and what it gave us as a species, and then understand what the end of access to that cheap energy means, the pieces all start to make sense.
Ideally, it would have been nice to have had Richard narrate it himself. He has a good speaking voice. Boehmer was not abysmal, but frequently sounded like a talking clock. Someone with a less monotonous voice and rhythm would have been nice.
Realizing that my pension is probably going to be worthless when I really want to start using it came as a bit of a blow. I am now lying awake at night wondering how best to adapt to that scenario. Buy gold? Buy a farm? Stock up on tins of tuna and move to the mountains?
A fantastic book. I would love to have more of Heinberg's work available in audio format.
A must read for anyone who deems to be intelligent