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Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution Paperback – May 28, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (May 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865717443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865717442
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

It may be premature to call this book a masterpiece, but it's evident that Czech has mastered the art of melding science, economics, policy and politics in one readable piece. Supply Shock belongs in the classroom, boardroom, town halls and policy circles. It belongs in the hands of all those who care, as Czech might say, "about the grandkids."
---Herman Daly, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland, School of Public Policy; author of Steady State Economics; Lifetime Achievement Award winner, National Council for Science and the Environment from the Foreword

Brian Czech has used a remarkable combination of education and experience to build a solid reputation as an innovative thinker. His newest book, Supply Shock, is an adventure in learning. Czech's vision of "steady statesmanship" is impressive and convincing, and this book easily qualifies as one of the key manuals for those who care about the world and its inhabitants.
---Lynn Greenwalt, former director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

An old economic world is dying, and a new economic world is being born. Brian Czech is one of the midwives of this new economic world.
---Governor Richard D. Lamm

Supply Shock clearly describes the heart of what ails us--a zombie-like addiction to economic growth everywhere at all costs. Brian Czech brilliantly dissects the economic theories, models, and mindsets that are diminishing the human prospect while calling it 'progress'. . . . King Midas would have understood the point, as we will someday."
---David W. Orr is Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Senior Adviser to the President, Oberlin College; author of seven books; Lyndhurst Prize winner

Supply Shock brings together the keen observations of a skilled biologist with a deep understanding of our failing economic system. Brian Czech has come up with the major economic rethinking needed to prevent cascading collapses of human societies and the rest of the species on the planet.
---Brent Blackwelder, Past President, Friends of the Earth; Founding President, American Rivers


This is a brave book that raises questions we all need to ask and try to answer. With remarkable clarity, Czech proposes the evolution of a revolution, thinking and feeling and working our way toward a fair, sustainable, constructive social order in America and all around the world.
---Neil Patterson, president, Neil Patterson Productions; co-founder, Norton Science publishing

Brian Czech has dedicated his entire professional life to the study of wildlife conservation, environmental protection, and human society. Supply Shock is the culmination of this thinking, and should be read by leaders as well as upcoming professionals in natural resource conservation and environmental management. Bold leadership – the kind needed for conservation of the world’s natural resources and habitats – can be enhanced by Czech's vision of steady statesmanship.
---Paul R. Krausman, Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation, University of Montana, and past president, The Wildlife Society

This well-written and comprehensive volume is a great resource for questioning “economic growth” and moving towards a new paradigm for the earth’s future.
---Doug La Follette, Secretary of State, Wisconsin

Brian Czech marries economics, biology and political science in a brilliant account of why we need to abandon growth and build a new governance system. There is no sociable alternative to the steady state economy.
---Lorenzo Fioramonti is Jean Monnet Chair in Regional Integration and Governance Studies at the University of Pretoria; Senior Fellow at the Centre for Social Investment, University of Heidelberg; author of several books on international political economy including Gross Domestic Problem: The Politics Behind the World’s Most Powerful Number.


The practice of conservation biology has a palpably futile feeling when economic growth is the summum bonum. Supply Shock provides an antidote. All who are serious about the big picture of biodiversity conservation should read this book. It will change your idea of what the future can be, and how to create that future.
---Paul Beier, president, Society for Conservation Biology, and Regents' Professor, School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University

In Supply Shock, Brian Czech graphically shows how the growth-based status quo is destroying the ecological basis of human existence and eloquently describes an alternative path to true economic maturity.
---Bill Rees, author of Our Ecological Footprint, Professor Emeritus of Human Ecology and Ecological Economics, University of British Columbia, and co-winner of the 2012 Boulding Prize in Ecological Economics

As Brian Czech lucidly explains, it's time for our economy to start acting like a responsible adult in a world of limits. This book reeks of sanity: read it!
---Richard Heinberg, author, The End of Growth

Dr. Czech seems to be one of the few economists with the courage to stand tall and point out the scientific reality that perpetual economic growth is impossible.
---Jack Davis, retired CIA Executive Officer

From the Back Cover


THE STEADY STATE REVOLUTION — NAVIGATING THE END OF ECONOMIC GROWTH

Supply Shock clearly describes the heart of what ails us—a zombie-like addiction to economic growth everywhere at all costs. Brian Czech brilliantly dissects the economic theories, models, and mindsets that are diminishing the human prospect while calling it “progress”. … King Midas would have understood the point, as we will someday.
— David W. Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, and Senior Adviser to the President, Oberlin College

… it’s evident that Czech has mastered the art of melding science, economics,
policy and politics in one readable piece. Supply Shock belongs in the classroom, boardroom, town halls and policy circles.

— Herman Daly, from the foreword

Politicians , economists , and Wall Street would have us believe that limitless expansion is the Holy Grail, and that there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment. Supply Shock debunks this widely accepted myth, leaving no doubt that the biggest idea of the 20th century – economic growth – has now become the biggest problem of the 21st.

Starting with a refreshingly accessible, comprehensive critique of “the dismal science”, author Brian Czech develops a compelling argument for a steady state economy. Whereas many works of economic thought can be dry and boring, Supply Shock succeeds at engaging readers while conveying keen scientific, economic and political insights including:

The “trophic theory of money”
The overlooked source of technological progress that prevents
us from reconciling growth and environmental protection
Bold yet practical policy objectives designed to ease the transition
to life after growth.

Required reading for anyone concerned about the world our children and grandchildren will inherit, this landmark work lays a solid foundation for a new economic model, perhaps in time for preventing global catastrophes; certainly in time to mitigate the damage. Czech’s vision of “steady statesmanship” is impressive and convincing, and this book easily qualifies as one of the key manuals for those who care about the world and its inhabitants.
— Lynn Gree nwalt, former director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

An old economic world is dying, and a new economic world is being born.
Brian Czech is one of the visionaries…

— Governor Rich ard D. Lamm

Brian Czech is the founder of Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE), the leading organization promoting the transition from unsustainable growth to a new economic paradigm.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Really makes you think!
Amazon Customer
There is a lot of scholarly research and content in these pages and I am on my second reading of the book!
Book Lover
I would definitely recommend this book to any almost anyone in any field.
Bradley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
This is a book about ecological economics and the need for a steady state economy. In part it is a follow-up to and an expansion on Czech's "Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train" from 2000. (See my review at Amazon.) I can say that whatever your level of expertise and experience in economics, you do not want to miss this book. It is a very well informed and thought-provoking read on a subject of crucial importance in the world today.

Czech's qualifications for taking on the formidable task of researching and writing this book are excellent. He is an ecologist and an economist and a very bright guy who writes well. His obvious purpose in this book is to demonstrate beyond any reasonable doubt that we can no longer blindly pursue economic growth at the expense of the environment. He especially wants us to understand that the idea (held by some economists) of unlimited growth is basically a fraud and a Ponzi scheme on our grandkids. Czech calls it "the myth of perpetual economic growth." (p. 251).

To make his case Czech gives a detailed history of the idea of both growth economics (mainly neoclassical growth theory) and steady state economics. In chapters three through five he discusses mainstream economic ideas from the eighteenth to the early part of the twentieth century. He compares the ideas of people like Henry George, Karl Marx, Francois Quesnay, John Stuart Mill, Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and others, and how their ideas developed and affected policy. By the way, Mill advocated a "stationary" economic state and Czech has a nice long quote from Mill on pages 68-69 to document it.

In Chapter 9: "What Have You Done for Growth" Czech recounts the economic history following World War I up to the present time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Withrop on May 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the best book I have read on the economy and sustainability. It starts out describing how we have probably gone past the capacity of earth to support the economy. Lots of books talk about limits to growth, but this one puts the pieces together one by one with water, oil, farmland, and so on, going from the grocery stores out to the manufacturing sectors, and up into the information economy.

Another thing that sets this book apart is that it provides a very complete definition and description of economic growth and especially how it is measured and accounted for by a country like the United States. I thought this part might be boring but it was pretty interesting. While reading this chapter I suddenly was able to make sense of what I have heard on the news over the years about GDP numbers, the stock market and so on. That leads to the part about the history of economics and especially how economists have changed over the centuries, going back before Adam Smith even, with how they think about economic growth. It's interesting how corruption got into the economics departments at the universities. It makes sense too. The part about how land and natural resources was deleted from the production equation for political reasons explains why economists today seem to think everything will be fine as long as we keep spending more money!

The hardest part of the book to understand is in the next part. The parts about ecology and early civilisations are intriguing and very insightful. The part about trophic levels and how money got going makes more sense than most economics textbooks. This part really shows how green growth was such a scam. But it is a challenge to follow the part about technology. I read most of it twice and finally got it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Lewis on July 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
Brian Czech’s Supply Shock, Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution, 2013, New Society Publishers, brings the “dismal science” to life as a luminous discipline. Czech begins where Herman Daly’s 1996 Beyond Growth leaves off, bringing ecological economics into the present turbulent economy while explaining how we got here.

In addition to an enlightening and enjoyable history of economics, and projections for the economic future, Czech makes two significant contributions to our understanding of steady state ecological economics.

Czech tells us the story of Henry George, whose 1897 Progress and Poverty, brought land back into the equation of the means of production, alongside capital and labor. George promoted the idea of a single land tax, thus fostering the enmity of industrialists of the time who were busy locking up land along the expanding railroads for their personal profits. George’s work not only encouraged the burgeoning agrarian and socialist political movements, but also engendered the reactionary slide from classical to neoclassical economics.

Czech’s explication of this largely forgotten economic history tells us that our present economic system is not carved in stone, and that we can indeed craft a new economic system more in keeping with modern realities of a finite, fully populated world.

Czech’s important contribution to ecological economics is his trophic model of human economies.
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