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The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future Of Our Economy, Energy, And Environment Hardcover – March 29, 2011
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From the Inside Flap
The next twenty years will be completely unlike the last twenty years. The decisions you make today are critical. The world is in economic crisis, and there are no easy fixes to our predicament. Unsustainable trends in the economy, energy, and the environment have finally caught up with us and are converging on a very narrow window of timethe "Twenty-Teens." With solid facts and grounded reasoning presented in a calm, nonpartisan manner, The Crash Course explains our predicament and illuminates the path ahead so you can face the coming disruptions without fearing the future or retreating into denial.
Our money system places impossible demands upon a finite world. Exponentially rising levels of debt, based on assumptions of future economic growth to fund repayment, have shuddered to a halt and are reversing, with severe and lasting consequences.
Oil is essential for economic growth. The reality of dwindling oil supplies is now internationally recognized, yet virtually no developed nations have a Plan B. The economic risks to individuals, companies, and countries are varied and enormous. Best case: living standards will drop steadily worldwide. Worst case: systemic financial crises will toss the world into jarring chaos.
This book is written for those who are motivated to learn about the root causes of our predicaments in order to protect themselves and their families, mitigate risks as much as possible, and control what effects they can. With challenge comes opportunity. The Crash Course offers a positive vision for how our lives can become more balanced, resilient, and sustainable.
The world is changing. It's time to get busy. The Crash Course will show you how.
From the Back Cover
Praise for The Crash Course
"Chris Martenson gave up a successful and conventional career to study the two great problems that we face: running out of critical resourcesespecially carbon-based energyand a congenital failure to process unpleasant facts. Reading The Crash Course will help you recognize how dangerous our future is likely to be and will help you prepare for it. It is a job well done." Jeremy Grantham, cofounder and Chief Investment Strategist, Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo
"Among the handful of observers making sense of the economic scene, Chris Martenson is the most astute, coherent, and comprehensive. Reading Chris is like stepping out of a room full of smoke and mirrors into daylight." James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency
"Economists did not predict the Great Recession of 2008; Chris did. He looks deeper into the numbers than most and has found a painful future if we do not make a major turn. I deeply appreciate him for doing this work. He uses hard data to back up the self-evident common sense that if we do not consciously manage our natural resources and business relationships to give priority to the common good, we will face dire consequences. This is serious. Read this book." Terry Mollner, Board Member, Ben & Jerry's
"Chris addresses fundamental economic and energy issues in understandable terms and provides engaging perspectives. Readers will learn a great deal from his work." Dr. Robert L. Hirsch, lead author of The Impending World Energy Mess
Top Customer Reviews
The author of this book has also made a 3 hour video of The Crash Course that is a condensed version of the book. It, too, is excellent. This DVD is available from Amazon or you can view if for free on the author's website, ChrisMartenson.com . Of course, it's not possible for a 3 hour video to contain nearly as much information as the book. So, if you really want to be fully informed, you should read the book. However, while you are waiting for it to arrive in the mail, you can get a terrific overview by watching the DVD.
Basically, The Crash Course (book or DVD), in a very compelling way, makes two fundamental points. First, that our present rate of consumption of oil, when correlated against an increasing world population and increasing demand from the industrialization of third world countries, is simply not sustainable. In fact, it appears that we are currently at the precipice of there not being enough oil to meet the demand. And, when we go over the cliff, our standard of living will be diminished overnight. (Imagine having to spend 50 to 70% of your income on food and gasoline.)
The second fundamental point made by the Crash Course is that our debt based monetary system must inevitably end with hyperinflation. The reason is that each year, enough new currency must be created to pay the interest on all of the previously created debt. As a result, there is an exponential increase in the money supply.Read more ›
The amazing thing is that as a society, we are standing on the edge of a cliff about to fall off, we know it, but for some reason, we just do not have the will to do anything about it so far. We are not even having a national dialogue. Our leaders are aware of the problems but I guess they look back at President Carter who lost the next election after he said: finding new energy is the moral equivalent of war. I hope we wake up in time to tackle these issues because the alternatives are not good. That is the core subject of the well written and entertaining book.
In mid 2008 I found Chris Martenson's online presentation called 'The Crash Course'. He hadn't yet completed the entire work and so I waited anxiously as each subsequent chapter/unit of the presentation was published online. The entire presentation was like a breath of fresh air. He did not try to overwhelm his audience with his grasp of the subject matter by using a plethora of 'million dollar words'. He clearly stated how 'The 3 E's' (Energy, Economy and Environment) were intricately related and how they could not be compartmentalized.
The 'Crash Course' book picks up where the presentation ends. This is not a 'doomer' book but instead is positive. It apolitically sets out in a concise manner why we are where we are today. It is clear and easy to understand.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Should be required reading for every citizen! It puts our circumstances in clear focus.Published 14 days ago by CRAIG J
I thought the first half of the book was too long on explaining sustainability. Maybe just me, but it seemed too simplified. The second half of the book was the 'message'. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Masao Miwa
Very interesting.I agree we and the rest of the developed world have major problems. The few solvent countries are minor powers on the world stage. Read morePublished 2 months ago by liberty man
The Crash Course makes a strong argument to look past an unsustainable world built on fossil fuels, debt, and lack of planning. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Benjamin
The author identifies major economic, energy and environmental trends that are shaping our lives, then describes realistic ways we can respond as individuals and a society. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Larry Fox