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The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality Paperback – August 9, 2011
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Why have mainstream economists ignored environmental limits for so long? If Heinberg is right, they will have much explaining to do." -- LESTER BROWN, Founder Earth Policy Institute --Lester Brown - Earth Policy Institute
Heinberg shows how peak oil, peak water, peak food, etc. lead not only to the end of growth, but to the beginning of a new era of progress without growth. --Herman E. Daly, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
By the time you finish this, you will have 2 conclusions: This is the end of economic growth and it is our problem, not our childrens'. It's time to get ready. This book is the place to start. --Paul Gilding - Former head of Greenpeace International
Richard has rung the bell on the limits to growth. Our shift from quantity of consumption to quality of life is the great challenge of our generation. Frightening...but ultimately freeing. --John Fullerton - President and Founder, Capital Institute
Nobody should be elected to federal office who has not read Richard Heinberg's The End of Growth. - William Catton, author of Overshoot.
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:
- Resource depletion,
- Environmental impacts, and
- 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'sbudget 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.
From the Back Cover
As energy and food prices escalate and debt levels explode, paths that formerly led to economic prosperty now lead to disaster. This book proposes a startling diagnosis: the global economy has reached a fundamental turning point--the end of growth. The Great Recession will not end in "recovery." Still, we can thrive in coming years if we abandon the futile pursuit of growth in consumption and aim instead for improvements in quality of life.
Richard Heinberg's latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, examining why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. Written in an engaging style, it shows why growth can't continue in the face of resource depletion, environmental devastation, and mountains of debt.
The End of Growth re-evaluates cherished economic theories and describes what policymakers, 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 pursuing the now-unattainable prize of ever-expanding GDP.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have read John Perkins and understand the difference between dream and fantasy as taught by the shamans of the Amazon, and have read Jared Diamonds "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed", and you then read this book, you will see how the "American Dream" is really an American "Fantasy" in which we through ignorance, avarice or, worse than either, denial, continue to build our own versions of Moai on a shrinking planet that increasingly resembles Easter Island except that our ocean is the vastly greater and even more inhospitable universe.
If you can read this book without being either an optimist or pessimist, but a rational thinking person, then your biggest battle may just be overcoming denial. Denial will tempt you to see technology and substitutions for energy and other dwindling non-renewable resources saving mankind, or it may allow you to seek the comfort of flimsy arguments claiming why this is just so much alarmist doom and gloom, or it may simply come in the form of going on with your life as you always have done because it is so much easier to simply ignore and deny it. Although Heinberg does offer some actions to be taken, they are not simple in the context of your typical community mentality. So between fighting off the continual temptations of denial, the denial or ignorance of others, or the unpleasant task of doing something other than something entertaining, our lives will never be as easy again.
If you have some knowledge of the difference between the economic philosophies of Keynes and Friedman and you have a tendency to lean toward one more than the other like I had before reading this book, then you should know that we have had a serious problem of not seeing the forest for the trees. Heinberg snapped me out of that blind trance with some simple undeniable facts. The problem now is that I have to wonder sometimes which state I rather be in, denial, in the dark, or aware of the truth.
In Diamond's book "Collapse..." regarding Easter Island he refers to the question "What was the man thinking who cut down the last tree?" Each one of us knows the answer. It is what we are thinking today as we go on with our own lives on a planet with finite resources.
I also believe most Americans love profit, believe in the manifestly destiny and dismiss timing to such a degree it will become their Achilles heel. I look at politicans on both sides of the fence and I shutter! Also, someone mentioned that because the wall street journal didn't review ithe book it didn't hold merit? What? Wow? I wonder why they didn't. If they did it would put their whole reason for existing into peril. Recycle and sustainability, hum....not happening enough right now to make a difference. Sorry but I see most people with an inability to think critically and beyond their timing in history, so I am concerned. Also I didn't see the book as doomsday, (I think that is typical politics---don't like what is being said so let's use a demonic word to discredit it). I do believe we need to constantly review all that we hold so profound. It's good humans die, otherwise new ideas would almost never come into being. People don't like change, especially those who are benefiting the most.
In the end we all have to go our own way. Am I totally sure Richard is right? Of course not, but much of what he says needs serious consideration.
For me I will incorporate some of what Richard says in this book into how I live. There is something seriously wrong out there and it's more than God being mad at us or tax cuts for the rich will solve everything or that trickle down and inventions will save the day.
Resources ARE limited and 100 to 1 energy exchange is going to be hard to replace. Also as a person from Seattle I have seen the price of salmon raise over 350% in the last 10 years while I see less and less salmon each year go through the ladder at the canal in Fremont. Farmed salmon anyone?
So I wil save more, stay away from debt, live within my means, not believe a thing from any politician and then see how it all shakes out over the next 15 Years.