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Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalization Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 19, 2009
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— The Globe and Mail
"Jeff Rubin is not your typical eggheaded senior economist.... And the controversy that has dogged his work is about to hit the boiling point.... So get set. If Jeff Rubin says something is coming, you better listen. Love him or hate him."
— Canadian Business
"Should be mandatory reading for all corporate executives."
— National Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
There are two other books that have the same end of cheap energy theme. One is Stephen Leeb's Game Over and the other is $20 a Gallon by Chris Steiner. Leeb's book is more of an investment survival guide while Steiner's $20 a Gallon is more of a sociological portrait of America in the age of prohibitive gas prices. Leeb is rather depressing in positing the end of cheap energy and commodities in general. Leeb sees global insecurity as countries fight for resources.
Steiner sees high energy as an opportunity to re-urbanize America with close in dense communities without cars. Steiner does a great job of predicting how escalating gas prices will change our lives. He says we may be happier living a simpler less consumption oriented lifestyle.
Rubin's book is the best all round book for it covers both economics and sociology. If you want to know how to make money from energy shortages, Leeb has some valuable and practical advice. Steiner will leave you hopeful for a simpler, more community minded America. I recommend all three books without hesitation as helpful guides to an America facing a dearth of resources in the next 20 years. They certainly reinforce the need for a national energy policy now while we may be able to extend resources.
Furthermore, he warns that the world has two choices in the next few years. Either transition our society to less energy-intensive, more localized communities; or keep banging our collective heads against the wall of this rapidly depleting resource and face recession after recession each time supply fails to meet demand.
Two years ago, he was right in predicting when $100 oil would happen. And it appears this book may be right just weeks after being published, with the supposed "green shoots" of economic recovery triggering a doubling in the price of oil in the first half of 2009. The book predicts we'll soon be back in the triple digits. Maybe even $200 a barrel and $7/gallon.
I was very impressed with the book because:
A) An economist acknowledged what most economists don't; that resources are limited - and so is economic growth
B) He presents us with hope that a smaller (less energy-intensive) world may actually be a happier world
I'm eager to see what else Rubin may have to say about this in the coming years.
Rubin presents much diverse information yet manages to tie together all the pieces in cohesive, friendly prose that is not statistically boring and stuffy yet is backed with facts. There are 11 pages of source notes at the back should anyone question the validity or sources of his information or desire to read more. The book is thorough in that it gives good background, demonstrates relationships between various elements of our world and takes into account numerous countries and their roles in all of this. It's a good read if you don't want to live with your head in the sand.
The author makes compelling arguments why the supply & demand curves do not apply where one is confronted with a diminishing resource and convincingly shows that oil really is a diminishing resource. As if that were not in itself disquieting enough, he goes on to discuss the added demand pressures from newly developing giants such as India and China as well as the `cannibalization' of significant supplies by OPEC countries through excessive internal subsidies. Jeff Rubin also demonstrates that the West, despite all its efforts in becoming more energy efficient, is actually using more oil than ever before through the rebound effect. Ethanol perhaps, or wind turbines to get us off the oil fix? The author's economic scalpel dissects and finally discards them both for good reasons.
The reader is always led back to oil, and by the time you get that far, it sounds compelling that oil is at the root of everything, from recessions to economic bubbles. Whether it is inflation or deflation, financial derivatives, Wall Street greed or lax bankers and regulators - all is attributable to oil according to Jeff Rubin. I am no economist, but that is where I think the book looses its way and the oil-theme begins to take precedence over every other economic complexity to drive home the point. Yet, almost as a footnote, the author also contradicts his theme on several occasions, not the least by conceding that inflation in the postwar years (Korean War) and later in the aftermath of the Vietnam War was primarily caused by racking up massive deficits from financing these conflicts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this book a few years ago and was very skeptical at the time of Jeff Rubin's predictions. Rubin makes the classic mistake of underestimating how the power of human... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Roger Swierstra
Jeff Rubin was the chief economist at CIBC World Markets for 20 years, and one of the first to point to the economic consequences of peak oil. Read morePublished on January 6, 2014 by David Last
Rubin has a quick-reading style and does a good job of explaining why the human economy is crashing into the limits of nature. Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by AJ CA
Very readable but it all could be said in a book half this length. Why do authors think they need to repeat details and expand on what they have already told us to get their... Read morePublished on February 1, 2013 by Graham Palmer
Well my review won't be too favourable but I bought this for a course I was taking in university. It's one of those books that tries to scare people with panic. Read morePublished on November 20, 2012 by pretzuls
very easy to read with wonderful entertaining anecdotes but at the same time provocative and compelling. I'm looking forward to his next bookPublished on November 3, 2012 by john mackenzie
The book is amazing. The research is top drawer, and the way he places the context is also very well done. I disagree with his conclusions however. Read morePublished on August 17, 2012 by harrisja
I know, the sky is falling, the sky is falling. As I write this, three, count 'em, three years after this book was published, oil is languishing at $80 a barrel, and will probably... Read morePublished on June 21, 2012 by Pepi