The End of Growth

The End of Growth

Adapting to Our New Economic Reality

Book - 2011
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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.

Publisher: Gabriola, B.C. : New Society Publishers, c2011.
ISBN: 9780865716957
0865716951
Branch Call Number: 330.905 Heinberg 10/2011
Characteristics: xiv, 321 p. :,ill. ;,23 cm.

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ravishri Jan 22, 2014

This book is gives an overview of the coming “great contraction”. I was a bit skeptical of its basic premise (that the phenomenal growth we witnessed in the past couple of centuries is soon to be a thing of the past) when I picked it up but it does make some valid points. It is well researched, well written and drives its point home by deeply examining the assumptions that are critical for continuous growth in the future.
The book, however, deeply discounts the possibility of new technology being better and more efficient than current technology. That is the one thing which I disagree with the author about.

r
russtm
May 28, 2012

Nothing is forever.

g
ghreads
Mar 28, 2012

This book describes our current economy of growth and explains why it can’t continue because of resource depletion, climate change, a failing financial system and unmanageable government debt. The book is an economic primer explaining our increasingly complex financial system and its ever-more-bizarre instruments. It explains Peak Oil and the depletion of other critical resources, including fossil fuels and minerals and looks at the negative impacts on the eco-system, including Climate Change, caused by our rapacious economy.

The author explains how we arrived at the current situation and why we can’t continue on the existing path; why innovation, resource substitution and increasing efficiency can’t keep us growing.

After describing all the problems, he turns his attention to possible solutions and what a post-growth, steady-state economy could look like and describes some current initiatives in the right direction.

The book is well worth reading. It is an excellent source of information both for people not familiar with these concepts and for those aware of the situation in principle but who want more detailed information and analysis. Most of the book is relatively easy to read. It does get quite technical in places, especially when describing the machinations of the financial system. The glossary of terminology and financial instruments can make the eyes glaze over if the reader does not have a financial background. There are lots of graphs which help to explain the data. However, one can gloss over some of the technicalities without losing any of the flow and force of the book.

This is not relaxing bed-time reading but is an essential start to learning about what the future will hold for us in the near future and for coming generations.

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