This blog was written by guest blogger, Julio Olalla.
Below Julio offers a review of the book, The Crash Course. I wholeheartedly endorse his assessment that this is a book that everyone should read. It will change your view of the future that is coming and opens up a bigger set of possibilities of how to cope with it.
“The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of Our Economy, Energy, and Environment, by Chris Martenson, PhD., John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2011
This is a book that everyone should read…
The author presents a strongly grounded picture of the enormous challenges we have in our world today, particularly the fact that we are running out of critical resources. We live in an economy that has growth as the answer to everything, and we are collectively failing to act effectively in this new scenario.
The author writes, “The world has physical limits that we are already encountering, but our economy operates as if no physical limits exists.”
And he continues, “In the near future, humanity as a species will have to grapple with a condition that it has never faced before: Less and less energy will be available each year.” We must ask after oil, what comes next? The typical response (or denial) is “some new technology will be invented,” but the author reminds us that technologies use energy, they don’t create energy.
He claims that “Debt markets are making an enormous collective bet that the future economy will be exponentially larger than the present. It is a dangerous wager, and one which, if it does not pan out, places the collective wealth of entire nations at risk.”
And he adds to that what is happening in the energy front: “With a peak in energy extraction, a host of environmental issues suddenly come into play. Agricultural soils that were forced to produce higher yields via the continuous application of fertilizers derived from fossil fuels will turn out to have been fundamentally depleted.”
The author explores the present situation of money and debt, oil, water, soil, and oceans, with extraordinary amounts of data, to show that the next 20 years are going to be completely unlike the last 20 years. In order to prepare ourselves for that we must first learn what is happening in the Economy, Energy and Environment, not to feed a pessimistic approach but a realistic one.
Chris Martenson is a scientist and he used to work in the corporate world. Every claim he makes is followed by a lot of information and strong data. It is sobering to go through the book and realize how many of us today live in great ignorance, ungrounded hope or flat denial. He warns us that “unless we are careful, we might accidentally pursue growth when what we really are seeking is prosperity. The problem is that prosperity has so often accompanied growth that is has become easy to confuse the two.”
He quotes Kenneth Boulding, “Anybody who believes exponential growth can go forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
The book ends exploring different potential scenarios and the possibilities that each of them contains for us. “One thing that I absolutely don’t see happening is a one-way descent into chaos. Yes, there may be dips in the road, and, yes, it may be a long slog toward the light, but even so, we’ll pick ourselves up and carry on again”
The book is amazingly clear, didactical, thoughtful, and visionary. Don’t miss it. It will change your thinking about the world and how you will act from now on.
You can find this book HERE.
Julio Olalla is the founder of Newfield Network, a leading school of coaching in the world, and is considered one of the best coaches in the world. He is the author of From Knowledge to Wisdom.