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AN IMPORTANT video just released from the Post Carbon Institute asks us to accept the end of the growth as we know it:

Economists insist that recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. Richard Heinberg 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.

So what’s next? We must transition to a world that does not rely on endless growth.

What do you think? Are we reaching the end of growth?

World EventsFinancial Savvy


About The Author

Ian MacKenzie

Ian MacKenzie is the founder and former editor of Brave New Traveler. He is Head of Video at Matador Network. Ian is also an independent filmmaker, with his first feature (One Week Job) released in 2010. His more recent projects include Sacred Economics and Occupy Love.

  • Ckocian

    I think we have a “mature” economy at a plateau.  Restoration of unemployment levels at 4-5% may be gone forever.

  • Coco

    There are so many assumptions here, its not even worth getting into it.  Since it only takes one piece of evidence to dispute a claim, look at the economies of China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and the rest of the developing world.  Is economic growth really over?

    • Ian MacKenzie

      While there is room to consume in those emerging economies, they are still relying on the same unsustainable economic system… they will inevitably reach the same limits, likely sooner because of the end of cheap energy.

  • Permacyclists .com

    Great video, it’s nice to see such a clear communication of what is actually such a complex situation.  It’s a little misleading to give the impression that coal isn’t cheap or that it’s running out like oil is – as we understand it there is still a lot more coal left, and it’s still the cheapest source of energy available – unfortunately, since its impact on the climate is truly horrific.

    We were sorry to see though that they didn’t mention the Transition Movement since it is in our experience the best way to get to that hopefully post-growth world that they describe.  We visited Transition Houston lately and made a little video on what they do if anyone is interested:

    • Ian MacKenzie

      Thanks for sharing! I have been looking at Transition Towns… a film I’m working on just interviewed Rob Hopkins as  well.

  • CG

    There are myriad valid and reasonable explanations for all of the economic woes cited above, most of which will pass in time.Economic growth isn’t over- we’re just experiencing the ramifications of a recession initiated by a financial crisis. A longer recovery period is to be expected. Consumption can’t drive a recovery when households and governments are paring back debt to a more reasonable level.How would one go about transitioning to a society that doesn’t rely on endless growth, anyway? Should we enact a one-child policy?

    • Ian MacKenzie

      I think they’re asking us to re-think what actual “growth” means… a system that needs to get bigger to continue to run is inherently unsustainable… not to mention more and more of our natural world is devoured in the process. 

  • Carlo Alcos

    Let’s just continue to keep our heads in the sand. It’s easier that way and I can keep living the lifestyle that I’ve become accustomed to. Everything’s alright. It’s obvious.

  • Me

    Sombody Call Microsoft Tell Them I Love Them

  • Glangbar

    What are the natural limits of dept? Its an arbitrary contraction in an abstract system that has no greater empirical Truth than any other fictional story line. Keeping track just keeps credit scarce as the resources at our disposal. 

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