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The Great Squeeze: Surviving the Human Project

Life After Growth

What if the economy doesn’t recover?

This new film explores our current ecological and economic crisis stemming from our dependence on cheap and abundant energy; turning fossil fuels into a double-edged sword. Although our actions have lifted our civilization to new heights, it has come at a tremendous price. We are now at a point where humanity's demands for natural resources far exceed the earth's capacity to sustain us. The extraction and the use of those resources in the past two centuries have changed our climate and ecosystems so significantly, that a new geological era had to be created.

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Comment by Michael Grove on December 10, 2010 at 11:01

Life After Growth

What if the economy doesn’t recover?

In 2008 the U.S. economy tripped down a steep, rocky slope. Employment levels plummeted; so did purchases of autos and other consumer goods.
Property values crashed; foreclosure and bankruptcy rates bled. For
states, counties, cities, and towns; for manufacturers, retailers, and
middle- and low-income families, the consequences were—and continue to
be—catastrophic. Other nations were soon caught up in the undertow.

In late 2009 and early 2010, the economy showed some signs of renewed
vigor. Understandably, everyone wants it to get “back to normal.” But
here’s a disturbing thought: What if that is not possible? What if the
goalposts have been moved, the rules rewritten, the game changed? What
if the decades-long era of economic growth based on ever-increasing
rates of resource extraction, manufacturing, and consumption is over,
finished, and done? What if the economic conditions that all of us grew
up expecting to continue practically forever were merely a blip on
history’s timeline?

It’s an uncomfortable idea, but one that cannot be ignored: The “normal”
late-20th century economy of seemingly endless growth actually emerged
from an aberrant set of conditions that cannot be perpetuated.


That “normal” is gone. One way or another, a new normal will emerge to replace it. Can we build a different, more sustainable economy to replace the one now in tatters?

Let’s be clear: I believe we are in for some very hard times. The
transitional period on our way toward a post-growth, equilibrium
economy will prove to be the most challenging time any of us has ever
lived through. Nevertheless, I am convinced that we can survive this
collective journey, and that if we make sound choices as families and
communities, life can actually be better for us in the decades ahead
than it was during the heady days of seemingly endless economic
expansion
.

Richard Heinberg

Comment by Michael Grove on October 26, 2011 at 10:04

Where do good ideas come from?

 

as of 11/11/2011 - THE very best IDEAS come from HERE

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