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The End Of Growth, Richard Heinberg

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Cheap Oil: Prerequisite for Growth

Richard Heinberg, author and fellow at The Post Carbon Institute is interviewed here on The Keiser Report about his new book: The End Of Growth.

Heinberg says his book "makes the controversial claim that world economic growth has hit non- negotiable limits as of 2008 and that we're in a new economic era. It's not a recession that will end at some point and we'll get back to "normal growth" - rather, we have seen the end of economic growth as we know it."

The reason is that we are butting up against resource limits -- and the main one is oil. All the cheap, easy stuff is gone. It's not that we're going to run out of oil per se, but the price of extraction and exploration is rising rapidly.

Since the Industrial Revolution we have enjoyed cheap and abundant fossil fuel energy, a prerequisite for economic growth.

The interview includes a fascinating discussion about how economists like Malthus could not have foreseen how fossil fuels would come to be the underlying factor for such astounding growth potential in agriculture for example.

Most people, unfortunately are still thinking the answer to our "recession" lies in technology or in politics.

When asked about what the economy in the post carbon future will look like, Heinberg says:

"It will be much smaller - and it will be much more local. We won't be dashing off across town to get a new flat screen TV. We'll have to save the gas... and we'll want a pair of good shoes more than a TV."

--Bibi Farber

This video was produced by The Keiser Report