Image credit: The Nation
Richard Heinberg has talked about life after economic growth before. Now, as part of its ongoing exploration of peak oil, The Nation magazine gives him a platform to expound his views to the world. It doesn't make for comfortable or upbeat viewing, but he delivers a message that we should all be paying attention to—especially if we have a 401k. Covering everything from the end of cheap oil to the potential for peak oil to create a permanent state of boom and bust economics, this is classic Heinberg. It's nothing new to anyone who has been following his writings, talks and videos from the Post Carbon Reader to a Brief History of Fossil Fuels but it does make for a good primer on his worldview.
Whether you are a techno-optimist that believes solar can power the world, an adherent of the Dark Mountain Project's rejection of environmentalism and industrial society or, like Heinberg, you are convinced that no growth economics is inevitable, with the BP oil spill fresh in our minds, and the price of gas slowly creeping up again even as the economy is seemingly turning a corner, this is a message worth keeping firmly on our radar.
Whatever the future looks like, it's pretty clear it won't look anything like the past. Heinberg makes a pretty good case for why that is.