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The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future Of Our Economy, Energy, And Environment [Format Kindle]

Chris Martenson
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

The next twenty years will be completely unlike the last twenty years.

The world is in economic crisis, and there are no easy fixes to our predicament. Unsustainable trends in the economy, energy, and the environment have finally caught up with us and are converging on a very narrow window of time—the "Twenty-Teens." The Crash Course presents our predicament and illuminates the path ahead, so you can face the coming disruptions and thrive--without fearing the future or retreating into denial. In this book you will find solid facts and grounded reasoning presented in a calm, positive, non-partisan manner.

Our money system places impossible demands upon a finite world.  Exponentially rising levels of debt, based on assumptions of future economic growth to fund repayment, will shudder to a halt and then reverse. Unfortunately, our financial system does not operate in reverse. The consequences of massive deleveraging will be severe.

Oil is essential for economic growth. The reality of dwindling oil supplies is now internationally recognized, yet virtually no developed nations have a Plan B.  The economic risks to individuals, companies, and countries are varied and enormous. Best-case, living standards will drop steadily worldwide. Worst-case, systemic financial crises will toss the world into jarring chaos.

This book is written for those who are motivated to learn about the root causes of our predicaments, protect themselves and their families, mitigate risks as much as possible, and control what effects they can. With challenge comes opportunity, and The Crash Course offers a positive vision for how to reshape our lives to be more balanced, resilient, and sustainable.

Quatrième de couverture

Praise for The Crash Course

"Chris Martenson gave up a successful and conventional career to study the two great problems that we face: running out of critical resources especially carbon–based energy and a congenital failure to process unpleasant facts. Reading The Crash Course will help you recognize how dangerous our future is likely to be and will help you prepare for it. It is a job well done." Jeremy Grantham, cofounder and Chief Investment Strategist, Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo

"Among the handful of observers making sense of the economic scene, Chris Martenson is the most astute, coherent, and comprehensive. Reading Chris is like stepping out of a room full of smoke and mirrors into daylight." James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency

"Economists did not predict the Great Recession of 2008; Chris did. He looks deeper into the numbers than most and has found a painful future if we do not make a major turn. I deeply appreciate him for doing this work. He uses hard data to back up the self–evident common sense that if we do not consciously manage our natural resources and business relationships to give priority to the common good, we will face dire consequences. This is serious. Read this book." Terry Mollner, Board Member, Ben & Jerry′s

"Chris addresses fundamental economic and energy issues in understandable terms and provides engaging perspectives. Readers will learn a great deal from his work." Dr. Robert L. Hirsch, lead author of The Impending World Energy Mess


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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fresh Ideas about an unexpected future 25 janvier 2014
Par B.B
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I recommend this book which is truly accessible. The last chapters are great to nurture a self-questioning process about how to orientate one's life and adivse ones kids. A must read. More sophisticated readers would also like to read "2052", a slightly more optimistic book but still quite connected with Martenson's book. This also all about our future and very muched focused on carriage capacity issues and the unsustainability of material growth in a finite world, but using scenario modelling as in the not well understood "Limit to Growth" project.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 étoiles sur 5  114 commentaires
134 internautes sur 146 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 It's Time to Get Serious. 22 mars 2011
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
There are a limited number of good books that cover this very important topic - the relationship between population size, resource scarcity, and the competition that ensues from this struggle. And when this "struggle for existence" is tied together with major advances in medicine and relative world peace; the effect has been low fertility rates in democratic countries, people living much longer lives, and an unprecedented world wide population surge. Without what had been the traditional population checks in place (war, disease, and famine) the consequences will be devastating. The first person to have achieved any understanding of, and notoriety for articulating, this reality was Rev. Thomas Malthus with his, An Essay on the Principle of Population (Oxford World's Classics). And that was first published in 1798! The complete and total lack of those in political power to develop mechanisms to deal with this problem is the single greatest tragedy to befall the civilized world. Now, I simply said that to say this: Chris Martenson's book, The Crash Course, is the best book pertaining to this dilemma I have ever (yes, ever) read - and the most important book published since Garrett Hardin's, Living within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos, or Jared Diamond's, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition. I believe this for two primary reasons. First, everything I read in this book is factually accurate, sincerely delivered, and vitally important. Secondly, and what is honestly more important, the presentation is magnificent. Perhaps it is from Dr. Martenson's experience with developing the material, and making presentations over the years, but as Randy Olsen pointed out in, Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style, presentation is (practically) everything. Here are some great quotes (from just the first twenty pages!):

- "In truth, our predicament goes far deeper than even these recent, disquieting economic events might suggest. It's time to face the facts: A dangerous convergence of unsustainable trends in the economy, energy, and the environment will make the "twenty-teens" one of the most challenging decades ever. The Crash Course explains this predicament and provides sufficient context to support the idea that it is well past time to begin preparing for a very different future."

- "The big story is this: The world has physical limits that we are already encountering, but our economy operates as if no physical limits exist. Our economy requires growth. I don't mean that growth is "required" as if it's written in a legal document somewhere, but it is "required" in the sense that our economy only functions well when it's growing. With growth, jobs are created and debts can be serviced. Without growth, jobs, opportunities, and the ability to repay past debts simply and mysteriously disappear, causing pain and confusion...It is only when we assemble the challenges we find in the economy, energy, and the environment - which I call "the three E's" - into one spot that we can fully appreciate the true dimensions of our predicament. The next 20 years are going to be shaped by fundamental resource scarcity in ways that we have never experienced in history. The developed world is entering this race economically handicapped, with no one to blame but itself."

- "The mission of this book is larger than helping people build more resilience into their lives and portfolios. At our current pace, we are on track to leave behind more than a few predicaments for our children, as part of a substantially degraded world with fewer opportunities than we ourselves were granted. If we make the right choices from this point forward, we have the opportunity to leave a very different legacy. This is what The Crash Course is about - helping us to individually and collectively understand that our choices matter significantly and that the time to make the right choices is running dangerously short."

- "We cannot beat around the bush on this "third-rail" topic any longer: We need to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained. If we don't, then nature will do it for us, and not pleasantly, either. This means stabilizing world population in perpetuity, not only for a little while longer. We may not know what this stable level is just yet, and more study is certainly needed, especially in light of declining energy resources. But we should do everything we can to avoid badly overshooting the number of humans that can be sustainably supported on our planet while carelessly avoiding an examination of the role of petroleum in supporting those populations." (actually, this quote came from page 253)

- "To me, a world worth inheriting is one where the inhabitants are living within their economic and natural budgets. It is a stable world where people and businesses can plan for the future because they can trust what will be there when they arrive. It is a world in which the brittle architecture of our just-in-time food systems and businesses is replaced by robust, sustainable, locally focused operations. In this world worth inheriting, communities take on more responsibility for their destinies, and stronger and more fulfilling relationships develop among neighbors."

In sum, this book is a must-read for anyone who cares one iota about their own future. Everything everyone needs to know is in this one book. I really could go on-and-on extolling the benefits and advantages of this book - compared to others - but I won't. Some people just won't be convinced...and that's really their problem. I know that may sound harsh, but the fact is: it's time to get serious. Some further evidence can be found in: Nafeez Ahmed's, A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilisation: And How to Save it, Ellen Brown's, Web of Debt, or John Greer's, The Long Descent: A User's Guide to the End of the Industrial Age.
85 internautes sur 92 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 WATCH THE MOVIE FOR FREE 25 mars 2011
Par K.C. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This is a truly exceptional book. The author does an amazing job of explaining our economic problems in a clear, concise, easy to understand, and interesting way. Most importantly, you will learn why, with our debt based monetary system, hyperinflation is inevitable.

The author of this book has also made a 3 hour video of The Crash Course that is a condensed version of the book. It, too, is excellent. This DVD is available from Amazon or you can view if for free on the author's website, ChrisMartenson.com . Of course, it's not possible for a 3 hour video to contain nearly as much information as the book. So, if you really want to be fully informed, you should read the book. However, while you are waiting for it to arrive in the mail, you can get a terrific overview by watching the DVD.

Basically, The Crash Course (book or DVD), in a very compelling way, makes two fundamental points. First, that our present rate of consumption of oil, when correlated against an increasing world population and increasing demand from the industrialization of third world countries, is simply not sustainable. In fact, it appears that we are currently at the precipice of there not being enough oil to meet the demand. And, when we go over the cliff, our standard of living will be diminished overnight. (Imagine having to spend 50 to 70% of your income on food and gasoline.)

The second fundamental point made by the Crash Course is that our debt based monetary system must inevitably end with hyperinflation. The reason is that each year, enough new currency must be created to pay the interest on all of the previously created debt. As a result, there is an exponential increase in the money supply. It is like putting money in a savings account and letting the interest continue to compound year after year. For many years, your bank balance grows very slowly. But, you ultimately come to a point where even though the rate of interest is small, it is increasing your bank balance by amazingly large amounts each year. The author illustrates this with a graph shaped like a hockey stick. Well, it turns out that on this front, we are again at a precipice. In 2010, our government created more debt than the TOTAL of all the debt created in our history. In other words, we are on the verge of a financial Armageddon.

The author makes a compelling case for why the above outcomes are inevitable. And, based on the shortsightedness of our leaders, he is probably right. We've known about our problem of dependence on foreign oil for forty years and we haven't done anything significant to deal with it. However, I believe that there are technological solutions already in existence that would solve this problem. Unfortunately, it's not likely that we will employ any of them until AFTER the proverbial crap hits the fan.

With respect to the problem of having a debt based monetary system; the solution is not only simple, but proven. Change the system to a non-debt based monetary system and use non-debt created money to pay off the debt. Andrew Jackson did this and he not only balanced the budget, he also paid off 100% of the national debt. So, what do I mean by changing to a non-debt based monetary system? I'm talking about abolishing the Federal Reserve System and returning the power to create money to the Treasury Department where it belongs.

A complete understanding of the Federal Reserve System and why it is at the root of our economic problems is essential to a complete understanding of our economic problems. In this regard, The Crash Course falls a little short. This is not a criticism because, to fully explain this subject matter, another book is required. In this regard, I can recommend some excellent sources.

The Money Masters is very good video on this subject. It is available from Amazon or you can view it on YouTube.com by entering the title in the search bar. As for books, I recommend "The Creature from Jyklell Island" by G. Edward Griffin which is the most comprehensive book I've found on this subject. I can also recommend "End The Fed" by Congressman Ron Paul. This book does an excellent job of summarizing all of the moral, ethical, legal, and practical reasons for ending the Federal Reserve System. Last, and most important, is a book called The Naked Capitalist by W. Cleon Skousen. This book reveals the motives of the owners of the world's central banks and how they hope to wipe out the middle class and create a one world government. (I know, I know... This sounds like crazy conspiracy talk. Just take a look at this book's reviews and I think you will want to read it.)
41 internautes sur 45 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Clock Is Ticking 27 mars 2011
Par L. Craig - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
First of all, I loved this book. In my opinion, it is the best book on World problems since The Long Emergency written by James Howard Kuntsler. Actually it is better. For one, it is more comprehensive. The author goes way beyond energy and then he ties all of the problems together at the end of the book. Secondly, he supports his analysis with many charts and statistics which I find speak to me in a whole different way than narrative.

The amazing thing is that as a society, we are standing on the edge of a cliff about to fall off, we know it, but for some reason, we just do not have the will to do anything about it so far. We are not even having a national dialogue. Our leaders are aware of the problems but I guess they look back at President Carter who lost the next election after he said: finding new energy is the moral equivalent of war. I hope we wake up in time to tackle these issues because the alternatives are not good. That is the core subject of the well written and entertaining book.
24 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Outstanding Book! 16 avril 2011
Par Robert Gardner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Around 2005/2006 I began thinking something was just not quite right with the economy and energy so I started reading everything I could find on the subjects. In about 2006, I read 'The Long Emergency' by Kunstler. It was an eye opener dealing specifically with peak oil and how it will affect us all. I read quite a few other books and articles too. 'The Road to Olduvai', 'The Coming Economic Collapse', 'Twilight in the Desert', and Matt Savinar's 'The Oil Age Is Over'. All of these publications are excellent in their own right. I also read and listened to a great many other news stories and opinions that were offered on the subjects. However, I came away feeling that each addressed only a portion of the problems that I was witnessing. It was almost as if the economists, energy experts and environmentalists were wearing blinders. They only addressed their particular specialty and never tied anything together.

In mid 2008 I found Chris Martenson's online presentation called 'The Crash Course'. He hadn't yet completed the entire work and so I waited anxiously as each subsequent chapter/unit of the presentation was published online. The entire presentation was like a breath of fresh air. He did not try to overwhelm his audience with his grasp of the subject matter by using a plethora of 'million dollar words'. He clearly stated how 'The 3 E's' (Energy, Economy and Environment) were intricately related and how they could not be compartmentalized.

The 'Crash Course' book picks up where the presentation ends. This is not a 'doomer' book but instead is positive. It apolitically sets out in a concise manner why we are where we are today. It is clear and easy to understand. It is a must read for those that want to know how and why energy, the economy and the environment converge to bring us to our current state. Even more, the book includes an entire section called 'What Should I Do?' which addresses what we can do to become more resilient and how this can be a very positive step. An outstanding book which I highly recommend.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The video series is now the book... 12 avril 2011
Par Stephen T. Patterson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
You can save yourself alot of time by going to Chris' website and watching the Crash Course video series, but my hunch is that you will be right back here on Amazon buying this book. The reason is that the information in both the video series and the book are critical in developing the skills to navigate the next twenty years.

Martenson puts alot of emphasis on the fact that the next twenty years will be completely unlike the last twenty years. That's it. That doesn't seem like such a bold prediction until you dig through the pages and read as Martenson outlines the convergence of the three enormous predicaments that have no viable solution. Those three predicaments are called the three E's; Economy, Energy, and the Environment.

I read many books on the topics of Peak Oil, modern economics, and environmental unsustainablity (I'm the life of the party, I know) but no other book weaves these three topics together as well as Martenson. A good comparison to this book would be Thomas Homer-Dixons 'The Upside of Down', a truly phenomenal book and a must read but yet Homer-Dixon fails to capture the big picture in quite the same way as Martenson.

Probably most inspiring about this book is that there seems to be a practical everyman solution outlined in The Crash Course that doesn't leave you agonizing in despair. Many other books I have read leave you with a sense of hopelessness or steer you in the direction of getting involved with your local electorate (please shoot me now! that is not a solution, that is a cop-out half-arsed solution).

One strike against this book is that there is a lack of examining one chapter long real world examples that I typically like. An example would be to include a thorough examination of a just-in-time delivery system to point out Martensons notion that highly complex systems are fragile and are prone to unpredictable behavior. I also think if Martenson were to write a second book I would hope that he travels beyond the walls of his office to write it to give the reader a sense of excitement (afterall, that is why we read, to escape and learn!).

But I can't give this book anything less than five stars because the info is so valuable and nobody should mistake this book for anything other than a MUST READ.
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