An excerpt from Peak Oil India member Mansoor Khan’s new book The Third Curve: The End of Growth. As we know it! as well as a link to a TEDx talk he gave at the KCG College of Technology, Chennai.
The Third Curve
A New Lens to Understand our New Economic Reality
Financial markets are under threat. Growth rates are dropping.
The age-old remedies prescribed to boost economic growth are proving ineffective, if not outright dangerous.
Five years after the 2008 global financial crash, nothing seems to work as per projections.
But what if the rules of the game have inverted?
What if economic growth is eluding us for a reason that we have discounted all this while?
What if there are indeed limits to growth?
Yes, the Modern Industrial World stands at a crucial and unavoidable turning point. The sacrosanct paradigm of modern economics, namely perpetual growth, is in the process of ending. Our economic growth model makes 2 simple yet amazingly unreasonable assumptions:
1. That money is the currency that runs the world. In fact it is energy.
2. That we have limitless energy & other resources on a finite planet.
These assumptions appeared to hold true for the last 150 years – the first half of oil reserves. But now we are about to begin the second half of the story of oil. This half-way point of oil is an unprecedented point in history and is called Peak Oil. Peak Oil is not an ideology but an aspect of geology – the point of maximum oil extraction from the earth.
This geological limit is what defines what will be economically possible in the future starting right now. The global economic collapse of 2008 was the advent of this turning point because past the peak we get only less oil. Therefore less industrial and economic growth. This spells doom to the religion of perpetual economic growth.
This book is NOT directly about morality, justice, equity, environmental consciousness and other noble human values. It is about the head-on collision between:
* Our total acceptance of an infinite economic growth model which is not possible.
* Our total denial of the finiteness of the earth which is evident.
We need a new lens to understand this inversion of economic reality. The Third Curve provides us that lens.
It identifies the root cause of the malady by reminding us of the forgotten relationships between money and energy, capital and resources, concept and reality. Read more…