May 14th 2012

The End of Growth. But is that all bad? Jeff Rubin.

Cover of "Why Your World Is About to Get ...

The End of Growth. But is that all bad? Jeff Rubin.2012. ISBN 9780307360892.  Rubin writes very clear, well researched, easy to read and compelling books. (This one will take you two cross country flights to finish – but you will like it.)  This is an update to his thesis  ( Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller) that energy prices will continue to rise taking  the financial crisis, political stupidity, carbon offsets (likely will die), death of big Oil, big coal and European troubles into account . He holds that oil and food could be Zero sum games . If China/India increase their consumption, these is less for others and the prices will rise.  Third world countries will not have the funds to afford the oil for growth nor for the food (Not a good looking future). (The Arab Spring was founded on people going hungry).

He believes that high oil prices will continue, forcing the West to conserve and look at the economic cost of getting to the much more expensive fuels locked away – perhaps we can not afford to get them (Tar sands & big pipeline projects, watch out).  Politicians will be in for a hard ride – he seems to call for insightful leaders to guide us through this.  This may not be all bad – as human ingenuity always seems to rise to meet the challenges.  There may be a big change to China’s ability to sell to the world – if transport costs increase enough to warrant manufacturing in Canada and the US again. This could also encourage local food growers again to fill more of our needs vs trucking it in from Mexico etc.. We may adopt a less consumer lifestyle – back to smaller homes, cars and more and more transit.  Lots of great stuff here to make you think..

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