The End of Growth

Thanks to Bill Ryerson of the Population Media Center for forwarding this informative summary of Richard Heinberg’s new book, “The End of Growth.”

 Bestselling author Richard Heinberg has a new book, “The End of Growth.”

Richard Heinberg, one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators and best-selling authors, has just published his latest book, The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality (New Society Publishers, August 2011).  To obtain the book or for more information, visit  Here’s an overview:

Economics has failed us . . . but there is life after growth!

Economists insist that recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.

Heinberg’s latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, explaining how and why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. Written in an engaging, highly readable style, it shows why growth is being blocked by three factors:

·       Resource depletion,
·       Environmental impacts, and
·       Crushing levels of debt.

These converging limits will force us to re-evaluate cherished economic theories and to reinvent money and commerce. The End of Growth describes what policy makers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth’s budget of energy and resources.

Richard Heinberg is the author of ten books including the best-selling The Party’s Over, Peak Everything, and Blackout. A Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute, Richard is one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators and an effective communicator of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels.

Why have mainstream economists ignored environmental limits for so long? If Heinberg is right, they will have a lot of explaining to do. The end of conventional economic growth would be a shattering turn of events-but this book makes a persuasive case that this is indeed what we are seeing.
—Lester Brown, Founder, Earth Policy Institute, Author, World on the Edge

Heinberg shows how peak oil, peak water, peak food, etc. lead not only to the end of growth, and also to the beginning of a new era of progress without growth.
—Herman E. Daly, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Best wishes,


William N. Ryerson
Population Media Center and Population Institute


There is no remedy that can possibly avert disastrous Climate Change and Global Warming unless we first address the problem of world population size and growth, and its impact on the size of the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.That means that we need to address the population size and growth of each nation, which together make up the world total.

World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!

From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?
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