Written by leading futurist researcher Dr. Chris Martenson, the book “The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future Of Our Economy, Energy, And Environment” paints a picture of a future that could hold some promise or be a place of grim reminders of a past where we squandered the resources of the planet.
A problem-solver, Dr. Martenson wrote The Crash Course to show how the economy, energy and the environment are interrelated and that the planet is at a global tipping point where a change in one of the three variables changes the future significantly.
Indeed, the coming decades will be unlike anything we have ever experienced before, Dr. Martenson argues as he believes the world is caught in an economic crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen before. That can easily be seen in the attempts to bail out the Greek economy with old-fashioned remedies and what one might call economic shock theory, cutbacks, cutbacks and more cutbacks. There comes a point where there’s nothing left to cut. And now, France is feeling the effects of the downturn, among other economies.
Dr. Martenson argues that we are on a path where our out of control use of energy, the environment and the economy are heading toward the venturi effect of the future where, like a funnel, there will be a host of problems on one side and a relatively small flow of fixes that work, if they work at all. His work, not the first in this type of the ultimate doomsday prediction as works such as this go as far back as the first world oil shortage of 1973 that, granted, was manmade, but still launched two Harvard economists like missiles into the study of global oil use predicted that we would have run out of sustainable fuels by about 1998.
But, there are two wildcards that were not yet clouds on the horizon in the 1970s as the West still controlled the world economy, China and India, whose accelerating use for everything from paperclips to petroleum, adds strains to a world that is not prepared for them.
Dr. Martenson points out that while fossil fuels are necessary and are rapidly being depleted so that we are being forced ever deeper into the ocean to drill for it. That carries with it its own peril, as the major blowout of the well in the deep Gulf last year points out. Tens of millions of gallons of brown unprocessed crude fouled crucial fishing grounds and breeding grounds of other marine species. In other words, it was a true catastrophe, all brought on by the need to head further out into the sea looking for the fossil fuels our life demands.
Eventually, Dr. Martenson points out, oil will run out as we try to squeeze more out of not only the sea, but depleted fields inland.
Dr. Martenson’s map toward future sanity paints a picture of the fact that we have to have begun solving our problems yesterday or the day before but since we can’t we have to begin our change now. Dr. Martenson’s Crash Course charts the course ahead and emphasizes that it’s not a pretty picture but despite the chaos we may face, it is the path we have to take so we will emerge successfully. What the success will be and when it will occur are still dauntingly far ahead. And it is a path filled with challenges that represent new opportunities. In a way, it paints positive picture of where we will emerge and gives us a vision on which we can build more balanced lives that will lead a lifestyle in harmony with the new realities.