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End of growth is our reality

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“Growth is the largest religion in the world and it is the one thing for which we collectively agree,” said filmmaker and author of ‘The Third Curve – The end of growth as we know it’ Mansoor Khan during his lecture by the same name, organised at Design Centre, Porvorim.

The first time author, in his two-hour lecture, elaborated on growth economy, the way man has exploited natural resources, and ‘Peak Oil’ – the point of saturation when the number of natural resources start depleting, which in turn not only affects our ecology but also our economy to a larger extent. Khan pointed out three phases of Peak Oil.

Phase-one was from 1750 to 1960, after the industrial revolution, which started with the discovery of coal in 1750 and that of oil in 1850, the world witnessed tremendous growth in various sectors. “It was paradise times,” said Khan.

Phase-two started after 1970, when we discovered that individual species are under threat. Initially these species were like dots on the screen, but soon these dots started taking up more screen space and we dubbed it ecological collapse.

Phase-three started in 2008 with rising inflation. “The money, which many considered will help solve our problems, is itself in trouble. Now we have more and more poor people. Issues like inflation are now a reality of our life,” said Khan. He went on to say that the growth in phase-one was real, in phase-two it was false, and now in phase-three growth has failed altogether.

Khan also stated that we have given more emphasis to money, which is a concept. While, in reality, it is the energy that makes money happen. “Energy is reality. It is derived from earth and is finite. The world has already finished half its resources and we have passed the peak of the bell curve. According to laws of geology when earth’s resources start depleting it starts behaving like a bell curve. But, we believe that earth is like a reservoir or water tank where even if half of the tank is over, it will not make any difference. This is not the case,” said Khan.

Khan informed that it was American geologist King Hubbert (1903-1989), who worked for the Shell Oil Company, who discovered this bell curve. He studied the oil reservoir and the bell curve right from 1930 to 1954. “He predicted that US oil will reach its peak in 1970. At that time everybody called him a fool. But, now it is there for everyone to see,” said Khan.

Speaking about energy, which we mainly get from fossil fuels, he said that 22 per cent of it goes to build the world. There are 6000 by-products of oil including plastic, etc. Even if we say that we will opt for renewable forms of energy like solar, wind, nuclear, there is no alternative for these 6000 products.

Khan said that oil is the ancient surplus of the earth, which is nothing but 300 million years of sun collected in the form of oil. But, we have finished this resource in just 150 years, making it currently 500 times deficit.

He said that we have still not understood or accepted this reality. We have already burnt our natural capital, ecological capital, social and cultural capital and also spiritual capital as we don’t mind lying to sell a product. “These capitals are qualitative capitals. The money which comes out of it is quantitative. As Edward Paul said ‘Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell.’ Perpetual growth is a global cancer. The cure for it could be limiting to our demand. And, in today’s world limit is a bad word. Only once we accept this there will be transition. We need to change the way we think about growth. End of growth is our reality, either deal with it or reality will deal with you.”

navhindtimes.in



66 Comments on "End of growth is our reality"

  1. apneaman on Wed, 28th Oct 2015 11:32 pm 

    Malnutrition and ‘Victorian’ diseases soaring in England ‘due to food poverty and cuts’
    Cases of Victorian-era diseases including scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough have increased since 2010

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/malnutrition-and-other-victorian-diseases-soaring-in-england-due-to-food-poverty-and-cuts-a6711236.html

  2. GregT on Wed, 28th Oct 2015 11:36 pm 

    “unless global warming brings a Florida climate to Ottawa, that forest will not last. Am I wrong?”

    Yes Mak. You are wrong. The warming climate in Canada is already decimating our forests.

  3. Davy on Thu, 29th Oct 2015 6:51 am 

    Mak, you should be able to tell us what collapse forests are like from you stay in the P’s:

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131111-philippines-dangers-haiyan-yolanda-death-toll-rises/

  4. kanon on Thu, 29th Oct 2015 8:24 am 

    apneaman — “Coal will be mined by human power”

    It just doesn’t scale this way. This coal will not power the electric plant for the village in India. It may power electricity for a few wealthy families however. I don’t see this in isolation, there will have been large disasters before the trees are all cut and coal is dug by hand. It has nearly happened already, but the crop failures were not simultaneous or worldwide.

  5. beammeup on Thu, 29th Oct 2015 3:52 pm 

    Mak said – “With millions of American’s already outside, how many will come back? Not me.”

    Thanks, we’ll hold you to it.

  6. makati1 on Fri, 30th Oct 2015 1:06 am 

    kanon, thanks for pointing that out. Most do not realize how much coal it would take to keep warm and to cook through a northern winter. They could not mine enough by hand. Especially when most of it is thousands of feet underground. All that overburden has to go first.

  7. makati1 on Fri, 30th Oct 2015 1:09 am 

    beammeup, That’s ok. I’ll be sitting on the north deck, under a palm tree, drinking coffee and enjoying the beautiful river view when you are looking for shelter and food. Good luck.

  8. makati1 on Fri, 30th Oct 2015 5:50 am 

    GregT, I was not aware of that fact. I appreciate the update.

  9. Davy on Fri, 30th Oct 2015 6:06 am 

    Mak, you may end up stew meat if you don’t watch it. You are in a city of 20MIL and a country of 100MIL in the space of the state of Arizona. That country is an Island with little hope of much migration to lessen food shocks. The forests and fisheries are in decline or localized failure. The P’s are in the cross hairs of climate change disasters. Drought and very high temperatures are in store for you. You are part of the ring of fire with your Manila facing a possible earthquake someday. Maybe you best have a cocktail instead of coffee to forget about all these issues.

  10. beammeup on Fri, 30th Oct 2015 1:42 pm 

    Mak – In the event of a zombie apocalypse scenario, 20M starving city dwellers will be emptying out into the surrounding countryside in search of food and water. In that scenario, the only thing you’ll be doing under your palm trees is serving as worm food and fertilizer.

  11. apneaman on Fri, 30th Oct 2015 5:57 pm 

    Snowfields in Beartooth Mountains melt away into history
    With snow disappearing from the landscape, climate change is affecting Wyoming’s agriculture and way of life

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/10/30/beartooth-mountains-snow-melting.html

  12. apneaman on Sun, 1st Nov 2015 12:48 am 

    Yet another, worse than previously thought, study.

    New NASA Data Shows Brazil’s Drought Deeper Than Thought

    http://www.voanews.com/content/new-nasa-data-shows-brazil-drought-deeper-than-thought/3030433.html

  13. Davy on Sun, 1st Nov 2015 7:39 am 

    Ape Man, just another marker of catastrophic abrupt climate change. I imagine they are going to become more pronounced and frequent. Soon our food harvest are going to show these changes just as population continues to exert the pressures of growth. I see excess of deaths over birth starting soon because of this abrupt climate change, economic decay, and depletion of our foundational commodity oil.

  14. onlooker on Sun, 1st Nov 2015 8:05 am 

    Since we are talking about abrupt climate change thought I would pile it on. http://www.vox.com/2015/10/30/9645448/indonesia-fires-peat-palm-oil
    How Indonesia’s fires became one of the world’s biggest climate disasters

  15. Davy on Sun, 1st Nov 2015 8:16 am 

    Another amazing article onlooker. I especially was impressed by the comparison of Indonesia’s emissions compared to US emissions on really bad burn periods!

  16. Kenz300 on Sun, 1st Nov 2015 9:14 am 

    Climate Change, declining fish stocks, droughts, floods, pollution, water and food shortages all stem from the worlds worst environmental problem……. OVER POPULATION.

    Yet the world adds 80 million more mouths to feed, clothe, house and provide energy and water for every year… this is unsustainable…

    Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches | World news | The Guardian

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/27/pope-francis-edict-climate-change-us-rightwing

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