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Page added on November 23, 2014

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Energy & The Economy – Why Society Will Be Forced To Become Less Complex

In the past few chapters on Energy Economics, Peak Cheap Oil, and the false promise of Shale Oil, we’ve gone into great detail to show how our economic growth is deeply dependent on our energy systems.

Here’s how it all sums up.

There are some knowns:

We know that energy is required for both growth and complexity.  We know that surplus energy is shrinking.  We know that the age of cheap oil is over.  And we know that because of this oil costs will consume an ever-greater proportion of our total budget.

And with these known facts, come along specific risks.

There is the risk that our exponential money system will cease to operate in a world of declining energy surplus.  It is designed for a world without limits – a world of endless growth.


And there is the risk that our society will be forced to become less complex – a loaded statement if ever there was one.

Each one of these known facts adds to each one of the stated risks and that is what The Crash Course is about: assessing those risks and deciding what, if anything, a prudent adult should do about adapting to these realities and facing these risks.

Putting these together, the predictions in video below become so easy to make they don’t feel like predictions at all; just inevitable facts.

For those who simply don’t want to wait until the end of the year to view the entire new series, you can indulge your binge-watching craving by enrolling to The entire full new series, all 27 chapters of it, is available — now– to our enrolled users.

The full suite of chapters in this new Crash Course series can be found at

And for those who have yet to view it, be sure to watch the ‘Accelerated’ Crash Course — the under-1-hour condensation of the new 4.5-hour series. It’s a great vehicle for introducing new eyes to this material.

Peak Prosperity

7 Comments on "Energy & The Economy – Why Society Will Be Forced To Become Less Complex"

  1. steve on Sun, 23rd Nov 2014 11:01 am 

    I am sick of this guy…yes he may be right but to be making money on collapse it just sounds opportunistic and sick…”Please send your monthly payment of just 19.99 and you will get our pamphlet on how to survive a zombie apocalypse”

  2. J-Gav on Sun, 23rd Nov 2014 11:54 am 

    I’m not sick of him. Maybe because I don’t follow him that regularly these days. Read some of the free stuff on his site and that’s it.

    Got his original Crash Course when it came out and very much appreciated it. I almost feel guilty because I’ve never paid a cent for any of it over the years … Then again, maybe that’s why I would have no chance of surviving a “zombie apocalypse.”

  3. Magenta Bernoulli on Sun, 23rd Nov 2014 12:35 pm 

    This jack@55 has been saying this stuff for years. Lots of credulous people out there.

  4. Perk Earl on Sun, 23rd Nov 2014 1:59 pm 

    “There is the risk that our exponential money system will cease to operate in a world of declining energy surplus. It is designed for a world without limits – a world of endless growth.”

    Someone better come up with a way to flatten it out and incrementally contract the beast, because pedal to the metal to try and outrun the limits of an exponential growth are straining the system to the point of fiscal desperation. At least try to back off a tad from ratcheting it up higher.

  5. tahoe1780 on Sun, 23rd Nov 2014 2:12 pm 

    I think he’s one of the few who gets it. I feel more aligned with him than any DC politician.

  6. Makati1 on Sun, 23rd Nov 2014 6:55 pm 

    I suspect that he is more right then wrong, on most of his ideas. That you can always make money on the downside of anything is obvious. How many got rich(er) in the Great Depression? Many. What happened to the repossessed farms and other businesses? They were gobbled up by the already wealthy at pennies on the dollar. Ditto for most resources.

    Real wealth did not disappear, only paper wealth. Gold was still legal to own then and the wealthy had most of their money where it would not disappear, in gold and real things of value like land and factories and railroads. The greedy market players lost it all and the ones who relied on those ‘investments’ lost their jobs and homes because of it. Sound familiar?

  7. peakyeast on Mon, 24th Nov 2014 1:54 pm 

    Why is it a problem that he earns money on spreading an important ignored subject?

    Doesnt this site ask for donations also?

    Besides: He made the crashcourse for free for everyone and a lot of other good stuff to read.

    And he is, of course, correct that society will become less complex.

    The only timing i have heard from him is: Except for “the next 20 years will be different”.

    So quit blaming him for things not happening at the furious pace you expect. Its your idea – not his. Nor make a fault out of him trying to earn some money while providing an important service and giving a lot out for free. If you feel this is a problem – then do it better yourself or shut up with stupid attacks.

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