Tag Archives: exponential growth

Growth, more growth, then the end of growth…

If you don’t understand geometric or exponential growth then you don’t understand anything about the magnitude of the predicament that humanity now faces or the fundamental changes that are about to occur, one way or another.

I’ve never seen the facts of exponential growth so clearly and elegantly presented as in this video lecture by the late Professor Albert Bartlett. In Arithmetic, Population and Energy, Professor Bartlett shows that even seemingly small rates of growth must ultimately result in a situation that cannot be sustained. He relates the simple arithmetic of exponential growth specifically to human population, peak energy, and resource depletion and blows away the foolish arguments of politicians and pundits who argue that growth can continue as it has in the past.

Bartlett does not mention debt growth, but  I must add that it is an even more immanent problem and the most acute symptom of the “disease” that has infected civilization, that is the global interest-based debt-money system. I urge everyone to view Prof. Bartlett’s presentation, then, if you haven’t already, read my recent article,  Money, debt and the end of the growth imperative.

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Exponential growth

I’ve tried to explain in my books and lectures that the world is now at a critical point. Many things have been growing exponentially and are now pushing up against the physical limits. I argue that the driver of economic growth has been the debt money system in which money is created on the basis of interest-bearing debt, which is an exponential function. Debt must be continually expended in order to put enough money into the economy to service the previously created debt. But the amount of money is never enough for all debts to be repaid, so a day of reckoning must eventually arrive. We are now very close to that day.

Someone who has done a great job of explaining these things in video format is Chris Martenson. I highly recommend that everyone watch his Crash Course. In the video below, he explains exponential growth and highlights many of the factors that are approaching their limits.