An Analysis of The Crash Course, a Non-Fiction Book About the Unsustainable Future of Economy, Energy, and Environment

My second PRP is “The Crash Course". It's a 317 page, Non-Fiction book about the unsustainable future of our Economy, Energy, and Environment. It was written by Chris Martenson, who has a PhD in Pathology from Duke University and an MBA from Cornell. He also is the co-author of "Financial Reckoning Day", which is a book similar to this one. I really, really recommend this book, because it is a huge eye opener. I honestly think that at least everybody in first world countries who are 15 or older should read this book. This book relates to history, because we have had a need for consumption every since the beginning of man, and it also outlines current problems, and past problems. The book has 7 parts to it, which are: "How to approach the next twenty years”, “Foundation", "Economy", “Energy", "Environment", "Convergence", and "What should I do?", with 3 to 5 chapters in between each section. As you can see, this book has a broad range of subjects, with excellent points on each page. I would love to explain each point, but I simply do not have the time, so that is why I highly recommend this book. Other than learning about the problems we will face in the future, you also get to learn about our current systems in place, such as our money system, wall street, debt, credit, and many more.

The main character in this book is Chris, and he is trying to outline the predicament the world is in. The predicament addressed in this book is that our world is growing exponentially in consumption. *Go to pages 23, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32*. Growing exponentially means that it is not a steady rate like a straight line, but rather hockey stick shaped, having the rate go up more and more the farther you go. The problem with growing exponentially in consumption (which means using more and more resources, such as food and oil, over time) the problem is that, obviously, our resources are not unlimited! *Ask class what they think of when I say wealth*. It's more than you think. Chris explains that there are 3 types of wealth, and that 2 of them are dependent on the third one. He outlines that wealth is more than just money, or power but rather wealth is soil, oil, water, ore, food, steel, and of course money.

Rich soil, concentrated ores (metals), coal, oil, fresh water etc. are called our natural resource bases, or our primary wealth, which is our first type of wealth. From that, you have secondary wealth, which is things that are made from primary wealth, like refining iron ore into steel, or growing food from good soil. Finally, you have tertiary (ter-ti-ar-y), which is things we use to place values on first and secondary wealth, aka stocks, bonds, and money. Physical dollars in itself, if they can't be used to purchase things, aren't very valuable at all, but rather they represent actual wealth. What I am getting at, is that our primary wealth resources are limited, and if you run out of your natural resource bases, you run out of your secondary wealth and your tertiary wealth. If we have limited resources of things that we use faster than it is made, then that means we will run out! And we need our primary wealth resources. Can you imagine a world without trees, oil, hat means no paper, no cars, nothing with metal, and scarce food. I challenge you to look around you and to try to name something that, directly or indirectly, isn't there because of oil. So, if we are going to run out at the rate we are going, what do we do? Well, Chris explains in his book that this is a predicament, not a problem. *Flip to page 54*. This is a picture of a problem at the cliff, and this is a picture of a predicament at the cliff. Problems are things that have solutions, with 1+1 being a problem, and 2 being the solution. The rock climber has many solutions to his problem. He could try to grab onto the ledge, or get pulled up by his partner, or have somebody put a mattress beneath him to cushion his fall. However, predicaments are things that, with your current resources, have no solution, like 1+Y. Unless you get more information about Y, you cannot solve that problem, so it makes it a predicament.

So if the guy jumping off the cliff doesn't want to get wet, then he is in a predicament, because there is no feasible way he cannot get wet at that point. What I am saying, is that our economy, energy and environment is in a predicament, because with the knowledge we have right now, there is no way to get unlimited resources. We could all use less energy, and we could transfer to solar powered cars, but that will not completely halt our consumption. However, there is probably a solution to this, we just do not have the information currently, and if there isn't a solution, we could work out the least damaging option. To do this, we as a world need to start right now in investing in science and technology research to handle our out of control consumption. You cannot expect technology to just meet up with our demands magically, they need funding, and they need intelligent minds to work out solutions or options. Like I said before, this is just scratching the surface of this book and it goes into a ton of more depth than I do. As you can see, I highly recommend this book to anybody who consumes.... so that means EVERYBODY. There is already a line to read this copy of the book, but if you are interested (which I really hope you all are) then ask me about it, and I can get it to you as soon as it's available, or you could use a local library or buy it. Great news everybody, Chris realizes how important this information is, so he has made it available for free on his website Chris Thank you, and goodnight.