Richard Heinberg


American Journalist and Educator writing on Energy, Economic, and Ecological Issues including Oil Depletion

Author Quotes

Why Is Growth Ending? Many financial pundits have cited serious troubles in the US economy

With government debt, problems arise when required interest payments become a substantial fraction of tax revenues. Let

We must discover how life in a non-growing economy can actually be fulfilling, interesting, and secure. The absence of growth does not necessarily imply a lack of change or improvement. Within a non-growing or equilibrium economy there can still be continuous development of practical skills, artistic expression, and certain kinds of technology. In fact, some historians and social scientists argue that life in an equilibrium economy can be superior to life in a fast-growing economy:


Whether through planning and methodical reform, or through collapse and failure

We have relied on economic growth for the

Throughout this period, world population increased

Unlike most economists, most physical scientists recognize that growth within any functioning, bounded system has to stop sometime.

There are limits. The evidence is clear: We are reaching those limits. It is no longer a matter of saying,

There is a saying now in Russia: Marx was wrong in everything he said about communism, but he was right in everything he wrote about capitalism.

The near-religious belief that economic growth depends not on energy and resources, but solely on increasing innovation, efficiency, trade, and division of labor, can sometimes lead economists to say silly things.

The United States maintains a globe-spanning network of over 800 military bases that formerly represented tokens of security to regimes throughout the world

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment found that human well-being has increased despite substantial declines in most global ecosystem services. Were the environmentalists wrong?

The material affluence of the world

The end of growth is the ultimate credit event, as everyone gradually comes to realize there will be no surplus later with which to repay interest on debt that is accruing now.

The following four fundamental principles must be established at the core of economic theory if economics is to have any relevance in the future:

The ideological clash between Keynesians and neoliberals (represented to a certain degree in the escalating all-out warfare between the US Democratic and Republican political parties) will no doubt continue and even intensify. But the ensuing heat of battle will yield little light if both philosophies conceal the same fundamental errors. One such error is the belief that economies can and should perpetually grow.

The economic crisis that began in 2007

The economy of the future will necessarily be steady-state, not requiring constant growth. It will be based on the use of renewable resources harvested at a rate slower than that of natural replenishment; and on the use of nonrenewable resources at declining rates, with metals and minerals recycled and re-used wherever possible. Human population will have to achieve a level that can be supported by resources used this way, and that level is likely to be significantly lower than the current one.

The conventional wisdom on the state of the economy

The depletion of important resources including fossil fuels and minerals;

Policy makers take note: Governments that choose to measure happiness and that aim to increase it in ways that don

Since the 1980s, the nearly worldwide re-embrace of classical economic philosophy has predictably led to increasing inequalities of wealth within the US and other nations, and to more frequent and severe economic bubbles and crashes.

Speculative investing has become an accepted practice that is taught in top universities and institutionalized in the world

Our real situation is far more unsettling, our problems have much deeper roots, and an adequate response will require far more from us than just waiting for the business cycle to come back around to the

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date

American Journalist and Educator writing on Energy, Economic, and Ecological Issues including Oil Depletion