1. What is Chris Martenson's economic background, or is he more self taught and read?
2. He says a lot of things that make sense and sound plausible, but I don't have a deep background in economics to compare against to evaluate their validity and soundness. In particular, it seems that he is observing correlation and implying/assuming causation. This does not necessarily, by itself, mean he is wrong, it just needs to be approached and examined with caution to ensure the correct conclusion(s) is (are) being drawn.
3. Also he seems to be ignoring other outside influences (in particular with oil exploration and discovery). For example, he bases some of his estimates of when peak oil will occur based on what has historically been observed in the US, but how much of that is due to realities of environmental limitations and how much is due to governmental policies that have curtailed exploration and development of existing oil fields? However, this does not change the point he was making that the economic assumption now is that we have an effectively unlimited source and supply of cheap energy to fuel economic growth, which is not compatible with the realities of the world we live in (although it may have been reasonable up to even 10 years ago, it is not now or looking any distance into the future).
Chris is well informed when it comes to Peak Oil. Read "The Impending World Energy Mess" by Robert Hirsch for a more detailed and data rich source. We are at peak oil based on the oil that is in the ground as estimated by geologists who specialize in finding oil reserves. They have already found the big & easy resources so even if certain areas (like ANWR) were opened to drilling they would not compensate for the decline of the big oil fields.
But, really, we should all act like we are at peak oil (even if for some miraculous reason we found 3 more Ghawars) because the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere and the acidification of the oceans is getting scary.
Here is his bio:
So, mostly self taught but has an MBA in finance. For what it's worth (not much IMO) I have an undergrad degree in Finance, and MBA in Finance, have studied some at Harvard University and completed the Executive Education course on Value Investing at Columbia University. It is all good to know but they teach the a twisted version of Keynesian economics that has led us to the problems we face today, and unfortunately continue to perpetuate the status quo. It is certainly worth studying conventional economics, but self study is far more valuable. Always ask questions and seek answers for yourself. Chris has done that. So has Michael Burry...and Kyle Bass...and Jim Rogers...and on and on.
I guess my point is that, in and of itself, having a formal background in economics doesn't mean much. Look at some of the garbage spewed by Paul Krugman, Ben Bernanke, or Alan Greenspan if you want to rely on "the experts".
He is not confusing correlation with causation, and does a good job of explaining both facets. But your friend is absolutely correct that it "needs to be approached and examined with caution to ensure correct conclusions are being drawn." Self study is the solution. Ultimately nobody should be able to convince you of anything until you've searched for the answer yourself.
Imagine someone with a Ph.D. in Pathology, thoroughly grounded in research and science, who also possesses an MBA in Finance... Quitting his corporate job to to study economics and current events full-time... And then, while continuing to do that, teaching what he has learned, presenting what he has learned, and putting himself up there to answer questions tossed at him from every which direction. And he follows up on the Crash Course videos of 2008 with the more in-depth Crash Course book several years later.
Sounds like Chris has a much more in-depth, experiential and worldly education. That is why economic conferences, governmental planning boards, financial news programs, and many other groups have invited him to speak and present his findings throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
If you want to see his Crash Course distilled to the essentials, watch this 30-minute presentation. If you want to be impressed with his ability to directly all the kinds of doubts and questions thrown at him, watch the question and answer session after.
Thanks for posting the video.
Always gets me how Thomas Malthus gets a bad press. Like Chris says he wrote it before we had the coal
...population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and,
That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by misery and vice. - Malthus T.R. 1798. An essay on the principle of population.
As humans deplete the planet of its resources the last line in that paragraph will become more and more true. Wood - Coal - Oil - Malthusian Check? I think so just dont see any alternative for transportation fuel other than oil.
Nice to see someone mentioning Abiotic fuel in QnA's, hope springs eternal :)
This last commandment hasn't totally been broken yet,
Be sure the lantern you buy is weather proof.
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