Peak oil is inevitable if not imminent, and peak debt could strangle efforts to rebuild the economy even sooner. But setting new and different goals for the future offers an alternative to warnings of looming disaster.
Over the long history of humankind, observes Richard Heinberg, author of The End of Growth, the oil and gas-driven economic expansion of the Industrial Age is an aberration, not the norm.
The sort of sweeping societal and attitudinal changes that Bhutan is demonstrating may seem impossibly idealistic. But Heinberg believes the stakes are high enough to justify pursing it.