VIDEO: Why, Like It Or Not, We'll Have To Live Within Our Means

Last week, Erin Ade of RT TV's BoomBust interviewed Chris about the launch of the newly-revised Crash Course series. The discussion is quite far ranging, from net energy, to central bank policy, to the role and limitations of technology:



This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I regularly watch Keiser Report [Max & Stacy] + Boom Bust [Edward NH & Erin Ade] in India and these guys have the gumption to do sure-footed down-to-basics analysis & ask tough questions on the "real" economy. Chris Martenson as usual was crisp and clear and direct. Good interview this!

Chris, what an excellent interview!!  One of your best to the (near) MSM yet, I think.  You did a great job of not just rattling off what YOU know, but of communicating the key concepts you understand -and the general public does not- in response to the interviewer's questions.  It was one of the best bridges from your place of understanding to the general public's lack of understanding that I've seen.  Let's hope some listen!
Wow, I had no idea that you and Adam (et al) updating and re-releasing the Crash Course video would get you so much traction in the media, as it is.  Maybe the time from the 1st release to now -in which people still have not found answers from other sources, and in which PP and others have started educating those who would listen- was a necessary phase for getting to a place where more people would listen.  Well done folks!

"The next 20 years…" has been the mantra for the past several years. Roughly since 2008. Is it more appropriate to say, therefore,  "the next 14 years…"? And next year, would it be more appropriate to say, "the next 13 years…"? And the year after that, would it be more appropriate to say, "the next 12 years…"? 
My opinion, to say "the next 20 years" every year is a hedge and it weakens the argument. I'd like the community here to get firm. The clock is ticking. Or is it?

Chris, I am your die-hard fan and I absolutely agree with your assessments and arguments. Even so, I call you out. Predict the date by which we will all know that the paradigms of our economics, energy and environmental will be over. Nobody knows the information better than you. 

In "The Limits to Growth: A 30 Year Update," there is a half page explanation on why they always round a prediction to the next decade.  If the model says 2013, or June 2013, the text says 2020.  The point they made in that book is that they didn't want to focus on precise predictions as much as the key message.  
I think the critical message is that it's time for people to wake up and pay attention to both what we are doing and where we are headed.
Human's love to get wrapped up in rhetoric.  There is an old Zen story about a student asking a master for a concise explanation of Buddhism.  The master says, "Attention."  The student replies, "No, I really want to understand Buddhism.  The master shouts, "Attention!"

Nicely answered and well spoken CM. If people didn’t understand your message then they just weren’t listening.

Chris shares all of his data and sources with us…so what is your prediction?  The problem is that complex systems behave in unpredictable ways.  If we were dealing with 10 or 20 variables it might be possible to narrow down a date.  With so many factors at play and the world being such an interconnected place it is impossible to issue a more precise window.  Central banks, militaries, business, consumers, citizens, the weather, natural disasters, industrial disasters, governments, terrorism, dishonest reserve reporting etc all play major roles, but there are literally billions of other smaller variables that can weigh on any side of the situation. What is possible, that has already been done here is to extrapolate from the data that business as usual is no longer a possibility.  I think a 20 year horizon is fair.  Anything more precise is a guess at best and would reduce the credibility of the message which desperately needs to be spread.Don't get me wrong, I want a firm date as bad as you do.  If someone could tell me with 100% certainty that we're good for another six months and in that time we'll see the market hit 18,000 I would do things a little differently than I am now.  My personal guess - which I am comfortable venturing because I have no professional credibility to compromise in this area - is that we'll see a continuation of what we've seen over the last year with a few sparks here and there for the rest of 2014 with the situation finally hitting mainstream America square in the face Q1 or Q2 2015.  That's based on nothing more than holding a wet finger to the wind, but it's as good a guess as any I think.

Thank you, Les. I understand and appreciate your reply. If I could summarize your response (and please correct me where I am off the mark)… it is a symbolic "next 20 years" and not an actual "next 20 years". If that is the case, then I would suggest that Chris and this community substitute another of his aphorisms in the place of "next 20 years". Specifically, "massive change is upon us now".In my opinion "next 20 years" weakens the message and causes people to watch the years rather than the changes. Massive change is upon is right now and the most fragile societies and the most fragile within our society know that first hand.
I hate to admit this, but when Chris said "the next 20 years", I actually thought he meant the next 20 years. Shame on me for being such a simpleton.
Rhetoric? Maybe. To my mind that particular point is not worth arguing. Either way, language is important.

Unfortunately I think that all the tiny segment of the American population that was able to fallow that interview for 8 minutes was able to hear (even the blonde with the legs tuned out in mid sentence with a smirk on her face) was blah, blah, blah, 20 years, blah, blah, blah, to which they said, "Great! I can go back to sleep for another 19 years".  Maybe it's time to switch it up a little and try "A really big piece of SHIT hit the fan about six years ago, some seemingly thoughtful people (Peter Shiff, Mike Maloney, James Rickards, etc.) believe it's likely to have landed everywhere within the next 5 years.  This will be extremely inconvenient to the people who survive, thought you might like to know".
Chris, we know that trying to warn people that "the end of the world as we know it" is at hand and keep it up beat may be impossible, but we sure appreciate how hard you're trying.  I work with a population that is literally, literally, living hand to mouth.  Many are already compromised in a variety of ways and have less then no margin for error.  Even a successful systemic reset is going to result in the horrible suffering for innocent people.

Tired and frightened again,

John G.

Nice interview. I like how Chris can orate so clearly and get to the point. In (trying to) explaining these things to people I find I stumble around lots and just go into too much detailed explanations, then lose my audience...
I just wanted to comment about the statement Chris made around 5:20 that if you have a 3-4% interest rate then you need to have 3-4% growth in the economy in order to pay back debt, and that because of Peak Oil, we can't grow that much which is why debt in OECD countries is growing faster than GDP. I hope I have characterized that fairly. I have a thought which I think ties in with the interesting comments made above about how long it's going to take before the system falls, and how it could it have lasted so long already? My suggestion is that we don't need to keep growing the economy at 3-4% (real, inflation-adjusted growth) to keep paying the debt, because of "financial repression" (i.e. setting the interest rate below the real inflation rate, and then lying about how low inflation is to keep everyone happy about their bond coupons and fixed income pensions). I'm sure we're all aware of this and Chris just didn't go into that due to the limited time available on the program, to not overcomplicate things.
Basically, you could have zero real growth in the economy, and 3-4% interest, and this could be a stable system for quite a while, if inflation is understated by a similar amount. Normally, when the economy is growing, the wealth that is transferred to the financial insiders playing the insider trading scams which is all that Wall Street is nowadays, is offset by real economic growth "creating" new wealth. This is what keeps the middle class alive.
But if the economy isn't growing, then Wall Street still makes tons of money off its insider trading scams. Whether the interest rate is nominally 3% (and, say, minus 2% real interest rate assuming a 5% real inflation rate), or is really actually genuinely 3%, is irrelevant to Wall Street and how they milk the system. The financial elites will continue to get wealthy regardless, but if the economy isn't still growing in real terms, then that wealth is inevitably taken from the greater pool of wealth in that country -- basically everyone else not directly benefiting from the feeding trough of money printing. I think that this situation could go on for quite a while, gradually impoverishing the middle class, and the only thing ultimately constraining it would be how long the masses continue to believe the bogus economic statistics about inflation and growth coming from the government and Fed; when they finally wake up to and accept the reality about how bad things really are.
I would suggest that this is the real reason that western debt is rising -- not directly because of lack of growth which prevents governments from paying the debts back (after all, they'd be paying them back at a minus 2% real interest rate wouldn't they? So then why would the economy have to grow in real terms? Wouldn't minus 2% real economic growth suffice?), but instead, government debt grows in relation to GDP because of all the government programs that need to be increased to try to prop up and maintain consumption by a dying middle class, and also to fund programs to keep people from starving on the streets. The government has no other choice. If they cut programs in an attempt to rein in debt then GDP would dive and then their debt burden would be even worse... plus they'd then have a starving and rioting populace.
How long have we been waiting for this dreaded deflationary crash that's supposedly around the corner, which would then lead to collapse? I don't believe it, and I don't think the system is going to end that way (although a planned take-down could take the form of a deflationary collapse.)
IMO the only thing that I can see taking down the system is the gold running out. The financial elites will be able to keep it together until then no matter what. It will take the rest of the world to impose the end. I don't think a black swan will end it; the money spigots are too stable.
When will the world run out of gold? Well, people are following the numbers and it seems unbelievable that it's lasted as long as it has, so I would guess sometime fairly soon, but again, how do I know? Koos Jansen thinks the Chinese government is only accumulating a few hundred tons a year via the LBMA, so that could last a while. It is Chinese consumers that are driving the multi-thousand-tons-per-year numbers that will ultimately end the dollar.
I would guess sometime next year, since China will have its new physical gold exchange set up later this year. The other unknown I have is how much this mythical "one bank" is in control? Are China and India a part of this? Is it all really controlled by one interest (the Rothschilds?) Or do these countries actually still have some sovereignty? I don't know. I find it hard to believe that western bankers are in control of China. But I do know that they can't really prevent Chinese and Indian citizens from buying gold, and there is only so much available.