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054: Solar Profits with Bryan Birsic

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Last week’s show with Chris Martenson was very popular and for good reason. Chris has done his research and thinks we are in trouble. He also gives us some solutions about how can potentially approach the world that he sees coming. For me, the biggest takeaways were related to some of his incites on social and cultural capital. Even if the world does not end up going to hell in a handbasket, we can all benefit from improving our quality of life through living where we want to live and by having closer relationships. Several studies have shown that the biggest single factor associated with happiness is not, in fact, money but rather the quality of relationships a person has. We evolved as people who lived in tribes and depended on one another to live. It makes sense then that being around other people and having close relationships would make us happy. The problem is that modern living in the US, at least, is becoming less and less “tribal” and more and more lonely. I bet that has a lot to do with the high rates of depression, especially in larger metropolitan areas.

Anyway, the point is that I think Chris Martenson’s solutions are useful not only for a zombie apocalypse but also for everyday living.

As for Chris’ arguments on the economy, it is hard to argue with some of the problems he sees. However, I will say that the idea of peak oil and the role of fossil fuel depletion leading to a signifiant global recession or depression is not shared by everyone. Some people say that this prediction significantly underestimates the acceleration of technology. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

In 1798, Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus’ theory was that increased food production led to population growth which would then over-utilize those sources of food until they couldn’t anymore because of famine and disease in the lower classes–effectively limiting population growth as a whole. Well, we know what happened with that theory. the earth’s population is about 7 billion. 200 years ago, was less than 1 billion. In fact, the UN estimates that 6.5 percent of ALL people ever born, are alive right now!

In Malthus’ case, he ended up underestimating technological advancements which allowed humans to keep ahead of the population curve. Is it possible that those who subscribe to the future peak oil depletion economy might be doing the same? It’s certainly possible.

If that’s the case, it is likely that solar energy will be one of the major solutions to the peak oil problem. In this week’s episode of Wealth Formula Podcast, we discuss solar energy, its advances, and why it might be a good investment. I hope you enjoy the show!

Buck