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Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution

January 27, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

Dr. Brian Czech, PhD

Acclaimed author and founder of Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy

The figures are in and holiday sales were up! Compared to 2013, online sales increased a whopping 15% and good ol’ in-store sales even grew 1%. GDP (gross domestic product) had a good year too, after a slow start, tacking on another winner! All great news…right? Brian Czech would have us re-think this. In fact, he would have us rethink a lot of things about how we measure and manage the economy. Starting with, how on earth have we come to believe that it is necessary—or even possible—to have an economy that continues to grow and grow and grow?

Dr. Brian Czech, an interdisciplinary biologist in the headquarters of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and president of the Center for t

he Advancement of the Steady State Economy, explains that some of our most deeply embedded (and flawed) economic beliefs stem from a time, many years ago, of questionable academic activity influenced by business interests. In his most recent book, Supply Shock, he tells the fascinating albeit disturbing story of how we’ve gotten to where we are—believing that the economy must grow, at any and all cost—and  explains why, on a planet of limited natural resources, an economy of non-stop growth won’t work (can’t work) in the long run. Arguing that, at this point in history, economic growth really causes more problems than it solves (loss of biodiversity, climate change, resource wars), he proposes we transition to a new kind of “steady state” economy, one that puts land and natural resources at the forefront. (After all, before we can engage in economic activity, we do need to eat and drink!)

But wait, what about a “green growth” economy—where the economy continues to grow, but instead of buying more stuff we spend our money on less carbon-intensive services? Massages…piano lessons…do-it-yourself workshops! (I know my audience 😉 Our speaker will explain (with the “trophic theory of money”) that services are inextricably linked with goods and the best we can hope for is “less-brown growth.” It may buy us more time, but even this kind of growth is unsustainable on a planet of limited means.

An engaging writer and natural story teller, Brian will share with us a well-researched historical perspective of economic thinking and his creative ideas for transitioning to a new, sustainable way of thinking about what we produce and consume as individuals, countries and a planet.

We hope you can join us for Dr. Brian Czech’s talk on Tuesday, Jan 27 at 7:00 in Breinigsville, PA (between Kutztown and Allentown) at TEKPark. We are delighted to have him!

For detailed directions, please visit https://themarea.org.

Meetings are free and open to the public.

Copies of his widely acclaimed book, Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution, will be available for purchase at the meeting from locally-owned Firefly Bookstore. (For advanced copies, drop by, email or call (484) 648-2712. ) Dr. Czech will be available for book signings.

After the meeting, please plan to stick around and chat with friends old and new. We’re also interested in your ideas for MAREA speakers, activities and services. Light snacks will be served. Hope to see you there!

Brian Czech, P.D., is President of the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy, a visiting professor of natural resource economics at Virginia Tech, and an interdisciplinary biologist in the headquarters of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Czech is the author of three books, most recently Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution. His 50+ research and policy articles have appeared in more than 20 scientific and professional journals.  Czech has played a leading role in getting the natural resources professions engaged in ecological economics and macroeconomic policy issues.

For questions, contact Vera Cole, <a>[masked]</a> or [masked].

Free DVD with MAREA membership  While supplies last, all new and renewing MAREA members will receive a free copy of “Saving Sunshine, Keeping the Lights on with Batteries and Solar Power,” the 30-minute DVD produced by MAREA this year with funding from the Berks Community Foundation and distributed by Bullfrog Films. It’s terrific film, offering an interesting and easily understood explanation of the electricity grid and distribution generation, especially the role of batteries with solar. MAREA is a 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations and memberships are how we keep the lights on. You can join at the meeting or anytime online. Thanks for your help. 


TEK Park
9999 Hamilton Blvd.
Breinigsville, PA 18031 us


Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Association (eastern PA)