Talk on Peak Oil and Exponential Growth at TEDxYouth 2011 Chennai

Just got back from Chennai where I spoke at the TEDxYouth Chennai meet. There were 14 speakers and many interesting and entertaining presentations. In all that it is hard to get people to listen to a heavy one and that too of a smaller future. My presentation was called The Third Curve and meant to illustrate the futility and madness of Exponential Growth by comparing the Growth Curve going skyward with the Depletion Curve that dives to zero. I think I did pretty ok but my daughter Zayn who was in the audience said I used some hard to understand terms. Will correct that in future ๐Ÿ™‚ Will also post the link to see the lecture at a future date once they upload it.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 27th, 2011 at 7:44 pm and is filed under Economic Collapse, Peak Oil. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 comments so far


Bravo Mansoor…..for ensuring that we earthlings do not get carried away with the loosely defined & most abused word called ‘GROWTH”. One needs to be ruthlessly objective & unusually sharp in order to change popular perceptions.

November 28th, 2011 at 5:07 am

Yes Navin. Some folks get the point in a flash. For most sadly it is going to be a longer adjustment to what mainstream, industrial culture has deeply engraved in our thinking.
I love the idea of reaching this thought out but honestly it will be only as things unfold that most public perception will change on exponential growth paradigm.
But as my father used to say ‘Man is not a rational animal….. he is a rationalising animal’.
So I fear mainstream culture will look hard for some other rationale to pump growth at any cost.
Let us wait and see ๐Ÿ™‚

November 28th, 2011 at 7:50 am
kenneth dsouza

Dear dear Mansoor, connecting with you after ages, but now realising that somewhere the thought tragectories were never too far apart. Over the past few years, I was getting more and more uneasy about this “GROWTH” business and was able to make a direct and logical conclusion that it cannot be possible with the finite resources that are available to us. It is so clear and transparent but I think we choose not to see it. However, I am personally very happy and content to be able to make adjustments and changes to align with this 3rd curve…and I feel quietly at peace.
Just waiting to meet up and share thoughts with you and to also offer my support in whatever way. I think you need to have a small concise booklet for early school children. I am currently planning a “Learning for Life” module and the 3rd curve is a total must for children. Kenneth Dsouza

May 22nd, 2013 at 8:03 am

Dear Kenneth, yes so good to connect after all these years. Perpetual growth is the ultimate aberration of civilisation to that point that it is funny how we all collectively believe in it. The scary part is that our financial and industrial systems are now designed to work if growth happens or else they collapse miserably. And in fear of that we push on. Yes look forward to sharing lots of ideas when we meet. Love to all and see you all soon. Mansoor.

May 23rd, 2013 at 1:28 am

Hi Kenneth,
So sorry for this late reply here.
Yes perpetual growth is an impossible and mad scheme. A delusion that may have appeared true for last 200 years because our earth was not depleted. But now it is and there is no negotiations you can conduct with Mother Earth or Reality ๐Ÿ™‚
We civilised humans better drop our delusion and hubris. Sooner the better. And reality is showing us the door.
Look forward to you and family coming to the farm soon.

April 30th, 2015 at 7:43 am

I seriously detest the concept of ‘growth for th sake of growth’. In the process we have lost our quality of life and many other values. But isn’t energy plentiful in the universe in one form or the other? It may not be as cheap as oil but there are other forms available in plenty that technology will enable us to tap into in the event of peak oil. I haven’t read the book yet. Will try to get to it.

I am an ex-IT guy and have just started my farming activity in Coimbatore with 5 cows. You and your family are an inspiration.


May 5th, 2015 at 9:01 am

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