Martenson envisions economic, energy and environmental solutions
Visiting economist Chris Martenson offered a refreshing take on economic and environmental issues Tuesday, Oct. 23. Martenson addressed practical ways people can confront impending economic and energy-related changes in his lecture “The Essential Insights for Prospering in Our Increasingly Uncertain Future,” hosted by the Center for Ethics and Public Life.
Bailey Mulholland / Chips
In his presentation he emphasized the interrelation between “The Three Es” of Environment, Economy and Energy, stressing that nothing can be considered in isolation anymore. Exponential growth of debt and resource usage has been rapidly transforming the world.
However, Martenson believes that working together can prevent people from becoming helpless victims of an unpredictable economy. “We are talking not only about our individual but collective futures,” Martenson said.
Director of the Center for Ethics and Public Life Greg Jesson invited Martenson to speak at the college. Jesson appreciated Martenson’s focus on emotional resilience, personal responsibility and promotion of “following the evidence.”
“What I really liked that he said is ‘I can’t change national energy policy but I can make changes in my own life that can prepare me for the coming realities,’” Jesson said.
Joe Novak (‘14) attended the lecture and enjoyed the way in which Martenson presented his information.
“I especially liked that he only asked that people consider his data, rather than expecting the audience to believe everything he said,” Novak said.
Martenson emphasized the importance of adaptability and preparation in order to create future success.
“When things change, it shouldn’t take us by surprise,” Martenson said. “I’d rather be a year early than a day late.”
Martenson presented four primary steps to ensure security: get out of debt, invest in an efficient home, buy gold and silver and manage money wisely. He also highlighted the importance of investing in tangible, concrete wealth rather than representative stocks and bonds. Community engagement, according to Martenson, is also a significant investment.
“For the first time in a long time after learning about our current economic crisis I felt calm,” Michona Johns (‘15) said. “Even though we have a lot of complex problems, someone sees a very simple solution.”
Over his three-day stay in Decorah, Martenson met with many local businesspeople to discuss opportunities for energy independence and sustainability in the town. Jesson is also organizing a book club for students and community members on Martenson’s book “The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future of our Economy, Energy and Environment.”
“I think every college student interested in their future should be aware of what Martenson [has] to say,” Novak said.
Jesson summed up the resonating message from Martenson’s lecture.
“[Martenson’s] real message is that this can be a time of amazing opportunity if people take initiative and have a positive outlook,” Jesson said.