Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller by Jeff Rubin

Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller

byJeff Rubin

Kobo ebook | May 22, 2009

Pricing and Purchase Info


Available for download

Not available in stores


What do subprime mortgages, Atlantic salmon dinners, SUVs and globalization have in common?

They all depend on cheap oil. And in a world of dwindling oil supplies and steadily mounting demand around the world, there is no such thing as cheap oil. Oil might be less expensive in the middle of a recession, but it will never be cheap again.

Take away cheap oil, and the global economy is getting the shock of its life.

From the ageing oilfields of Saudi Arabia and the United States to the Canadian tar sands, from the shopping malls of Dubai to the shuttered auto plants of North America and Europe, from the made-in-China products on the shelves of the Wal-Mart down the road to the collapse of Wall Street giants, everything is connected to the price of oil

Interest rates, carbon trading, inflation, farmers’ markets and the wave of trade protectionism washing up all over the world in the wake of various economic stimulus and bailout packages – they all hinge on the new realities of a world where demand for oil eventually outstrips supply.

According to maverick economist Jeff Rubin, there will be no energy bailout. The global economy has suffered oil crises in the past, but this time around the rules have changed. And that means the future is not going to be a continuation of the past. For generations we have built wealth by burning more and more oil. Our cars, our homes, our whole world has been getting bigger in the cheap-oil era. Now it is about to get smaller.

There will be winners as well as losers as the age of globalization comes to an end. The auto industry will never recover from this oil-induced recession, but other manufacturers will be opening up mothballed factories. Distance will soon cost money, and so will burning carbon – both will bring long-lost jobs back home. We may not see the kind of economic growth that globalization has brought, but local economies will be revitalized, as will our cities and neighborhoods.

Whether we like it or not, our world is about to get a whole lot smaller.

From the Hardcover edition.

Heather's Review

I might lose what credibility I have with readers if I suggested flat out that a book centred around the subject of oil, written by an economist, was a page turner; but I am willing to say with conviction that 'Why Your World Is About to Get A Whole Lot Smaller', by former CIBC Chief Economist Jeff Rubin, is a fantastically compellin...

see all heather's picks
Title:Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot SmallerFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 22, 2009Publisher:Random House of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307373207

ISBN - 13:9780307373205


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Why your world is about to get a whole lot smaller Enjoyed the book as it enlightened me on the role oil plays in our lives. Was oblivious!
Date published: 2013-02-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Higher Prices Ahead With his usual wit and controversial commentary Jeff makes a strong case for energy prices rising over time and what that could mean to all of us - investors, managers and consumers. Whether you agree or disagree the book will make you realize just how fundamental oil is to our economy - in ways you probably aren't aware of.
Date published: 2012-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Acquired Taste Like any other non-fiction book, this book is an acquired taste, and you would need to have an interest in politics of oil to really like this book. It's probably one of the better non-fiction books i've read as it is informative but seems very repetitive.
Date published: 2011-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great read. Interesting thesis on what will happen as the world runs out of oil. But when will all of this happen? In 10 years or 200?
Date published: 2010-05-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good book, not the page turner Heather depicts.. If you have read anything about the oil industry in the last 20 years, there is nothing new in this book - but the message may bear repeating. We are running out of carbon based fuels and our habits will change - I did think we were well past the point of needing to make that argument, but I could be wrong. That being said, I think this is a great book to pass on to someone who just really doesn't believe the oil will ever run out . Certainly the research in this book will support business cases and initiatives that are carbon lite, so on that basis alone, I would suggest keeping it on the bookshelf if you are in business. Enjoy, it's not "happy" reading, but it is informative.
Date published: 2010-03-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from OK Only Jeff"s focus on peak oil has merit, but his dismissing of the structured credit meltdown isn't in sync with "Too Big To Fail" or "On The Brink". The manipulation of climate change data hasn't resonated with him either.... he is completely sold on this questionable industry.
Date published: 2010-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good It was a pretty good book. It gave good arguments for the end of globalization as a result of high oil prices. The only disadvantage to this book, was the numbers, although they were alarming, there were too many to digest.
Date published: 2009-10-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent piece For those who are familiar with Matt Simmons (Peak Oil) and James Howard Kunstler's writing, Jeff Rubin's book is a nice addition to the Peak Oil/Change of Lifestyle reading. The book was an easy read... a bit short on technical details/charts, etc. Recommended!!
Date published: 2009-07-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very True... Interesting read...
Date published: 2009-07-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Unfinished A book with good promise but fails to deliver. The book appears unfinished and the Author does not only not make his point - but never fully tells us what the impact will be if Oil reaches $150.00. Perhaps, this is in fact not the Author's Fault but that of who edited the book. Regardless, this book fails to make a conclusion or point out to us as a Reader - why our world is about to get a whole lot smaller. Perhaps his next body of work will tell us what he has left out in this one.
Date published: 2009-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book will move you to action! So well written that it reads like an adventure story! Jeff Rubin takes you on a journey in the exploration of the concept of "peak oil"- and explains why that term actually means something to you and your lifestyle. From the first anecdote about the salmon filet on your dinner plate, to the plight of steel makers in the midwest, with a stop along the way to visit an indoor ski hill in the middle of a desert, the author makes the issues relevent, and explains the science behind his conclusions. A great read - but now I'm not sure what I should be doing...stock piling water and canned goods? buying stock in oil companies and waiting to sell as oil hits $200 a barrel? Go fishing in Alaska while I still can? Jeff Rubin ends on a hopeful note, I'm hoping that there is a second book coming that gives us a clue as to why he is so optimistic!
Date published: 2009-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well Researched, Smart and Provocative I might lose what credibility I have with readers if I suggested flat out that a book centred around the subject of oil, written by an economist, was a page turner; but I am willing to say with conviction that 'Why Your World Is About to Get A Whole Lot Smaller', by former CIBC Chief Economist Jeff Rubin, is a fantastically compelling read. And not just for people with an interest in the economy - for everyone. Jeff has an incredible ability to distill complex ideas into enlightening everyday language. And let’s face it, our lives are affected every day by the price of oil, to say nothing of the long term implications of our being dependent on unstable countries with less than stellar human rights records. So this is a book for anyone interested in the world we live in. Jeff’s main thesis: oil prices will go through the roof as consumption sky rockets in places like Russia, India, China and Brazil; and the era of outsourcing to far off markets will come to an end, replaced by advanced local market manufacturing. He explains why our behaviour is going to change and how exciting industrial reinvention will begin. 'Why Your World Is About to Get A Whole Lot Smaller' is well researched, smart, and - consistent with Jeff’s reputation - entirely provocative. It won’t matter whether you agree with all or part of what Jeff says, you will truly enjoy reading this book and it will leave you thinking and discussing it. What could be better?
Date published: 2009-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed it very much. All I can say is thank goodness I'm an old fogy who likely won't have to worry about the problem.
Date published: 2009-06-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Appropriate This is a readable book, and it was written by someone who is an economist, not a scientist. Certainly, there are other books out there that describe "things" in more detail, but Mr. Rubin seems to pull it together, in a way that non-technical people can better understand. He also tries to outline what he (as someone with a proven economic background) would do in terms of surviving or thriving in the upcoming big change; that in itself is a welcome addition to many predictions. I think one might equate Rubin with Al Gore; neither are scientists, but both are "in tune" with the changes afoot, and both are able to get the non-scientific public better informed. Whether the predictions of Rubin (or, indeed any author in the "peak oil" or "global meltdown" field) are correct, time will tell. It is a quick read; a fairly inexpensive book; and one that I think should be read by many people.
Date published: 2009-05-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Hyperbolic self aggrandizement Not much here for the critical reader. Others have made similar arguments and in distilling everything down to one point the author oversimplifies a complicated problem. That may do for sound bites but not for a whole book. This is not a book worth buying and neither was it worth reading unless you want to witness an exercise is self congratulations for a few lucky random guesses made long ago.
Date published: 2009-05-24