The Third Curve

The End of Growth. As we know it!

A New Lens to Understand our New Economic Reality

Financial markets are under threat. Growth rates are dropping.
The age-old remedies prescribed to boost economic growth are proving ineffective, if not outright dangerous.
Ten years after the 2008 global financial crash, nothing seems to work as per projections.
But what if the rules of the game have inverted?
What if economic growth is eluding us for a reason that we have discounted all this while?
What if there are indeed limits to growth?
Yes, the Modern Industrial World stands at a crucial and unavoidable turning point. The sacrosanct paradigm of modern economics, namely perpetual growth, is in the process of ending. Our economic growth model makes 2 simple yet amazingly unreasonable assumptions:

1. That money is the currency that runs the world. In fact it is energy.
2. That we have limitless energy & other resources on a finite planet.


The Third Curve - Book Cover

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These assumptions appeared to hold true for the last 150 years – the first half of oil reserves. But now we are about to begin the second half of the story of oil. This half-way point of oil is an unprecedented point in history and is called Peak Oil. Peak Oil is not an ideology but an aspect of geology – the point of maximum oil extraction from the earth.
This geological limit is what defines what will be economically possible in the future starting right now. The global economic collapse of 2008 was the advent of this turning point because past the peak we get only less oil. Therefore less industrial and economic growth. This spells doom to the religion of perpetual economic growth.
This book is NOT directly about morality, justice, equity, environmental consciousness and other noble human values. It is about the head-on collision between:

* Our total acceptance of an infinite economic growth model which is not possible.


* Our total denial of the finiteness of the earth which is evident.

We need a new lens to understand this inversion of economic reality. The Third Curve provides us that lens.
It identifies the root cause of the malady by reminding us of the forgotten relationships between money and energy, capital and resources, concept and reality.

And that forces us to accept energy descent which mean end of growth as a natural and healthy paradigm.

Perpetual Growth - the biggest global religion – is both impossible and a disease.
It is impossible because it needs infinite energy and resources.
It is a disease because it will kill everything if we chase it.
And we are chasing it.
This is exactly the ideology of a cancer cell.

Growth & Cancer


"Khan lucidly presents the counterpoint to the ideas of perpetual growth: a keen penetrative look at the state of our natural resources and the laws of energy that govern our hopes and plans for the future. The Third Curve offers an original argument, intricately researched and vividly presented. While not everyone will agree with his conclusions, Khan offers a valuable blueprint of insights for policy-makers and decision-makers who might want to consider his view of the pitfalls and consequences of exponential growth. Densely argued but engaging, The Third Curve marks an intriguing debut."

Shashi Tharoor - Author, Diplomat, Human rights activist and Minister of State for HRD.

" Yet another masterpiece from Mansoor Khan. A clear, sharp articulation of the insanity and absurdity of the economic assumption that we can have perpetual, limitless growth on a planet with ecological limits. Peak oil, climate chaos, the food crisis, the financial crisis are different aspects of interconnected crises triggered by an obsolete paradigm. We need a new paradigm based on the ecological reality of the planet. And Mansoor Khan's new book is vital reading for anyone wanting to participate in evolving a new paradigm ."

Vandana Shiva - Author & Environmental Activist.

“Mansoor has tackled some very complex concepts without compromising on their importance. While this is a book that will certainly generate much debate on both sides, I am certain that those who read it will thoroughly enjoy it. I wish him all success and hope he continues his study into this field, which is greatly in need of more scholarly work such as this.”

Jairam Ramesh – Economist and current Minister of Rural Development, Government of India

“Future economic collapses may well be possible if we move on growth paths that do not recognize the finiteness of resources and the fragility of ecosystems. The Third Curve points to the need for business and finance to get real.”

Dr. Ligia Noronha – Executive Director (Research Coordination), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi.

"This is a timely jolt for people of the world and helps them to face various facets of an illusion that our society has created in the process of a material driven and energy, resource intensive growth path."

Anandajit Goswami - Coordinator Africa - The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi. Logo


You can also download a complete & FREE PDF version here.

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You can click on the button below to voice chat with me.



VOICE CHAT: with Mansoor



About Me

I studied computer science at IIT Mumbai, Cornell University, and M.I.T, Boston and then moved onto making four feature films. My first was Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak that launched Aamir who is my cousin. My next film, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander with the theme of a boy who is a slacker and has to learn responsibility, closely mirrored my life.

In 2003, I finally escaped the clutches of the city and moved to Coonoor, to realize my life’s vision of starting an organic farm that was self-supporting and local. One year later my wife and children joined me in Coonoor. Together we shaped Acres Wild into a cheesemaking, farmstay that allows our guests to experience a close-to nature experience. Spread over 22 acres, Acres Wild is now a key landmark in Coonoor town.

VOICE CHAT: with Mansoor


Mobile: +91 94432-32621

Mail Address: No 1, Tiger Hill, Coonoor 643-101, INDIA


My first book 'The Third Curve - The End of Growth as we know it' is the outcome of my observation and inner understanding of energy principles called Energetics.

It examines the stark and unbridgeable disparity between the compulsions of exponential, economic growth and the energy limits imposed on us by the laws of geology, thermodynamics and the finiteness of the Earth.The book also explains the correlation between the global ecological collapse and the economic collapse and the descent of energy that we are entering into.

In short growth which was never possible for ever is now impossible and it is a disease like cancer that has killed all the environment in its pursuit.

  • Lecture History on The Third Curve - The End of Growth as we know it. (Over a 150 lectures)

    • IIM, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Rohtak & Kozhikode.
    • Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad
    • William J. Clinton (Bill Clinton) Fellowship for Service in India through the American India Foundation.
    • Morgan Stanley (Mumbai)
    • Yahoo (Bangalore)
    • Cognizant (Chennai)
    • Mahindra World City (Chennai)
    • The Energy & Resources Institute (New Delhi)
    • Foreign Services Institute (New Delhi)
    • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (Bangalore)
    • Nirma Business & Engineering College, Ahmedabad.
    • Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) - Hyderabad Chapter.
    • Bombay Chartered Accountants Association (Mumbai)
    • Think Fest 2013
    • 3 TEDx talks in Chennai and Coimbatore
    • Mumbai Lit Fest 2013
    • Times Carnival Literature Fest, Bangalore 2014
    • Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) and World Presidents Organisation (WPO) – Bangalore.

Questioning Growth.