McKibben was careful throughout the book to avoid strident self-righteous condemnation of our dominant economic system, without minimizing the actual threats arising from its principles and practices. In his epilogue he is clear about the very real dangers that accompany our way of life and the delusion of status quo economics.
Deep Economics is not an idle intellectual exercise. It is an essential part of building a sustainable and just society. Our planet cannot sustain the status quo: nor can our individual psyches, family units or communities. McKibben's book offers hundreds of examples of individuals and communities struggling against the grain to create an alternative that literally transforms their worlds into something more valuable and less toxic. The book shows example after example of people across the planet learning to live in right relationship within their ecosystem, community, neighborhood and themselves. It is not an airy-fairy feel-good fantasy escape into an ideal universe...it is everyday people in the dirt and compost bringing imagination, ingenuity, and integrity to a way of life that pays attention to what is close at hand, immediate, and local.
McKibben argues that these local economies will be necessary if the bottom falls out and the shit hits the fan (and it more than likely will)...as extended trade routes and high dependence on fossil fuels will no longer work, and dependence upon centralized industrial megastructures will no longer exist...we will be forced to find our food, entertainment and energy close to home; we will be much more dependent upon the talents and resourcefulness of our neighbors, and they on us. Practicing Deep Economy now will better prepare us for the collapse of economies to come.