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The Long Emergency

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Old 04-26-2008, 08:46 PM
chief302 chief302 is offline
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The Long Emergency

I just finished reading 'The Long Emergency' by James Howard Kunstler. It is a frightening vision of post-cheap-oil America. The author makes his case for peak oil; how we got here and what happens next. Especially disheartening are his critiques of all current alternative fuels...I'm afraid it may not be as simple as conservation and new technology. According to the author, blind faith in new technology is misplaced and a wholesale change in lifestyle is nearly inevitable. The longer that we put it off, the more drastic is will be...

I tend to have more faith in American ingenuity and the ability for mankind in general to overcome adversity. Kunstler at times seems to almost flippantly downplay all American accomplishments as mere byproducts of our abundant, cheap oil. He makes many very good points, however, and his view of the near future is extremely sobering, terrifying...at times it is just down right depressing.

But you don't have to take my word for it, head down to your local library and find out for yourself...
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:52 PM
chief302 chief302 is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

...actually, if anyone has read it and can counter any of his assertions, I would appreciate it...it really is depressing
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Old 04-26-2008, 10:09 PM
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xcel xcel is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

Hi Chief:

___I have read about the book probably 20 times but have not read it myself. On my next trip to the Post Office, maybe I will walk the block and a half to the library and pick it up.

___Good Luck

___Wayne
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:09 PM
aca2983 aca2983 is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

Kunstler is a bit much. His website used to be entertaining, but you get the sense that he's a raving whacko. Not that everything he says is completely wrong, I'm just not quite that pessimistic or cheering for a doomsday scenario like he seems to be.
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Old 04-26-2008, 11:11 PM
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bomber991 bomber991 is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

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Originally Posted by chief302 View Post
But you don't have to take my word for it, head down to your local library and find out for yourself...
What the... isn't that from Reading Rainbow?

Anyways, wasn't there some made-for-tv movie about peak oil happening? It came on like 3 or 4 years ago though I think. Yeah, back when I had a job so I never got to see it.

I can't read books though, I lack the dedication. Somehow I can sit on my computer and read and read and read for 12 hours a day, but opening a book and reading it for an hour, and then repeating that for a week or two till the book is finished, near impossible for me.
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Old 04-27-2008, 08:55 AM
chief302 chief302 is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

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Originally Posted by aca2983 View Post
WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!

Kunstler is a bit much. His website used to be entertaining, but you get the sense that he's a raving whacko. Not that everything he says is completely wrong, I'm just not quite that pessimistic or cheering for a doomsday scenario like he seems to be.
I agree it almost seems like he is relishing the thought of his vision of the future (he admits he's going to be rather old by the time the 's' really hits the fan)...I think that many people that seem to welcome a return to a pre-industrial age aren't really thinking it through all the way...it would not pleasant at all. (although if we keep heading down the path we are on now we will all be killed by intelligent robots ) I think his vision is an extreme worst case scenario (and he gets off on several tangents), but much of the book unfortunately makes a lot of sense.

Quote:
What the... isn't that from Reading Rainbow?

Anyways, wasn't there some made-for-tv movie about peak oil happening? It came on like 3 or 4 years ago though I think. Yeah, back when I had a job so I never got to see it.

I can't read books though, I lack the dedication. Somehow I can sit on my computer and read and read and read for 12 hours a day, but opening a book and reading it for an hour, and then repeating that for a week or two till the book is finished, near impossible for me.
Butterfly in the sky...

Yeah, I used to be quite the little reader as a youngster, but strayed away until recently. The library is quite an amazing resource even in today's high tech world. Gotta go get me some survivalist books...
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:56 AM
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mparrish mparrish is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

I have not read the book, but plan to.

I don't personally think there is much distance between "WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE" and "We are all going to have to drastically reduce & monitor our energy consumption as if on a war time footing as we transition to alternatives while our global economy sputters during the transition".

For many who like to easy life provided by cheap oil/coal/natgas, those two statements are one and the same.
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Old 04-27-2008, 12:29 PM
Vooch Vooch is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

I haven't read Kunstler's bok, but am familiar with the premise, since the ideas behind it were throughly being discussed 25 years ago when I was in grad school.


Suffice to say, He is pretty much on the mark - the suburbs & ex-urbs are an abberation which depend on massive subsidies of cheap energy to sustain them - consider them future ghettos & ghost towns.

Cities are where the lifeblood of civilisation has always been.

We should welcome the demise of ex-urbs and suburbs.
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Old 04-27-2008, 04:34 PM
chief302 chief302 is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

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Originally Posted by Vooch View Post
I haven't read Kunstler's bok, but am familiar with the premise, since the ideas behind it were throughly being discussed 25 years ago when I was in grad school.


Suffice to say, He is pretty much on the mark - the suburbs & ex-urbs are an abberation which depend on massive subsidies of cheap energy to sustain them - consider them future ghettos & ghost towns.

Cities are where the lifeblood of civilisation has always been.

We should welcome the demise of ex-urbs and suburbs.
I don't know if I agree with 'Cities are where the lifeblood of civilisation has always been.'. Civilization began as some tribes of hunter/gathers transitioned to agriculture. Cities never came close to supporting populations of today's magnitude until modern sanitation. Even early industrialized cities relied on large influxes of migrating rural laborers to sustain themselves. While Kunstler cheers the death of the suburbs as well, I wonder how today's metropolises will sustain themselves. Bottom line, if we cannot continue to produce food in the same quantities as we do now, everyone is going to have to make some large scale diet changes...and many people will just not make it. I think America has a lot of wiggle room due to our excesses, but will we make the changes before it affects us?
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:58 PM
MyPart MyPart is offline
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Re: The Long Emergency

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Originally Posted by bomber991 View Post
I can't read books though, I lack the dedication. Somehow I can sit on my computer and read and read and read for 12 hours a day, but opening a book and reading it for an hour, and then repeating that for a week or two till the book is finished, near impossible for me.
Same here...wasn't much of a reader as a child and then through school. Now I work in front of a computer from 8-6+ and pretty much read from it constantly. I just don't feel the desire to pick up the printed word these days. I guess I prefer recycled electrons and pixels to recycled paper and ink...
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