Thursday, July 28, 2005

James Howard Kunstler - "The Long Emergency"

Bikescape talks about the efffects of peak oil with James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century .

"The circumstances of the Long Emergency will require us to downscale and re-scale virtually everything we do and how we do it, from the kind of communities we physically inhabit to the way we grow our food to the way we work and trade the products of our work. Our lives will become profoundly and intensely local. Daily life will be far less about mobility and much more about staying where you are. Anything organized on the large scale, whether it is government or a corporate business enterprise such as Wal-Mart, will wither as the cheap energy props that support bigness fall away."

Listen to the podcast

Other books by Kunstler include The Geography of Nowhere and The City in Mind, Notes on the Urban Condition.

Sustainability is big in corporate America today.

The fight goes on to stop the suburbanization of urban spaces in San Francisco. This time its Home Depot.

3 comments:

Bernard said...

Hey Jon, Good interview with a difficult person . . . I wonder if his book appearances muster many sales if he comes on like that. He's right about a lot: city planners, suburban aliens (just look at their offspring), the demise of Mega-stores and much else. But is he really correct about cities emptying? I mean how will the refugees from cities survive in Iowa? I know that in western Wisconsin the population has increased with former urban dwellers, mainly professionals, who have cashed in their land wealth for a less stressful lifestyle. And with telecommuning some can still earn a pretty penny and support those who don't have that option, but the global trend is just the other way...But lets look at Detroit, which lost about half its population in the last 30 years, almost a million people. A viable movement, though small, is developing there to use the empty lots not only for food, but also workshops to re-create a community-centerd economy. I'll stop here...keep up your good work.

jon said...

How will urban refugees survive on the farm? Whe Jim said it wouldn't be pleasant, i believe him. I'm reminded of this:

http://www.ptsi.net/user/museum/dustbowl.html

Of course, times have changed a bit since the dust bowl days. Some folks have been thinking about alternaive scenarios for some time.

http://www.wholeearth.com/

The next podcast will look to the future in new ways in a conversation with author, historian and Critical Mass co-founder Chris Carlsson.

Stay tuned.

Eric said...

I'm sure that interview was less than comfortable but I'm glad you posted it, it's a great service to hear the ideas of serious thinkers right from their mouths, and its great to hear it like they really talk, your podcast seemed more real than it might have if it were a TV or major radio interview.