!Epub ♧ The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century ⚑ James Howard Kunstler – Britakristina.se

!Epub ☨ The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century ☹ A Controversial Hit That Sparked Debate Among Businessmen, Environmentalists, And Bloggers, The Long Emergency By James Howard Kunstler Is An Eye Opening Look At The Unprecedented Challenges We Face In The Years Ahead, As Oil Runs Out And The Global Systems Built On It Are Forced To Change Radically The Road to Camlann: The Death of King Arthur Climate Change Temptation In Lingerie (Bare Naked Designs, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century ☹ A Controversial Hit That Sparked Debate Among Businessmen Christmas in Noisy Village Environmentalists The Cow in the House And Bloggers Temptation In Lingerie The Long Emergency By James Howard Kunstler Is An Eye Opening Look At The Unprecedented Challenges We Face In The Years Ahead Jericho's Journey As Oil Runs Out And The Global Systems Built On It Are Forced To Change Radically After letting it simmer for a few weeks I think these are the basic irks that converge into JHK s doomed imagined 21st century future Mismanaged resources Misappropriated space Abuse of energy and fossil fuels Irresponsible use of money that results in major net losses for the economy Plans for the future skewed by fantastical ideas in technology Loss of community and its replacement with energy backed novelty and convenience Like the attachment to auto vehicles And too much inefficiency in achieving ends for a short term basis, not enough thought put into long term effective goals for sustaining the current energy intensive lifestyles we live And using our resources effectively on a larger timeline I may be overlapping this review a little bit with another book by the same author, Too Much Magic, since I read them at about the same time But the general idea is the same TMM focuses on our over reliance on technological ideals and naive belief that human ingenuity can solve ANY problem The Long Emergency is focused on the abuse of cheap oil It follows two of JHK s previous books about the gross inefficiency of the suburbs The suburbs, according to Kunstler, are a fluke in the timeline of American growth that have been nurtured and sustained for way too long at an ultimate cost the disintegration of American cities and a vacuum for the continent s rich supply of resources.But the Long Emergency takes this vision further into the realms of finance and energy research At the end of the book JHK even maps out his own futuristic vision of a defeated and broken America separated into five distinctly post oil regions, all which will have descended into some pre societal state of autocracy and chaos All in all the book is a nice, clear breakdown of several unsure institutions upon which the fate of the U.S depends The ballooning finance system, the geo politics of the oil industry, and the space use of the land All of these things are spelled out clearer and concise than I ve encountered them anywhere before The book really does feel like a crash course by a very passionate college professor JHK has a knack for revealing their weakness and tying them together into one overextended whole that is over complex and sure to fail The message here is an important one, one about taking responsibility for the things that a greater than you that you cannot control alone But the author thrives in his delivery as well I closed the book craving knowledge And in the sources referenced both in support and in defense, I knew exactly where to look.The tone is judgmental, but at core the author is a journalist digging for the truth and concerned for the direction of his country and consequently the rest of the world who seems to be following us step by step Kunstler does not want to see the U.S collapse as he envisions it He offers a solution but it is a solution that would take many Americans too much of an effort to make managing a slow but gradual movement into a less resource devouring system that the nation has become It requires a mass contraction at all levels This means a conscientious effort by every individual, every group, every organization and currently progressive moving company JHK calls for a return to valuing local communities and a reemergence of bottom up responsibility taking in terms of supplies, agriculture, governance, and overall balance The world has turned inside out, and in the name of consumption global relations have turned too idealistic, selfish, and limitless Nation by nation, the world is turning into a competitive race for tallest building for most superficially impractical display of wealth This is a recipe for disaster. The 5 stars you give to the Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street are different from the 5 stars you give to the Tallis Scholars recording of the 1605 Masses of William Byrd This is a 5 star popularizer, not a 5 star science book But the science is correct, and the writing is terrific Scary, scary shit, and it s all true. While I liked World Made by Hand, which is a fiction story based on this author s ideas for how the world is going to hell in a hand basket, I just can t take his ravings in a factual setting Too many half truths outright idiocies in every section I ve tried to peck away at this book for years, but it s just not worth the space it takes up on my table.With less fanaticism, it could be excellent Kunstler has identified quite a few problems that I agree with, but he takes them to extremes, turning them into civilization shattering issues instead of minor hardships He s like the TV news that blows a few cent rise at the gas pump up into a major crisis In reality, gas prices haven t kept pace with the rest of our inflated prices, but it is one thing we tend to notice.We do live in a very delicate balance The Furrow, a magazine put out by John Deere I got subscribed because I own a couple of their tractors had an article on how the boom in corn due to alternative energy was worrisome because of the amount of funding land it took away from wheat Wheat or the gluten derived from it seems to be in most processed foods Apparently only some top notch research biological fiddling is keeping ahead of wheat rust John Deere has quite a big stake in both crops, so I believe their take on it A problem with wheat production is a major problem, but not enough to shatter civilization If nothing else, he has identified quite a few issues that we should pay attention to Most of us can t do anything about most of them, though How much influence do you have on any of the many steps in wheat production On the other hand, he espouses black white answers for questions that cover the rainbow Yes, the gov t is too intrusive overburdens everyone with too much paperwork Even so, they don t inspect all incoming shipments well or with any regularity Does that mean we should remove all their oversight I don t think so, but apparently he does All of the book that I read is just too unreal, so I can t recommend anyone wasting much time on it If you can pick up a second hand copy skim some of the high points, it probably wouldn t hurt though. the first chapter is worth five stars as a stand alone invocation and freer than any other part of his writing of verbal posturing.i ve heard the complaints about his style self regard sure But I ve been reading clever men all my life this is one i m grateful to for this passionate appreciation of the arc of entropy compounded by excess and ignorance He s a good teacher as well rooting his vision in just enough science for even someone like me to follow.much of what humanity has done it has done innocently it takes a nearly spiritual view of the world to resist the sense of entitlement that has shaped our world to an arena of disposability and waste and it makes sense that the US, with so much space and natural wealth, would produce generations increasingly ignorant of the morality of conservation instead of aware It also makes sense that such a world would dovetail with the oldest and most savage strains of disregard for human dignity as well.i ve seen this book shake minds to their foundations, and given that our material foundations are about to crumble, that can t be a bad thing. A humanity hating rant about the end of the world as we know it Kunstler maintains that oil is running out I ll give him that , and that the result of these declining oil supplies will be nothing short of wiping out most of the human race and starting over from scratch He is very alarmist in predictions that he can t possibly have any basis for por ejemplo, he predicts upcoming epidemics in which world leaders inoculate the chosen ones while letting everyone else die because the earth cannot sustain our fossil fuel obtained population levels He also predicts Asian pirates plundering the coast of California The only safe region during the so called Long Emergency will be where he happens to live, in the original 13 colonies he lives in upstate New York, to be precise Lucky him.According to Kunstler, anyone who is researching alternative fuels for cars is wasting their time and a fool because he doesn t think that cars are our future He d rather see walkable communities than people getting around in vodka powered vehicles It s too bad that an important message such as this is being delivered by a borderline quack Kunstler has some valid points, but his logic is colored by his hatred for middle America and modernism in general I get the feeling he d be happier in 19 century Paris But he s stuck here in the land of ugly architecture, 12 lane freeways in the desert, and Starbucks on every corner, and goddammit, he s not going to take it any He actually said the following about Los Angeles on his website kunstler.com on June 12, 2005 Despite their lame attempts to rebuild a few pieces of the 2000 mile long streetcar system that they gleefully destroyed in the 1950s, life here is all about cars and it will never not be about cars until the reality of our oil predicament falls on the hapless public like a hammer of God and the people of California die for their fucking cars in their fucking cars and over their fucking cars What does he do all day as he giddily fantasizes about all of us dying in our cars Whittle Pluck his home made banjo I d really like to know.It s true that our world has been built around a cheap commodity that will run out in our lifetime, and we don t know what s going to happen as fossil fuels become scarce We are all in denial, mostly because we can t imagine a world without cheap gas and all the luxuries that that provides.Our lifestyles will probably drastically change I won t be buying an SUV or moving to New Mexico anytime soon, but I m also not going to live the next 20 years preparing for the collapse of life as we know it. This is not an optimistic book But I don t view it as a pessimistic book either It is simply a realistic explanation of where things stand and where, in all likelihood, we are headed Dramatic change is coming to the world, but especially to the people of the United States who remain steadfast in their denial that this modern, fossil fuel dependent, suburban lifestyle is inherently unsustainable Peak oil, which we are currently at or perhaps slightly past , will be the main culprit for this change We can t wish it away Comparable substitutes for oil are not going to magically appear to save us.The world, but especially Americans, collectively, are like fools who received a huge cash windfall, immediately spent all of it as fast as they could, all the while assuming that it would either never run out or that some other gift would show up before things got too tight This is exactly what we have done with oil.We will be forced to adapt to the new reality, but it is not going to be easy Being aware of what is happening is the best way to be prepared Reading this book is a great way to begin to be prepared. This booked sucked It s basically the antithesis of Ray Kurzweil s The Singularity is Near, so instead of converging miracles of science, it s the converging catastrophes of man I originally read this in an attempt to balance out my views, but I overshot the mark The whole book knocks down straw men of the emerging technologies that will solve our energy and environmental problems, and then goes on to preach about the inevitable disasters with fallacious arguments and no scientific data It does have some good points, we need to get away from fossil fuels quick, nuclear power and stored electric power is probably are best bet, while the hydrogen economy is still unproven and possibly unworkable However, the degree of pessimism is uncalled for and irresponsible Luckily I don t think anyone listens to this guy, and his predictions on oil supply are already wrong two years out. The Long Emergency by James Kunstler If Thomas Friedman s The World is Flat is the ultimate argument for the reality and virtues of globalization then James Kunstler s The Long Emergency provides the decisive counter argument as the world runs out of fossil fuels globalization is doomed The main thrusts of Kunstler s argument are as follows oil and gas production have peaked and will soon begin to fall, our civilization is deeply dependent on that production, alternative energy sources cannot fully substitute for the shortfall, the oil age has allowed our world to become unsustainably overpopulated, and climate change and other types of environmental destruction will complicate the transition back to an appropriately populated sustainable world.The book does an especially good job of explaining how deeply dependent the world economy is on oil and natural gas For example, with regards to agriculture Kunstler writes, To put it simply, Americans have been eating oil and natural gas for the past century, at an ever accelerating pace He goes on to explain that to produce one calorie of grain American agriculture expends 16 calories of energy to produce one calorie of meat we expend seventy calories of energy Further, most of our pesticides and fertilizers are fossil fuel based and there are no obvious alternative substitutes With regards to suburbia he explains how it is best understood as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world and how without cheap fossil fuels suburbs are completely unsustainable The weakest part of the book is his look at alternative energy sources For some reason he ignores wave surge generation of electricity, but feels compelled to discuss ZPE energy generation an unlikely scheme to produce energy from dark matter Nevertheless, he does a good job of explaining why coal is not an adequate alternative to petroleum, why hydrogen is a pipe dream, and how wind, solar, and nuclear energy are dependent on the fossil fuel industry Kunstler is probably too pessimistic with regards to alternative energy production Nevertheless, to use an example from Friedman s book you can be sure that ordering a computer from Dell over the internet, having it assembled from parts manufactured all over the world in Malaysia, flying the PC to Tennessee, and then a week later having it delivered to your doorstep via Fedex is not a scenario that will likely be possible in 20 years The energy costs will be prohibitive The other thing you can be sure of is that the transition from 6.5 billion people to like 2 billion people in a relatively short time is going to be a very nasty business Finally, there is another book to be considered with regards to Kunstler s thesis, Ray Kurzweil s The Age of Spiritual Machines Kurzweil s book argues for a transition to the singularity by the mid 21st century The singularity can be defined as the point in time when artificial intelligences become thousands of times intelligent than humans and in effect begin to run the world many humans in fact will download their consciousnesses into the intelligent grid At that point in time all understanding of how a posthuman dominated world will proceed becomes impossible The question then becomes which view of the future will occur, Friedman s vision of economic growth and globalization forever, Kunstler s savage transition to a smaller population immersed in autonomous local economies, or Kurzweil s posthuman future Friedman s position may hold in the short run, but in the medium term it becomes pollyannish Kunstler s future is pessimistic but plausible and may already have begun, Kurzweil s position is optimistic but possible in the medium term but unless we literally destroy ourselves almost certain in the longer term Regardless, humanity is in for a wild ride for the next thirty years. Kunstler s central thesis in this very alarming book see the title is that peak oil will destroy civilization as we know it If you don t know what peak oil is, google it and find out If you believe it s a conspiracy of the left wing media, you re an idiot Unfriend me For reference, peak oil is in all likelihood happening right this very instant, maybe starting as early as 2003, but Kunstler emphasizes that it s impossible to be certain on the issue until we re sliding down the other side of Hubble s production curve.Kunstler argues quite convincingly that the end of cheap fossil fuels, specifically natural gas and petroleum, will be enough by itself to make impossible industrial life as we know it, which has been characterized from the very beginning by abundant, cheap energy These arguments are very straightforward and clearly reasoned, and hard to counter On top of this basic premise, he spends over half the book pontificating about other converging catastrophes mentioned in the title that have nothing to do with the end of fossil fuels, but which we have the bad luck of having to deal with concurrently These tangential chapters are interesting to read, but they re obvious asides that don t really contribute much to his final chapter, living in the long emergency His most interesting analysis is on a topic he s already written several other books on suburbia He repeatedly refers to the suburbs as the single largest misallocation of resources in the history of humankind, and backs up this bit of polemic with hard environmental and economic facts and not so hard spiritual and aesthetic arguments He also spends a fascinating chapter exploring the nature of capitalism as we practice it around the world today neoliberalism, globalism and how it both relies on and accelerates the oil crisis we now live in also including a brief history of the sprawl based US economy of the seventies onward and a prophetic prediction of the housing bubble and the fallout on wall street the book was published in 2004, when everyone in the mainstream media was still encouraging zero down mortgages and leaders of finance would publically berate anyone who dared imply the bubble wasn t a permanent feature of our economy.The only point of Kunstler s with which I really took issue, and therefore my last, clinging thread of hope for the future of our society as we know it, is his treatment of solar power, which he dimisses as impractical Out of Gas The End of the Age Of Oil, which I read in 2005 or so, indicates that even with 2003 solar cell technology, a solar installation the size of New Mexico situated somewhere about as sunny would generate enough electricity to meet all of our 2003 energy use, including fossil fuels New Mexico is a big area, obviously, but covering it with solar panels is within our current technological means if led by the federal government in a massive project akin to the Apollo mission or the Manhattan project It s doable I m wondering if Kunstler just didn t do his homework on this issue, as the math energy from the sun striking the earth s surface is unambiguous on this point His main beef seems to be with inadequate battery technology, since transportation is the aspect of our energy use most cripplingly reliant on fossil fuels He repeatedly emphasizes the diminishing returns of technology to pull us out of a crisis of this nature, but advances in battery technology in recent years shows the opposite trend exponential progress in capacity and price, as with computer power Particularly, so called super capacitors made of carbon nanotubules are already feasible in a labaratory setting, and if a means to mass manufacture them is discovered we have a defacto replacement for batteries that will have much greater capacity than LiIon or lead acid technology, last an almost unlimited number of charges, and charge or discharge in a matter of seconds Or maybe what Kunstler s driving at is that in the decline of oil availability, our ability as a society to produce these new technologies and embark on grand solar power projects will quickly erode.Consider this a must read if you want to understand the events of the next two decades in a context outside the identity politics scapegoating with which it will be covered by our media.

  • Paperback
  • 324
  • The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century
  • James Howard Kunstler
  • English
  • 24 November 2017
  • null