Kunstler's Long Emergency

March 31, 2005

Overbeck's boy is at it again...this time reaching out to the youngins in Rolling Stone. The guy is certifiable, and I'd write him off completely if his underlying premise--namely, we're gonna have to fundamentally alter the way we live in step with the changing energy economy--didn't hold some truth. But, still, this doesn't mitigate his insanity. In the interest of sparing the community, herewith a short list:

1. K: We shouldn't bother with alternative fuel sources (wind, solar) because they require petroleum inputs to manufacture.
Me: What? Isn't this a little like saying we shouldn't bake bread because we won't have flour a year from now?

2. K: If China, the second leading consumer of oil, wanted to, it could "easily walk into...the Middle East, former Soviet republics and central asia" and "extend its hegemeny by force."
Me: Does Kunstler really think the international community would stand by and watch China expand its borders under threat of force? The U.S. and UN has already stated they don't support such action in Taiwan. And anyway, I've nowhere read where this is on China's agenda--they'll buy their oil, I suspect, rather than threaten the good thing they've got going by attempting to obtain it via force. Kunstler's notion is so inane as to not even warrant comment.

3. K: As the bottom falls out of the oil economy, we'll all have to go back to the land and produce our own foods locally.
Me: Ok, I like the sentiment here, and I'm all for local and sustainable production, but is this realistic? What percentage of the population has ever lifted a garden spade? Wait, don't tell me, its low, right? Look what happened in Zimbabwe and South Africa when squatters "reclaimed" colonially obtained land, but had no knowledge of agriculture or animal husbandry. They sat and watched the land shrivel up and die, because they didn't have the training or skills to care properly for the land. Kunstler's gonna have to come up with something more than: we should all go back to the land. Maybe a middle ground where local communities support members with diverse skills who all play a role.

4. K:Disentitled people who attempt to go back to the land, but don't own land will rise up and seize the land. In the SE people will fight with guns over Christian extremism and dienfranchisement. In the SW, people will leave becuase there will be no water or fuel.
Me: Whoaaaaa. Chill with the doomsday sentiment. Don't think anarchy is likely to descend upon us anytime soon, and anyway, nobody likes a sourpuss.

Check out his last sentence for a good laugh and then let me know if you have any clue what it means.

Discussion, links, and tweets

Good Morning!