I found the historical information extremely readable. I worried that my mental faculties were fading. He sees a better future for humanity after our liberation from fossil fuels. It requires a mass contraction at all levels. But the Long Emergency takes this vision further into the realms of finance and energy research. With the peak oil notion as its core, Kunstler supports his view by discounting various alternative energy options as unfeasible at replacing the one-off endowment that crude oil represents for humanity, throwing in the deleterious effects of climate change, epidemic diseases and such other calamities that will coincide with the main thrust of oil depletion.
He has provided us with a stage upon which the unfolding dramas and tragedies of the 21st century can be performed. The Long Emergency is destined to become the new standard. As brilliant as it is baleful. We do live in a very delicate balance. At that point in time all understanding of how a posthuman dominated world will proceed becomes impossible.
Transportation and agriculture are just two of the systems that depend thoroughly on oil for their functioning, and to date none of the energy alternatives we have envisioned is well-placed to step into the gap. 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. The days of easy energy are over and we can look forward to more wild swings in gas prices as they seesaw ever higher over the next few decades. Remember those guys who said that the 1980's were the last decade to turn our culture around on the environmental issues? 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. Most of us can't do anything about most of them, though. There is good writing about peak oil on smartplanet. Chapter 7 is the most interesting chapter, in which he discusses living in the Long Emergency.
This is not an optimistic book. Published by the Atlantic Monthly Press in April 2005. But then again, he's so right. Tolkien was one such author. He dismisses all alternative energy technologies, yet he is not a specialist in this area.
His descriptions of what might happen in America regionally and in terms of racial strife will make any progressive squirm his predictions betray a bit of a cocooned existence away from actual Latin-Americans and African Americans, and his characterization of the Southern states are pretty appalling even to the most self-deprecating Southerner--he calls us 'Crackers' for one. Kustler sees no alternative to his own This certainly isn't the feel good book of the year. The Long Emergency is destined to become the new standard. Yes, you, person who is reading or skimming or glancing at my review. The internal logic of the argument is persuasive, and one reads. And goodness, the section on race. A controversial hit that has sparked debate among business leaders, environmentalists, and others, The Long Emergency 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 first thing he suggests is simple conservation. We were already beyond the point of no return when the steam engines began hissing. I would recommend this book, but I would also recommend reading it critically and taking into account the views of other writers on the subject. His shocking vision for our post-oil future caught the attention of environmentalists and business leaders and was the subject of much debate, stimulating discussion about our dependence on fossil fuels. Only it is not fiction - Kunstler predicts the coming collapse of all human civilization, and he provides dark, witty descriptions of how this will come to pass. Nation by nation, the world is turning into a competitive race for tallest building--for most superficially impractical display of wealth.
But he has a sharp wit, and in this book he articulately makes the case for why we face a confluence of several crises in the coming years. Read some of the one star comment here then you will see them - 'oil is not running out. If you don't know what peak oil is, google it and find out. He describes the future that he expects to happen, not the kinder, gentler, more enlightened future that he wishes would happen. Though Clinton is also to blame for looking towards the future and working on prepare the civilized world for the inevitable.
He also predicts Asian pirates plundering the coast of California. In the last chapter he lost me a little with his discussion of the fate of the U. 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. 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. Kunstler goes on to point out that the supposed alternative forms of energy we're working on will be nowhere near to replacing the oil industry once we dispense with it.
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. Kunstler sees a coming collapse and severe contraction of the world economy. Finally, this collection brings together a set of scholars who are interested in drawing on both the sciences and the humanities in order to find compelling stories for engaging ecological processes such as global climate change, peak oil production, nuclear proliferation, and food scarcity. This case has been made before, but here it is made powerfully and articulately, with no apology and no hint of reprieve. The book is stark and frightening. This book is another that has changed my outlook in ways that will certainly resonate for its remainder.
When all the material goods and services we've taken for granted for so long collapse, and our society crashes around us, the Long Emergency will being. 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. . With the peak oil notion as its core, Kunstler supports his view by discounting various alternative energy options as unfeasible at replacing the one-off endowment that crude oil represents for humanity, throwing in the deleterious effects of climate change, epidemic diseases and such other calamities that will coincide with the main thrust of oil depletion. Large cities are in big trouble.