The Long Emergency Surviving the End of Oil Climate Change

The Long Emergency Surviving the End of Oil Climate Change and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty First Century ❰PDF❯ ✩ The Long Emergency Surviving the End of Oil Climate Change and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty First Century Author James Howard Kunstler – 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 t A controversial hit Emergency Surviving Kindle Ø 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 The Long ePUB í built on it are forced to change radically.

10 thoughts on “The Long Emergency Surviving the End of Oil Climate Change and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty First Century

  1. Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Kunstler is like that super intelligent yet vitriolic friend whose opinions you totally jibe with but find yourself apologizing to others after he's totally ripped them a new one at the cocktail party you hosted last saturday nightYeah he's kind of bitter But then again he's so right His take on 20th century suburbia and the erosion of American culture is spot onAnd here? Well he might be right And if he is we are all SO SCREWED well at least everybody in the US outside of Saratoga Springs NY His well researched take on the crisis of peak oil is indispensable reading; however his rant takes a bit of a turn when he attempts to characterize how different areas of the US will respond to the crisis based upon a bizarre attempt at geographical pyschology ie gun nuts and religious freaks in the south shallow materialists in the west and educated and civic minded puritans in the northeast Kind of embarassing So yes very important reading for any of us concerned about the trouble brewing on the horizon or at least the inevitable end of United States global hegemony However as a parent of young children residing in the megalopolis of Phoenix I have to only hope that his post apocalyptic vision of a Mad Max film played out against a suburban backdrop is just a hyperbolic rant from that angry dude over by the cheese plate

  2. Bruce Sanders Bruce Sanders says:

    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 adeuate 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 65 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 uestion 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

  3. Jamey Jamey says:

    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

  4. Jim Jim says:

    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 tableWith less fanaticism it could be excellent Kunstler has identified uite 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 uite 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 uite 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 uestions 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

  5. Anthony Anthony says:

    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 timelineI 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 resourcesBut 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 US 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 lookThe tone is judgmental but at core the author is a journalist digging for the truth and concerned for the direction of his country; and conseuently the rest of the world who seems to be following us step by step Kunstler does not want to see the US 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 reuires 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

  6. Kurt Kurt says:

    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 usThe 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 oilWe 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

  7. Zach Zach says:

    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 curveKunstler argues uite 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 emergencyHis 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 economyThe 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 inadeuate 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 uickly erodeConsider 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

  8. Jude Jude says:

    the first chapter is worth five stars as a stand alone invocation and freer than any other part of his writing of verbal posturingi'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 followmuch 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 welli'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

  9. Scott Lerch Scott Lerch says:

    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 uick 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

  10. Keith Akers Keith Akers says:

    I read this book over a decade ago but am just now adding it to Goodreads This book is mostly about peak oil but it could be generalized into a general limits to growth type argument He completely ignores veganism and I'd like to see a discussion of the biological limits to growth But it is a good general exposition of doomer thinking in a plausible way and any vegans who were interested could easily adapt this to his basic frameworkKunstler is an excellent if curmudgeonly writer; he comes across as friendly down to earth doesn’t talk down to you but at the same time assumes you’re pretty smart The book is now a bit out of date but you could look back at Kunstler's predictions of doom as either somewhat validated the Great Recession tons of debt anemic recovery or not validated oil production has increased slightly Chapters 1 and 2 discuss the nature of our oil based society and the realities of peak oil — a good general summary of the technical issues Chapter 3 discusses geopolitical ramifications war and whatnot the most important of which is chilling This is a much darker time than 1938 the eve of World War II The current world population of 65 billion has no hope whatsoever of sustaining itself at current levels and the fundamental conditions of life on earth are about to force the issue The only uestions are What form will the inevitable attrition take and how and in which places and when?Chapter 4 talks about why alternative fuels won’t rescue us Basically after peak oil hits oil supply will decrease at a rate of 2% to 6% per year and there’s no realistic scenario in which alternative fuels can be ramped up rapidly enough to make up for this much less actually increase the energy supply to sustain the world's expanding economy We needed to start about 10 or 20 years ago Remember those guys who said that the 1980's were the last decade to turn our culture around on the environmental issues? Well guess what — they were rightChapter 5 talks about the bad effects of industrialism even before we get to peak oil — climate change food supply and all manner of modern diseases AIDS flu mad cow Chapter 6 discusses the economic fallout of our hallucinated high entropy economy such as the collapse of the housing marketChapter 7 is the most interesting chapter in which he discusses living in the Long Emergency In the Long Emergency land will be wealth he says — not urban real estate but land on which you can actually grow stuff The big retail chains such as Wal Mart Target K Mart and so forth will go belly up Large cities are in big trouble Small cities surrounded by productive farmland have the best chanceI don't think I agree with everything in the book but it makes great reading and it is a good general exposition of the peak oil argument

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *