Monday, March 28, 2005

The Long Emergency

My friend Andrew Hitchcock has pointed me to an interesting article by James Howard Kunstler of Rolling Stone discussing the future of our world without fossil fuels, a period he calls the "Long Emergency."
The Long Emergency is going to be a tremendous trauma for the human race. We will not believe that this is happening to us, that 200 years of modernity can be brought to its knees by a world-wide power shortage. The survivors will have to cultivate a religion of hope -- that is, a deep and comprehensive belief that humanity is worth carrying on.
Scare tactics? Absolutely. However, I strongly feel that the article is worth a read. It offers some stark realities of the present day, most of which are rarely publicized. The fastest growing communities of the United States are simultaneously the most ridiculous: places like Las Vegas and Phoenix, where neighborhoods are yearly built in the dozens but life is entirely dependent on the bubble created by our fossil-fuelled economy. That is, they are spawns of the American Way. Las Vegas entertains the mindless bored. Neither city could exist without air conditioning.

Are we doomed to regress into the serfdom dark ages? Give the article a read, give Andrew's post a read, and then let me know what you think.


Blogger Andrew Hitchcock said...

One thing I don't like is how it dismisses biodiesel. You do get more energy out of biodiesel than you put in. Biodiesel doesn't have to travel as far (saving energy) and is homegrown, not imported from some of the world's most unstable regions. Along with the ideological reasons, there are also health reasons. Biodiesel doesn't produce nearly as many carcinogens as petro diesel and is much healthier, especially when burned near populations and in cities (or on children's school buses).

3/29/2005 4:41 PM  

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