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The End is Nigh
Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2005 @ 21:39:06 GMT by vlad

General by David Ehrenfeld

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century. James Howard Kunstler. x + 307 pp. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005. $23.

James Howard Kunstler begins The Long Emergency with the hope that "the American public will wake up from its sleepwalk and act to defend the project of civilization" while there is still time. "Throughout this book," he writes, "I will concern myself with what I believe is happening, what will happen, or what is likely to happen, not what I hope or wish will happen." The reality that our society is currently refusing to face, Kunstler says, is that time is just about up for industrial civilization as we have known it.

Kunstler's thesis is straightforward: Malthus was right, but cheap oil has postponed the day of reckoning, creating a century-long "artificial bubble of plenitude" and generating a host of intractable problems partly or entirely related to our prolonged energy spending spree. These problems include serious damage to our agricultural infrastructure, global climate change and the reorganization of living places into unsustainable suburbs and cities. Now cheap oil is disappearing fast, leaving only the problems behind.

What sets The Long Emergency apart from numerous other books on this theme is its comprehensive sweep—its powerful integration of science, technology, economics, finance, international politics and social change—along with a fascinating attempt to peer into a chaotic future. And Kunstler is such a compelling, fast-paced and sometimes eloquent writer that the book is hard to put down...

Read the whole article here: AmericanScientist.org/BookReview



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"The End is Nigh" | Login/Create an Account | 8 comments | Search Discussion
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Re: The End is Nigh (Score: 1)
by sparks35 on Friday, August 12, 2005 @ 01:30:01 GMT
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It really all comes down to one word...GROWTH.

We all live on this finite planet Earth.
It is only so big. It has only a finite number of acres of land. A finite atmosphere. Finite natural
resources. And yet, the powers that be... financial, religious, political, social... continue to insist on GROWTH. "The Long Emergency" may be a good way to describe this situation.

The only way to have a sustainable Human Population on this planet Earth (for tens and hundreds of thousands of years) is for people to reject the GROWTH Religions, GROWTH economics,
GROWTH political and social NORMS.

A "Revolution of Thought" will need to take place.

Re: The End is Nigh (Score: 1)
by bender772 on Friday, August 12, 2005 @ 06:09:26 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://www.suppressedscience.net
I view these dire ideas not as predictions of what is likely to happen, but as warnings of what would or will happen IF the breakthrough energy and transportation technologies that already exist at extremely high levels of classification are not freed and made available for civilian use soon.

God, Religion and ZPE (Score: 1)
by Rastahal on Friday, August 12, 2005 @ 11:24:31 GMT
(User Info | Send a Message) http://truthbells.com
Speaking of religion and energy, it seems to me that if you believe in God, then you must believe that he/she would not plop us down here without a way to create a sustainable planet and civilization.

ZPE is that way, and it's currently being denied us by backward science, greedy politicians, and folks running these black operations.

I also think Sparks35's comments about growth make a good point as our whole economic system HAS to grow or it dies...as I believe it soon will without cheap energy to fuel it.

I would like to think I'm positive too but I believe we are way too late to the game to avoid disaster.
When you realize the US government just passed a HUGE energy bill that hardly even BEGINS to address this problem, then the truth hits home...our goose is cooked...and by fossil fuels.

One love,


Re: The End is Nigh (Score: 1)
by sparks35 on Friday, August 12, 2005 @ 22:56:41 GMT
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I disagree with your asssessment that "our whole economic system HAS to grow or it dies".

It is true that many economic "assorters" define success as GROWTH, but many corporations
are in a more-or-less steady state. They produce a product, and make a profit. Coca-Cola, Pepsico, BIC, Gillette, General Motors, FORD, ....etc....
These Companies are not in any real growth stage.
In past years they where looking for Big Growth.
GROWTH for these Big Companies is more a merger thing. There is only so much market share to go around.

On some levels...Yes, economic growth is required. But GROWTH is OBVIOUSLY not needed for success.



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