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    Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: “The World is Going to Get Rounder and Bigger Again”

    by Adam Taggart

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 2:29 PM

"Straight Talk" features thinking from notable minds who the PeakProsperity.com audience has indicated that it wants to learn more about. Readers submit the questions they want addressed and our guests take their best crack at answering. The comments and opinions expressed by our guests are their own.

This week's Straight Talk contributor is James Howard Kunstler, author and social critic. His better-known works include The Long Emergency, in which he argues that declining oil production will result in the decline of modern industrialized society and compel Americans to return to smaller-scale, localized, semi-agrarian communities; World Made By Hand, and its sequel, The Witch of Hebron, all published by The Atlantic Monthly Press. He writes a weekly blog is also a leading proponent of the movement known as "New Urbanism." 


1. When will the average US citizen wake up to the perils of Peak Oil?

JHK:  When a crisis comparable to the 1973 OPEC embargo — with lines at the filling stations and hefty price-hikes —  whaps them upside the head. For now, what I call the psychology of previous investment is a massive impediment to the public's ability to think clearly. By this I mean mainly our sunk costs in suburbia, including all its furnishings and accessories. That's where we put so much of our "wealth" over the past sixty years. I regard these as tragic mis-investments, of course, because the wealth has gone into a living arrangement that has no future. The housing bubble crash is greatly aggravating the problem, because it is de-valuing the whole kit-and-kaboodle. But the net effect for now is only to generate more anxiety among the public, which leads to more confusion, more cognitive dissonance, more static in the collective imagination, and more political noise — in short, more obstacles to clear thinking. 

2. There seems to be no political will to tackle the reality of Peak Oil. What might tip that balance (before we hit the proverbial wall)?

JHK:  Leadership in America has been abysmal on these issues — and not just in politics, but in business, media, education, the enviro community, even the clergy. For the politicians, I have to suppose that the implications of Peak Oil are just too painful to face. They simply do not compute into any winning formula. They won't go near it.

I'm quite convinced that Dick Cheney and George Bush were informed about the oil situation, in particular its relation to the national defense. After all, Robert Hirsch arrived on the scene loudly in 2005 with his report, commissioned by the US Department of Energy, which was quickly suppressed because its conclusions were so stark. Bush made occasional remarks about our "dependence on foreign oil," but he didn't have the guts to spell it out further, and he was a tool of Big Oil, after all, which has run a PR campaign for ten years denying the Peak Oil story. Anyway, he didn't want to interrupt the fabulous credit-driven boom of the years leading to his final months in office, when things really did go south.

Obama is another story, of course. He couldn't be so poorly informed as to not know about Peak Oil in most of its contours and implications, especially vis-a-vis the military, which has issued more than one report while he's been in office. So I conclude that he is a kind of charming bounder. I'm not necessarily sorry I voted for him, because I think McCain would have been worse, entwined as he is with the lunatic right-wing and its toxic aura of paranoid unreality. 

It's unclear whether the media is too dumb to get the complexities of our oil predicament, or if they are just bought-off lackeys of the various corporate interests. Probably a combo on that. It is rather hard to understand, for instance, the vapidity of The New York Times — in particular its op-ed pundits, Krugman, Friedman, Brooks. The Times's straight reporting on the oil scene has been scant and fatuous. The Wall Street Journal, ditto. TV news operates in its own special sewage canal of idiocy, so one might not expect much from there.

Since business in America has resolved more and more into a set of rackets, one can't expect plain-dealing from that sector these days.

I've seen the failure of the environmental community up close. Two years in a row at the Aspen Environmental Forum, I listened to the cream of the Green movement rhapsodize over all the cool new "green" ways you can run cars other than on gasoline. You see, their base assumption — like everyone else in this society — is that driving cars incessantly is a God-given entitlement. They were in a techno-rapture over electric cars, bio-diesel, and so on. They didn't once mention walkable communities or public transit. They're just not into it. I consider their position utterly disgraceful. 

The clergy is an interesting case. Notice especially how the Sunbelt born-again crowd are perhaps the staunchest defenders of suburbia — and everything that goes with it, including car dependency and and huge volumes of oil imports from unreliable foreign nations. They conflate suburbia with the constitution and Jesus.  And, really, their belief system is so incoherent and ridiculous that it must really frighten the educated folk of other nations who see how we carry on. 

3. If you were President and had free reign, what would be your energy plan?

JHK:  

  • I would commence a public debate on whether we go forward with a nuclear power program, to weigh the hazards involved — but, frankly, there may be no other ways to keep the lights on in a decade or so. It may turn out that we are too short of capital to carry out such a program, or our society may be too disorderly in the years ahead to run it, or we may decide the hazards are not worth it, but the discussion must start now.
  • I would direct major capital resources to repairing the conventional passenger railroads in the US, because commercial aviation as we know it will not continue another ten years, and ditto Happy Motoring, and this is a big continent-sized nation. If we don't get regular rail running, we may not be able to go anywhere. We should just put aside our fantasies about high-speed rail or mag-lev. We're too broke for that, and we need to temper our techno-grandiosity. But, believe me, Americans will be deliriously happy ten years from now if they can go from Des Moines to Chicago at 80 mph on time. During the Obama years, we've stupidly poured our dwindling capital resources into building more highways. This foolishness has got to stop. I would promote public transit at the smaller municipal scale as well, to go with regular rail.
  • I'd begin the task of rehabilitating our inland waterways so we can move more goods around the nation by boat — and in particular the port facilities that have been mostly removed in places like St. Louis and Cincinnati and around the Great Lakes.
  • I would put an emphasis on walkable communities. I would prepare the nation for the possibility of gasoline rationing, since events could shove us into criticality at any time.
  • I would begin closing down scores of unnecessary overseas military bases, and I would terminate the nation-building project in Afghanistan since there is no possibility that we can control the terrain or the population there for anything more than the shortest run.
  • I would direct the Attorney General of the US to mount investigations of the Bank of America, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and other big banks in connection with the massive swindles and frauds in house lending and the securitization of mortgages — because the rule of law requires that somebody be held accountable for the demolition of the banking system.
4. Now take out your crystal ball. What is the most likely scenario you see playing out in global energy supplies over the next few decades?

JHK:  I see the USA getting blind-sided by events. We import nearly three-quarters of the oil we use, and much of it comes from very dodgy places. The ideas derived from Jeff Brown's Export Land Theory tell us that oil export rates are certain to go down very steeply and soon. Before long, exporting nations will have to ask themselves whether they ought to keep some of their oil around for their own people.

In the meantime, China is very busy spending its foreign exchange reserves on "favored customer" oil contracts, more or less cornering a lot of the market. I think that will lead to conflict between them and us. We may even invoke the Monroe Doctrine over Chinese oil purchases out of Canada.

Also meanwhile, we'll see the feedback loop of demand destruction leading to supply destruction as the oil industry becomes starved of capital to get at new production to offset worldwide depletions, and that will result in wildly gyrating oil prices — all of which will shove the global oil industry — production and markets — into fatal instability. Nicole Foss's rap on this dynamic is an excellent reference.

The prospects for gross geopolitical mischief around this are huge, of course, meaning war in some shape or form — and it will clearly be a war over dwindling resources. Also, of course, you can't overstate the potential for disorder in the Middle East. The king of Saudi Arabia is well over 80 years old now and his successor is also old and ill. I'd suggest we may see a Shia uprising on the western rim of the Persian Gulf (that is, the Arabian side) that would bring down the Saud royal family and ignite a major struggle all over the region. 

There is currently a lot of hoopla over shale gas in the USA, but I think that will disappoint us, since it requires gigantic ongoing capital investment, and capital will be in ever-shorter supply. And this is not to mention the other problems and hazards associated with shale gas "fracking," such as the extreme forms of groundwater pollution and cancer clusters.

Bottom line: in ten years or fewer the USA will be starved for energy resources and probably on its ass in one way or another.

5. The economy's a mess.  What's the best possible outcome to this and how does it come about?

JHK:  The best possible outcome would be a peaceful re-set to a lower scale of activity — the whole downscaling and re-localization package. It's hard to see that happening smoothly.

It will be very painful because we're talking about liquidation and de-leveraging beyond even Great Depression levels. We have to allow a clearing of mis-investment. Unfortunately, this means not just the "toxic" paper from the colossal frauds and swindles of Wall Street, but much of the infrastructure of suburbia itself, which is losing value now even despite massive government efforts to prop up house prices and pretend that losses in commercial real estate haven't occurred. That clearing process is so tremendous that it is hard to imagine a way that it could occur without leading to gross political disorder — including the possible breakup of the USA into smaller autonomous regions. We're looking at institutional failure at never-before-imagined levels: pensions and Social Security lost, insurance companies and banks collapsing, the medical system in disarray, really the whole social safety net — and beyond just dissolving. This is a comprehensive economic collapse beyond the scale even of the Soviet collapse, which, Dmitry Orlov tells us, at least allowed people to stay in their homes and get around on public transit when all else failed.

One much-fretted-over outcome is authoritarian government in the USA. We can see the larval stage of that now with the tea baggers and the theocratic right-wing and a Republican Party that has made itself hostage to the John Birch Society — but I maintain, as I wrote in The Long Emergency, that it's more likely the federal government will become impotent and ineffectual, and therefore unable to carry out a "corn-pone Nazi" program, even if such characters got a hold of the offices.

In any case, America will be faced with rebuilding all the major pieces of its economy at a lower scale: farming, commerce, transportation, education, banking, you name it. This re-set will occur naturally — if we don't blow ourselves to Kingdom Come — but there's no telling how long the process might take. We do know that following the collapse of Rome, Western Europe endured nearly a thousand years of relative hardship. I'd add that societies are essentially emergent organisms and that this economic re-set would therefore be an emergent phenomenon — not something that required centralized planning or anything like it.

One notable side effect of all this will be a "time out" from technological innovation, which is destroying the ecosystem of the planet Earth, our only home. The human race needs a time out from all this techno-magic-mischief, a period to reflect on what we've done and how we ought to behave with this stuff. I don't even know for sure whether it's a time out or a game-over for technology, and I'm not convinced that we need to know at this point.

6. What steps are you currently taking in preparations for the upcoming “post-peak” years? What do you advise to those simply looking to protect the purchasing power of their current wealth?

JHK:  Well, at 62 I've already outlived Babe Ruth, Mozart, Abe Lincoln, and George Gershwin,  so however long I go from here is "gravy."  But I do all I can to maintain good health. I eat mostly plants, as Michael Pollan would say. I get a lot of exercise. I lead a purposeful daily life. I stay current with the dentist. I made the formative decision of where-to-live over thirty years ago when I settled in a "Main Street" small town in upstate New York. My surplus wealth is invested for the moment in hard gold, the Sprott Physical fund, Australian and Canadian short term bond funds (cash equivalent), and potash mining. I am renting my dwelling, sitting out the housing collapse. I acquired the NY State handgun permit (not so easy). I have some tubs of brown rice, lentils, and curry powder, etc., stashed away. Alas, I didn't have the capital twenty years ago to get hold of forty acres and a mule — but that's not a bad idea for other people.

7. Are you able to tell (either based on your website viewership or book sales, or from any other source) in which parts of the country/population your teachings are gaining the most traction?

JHK:  My only index of that is the size and mood of audiences where I speak around the country. The Pacific Northwest is always a lively spot. The people who show up are intelligent, informed, and interested. In Southern California I seem to be utterly unknown. Parts of the Midwest, such as Wisconsin and Minnesota, seem to be organizing for a different economy, but other parts (rural Illinois, Indiana, Ohio) are sheer zombie-land. New York City and Washington exist in bubble-fantasylands of their own. Rural New England is pretty Peak Oil aware, though the Boston-Cambridge hub is locked into transports of techno-rapture, probably due to the techno-grandiose culture of MIT. The baleful influence of Harvard shows up in the urban design and architecture field, where they are preoccupied with narcissistic careerism rather than repairing the human habitat. Dixieland is hopeless, what with their thrall to the born-agains and the misfortunes of their demographic (namely "Cracker Culture," which celebrates ignorance and violence). I don't follow my book sales, frankly, and my website manager knows more about the activity on my site than I do.

8. You speak to a lot of audiences and groups.  What has shifted over the years and what, if anything, gives you hope in those trends?

JHK:  I must tell you that I think almost nothing has shifted among the body politic except perhaps the levels of angst and desperation for individual citizens brought on by personal calamity involving job losses, debt, house repossession, family breakup, and related effects of our economic collapse. Meanwhile the distractions from all this pain and stress are ever more moronic — Dancing with the Stars starring Bristol Palin — can it get any worse?

Mr. Obama, who I voted for, has done almost nothing to address our energy predicament, and the 2200-page financial regulation bill he signed does little to reform the problems in capital finance — so, here we are eight months after Fin-Reg entering another stage of the banking crisis. We are still absolutely sleepwalking into the future.

9. It seems inevitable that the suburbs (with 60-mile commutes) and places like LA will suffer badly in a Peak Oil future.  Do you still hold the view that some regions are going to fare substantially better than others?

JHK:  It ought to be self-evident. I mean, compare Phoenix and Portland, Oregon. Phoenix is utterly toast in a few years. They can't grow any food there without expensive and heroic irrigation. They have water problems. They're slaves to their cars. They're in a place where even the hamburger flippers need air-conditioning to survive. It's quite hopeless there. Portland, on the other hand, has turned itself into one of the finest walkable cities in the USA and the Willamette River Valley is one of the most productive farming micro-regions in the world. Human beings will continue to live and thrive to some extent there. Similarly, I think the Great Lakes region is undervalued these days. It is whole lot of good ag land surrounded by the world's most extensive inland sea — kind of a Mediterranean of fresh water. I remain pessimistic about Dixieland, which I think will be prone to violence and political disorder. In the longer run I believe it will become what it was before World War II: an agricultural backwater. But, really, everybody in every region of the country will be touched by the problems of the long emergency.

10. What question didn’t we ask, but should have? What’s your answer?

JHK:  Will China dominate the world further into the 21st Century?  

A lot of people think so. I'm not so sure about that. They have problems that are orders of magnitude greater than ours with population overshoot, dwindling fresh water, industrial pollution, relatively little oil of their own, and legitimacy of governance. They've become net food importers.

We look at them and their recent accomplishments in awe — and they've come a long way from the point thirty years ago, when most Chinese lived like it was the twelfth century. But they came to the industrial fiesta very late. They are making some rather dumb choices — like, trying to get their whole new middle class in cars on freeways, putting up thousands of skyscrapers. Their banking system is possibly more corrupt and dysfunctional than ours — since it's run by the state, with very poor accountability for lending. As a Baby Boomer, I well remember China's psychotic break of the 1960s, when the country went cuckoo under the elderly, ailing, paranoid Mao Tse-Tung — which is to say, they're capable of flipping out on the grand scale under stress. They are reaching out these days in a resource grab using their accumulated foreign exchange reserves. At some future time — say, if the global banking system implodes, and their forex reserves lose value — I wonder if they will reach out militarily for resources, and how the world might react.

In any case, I take issue with the Tom Friedman notion that the world has become permanently flat. The world is going to get rounder and bigger again. We'll discover — surprise! — that the global economy was a set of transient economic relations that obtained only because of a half century of cheap energy and relative peace between the big nations. Ahead now, I think you'll see the big nations shrink back into their own corners of the world. I'm not saying we'll see no international trade, but it will be nothing like the conveyer belt from China to Wal-Mart that we've known the last few decades. And the prospects for conflict are very very high. 


 

If you have not yet seen the other articles in this series, you can find them here:

 

 

 

 

 

PeakProsperity.com readers can submit their preferences for future Straight Talk participants, as well as questions to ask them, via the Straight Talk forum.

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104 Comments

  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 3:15pm

    #1
    ashvinp

    ashvinp

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 21 2010

    Posts: 75

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Great Interview!

    Regardless of what one thinks of JHK’s specific views, you gotta respect him for being candid and speaking his mind.

    “For now, what I call the psychology of previous investment is a massive impediment to the public’s ability to think clearly”

    This is also a really good point. We have socially adapted ourselves to the institutions and relationships of the past, and that kind of psychological momentum does not reverse easily, if at all, before our hands are forced.

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 4:27pm

    #2

    Chris Martenson

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    A big “thank you!” to Jim for taking the time to present his views here.  

    Very much appreciated by myself and everybody here.

     

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 5:07pm

    #3

    rmurfster

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 15

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    One much-fretted-over outcome is authoritarian government in the USA. We can see the larval stage of that now with the tea baggers and the theocratic right-wing and a Republican Party that has made itself hostage to the John Birch Society — but I maintain, as I wrote in The Long Emergency, that it’s more likely the federal government will become impotent and ineffectual, and therefore unable to carry out a “corn-pone Nazi” program, even if such characters got a hold of the offices.

    In any case, America will be faced with rebuilding all the major pieces of its economy at a lower scale: farming, commerce, transportation, education, banking, you name it. This re-set will occur naturally — if we don’t blow ourselves to Kingdom Come — but there’s no telling how long the process might take. We do know that following the collapse of Rome, Western Europe endured nearly a thousand years of relative hardship. I’d add that societies are essentially emergent organisms and that this economic re-set would therefore be an emergent phenomenon — not something that required centralized planning or anything like it.

    James,

    I don’t understand why you would seem to be insulting those of us who consider ourselves to be part of the “Tea Party” by using the derogatory phrase, “Tea Baggers”.  It is the principles of Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility that will get the Government out of our daily lives and lead to the kind of local economy you are advocating.

    Richard

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 5:12pm

    #4
    bluestone

    bluestone

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Thanks Jim for doing the interview.  Never get through one of your reads without getting that pit feeling in my stomach.  Im writing this post from Saratoga Springs.  Don’t know how many fans you have in your home town, but Im one of them

    Blue

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 5:25pm

    #5

    DurangoKid

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 25 2008

    Posts: 53

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I’ve read Jim’s books and even had a chance to chat with him in Berkeley a while back.  We’re buds.  Seriously, I think his predictions are about as good as it gets.  He outlines the constraints in energy, land, population, etc.  The changes that will occur will be chaotic and non-linear, so there’s no point in getting too specific.  Of course, the people living the suburban lifestyle won’t be proactive in any meaningful way.  They will have their SUV’s taken from them by expensive oil versus giving them up for a bicycle or public transit.  The expectation of supermarkets full of refined carbohydrate food will persist until the shelves are empty.

    One mindset Jim doesn’t touch on is the uniquely American blind faith in markets.  At some point, the physical capacity to ship food 3,000 miles will give out.  How will markets cope with a situation where there may not be a profit in feeding 100 million people who are destitute?  For generations the elite opinion makers have been harping about how bad and inefficient government is and how it should be curtailed at every opportunity.  A lot of not-so-elite Americans have bought into this idea.  Who will come to rescue them when the supermarket shelves are empty?  Will congress and the executive be peopled by a bunch of rubes who were elected to do nothing?  Was Katrina a message that the spirit of the collective has finally been laid to rest?  Perhaps it is inevitable that all governments regardless of their ideology will fall prey to a small coterie of elite interests and at that point begin a death spiral into confusion and chaos.  Recall that Rome was once a republic.  The death of Julius Caesar was the death of the republic.  Caesar was a tyrant only to the patrician class of money lenders, landlords, and traders.  He sought to limit their power to preserve the republic.  We know how that worked out.

    In Jim’s book, A World Made By Hand, he touches on a situation similar to what happened at the fall of the Roman empire.  Many of the common folk voluntarily became serfs on estates.  They surrendered their labor in trade for sustenance, thus avoiding handling money that could be taxed.  The character Steven Bollock is such a figure of wealth and property.  All were welcome to join his serfdom to work the land and achieve some sort of stability.  Compared to many others in the book, they lived quite well.  As banks topple and resources dwindle, I often wonder if the fate of industrial culture is the medieval village.

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 5:31pm

    #6

    darbikrash

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    The staff at CM have really stepped up the guest columns and material presented lately, and this post is no exception. Great interview.

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 5:46pm

    #7
    joemanc

    joemanc

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Excellent. Thank you for the honest and blunt interview.

    The suburbia issue is a little puzzling to me. While a city like Portland might be inhatible in the future, how is a densely packed city like NYC or Boston inhatible in the future? Most of the available land, if any, to grow food is in the suburbs. There’s just no way to grow enough food in the overpopulated cities to feed the populations, it would have to be brought in from the suburbs, which requires energy. My main goal when I moved to a rural suburb was to be near sources of food, yet still be able to get to my job in a city.

    I too am a little aback by the Tea Baggers comment. While I don’t necessarily agree with everything they stood for, I was glad to see a movement out there that was angry with the way things were going in D.C. and in general in the USofA. After all, isn’t that we want, something to shake up the status quo?

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 6:47pm

    Reply to #7
    metaforge

    metaforge

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Don’t be too taken aback by the tea bagger comments.  JHK does this a lot in his own blog posts.  I don’t know why, but he believes the TP to be totally full of southern born-agains, and led by Sarah Palin.  He totally discounts the Ron Paul small gov’t wing of the movement.  I think it stems from his deep hatred of everything he perceives as southern (NASCAR, shooting culture, racists, “fatties”, tatoos), and continued faith in the left – despite some criticisms of Obama now emerging in his writings.   How one can still have faith in big government, especially knowing what Jim knows, is beyond me.  Obama backers have to go through a grieving process when they realize their man is not all that they thought he was going to be – it takes time, and is a process that goes through stages, similar to the stages of grief.  JHK is still somewhere in the middle in this process.

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 6:53pm

    Reply to #7
    robie robinson

    robie robinson

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I suspect there will be a number of “Steven Bullock”types in the suthren states as it has existed since before the War Between the States.

    robie(learnin’ to make my own bio-diesel)

     

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 7:03pm

    #8

    kemosavvy

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 57

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    The Foss is very strong with you Jedi Jim

    On a side note, I thought I was alone on the ‘China blows up theory’ over the fact that they are now faced with a predicament; grow exponentially and destroy all the resources needed for human life OR grow organically and watch as the economy crumbles away.

     

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 7:25pm

    #9
    JRB

    JRB

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Thanks for a taste (make that distaste) of JHK.  Don’t need to bother with any further contact.  Narrow mind exposed.

    – Jim

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 7:29pm

    #10

    Romans12.2

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Flippin terrific interview!

    Thanks again, from a born-again, Sarah Palin lovin’, tea party member who is also a great fan.Laughing

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 7:36pm

    #11

    goes211

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 287

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I find listening to Kunstler very interesting.  He is clearly a smart guy and I value his perspectives on societies problems.  However I have not purchased any of his books because I find his comments like “tea baggers” and “corn-pone Nazi” to be too offensive to be worthy of my support.  It is a real shame because I would like to hear more of his perspective.

    I also find it ironic that so many people accuse TP supporters of harboring prejudice and yet I have never heard anything from a major player in that movement that came near level of animosity ( or hatered ) JHK seems to show certain “groups”.  I can understand some of his anger, but at least for me, the derogatory name calling is just too much.

     

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 7:50pm

    #12
    britinbe

    britinbe

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    From an outside of the US view point, it appeared that the tea partymovement had been hijacked.  Certainly the international media I saw presented it as a platform for Palin and others of a similar “type” and as such nothing really new.

    Good interview, again his comments about social chaos wcho my own thoughts

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 8:11pm

    #13
    bluestone

    bluestone

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    JHK doesn’t pull any punches and Im sure he ends up offending a lot of people.  I don’t agree with everything he says, but he clearly understands the big picture and is one of the earliest authors to push forward the peak oil debate. 

    While he may be overly critical of the Tea Party, the Tea Party is not the peak oil party.  though the TP is pushing for fiscal responsibility of the govt, it is not proposing any plans on dealing with peak oil.  in the end, i believe that all the political parties (Democratic, Republican, and Tea party) will be irrelevant.

    Brian

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 8:47pm

    #14

    Poet

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    Posts: 976

    Kunstler's Tea Party

    Kunstler is right about the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party talks small government and fiscal responsibility. Great stuff. We need more of that.

    However, it doesn’t make efforts towards having a big tent. They definitely attract the racist and fundamentalist elements even if on the surface they repudiate those elements. Some prominent Tea Party activists who have made racist remarks have been kicked out (and for a recent movement, they’ve had a few), but in general the Tea Party doesn’t go out of its way to put out a welcome mat for minorities and strong segments of the membership are very intolerant of those who don’t believe in Christianity.

    I can see Blacks or Asians or Latinos in the GOP. I can even see the Log Cabin Republicans in the GOP (an exercise in futility, really). But I can’t see more than a handful of token minorities of any kind in the Tea Party. The Tea Party is overwhelmingly White and Christian and proud of it. It has strong support from those elements, but that also pushes others away. It polarizes the Republican Party even further.

    And this is coming from me, a minority, who is a registered Republican who both donated to and voted for Ron Paul in the 2008 Republican primary.

    Poet

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 9:08pm

    Reply to #3

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    “I don’t understand why you would seem to be insulting those of us who consider ourselves to be part of the “Tea Party” by using the derogatory phrase, “Tea Baggers”.  It is the principles of Limited Government and Fiscal Responsibility that will get the Government out of our daily lives and lead to the kind of local economy you are advocating.

    Richard”

    You just don’t get it…  Vote for them if it makes you feel good by all means, but there are zero political parties involved in the future.

    I predict the Disunited States of America.  And only local governments, as in town councils…

    JHK is bagging the TP with equal measure as the other two.

    Time to think differently.

    Personally, I LOVE the way Kunstler rattles cages, if only it woke people out of their stupor.

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 9:17pm

    #15
    Doug

    Doug

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    Posts: 1364

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    wrt the “teabagger” comments, the first time I heard that expression used in reference to the tea party, it was by a spokesman for the tea party.  It’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee at the time, else everything within range would have been sprayed.  Who can forget the oft shown iconic picture of the lady with the broad brimmed hat with teabags hanging all around the brimLaughing?

    Doug

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 9:26pm

    #16

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talking Kunstler: "The Word is ... No Bullsh*t!!!

    I totally embrace Jim’s full-on attack at all of the stinking irrelevant sh*t I’m sure he’s sickened in watching mainstream offer up for people to eat. I think it would be hard to find a more honest appraisal with where we’re at, and where we’re headed – None Too Many Strings – No Excuses – No Sugar-Coating – No Spoon-Fed Bullsh*t …

    One of my earliest experience’s of him was this TED Talks lecture : –

    The lecture was a draw for me to read his book The Long Emergency [< linked to first 70 pages], for which I suggest that it is compulsory reading for every member of this forum …

     

    Jim,

    A personal message to you – Thank you so much for all of your intended, and minuscule amount of non-intended offensiveness. It has been a joy to revel in, and I am a diehard fan!!!

    ~ VF ~

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 9:31pm

    #17

    EndGamePlayer

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 103

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I’ve listened to most of his books (though found them a bit boring after reading The Long Emergency – which I recommend). We also listen to his podcasts regularly. He shows us our vulnerablities so we can assess them.

    Agreed – he shakes people’s cages and those that live in a cage- need it. I do find people are more resilient than he describes them and though his assessment of national urban”ology” seems correct, he, like Ruppert and others, fail to see the human factor of change. Typically, they do not see the good in themselves – so they don’t see it in others.

    EGP

     

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 9:45pm

    #18
    FURFACE

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Kunstler is becoming repetitious. Actually, he has been for some time. And this nation has a tin ear for his important message(s), which is lamentable and why we are sleepwalking.

    He does have a brutally blunt and colorful way of describing phenomena, however.

    Share his views re the Chinese. The world seemed to think similar things about Japan in the 80’s as I recall. They hardly proved out to be a master race/supermen.

    Not too many here stateside were paying attention to Mao’s Cultural Revolution when China collectively (pun intended) went off the deep end in the 60’s or Mao’s attempts to manufacture steel in back yard foundries going tits up. It wasn’t until China well post Mao post 60’s  became capitalist that we began to look at it through any lens other than that of a Cold War enemy.

     

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 9:50pm

    #19

    SingleSpeak

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    Posts: 163

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Wow, I guess the strong reaction to the name-calling (tea baggers, Cracker Culture, etc.) on the CM site shouldn’t be a surprise. One thing that is appealing about Chris and this site, in general, is that there is usually respect for opposing opinions or members of groups with views that oppose or challenge that of “mainstream-Martenson-crash-course” views.

    Although the apparent prejudice against the Tea Party and southerners rubs me the wrong way, it does have a certain entertainment value that keeps me from tuning out completely. IMO it’s better than being totally PC and not even being able to express an opinion out of fear of offending someone.

    I find the Tea Party debate a little puzzling since it is not really a party, although I am aware that there are many, many, regional Tea Party groups. From my observations (and I’ve attended a couple of the local So. Cal protests), it’s a bunch of people from many parties (Republican, Libertarian, Independent, Democratic, etc.) that are tired of the increasing financial mess we have created and continue to create at all levels of government, local to federal. Of course each person has his own personal gripes, Read the Bills, End the Fed, No Earmarks, End the Wars, Stop Obamacare, etc., but you can’t really generalize too much since it’s not a party and there is no platform. Most of the Tea people that I have talked to are better educated on the Constitution than your average citizen, and that will usually scare the hell out of any big-government/mainstream media following types. As far as racial bigots are concerned, I believe there probably are some, but no more than in any other cross section of society.

    So call me a tea bagger if you like; I’ve been called worse. Just don’t steal from me and tell me it’s for the greater good of society. Theft is not a virtue, whether it’s done by gun point or by QE.

    SS

     

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 10:05pm

    #20

    idoctor

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 33

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Well said SingleSpeak. Nice to have the interview regardless if we all agree with it or not.

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 10:38pm

    #21

    thc0655

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    Joined: Apr 27 2010

    Posts: 1446

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I’ve read The Long Emergency and benefitted from it.  JHK’s comments and predictions here largely resonate with my own.  But I must take what he says with more than a grain of salt because of the blindness and bias some of his comments born out of self-righteous condescension illustrate.  Referring to whole groups of people (born agains and Tea Baggers) in a condescending manner indicating a personal conclusion that they are all hopeless is something we could us a lot less of now and in the long emergency.  It’s a shame JHK hasn’t met any born agains and Tea Baggers who in his mind might have something to offer and be worth partnering with.  There are plenty of buffoons in all groups, including religious groups, but also plenty of people with valuable perspectives, skills, knowledge, etc.  For instance, during the “1000 dark years after the fall of Rome,” weren’t much of the knowledge, values, and skills that were worth keeping alive kept alive by small Christian communities? Looking into the coming darkness, I would be significantly uncomfortable being JHK’s neighbor (or anyone like him) out of anxiety I would one day end up on his “disposable” list.

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  • Wed, Nov 17, 2010 - 11:24pm

    #22
    romesh3815

    romesh3815

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I cannot find any ways to “relocalize” megapolises like NY (which runs from Portland, Maine to Richmond, VA) or large cities like Seattle (100 miles long and 30 miles wide), Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, LA, Chicago, etc.  .  Even JHK is not talking about it. I don’t think, anybody is talking about it. And 50% of our population lives in mega cities. 

    Why is everybody avoiding the issue of large cities.

    Romesh Chander

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 12:19am

    #23
    plato1965

    plato1965

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    Posts: 86

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

     

     n1 jhk..

     

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uam8Wcqxkks

     

     

     “Perhaps the best and broadest of them
    was a most monstrous and mythical superstition of Adam Smith;
    a theological theory that providence had so made the world that men
    might be happy through their selfishness; or, in other words,
    that God would overrule everything for good, if only men could
    succeed in being sufficiently bad.

    The intellectuals in this epoch taught definitely and dogmatically that if only men would
    buy and sell freely, lend or borrow freely, sweat or sack freely,
    and in practice, steal or swindle freely, humanity would be happy.
    The Common Man soon found out how happy; in the Slums where they
    left him and in the Slump to which they led him.”   –  G. K . Chesterton..


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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 1:07am

    #24
    Peter Smith

    Peter Smith

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    “Tea Baggers,” Dixieland comments…what a bigot.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 1:21am

    Reply to #3

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 397

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Damnthematrix]JHK is bagging the TP with equal measure as the other two.

    Time to think differently.

    Personally, I LOVE the way Kunstler rattles cages, if only it woke people out of their stupor.[/quote]

    The problem is when you overtly offend people the way he does the message gets lost.  While I do believe people need a firm slap upside the head, the political/religious commentary will turn many people away.  I have several times thought about reading “The Long Emergency” and some of his other books, but the off-topic commentary and attacks on people just turns me off too much.  I read his blog on occasion and enjoyed this interview and appreciate his time.  It’s just I have to take JHK in small portions. Smile  It’s why I like CM, same basic message, no offending comments.

    [quote=SingleSpeak]Although the apparent prejudice against the Tea Party and southerners rubs me the wrong way, it does have a certain entertainment value that keeps me from tuning out completely. IMO it’s better than being totally PC and not even being able to express an opinion out of fear of offending someone.[/quote]

    I agree better to express an option than not at all, but does insulting people ever help?  It’s one thing to tell people their wrong and debate on the issues, but once you get to personal attacks and name calling there is not really a discussion anymore.

     

     

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 2:15am

    #25

    Wendy S. Delmater

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2009

    Posts: 1418

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Notice especially how the Sunbelt born-again crowd are perhaps the staunchest defenders of suburbia — and everything that goes with it, including car dependency and and huge volumes of oil imports from unreliable foreign nations. They conflate suburbia with the constitution and Jesus.  And, really, their belief system is so incoherent and ridiculous that it must really frighten the educated folk of other nations who see how we carry on.

    *clears throat* Ahem.

    As a South Carolina resident, may I–who agree with so much you said, James–suggest that you don’t live in the Deep South so you’ve been misinformed? You obviously have us confused with someone else. SC “gets” peak oil. We are dismantling nuclear weapons and burning them for electricity (Oconee nuke plant and four others) . The first nuclear plant to get a license to be built in the last 30 years is being built here. Not that we are “embacing suburbia” – my neighbors just cleared some land for goats, and coworkers offered us some of their chickens. We are restarting our beehives in the spring, and the one of the first hydropower plants in the country was for public transportation in the state capitol (and it’s still prodicing power.) Oh, we poor uneducated folks! Of course, I am just an engineer, my mother and mother-in law are chemical engineers, my father-in-law was a rocket scientist. Nevermind. Just don’t be surprised when we boors who are clinging to our God, guns, and religion manage to love our neighbors and work together in communities. There are idiots in every part of the world, but you’ve been watching too many Dukes of Hazard reruns. The idea that, quote,

    Dixieland is hopeless, what with their thrall to the born-agains and the misfortunes of their demographic (namely “Cracker Culture,” which celebrates ignorance and violence).

    is laughable to those who live here. Our “celebration” of the right to bear arms is rather like Mr. Miagi’s katate: “only for defense” (but we can hunt for our dinner if we need to). The South has fertile land, a long growing season, adequate water, low population density, navigable rivers, and people who are not ashamed to work work their hands. I expect some ugliness to seep out of places like Charleston (lots of people on the government dime there), and it will be tough, but we’ll eventually manage.

    Heck, we’re smart enough to read The Long Emergency and nice enough to like you anyhow, even when you say uninformed things about us.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 3:13am

    #26

    Rector

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 323

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I own The Long Emergency; enjoyed reading it; and am in full agreement with most of JHK’s social commentary.  He is obviously and intelligent and gifted man who understands the problem.  His work is a real contribution to the discussion at hand and has opened lots of eyes.  His work has had a real impact just when it is sorely needed.

    Sadly, he diminishes the strength of his arguments and distracts from the discussion by indulging his contempt for some aspects of our culture and country.  I find his comments about the South offensive, overly generalized, and inaccurate.  His attacks on Christianity are unnecessary and don’t add anything to the discussion.  In fact, they serve to alienate a portion of the population that he has more in common with than he may understand.

    There are lots of people in this country who I wish wouldn’t act like such morons.  I understand that this strata of people have always and will always exist.  I am thankful that I have been blessed to be educated and raised in a fine home where I learned to say a little less than I think, and to not hold whole groups of people in contempt.  Perhaps JHK should consider demonstrating his superior intellect by being smart enough to refrain from gratuitous profanity, name calling, and other sophomoric displays of arrogant contempt.  That twang of self-righteous arrogance is unbecoming of a man of his intellectual talent, and speaks volumes about his character.

    Too bad I didn’t spend the time it takes to write this post discussing the more thoughtful aspects of his points.  That’s the price we pay for releasing ourselves from the constraints of civil discourse.  Unfortunately, JHK will never lead anything or anyone because he has never learned self control and the basic rules of civility.  He will be forever a bitter sidelined critic of what the rest of us are doing.  Being smart (or right) just isn’t all that impressive anymore.

    Not to sound like a boot licker, but Dr. M is a credit to himself and his family for the way he consciously avoids this kind of invective and controversy while actually DOING SOMETHING about the problem.

    Otherwise, an interesting and informative post.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 4:33am

    Reply to #3
    Vedha Reddy

    Vedha Reddy

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    Posts: 4

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    There are a lot of enthusiastic people supporting the Tea Party movement however there are a lot more who are also very skeptical about it (mainly about the people funding it) Check out the link below:

     http://permaculture.org.au/2010/10/29/toxic-brew/

     

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 4:49am

    Reply to #14
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 35

    Re: Kunstler's Tea Party

    [quote=Poet]

    I can see Blacks or Asians or Latinos in the GOP. I can even see the Log Cabin Republicans in the GOP (an exercise in futility, really). But I can’t see more than a handful of token minorities of any kind in the Tea Party. The Tea Party is overwhelmingly White and Christian and proud of it. It has strong support from those elements, but that also pushes others away. It polarizes the Republican Party even further.

    [/quote]

    It saddens me to read you say this, Poet, since I perceive you as someone who is not normally swayed by media propaganda. There are black Tea Party leaders, but they aren’t given their due by the press and/or are dismissed as “tokens.” Meanwhile, predominantly white conservative districts in the Deep South just elected two black Tea Party candidates. The Tea Party also brought us our first Indian-American female governor, Nikki Haley. Don’t forget Marco Rubio in Florida, or the first Latina governor in New Mexico (I forgot her name).

    What I find ironic about these statements…and also JHK’s constant harping on the so-called racist “teabaggers,” is that where in the peak oil and prepper movements do you see anything from or for minorities for the most part? What well-known econobloggers are minorities…there aren’t even that many white women, much less women of color or black men? Who in this guest series on CM has not  been a white, upper middle class male, including James Howard Kunstler?

    And what pertinence does JHK or even Chris Martenson’s message have to do with minorities in the inner cities?

    So I guess if you are a middle class white Christian Southerner who happens to associate mostly with whites due to your socio-economic status (i.e., a “teabagger”), you are a racist, but if you are an atheist/agnostic upper middle class white (male) from the north who mostly happens to associate with whites due to your socio-economic status, you are not a racist?

    Let’s face it. The peak oil and prepper movements are by and large movements spawned and spurred on by white males, offering solutions for mainly established white upper middle class people who have something to lose.

    The rest – the minorities and poor in the cities, young single people, and especially single mothers – are simply going to be stuck in urban hell. And the message is – for those well-do-to whites – to get the hell away from these sprawling urban centers (and the minorities) as quickly as you can. Then go and create your new small town paradise away from the unwashed masses. (Except in JHK’s small town paradise, it’s a walkable one.)

    I’ve followed JHK for a long-time here and there, not closely, but he has inspired me in the past. His constant bigoted ranting about whites in the South and the “teabaggers” has turned me off recently, unfortunately. Yes, we get it. JHK doesn’t like poor white trash. He should just be upfront about it and say it that baldly.

    Unfortunately, we need people to look beyond their elitist bubbles. This peak oil / sustainability problem is one that effects everyone, and I for one thing we’d all do better by reaching out to the so-called unwashed masses rather than insulting them. 

    And to JHK, who thinks he’s somehow better than the dumb white teabaggers, I have to ask him, what’s he done lately to help minorities or solve the problems in the inner cities? The inner cities would seem to be good places for some urban renewal where it would be easier to have a walkable structure than the suburbs, which were primarily created by “white flight.” For someone so angered by the so-called closed-minded ignorant Southerners, I don’t see him being a leader when it comes to social justice or reaching out to underserved minority communities.

    In fact, I challenge everyone here to start thinking beyond the upper white middle class…or those few minorities such as Poet who apparently have the money and time to prep.  

    PS. I don’t mean to suggest by this post that CM or anyone here is actively racist but that it’s easy to forget that a lot of times, communities that are self-forming tend to be insular and selective by race. There simply isn’t a lot of effort in the prepper community yet to actively help minorities, especially the poor ones in the cities. So to suggest that the “teabaggers” are racist because they don’t hang out with a lot of black people is kind of silly when you look at the demographics of a site like this or JHK’s.

     

     

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 5:09am

    #27

    JAG

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 26 2008

    Posts: 240

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    “Straight Talk” and Politics? 

    Congratulations Dr. M, your the last proponent of Peak Oil Theory that isn’t personally controversial. I think I will have to nominate you for the “Cap’n Sheeple Man of The Year Award for next year too.

    Seriously, thank you for your objective approach and message….Jeff

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 5:12am

    #28

    Tom Page

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Sep 26 2008

    Posts: 266

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I missed James when he came through Portsmouth New Hampshire on his book tour recently, just a couple blocks from my office.  He did seem to pick up correctly one of his podcasts on the vibrancy of Portsmouth that apparently is so lacking in many other downtowns today.  His trashing of the Maine tourist crap buildout is probably deserved also.

    My take is James as a writer uses words in a different way and perhaps less literally than science oriented people like CM. 

    The general scenario outcomes he descibes above seem reasonable to expect though unpleasant.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 5:25am

    Reply to #3

    Stan Robertson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 07 2008

    Posts: 516

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vedha]

    There are a lot of enthusiastic people supporting the Tea Party movement however there are a lot more who are also very skeptical about it (mainly about the people funding it) 

    [/quote]

    Monbiot is not exactly an unbiased observer. It is a mantra of the far left that anyone with a contrary view is a lackey of nefarious big business. Tea baggers and astroturf are mere epithets intended to belittle the tea partiers, but in the wake of the recent elections it is apparent that they are the strongest grassroots movement of recent decades.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 6:22am

    #29

    nickbert

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2009

    Posts: 260

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    An odd thought just came to me…. namely, that James Howard Kunstler is the “Sam Kinison” of the Peak Oil movement Tongue out.  Controversial, excessively abrasive, even abusive on occasion… but there’s still wisdom to be found there.

    Even though like others I take issue with his trash-talking, I still think this Straight Talk segment was definitely worthwhile.  I rather liked his input on China; sure they are playing it smart in lots of ways, but they have a lot of challenges to overcome and their future is far from certain.

    – Nickbert

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 8:16am

    Reply to #14

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 976

    Re: Kunstler's Tea Party

    [quote=soulsurfersteph]

    It saddens me to read you say this, Poet, since I perceive you as someone who is not normally swayed by media propaganda. There are black Tea Party leaders, but they aren’t given their due by the press and/or are dismissed as “tokens.” Meanwhile, predominantly white conservative districts in the Deep South just elected two black Tea Party candidates. The Tea Party also brought us our first Indian-American female governor, Nikki Haley. Don’t forget Marco Rubio in Florida, or the first Latina governor in New Mexico (I forgot her name).

    [/quote]

    Yes, and Nikki Haley has retreated heavily to emphasize her Christianity whereas before, she actually talked about attending temple with her parents as well. (http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/06/05/nikki-haley-under-fire-stresses-christian-faith-over-sikh-herit/). If you aren’t White, you gotta show how very Christian you are. That’s just how it is.

    [quote=soulsurfersteph]

    What I find ironic about these statements…and also JHK’s constant harping on the so-called racist “teabaggers,” is that where in the peak oil and prepper movements do you see anything from or for minorities for the most part? What well-known econobloggers are minorities…there aren’t even that many white women, much less women of color or black men? Who in this guest series on CM has not  been a white, upper middle class male, including James Howard Kunstler?

    And what pertinence does JHK or even Chris Martenson’s message have to do with minorities in the inner cities?

    So I guess if you are a middle class white Christian Southerner who happens to associate mostly with whites due to your socio-economic status (i.e., a “teabagger”), you are a racist, but if you are an atheist/agnostic upper middle class white (male) from the north who mostly happens to associate with whites due to your socio-economic status, you are not a racist?

    Let’s face it. The peak oil and prepper movements are by and large movements spawned and spurred on by white males, offering solutions for mainly established white upper middle class people who have something to lose.

    The rest – the minorities and poor in the cities, young single people, and especially single mothers – are simply going to be stuck in urban hell. And the message is – for those well-do-to whites – to get the hell away from these sprawling urban centers (and the minorities) as quickly as you can. Then go and create your new small town paradise away from the unwashed masses. (Except in JHK’s small town paradise, it’s a walkable one.)

    I’ve followed JHK for a long-time here and there, not closely, but he has inspired me in the past. His constant bigoted ranting about whites in the South and the “teabaggers” has turned me off recently, unfortunately. Yes, we get it. JHK doesn’t like poor white trash. He should just be upfront about it and say it that baldly.

    Unfortunately, we need people to look beyond their elitist bubbles. This peak oil / sustainability problem is one that effects everyone, and I for one thing we’d all do better by reaching out to the so-called unwashed masses rather than insulting them. 

    And to JHK, who thinks he’s somehow better than the dumb white teabaggers, I have to ask him, what’s he done lately to help minorities or solve the problems in the inner cities? The inner cities would seem to be good places for some urban renewal where it would be easier to have a walkable structure than the suburbs, which were primarily created by “white flight.” For someone so angered by the so-called closed-minded ignorant Southerners, I don’t see him being a leader when it comes to social justice or reaching out to underserved minority communities.

    [/quote]

    I highly agree with you.

    [quote=soulsurfersteph]

    In fact, I challenge everyone here to start thinking beyond the upper white middle class…or those few minorities such as Poet who apparently have the money and time to prep.

    [/quote]

    Actually you have to take me out of the “money and time to prep” group. My first post here caused quite a ruckus (Erik T, Dr. Martenson, etc. all weighed in) because I hungered for things that could be done by the majority of people without the investment money, the land, the resources, or even membership dues, and felt so much of this site was geared towards members. (I’d post a link here, but I believe the blog entry from March no longer exists.)

    I think some of the offerings since then (especially the “What Should I Do?” series by Dr. Martenson and the follow-ups by SagerXX and Farm Brown, etc.) have been very helpful for those of us with less means. A few of the practical food and water things, I can do. Other things, like getting my hands on physical gold or silver, I can’t afford. But it’s good to have a roadmap. (Hopefully shit won’t hit the fan for a few more years so I have time to prepare, because right now I’m the sole breadwinner for my family and we live in a one-bedroom apartment in suburbia.)

    [quote=soulsurfersteph]

    PS. I don’t mean to suggest by this post that CM or anyone here is actively racist but that it’s easy to forget that a lot of times, communities that are self-forming tend to be insular and selective by race. There simply isn’t a lot of effort in the prepper community yet to actively help minorities, especially the poor ones in the cities. So to suggest that the “teabaggers” are racist because they don’t hang out with a lot of black people is kind of silly when you look at the demographics of a site like this or JHK’s.

    [/quote]

    Personally, I never thought of PeakProsperity.com or anyone here as being racist at all. I feel this is a safe place for people of all religious or ethnic or even political backgrounds to be. This is probably the safest of all the prep communities – and I’ve been lurking around prep sites and chatrooms since the Y2K/Armageddon community days. Here, anyone can join, anyone can comment, and either the moderators are really good or people here just refrain from spouting off racist or religious supremacist ideology.

    I could say that I would love to see posts from a minority, poor, urban perspective. However, as this is a community, we need to do it ourselves. We need to recruit and invite, not just make it safe.

    Here’s an example: As a minority living in America, I’ve experienced the other end of racist and religious supremacy. So in a “shit hit the fan scenario” I’d like to be where there is a large plurality of races and beliefs. Southern California and the Pacific Northwest would be my preferred location and I wouldn’t want to be living in certain parts of this country (especially rural, Southern parts) when that time comes.

    I’m sorry if I seem prejudiced, but I won’t believe you if you tell me people really won’t persecute me or my family for racial or religious reasons in a time of deep economic and social breakdown. If you’re part of the majority, it’s simply not a worry for you. If you’re part of the minority, it’s not just a worry, it may become a life or death decision and you simply can’t afford to rely on verbal assurances or faith in humanity. If we could rely on that, a lot of folks here wouldn’t have guns for self defense, right?

    So right off the bat, it’s unlikely that I’ll be retreating with my family to a homestead and growing my own food. Instead, my focus will have to be on building resiliency in an urban/suburban environment where most of my fellow minorities reside, and working on building community and security in that kind of environment. I’m somewhat encouraged by Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre’s writings. He emphasizes survival living in a city environment as social order breaks down. (He actually criticizes those who think they’ll survive on a remote farm – if you have crops and appear to be doing well then you likely have a stockpile of supplies or firearms to take, help is far away, you and your family can be ambushed and kept for days.)

    But I don’t really talk about survival as a minority or survival in a suburban/urban environment because I don’t really feel that there are others in the same boat that I am. So the issue isn’t really brought up. I think you need a critical mass to develop before those topics and discussions can flow more easily.

    Poet

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 8:40am

    #30

    debu

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 16 2009

    Posts: 36

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    JH Kuntsler has some interesting things to say and often says them well. Unfortunately, his message is tarnished by, shall we say, his lack of tolerance on certain issues.
    This was brought home to me by some particularly offensive remarks he made about Palestinians in the course the IDF’s appalling Operation “Cast Lead” in Gaza two years ago.

    Since then I have chosen to largely ignore him.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 10:32am

    #31
    britinbe

    britinbe

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 54

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    JHK grabs attention when he talks or writes with the language he uses.  His main failing for me is that he talks too much in generalities (that some people don’t really like), these generalities address some of the stereo types and as an expat who has lived in a number of different countries, stereotypes do exist but the brush he uses to paint with is too broad.  However, for me there can also be a failing in the audience to listen to the words and not the message. Let’s face it, style in political and corporate circles is everything, content is secondary, but the general population focuses on the style and words. For me, his message is as clear as CM, Stoneleigh etc etc

     

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 11:52am

    #32

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I’m fully impressed!!! I mean, compare these :-

    Straight Talk With Mike Shedlock – Posted 23 days ago – 2545 reads – 27 posts

    Straight Talk With Steve Keen – Posted 10 days ago – 1659 reads – 19 posts

    Straight Talk With James Howard Kunstler – Posted 20 hours ago – 2147 reads – 40 posts

    Someone is now going to pipe up and say – “… but quantity over quality?” Yeh, well politically correct got us into this mess!!!

    Britinbe’s post above this, nails the issue perfectly.

    I want my information as offensive as it need be for people to have a very good look in the mirror, visualize a leading culprit of this sh*t-storm, and act with urgency, without first passing blame onto others. After all, this thread is going to look like a quaint little children’s tea party, compared to what goes on outside your own front doors, sooner rather than later, while the real message here was missed with the act of bashing the messenger.

    Politically Correct?

    Here :-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-JxA9Rvs8I

    ~ VF ~

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 12:03pm

    Reply to #25
    TNdancer

    TNdancer

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 20 2008

    Posts: 18

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=safewrite]

     

    Heck, we’re smart enough to read The Long Emergency and nice enough to like you anyhow, even when you say uninformed things about us.

    [/quote]

     

    Amen…….From another gun toting, under educated ( me-MS, wife, PhD ) forty acres and a mule, ( 100a and a tractor ) debt free, self reliant lifestyle “cracker”.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 12:30pm

    #33

    goes211

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 18 2008

    Posts: 287

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    There is a difference between being PC and bigoted?  He has every right to say things that are not PC, and if that was all he was doing, I doubt it would be causing this fuss.  If someone that supported the Arizona immigration law started ranting about all the “spics” or “wetbacks” that were ruining his state, would you call that being non-PC or would it be something else?  I would call it racist.  If you can’t see that JHK is doing something that is very similar, then your ideological blinders are on.

    Even that being said I am glad he did this “Straight Talk”.  So far all the straight talks have been thought provoking.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 12:52pm

    #34
    r

    r

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 02 2008

    Posts: 44

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    It’s possible to create a sustainable community within a city. There is, for example, a small but growing urban farming movement.  For buildings that can support the load, a closed-loop farm can be put on roof-tops, as this one in Brooklyn, NY:  http://rooftopfarms.org/

    There are benefits:  these farms are protected from everything but the weather, you get to live in a secure building, your gold dealer’s vaults are in walking distance, etc., and a city like New York will probably the last to crumble.  And you get to reach out to all kinds of people; you are not isolated (except for the Internet?).

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 12:57pm

    #35
    VeganDB12

    VeganDB12

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jul 18 2008

    Posts: 109

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Wow. I appreciate Kunstler.  I would not choose to use his language but that is his right.

    I live in the NYC metro area and have a strong interest in urban preps. 

    My take (and it may be wrong) is that many urban poor are all too familiar with the deprivations of no heat, no electricity and limited food that may come with peak oil and economic collapse.   I think they have taught me a thing or two about resilience. I have learned something about what is real cohesive community from  my friend who grew up in the impoverished inner ciy-they had to look out for each other in every sense of the word in a very dangerous area.  They always knew who their neighbors were and who they could count on.

    I think one of the scary things about being in the city relates to the risks of overcrowding leading to mass violence; having lived in a time of  riots in the 70’s it is not something I look forward to seeing again.

    I hope we do facilitate more discussion on urban preps.

    Just a few thoughts worth about what you paid for them.

    Denise

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 1:19pm

    #36

    Chris Martenson

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 07 2007

    Posts: 4542

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Can I just say how proud I am of this community?  Every generation has its H.L. Mencken, pushing the envelope of social commentary, often stretching and exaggerating things in order to get the point across, and this is how I view much of Jim Kunstler’s work.

    What I’m proud of is that people here who were offended or felt unfairly targeted by his words explained themselves in a fully rational, calm, and logical manner.  That’s rare and it means we have something almost unheard of in the virtual world.

    Yes, getting here took both time and steady moderating, but here we are, with a community that can be trusted to handle the bumps and vicissitudes calmly and with a hefty dose of constructiveness.  “I might not agree, but here’s why and here’s the impact and here’s another way for you to consider.”   

    So thank you for participating, noticing, and helping to create the very safest, most constructive, helpful, and useful place on the web to discuss some of the most difficult material possible and work through this enormous transition and all that it entails.

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 1:45pm

    Reply to #36

    M.E.

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 6

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Yup, every so often our collective tit gets caught in the ringer, but if we just unwind it and settle down, we can get back to doing the laundry.

    Thanks for the interview.  I liked it and think you are a funny writer.  In league with MH and VF, two of my favorites.  Laughing

     

     

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 1:57pm

    Reply to #33

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=goes211]

    There is a difference between being PC and bigoted?  He has every right to say things that are not PC, and if that was all he was doing, I doubt it would be causing this fuss.  If someone that supported the Arizona immigration law started ranting about all the “spics” or “wetbacks” that were ruining his state, would you call that being non-PC or would it be something else?  I would call it racist.  If you can’t see that JHK is doing something that is very similar, then your ideological blinders are on.

    Even that being said I am glad he did this “Straight Talk”.  So far all the straight talks have been thought provoking.

    [/quote]

    Goes,

    Lets establish a few ideologies :-

    [quote=]

    Anarcho-pacifism, Black anarchism, Illegalism, Left anarchism, Post-anarchism, Post-colonial anarchism, Post-left anarchy, Provo (movement), Right-anarchism, Anarcho-primitivism, Green anarchism, Agorism, Anarcho-capitalism, Freiwirtschaft, Geolibertarianism, Inclusive Democracy, Individualist anarchism, Market anarchism, Mutualism, Participatory economics, Buddhist anarchism, Christian anarchism, Islamic anarchism, Jewish anarchism, Anarchist communism, Anarcha-feminism, Anarcho-syndicalism, Collectivist anarchism, Platformism, Social anarchism, Social ecology, Autarchism, Autonomism, Indigenism, Infoanarchism, Insurrectionary anarchism, Makhnovism, National-Anarchism, Panarchism, Platformism, Propertarianism, Voluntaryism, Workerism, Conservatism, Conservative liberalism, Cultural conservatism, Liberal conservatism, Libertarian conservatism, National conservatism, Neoconservatism, Paleoconservatism, Social conservatism, Agrarianism, Bioconservatism, Black conservatism, Civic Conservatism, Christian democracy, Communitarianism, Fiscal conservatism, Green conservatism, Latin Conservatism, Right-libertarianism, Roman Catholic conservatism, Theoconservatism, Traditionalist conservatism, Anarcho-primitivism, Bright green environmentalism, Deep ecology, Eco-capitalism, Ecofascism, Ecofeminism, Ecologism, Eco-socialism, Environmentalism, Free-market environmentalism, Green anarchism, Green conservatism, Green liberalism, Green libertarianism, Green politics, Green municipalism, Green syndicalism, Social ecology, Anarcha-feminism, Cultural feminism, Ecofeminism, Feminism, Individualist feminism, Lesbian feminism, Liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, Masculism, Postmodern feminism, Psychoanalytic feminism, Radical feminism, Separatist feminism, Socialist feminism, Womanism, Religious feminism, Christian feminism, Islamic feminism, Jewish feminism, Post-Christian Feminism, Classical liberalism, Conservative liberalism, Economic liberalism, Liberal feminism, Liberalism, Market liberalism, Neoliberalism, Ordoliberalism, Paleoliberalism, Social liberalism, Agorism, Anarcho-capitalism, Geolibertarianism, Green libertarianism, Left-libertarianism, Libertarian socialism, Libertarianism, Minarchism, Objectivism, Paleolibertarianism, Radicalism, Republicanism, Anarcho-liberalism, Cultural liberalism, Green liberalism, Individualist feminism, Progressivism, National liberalism, Internationalism (politics), Liberal nationalism, Nationalism, Romantic nationalism, Austrofascism, Brazilian Integralism, Clerical fascism, Falangism, Fascism, Greek fascism, Italian fascism, Iron Guard, Japanese fascism, Nazism, Neo-Fascism, Rexism, Ustaše, Zbor, Gaullism, Irish Nationalism and Irish Republicanism, Peronism, Baathism, Zionism, Labor Zionism, Religious Zionism, Revisionist Zionism, African socialism, Arab socialism, Pan-Africanism, Pan-Arabism, Pan-Iranism, Pan-European nationalism, Arab nationalism, Black nationalism, Chinese nationalism, Corporatism, Patriotism, Producerism, National syndicalism, Queer nationalism, White nationalism, Left-wing nationalism, Religious feminism, Religious socialism, Buddhist anarchism, Buddhist socialism, Christian anarchism, Christian communism, Christian democracy, Christian feminism, Christian socialism, Clerical fascism, Dominionism, Liberation Theology, Political Catholicism, Popolarismo, Hindu nationalism, Islamic anarchism, Islamic democracy, Islamic socialism, Islamism, Jewish anarchism, Jewish feminism, Religious Zionism, Khalistan movement, Socialism, Austromarxism, Bernsteinism, Democratic socialism, Fabianism, Reformism, Revisionism, Market socialism,, Neosocialism, Social democracy, Third way, State socialism, African socialism, Arab socialism, Bolivarianism, Labor Zionism, Melanesian socialism, Socialism with Chinese characteristics, Autonomist Marxism, Castroism, Council communism, De Leonism, Eurocommunism, Guevarism, Hoxhaism, Kautskyism, Left communism, Leninism, Luxemburgism, Maoism, Marxism, Marxism-Leninism, Marxist feminism, Marxist humanism, Neo-marxism, Orthodox Marxism, Situationism, Anti-Revisionism (or Stalinism), Titoism, Trotskyism, Western Marxism, Anarcho-syndicalism, Collectivist anarchism, Communist Anarchism, Eco-socialism, Social anarchism, Social ecology, Individualist anarchism, Mutualist anarchism, Distributism, Guild socialism, Libertarian socialism, National Socialism, Syndicalism, Utopian socialism, National Bolshevism …

    [/quote]

    See that??? what a soup!!!!!!!!

    Lots and lots of bigotted possibilities and offendable’s in there then???

    I also wonder how many of those ideologies above would sustain without an input of oil???

    I read recently that central London, on any given day, has 230+ different languages spoken within it. I wonder how many ideologies that covers?

    The present globally succeeding ideology is plainly f***ing us, and I feel right with the world that Jim is offending people. May he continue many years beyond his 62, and offend many many more before he is done …

    ~ VF ~

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 2:19pm

    #37

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Chris,

    Oh yes, H.L.Mencken was a hoot wasn’t he?

    Right up there for Kunstler to carry the torch further on : –

    My senses are telling me that the perpetuity of provocation needs greater involvement than the sharpened proding end of a bluntening stick …

    To Wit …

    Paul

     

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 6:35pm

    Reply to #14
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 16 2010

    Posts: 35

    Re: Kunstler's Tea Party

    [quote=Poet]

    Here’s an example: As a minority living in America, I’ve experienced the other end of racist and religious supremacy. So in a “shit hit the fan scenario” I’d like to be where there is a large plurality of races and beliefs. Southern California and the Pacific Northwest would be my preferred location and I wouldn’t want to be living in certain parts of this country (especially rural, Southern parts) when that time comes.

    I’m sorry if I seem prejudiced, but I won’t believe you if you tell me people really won’t persecute me or my family for racial or religious reasons in a time of deep economic and social breakdown. If you’re part of the majority, it’s simply not a worry for you. If you’re part of the minority, it’s not just a worry, it may become a life or death decision and you simply can’t afford to rely on verbal assurances or faith in humanity. If we could rely on that, a lot of folks here wouldn’t have guns for self defense, right?

    [/quote]

    Having lived in Southern California for many many years, I will agree with you on the diversity there. The Pacific Northwest, not so much. I lived in Seattle for a year after living in Los Angeles for a while, and I was completely struck by how “white” Seattle was. Sure, there is a large crop of Asians/East Asians living on the east side working for Microsoft, but very few blacks and even fewer hispanics. This may have changed since 2003 but I doubt by much. Part of the reason why I moved back to SoCal after a year in Seattle is that I missed authentic Mexican food. Try to find a real taco in Seattle – you can’t!

    My fiance of many years ago was Asian and he grew up in an area of Michigan that was also fairly white and not particularly diverse. He got so used to be around white people that he told me that once he looked in his reflection in a shop window as he was passing by and was reminded (and surprised) that he was not white! His parents moved from Michigan to a very Chinese suburb of Los Angeles…I stayed there for sometime and would go grocery shopping where *I* was the minority and the only white person in the store. It was an interesting experience…though I felt out of place, I never felt hostility or alienation. Just curiosity.

    His parents had been transplants from Taiwan. He grew in America and was “American.” He had no interest in living in an Asian enclave…but I also doubt he would have felt comfortable living in the South. However, I have to wonder how much of this “meme” of it not being friendly for minorities in the South is self-selective and based on stereotyping of the white people in the South. 

    Having just moved to Texas I am once again struck by the number of white people – but I’ve not met anyone who is a frothing at the mouth bigot and certainly I’ve met people who are far more enlightened than the Texas stereotypes might suggest. My family (a northern family) was freaking out that I was moving to Texas. They thought I’d be living in redneck land. Well, maybe there are parts of Texas that are redneck land but Austin isn’t it.

    I have to say honestly that my concern about staying in Los Angeles is that there has been so much stirred up to try to pit race against race lately that I’m not sure if I’d be safe there as a single white female. Part of the reason I get upset at the stereotyping of the “teabaggers” as racist is that I feel it just creates unnecessary racial animosity. It makes minorities suspicious and fearful of white people, when maybe they don’t need to be. I remember the riots in 92…I moved there right after. Blacks and Koreans were having a war. Then it was black gangs vs. hispanic gangs. The hispanic handyman who worked on my apartment building was shot in a drive-by in the street next to mine in the 90s…for no good reason other than that he was hispanic.

    So what is the purpose of these constant news stories that the Tea Party is “racist”? When, if you look at the demographics of Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, Stewart’s rally was just as white if not more so? I have to wonder if someone is not purposefully trying to start riots and race wars, with the Tea Party people painted as the demons. Maybe that sounds too conspiracy, but in the least, I think wantonly stereotyping a group of people based on race and financial wherewithal is irresponsible. I.e., we should not be bigots and presume that blue collar whites are mindless, hateful morons. It serves no useful purpose, it creates unnecessary racial fears, and demonizes a large segment of America.

    JHK has a decent-sized podium and should do better things with it, IMHO.

    That said, I do hear what you are saying about wanting to live in a diverse area. While I do understand (though maybe I cannot completely)…it seems like there are self-fulfilling prophecies going on with race in this country with people self-segregating.. Could you find harmony and friends with a group of white southerners? Probably, if you looked and were open. Would you feel as immediately comfortable with them as you might with people from your own socio-ethnic background? Probably not.

    What’s the solution? I don’t know, but I’d like to start with the idea that people are generally well-meaning. Maybe that’s naive and idealistic of me, but I think the reverse, i.e., assuming people are hateful, is simply not productive. JHK is being divisive for no good reason than I suspect he’s angry and needs a scapegoat, and therefore must blame “crackers” for the fact that his utopian walkable society isn’t here yet. Hey, I want a walkable society too, but I see just as many suburbs up north as I do down south.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 6:57pm

    Reply to #14

    Wendy S. Delmater

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 13 2009

    Posts: 1418

    Re: Kunstler's Tea Party

    Steph, Poet:

    South Carolina’s population is half black, half white. At least in the region I live in, black or white does not seem to enter into our thought process. It’s just not there. Color-blind hiring is the rule around here: it’s all based on merit. I think it has a lot to do with the military tradition here: the armed forces were integrated long before the South was. Almost half of the city of Columbia IS Fort Jackson, and nearby Sumter has Shaw Air Force Base. The Marine’s Paris Island is off of Beaufort, SC. We have a huge retired military population, too.

    There are still racists down here; I met one of my husband’s former clients and he warned me off the guy as he was a rabid racist. I think it’s significant that the man was from up north. I worked for ten years in NY City. In my experience there are many more racists in the northeast than the southeast. This is why I suggested JHK had been misinformed: sterotypes. My own daughter in law, who is black, will not come down here because she is afraid of dealing with “Southern racism.” The northern stuff is a lot worse.  

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 7:05pm

    Reply to #3

    rhare

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Mar 29 2009

    Posts: 397

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vedha]There are a lot of enthusiastic people supporting the Tea Party movement however there are a lot more who are also very skeptical about it (mainly about the people funding it) [/quote]

    I don’t buy that it’s astroturf.  I think that’s just the progressive left at a discrediting attempt, but I don’t think that matters and even if it is being funded by Koch, does that matter?

    What matters is the issues.  While I’m certain not everyone that says they are a Tea Partier would agree with everything in these six videos I think they are probably relatively representative: Small Government, Problem w/Elitism, Wealth Creation, Natural Law, Gun Rights, Immigration

    I know my big issue and one that I hear from most of the Tea Party/conservative types I hang out with is loss of Individual freedom, out of control government spending, and outright lying about out current situation (energy, debt).  I identify more with the Ron Paul movement that the Tea Party but they share many of the same stances on issues facing us today.  What I’m really freaked out about is why is the Left not at least protesting violently on loss of freedom and the on-going wars?  It’s the fact that people fight over who pays for things rather than on the actions or issues that is really frustrating.

    While I’m not sure I would want the government actually involved in the large infrastructure projects JHK & CM recommend since I thinik they would find someway to really screw it up, I would certainly feel a lot better if at least those issues were discussed.  Instead we have politicians trying to out do each other on who can promise more stuff (mostly non-productive) to get elected or stay in office.

     

     

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 7:28pm

    Reply to #32

    nickbert

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2009

    Posts: 260

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    I want my information as offensive as it need be for people to have a very good look in the mirror, visualize a leading culprit of this sh*t-storm, and act with urgency, without first passing blame onto others. After all, this thread is going to look like a quaint little children’s tea party, compared to what goes on outside your own front doors, sooner rather than later, while the real message here was missed with the act of bashing the messenger.

     

    [/quote]

    VF,

    It’s hard not to sense your deep frustration with the resistance to the messages of Peak Oil and status quo unsustainability, and the need that SOMETHING needs to be done.  But we should ask, does such offensiveness usually have the effect you describe?  From my experience with most people, they will take highly offensive remarks as an excuse to dismiss the messenger, presumably because it offers them an easy out: “Well he/she is a total ****, so they’re not worth listening to”.  As Chris just said, people responding rationally and calm in the face of that is rare.  Most get to put up their emotional barriers of indignation and stop listening because they’re able to rationalize it all down to the messenger being a prick.  Offer an easy path to avoid thinking about difficult subjects, and most will take it.  It’s not rational or right but that’s how many operate, and anyone who is looking to impart a difficult message should keep that in mind if they want to achieve their goal.  I wouldn’t dispute his right to be offensive (hey his guest-post his choice) if that’s what he really wants, I just think that he does so at the risk of it working counter to his other aims.  As long as he’s ok with that and doesn’t turn around to complain “the message is falling on deaf ears”, so be it. 

    Now I do agree that offensive statements can be a means to increasing awareness and pushing the envelope, but I find that is more often the exception than the rule.  To pull it off properly requires a certain level of artistry and skill as well as knowing where and when it works best and how to use it.  It’s not about being PC, but rather about the right tool for the right job.  George Carlin was a true artist in that respect.  JHK… well, on occasion he manages it, but much more often misses the mark IMO.  Rather he usually sounds like he has the Sith Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars as his writing & speech coach.

    “Good, good…. your anger and contempt makes you powerful!  Harness your hatred and use it to strike down your enemies!  Something something ‘The Dark Side’… er I mean ‘Peak Oil'” Wink

    As I said there’s still wisdom there, I just see him not reaching his full potential.

    – Nickbert

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 9:55pm

    #38

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Nick,

    Have you read The Party’s Over by Richard Heinberg? I read it over a number of days because I often fell asleep reading it. Richards great. I mean, go to the back of the book, pull the links and search the web and you’ll gather together lots and lots of facts. Jim Kunstler on the other hand, drew me into reading The Long Emergency in a few hours sitting, while gripping a part of my anatomy that kept shrinking deep within me, falsetto style!!!

    Kunstler was just the ticket for me. If he didn’t work for you, GREAT!!! You’re different. GOOD!!! What a boring world if everyone were the same???

    I get the message that Chris Martenson advocates in spades. The Six Stages Of Awareness is perfect. But sometimes, don’t you just wanna go up to the top of the mount with a bottle of “Jack” and scream your lungs out?????????

    Is that out of control? Yes.

    Can you justify everything? No.

    From a private message I’ve just had, I’m in full agreement that Kunstler is no Hunter S Thompson, even if he’s a wanna be. Hunter blew his brains out a coupla years ago, so Kunstler’s doing way better than a corpse. Chris’s reference to kunstler being the H.L Mencken of our day is beautiful, on the expression of the exaggeration marker for our day and age.

    Kunstler is giving lecture’s, getting interviews with Max Keiser, writing his blog and getting invited to write a Straight Talk post for cm.com. He’s still talking left/right paradigm and voted for Obama for Christs sake, but have an opinion about anything and a complete nobody starts writing about you as though they’re a professional critic???

    I’d say from the links provided in this post alone is validation enough that what he is doing is working just perfectly. Am I doing something along the lines of Kunstler/Martenson? Yes. It is damned hard work. In two hours in front of an audience it is like a draining mental workout. If you’ve to waylay social critics on top of your game, doubley tiring. If these are the tools you possess, you do with them what you will …

    I can rationalize that those that rationalize too much come over as a prick too Nick. I can ascribe to the idea that the general public is in a consensus trance as that of a drooling coma in regard to Peak Oil. Last Thursday, UK TV broadcast this almighty slap in the face on the financial crisis. Should the editor have put the theme tune to Thirty Something to soften the message for digestion I wonder?

    How nice are we going to be playing this when your neighbour is robbing you at gunpoint?

    Yes, I get you. Too much reality. Calm your message Paul, people will be switching off …

    ~ VF ~

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 10:12pm

    Reply to #38
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 16 2010

    Posts: 35

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    Yes, I get you. Too much reality. Calm your message Paul, people will be switching off …

    [/quote]

    It’s not about too much reality…it’s about too much hostility. There’s a huge difference.

    PS Nickbert, LOL at the Emperor Palpatine reference. 🙂

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 10:49pm

    Reply to #38

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=soulsurfersteph]

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    Yes, I get you. Too much reality. Calm your message Paul, people will be switching off …

    [/quote]

    It’s not about too much reality…it’s about too much hostility. There’s a huge difference.

    [/quote]

    Steph,

    If I read in the news tomorrow here in the UK that an organised march of 10 million Hostile American’s on Washington, took back their country from an incumbent Government, returning full control into their hands of their money supply, I needn’t bother filling my day teaching people, because they’ll finally be getting the Reality of the message in spades.

    Mainstream News isn’t news. Comedy shows and comedians are supplying more researched value than mainstream journalism. What the F*** is that all about??? Why in the hell is Martenson and Kunstler becoming such revolutionaries to the cause of waking people up Steph. Are we writing here for amusement and entertainment, or are we trying to draw a majoritive consensus to a sleeping public …

    I’m as twitchy as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, and if a hostile hurled half-a-house-brick metaphorical missile can have a dramatic effect at waking up caged grey matter, I’ve a wheel-barrow load, and would really appreciate the help – “DUCK!!!!!!!”

    ~ VF ~

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  • Thu, Nov 18, 2010 - 10:53pm

    #39

    bob980

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 27 2010

    Posts: 16

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I have been, still am and mostly likely will remain a huge fan of JHK.  I do not agree with all of his predictions but I find them hugely thought-provoking and helpful to me in formulating my own so that I can (hopefully) plan effectively. I will continue to follow him from the “agricultural backwater” of Georgia.

    Having given praise . . .,  get off Dixieland! We have survived as a backwater for centuries and it seems like pretty much everywhere is going to become a backwater — at best.  Sure, there are plenty of idiots here in the South but there are plenty in Upstate New York too! I have my 40 acres and am looking for some good mules!

    RLJ

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 1:29am

    #40
    ao

    ao

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    Posts: 882

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    What I find amusing about JHK is how he hates suburbs with such a passion.  I agree with a good part of what he says but I have a hard time taking him completely seriously when he so vehemently spews the anti-suburb venom.  I keep wondering if some dark event occurred at June and Ward Cleaver’s house during his formative boyhood years that evoked this such unrelenting loathing.  Otherwise, it’s great to see his contribution here.

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 2:03am

    #41
    earthwise

    earthwise

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 277

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

     

    The thing I find disappointing about the  “teabagger” comments etc., is that it added nothing beneficial or positive to his commentary. That kind of gratuitous vitriol is nothing but a cheap shot amidst what otherwise would have been a very worthwhile read. It tends to discredit his overall message, which is too bad. When we consider all of the input from the contributors in the “What Should I Do” series, the other guest posts, as well as Dr. Martenson’s input, we see these offensive comments stick out like a sore thumb. It seems out of place here at CM.com which is a tribute to this site. What’s unfortunate is that it’s totally unnecesary.

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 2:13am

    #42
    lotsofquestions

    lotsofquestions

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    Posts: 0

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    This is the only post on CM that I have ever been socially offended by.   Thanks to CM for going to great lengths to remove emotion and slurs while reporting the truth.  JHK has no place on this website until he can make his case without slamming the beliefs of others. 

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 2:34am

    #43

    Robert Gardner

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 24 2008

    Posts: 68

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

      It was really JHK that provided me with my wakeup call. I read the Long Emergency back in 2006 I believe and talk about a sobering epiphany. So, even though I disagree with some of JHK’s opinions on some subjects, i would not stop listening to him just to escape hearing a few things I don’t like. He is spot on about many things and some of the most important of those things deal with our fallible human nature.

      With regard to the Tea Party, I believe their marginalization has been engineered by the MSM and by both major parties. I have said it before; both parties are actually two heads to the same beast. They put on a good show arguing with each other and nipping at each others neck but the body seems to move in one direction. In any case, the Tea Partyn is a threat to the status quo and so are a threat to monied interests. It is pretty amazing how the message of the ‘TEA’ Party got crucified. All it ever meant was ‘Taxed Enough Already’ (TEA). At least that is what I understood.

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 3:06am

    #44
    HCSKnight

    HCSKnight

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    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Wow.  Talk about a left field socialist/communist kook.  Seriously, the if I were President answers confirm it.  Granted some of Kunstler’s points I agree with, i.e. investigation of bank CEOs, however this piece is definitely a disappointment for what I’ve seen on CM so far….. 

    AMDG

    HCSKnight

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 5:08am

    #45

    nickbert

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2009

    Posts: 260

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    He’s still talking left/right paradigm and voted for Obama for Christs sake, but have an opinion about anything and a complete nobody starts writing about you as though they’re a professional critic??? [/quote]

    I’m a complete nobody, huh?  Or did you mean one of the other posters here?  Well gee, thanks for that.  I wasn’t aware that constructive criticism needs to come only from people who matter  (Now I could swear I heard someone say something earlier about “attacking the messenger”…)

    Yes, I get you. Too much reality. Calm your message Paul, people will be switching off …

    Stop trying to twist my motives and words into something they’re not.  My post was not about political correctness or too much reality or making everyone the same.  It is about dealing with the world as it is (not what we think it SHOULD be), and knowing what your true goals and priorities are and acting in harmony with those priorities.  That kind of hostility may wake up or attract some, but how many more are unnecessarily turned away?  I understand well the merits to an in-your-face approach, but there’s much more to that approach than hostility.  Judging just from the number of comments in this thread speaking out against said hostility, I’d say I have a case.  Should people be able to stay level-headed enough to look past that to find the kernels of wisdom… why yes!  But most don’t.  Oh well, the real world disappoints again, and so we have to work with what is and not what should be.

    – Nickbert

    (edited for grammar)

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 5:13am

    Reply to #40

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=ao]

    What I find amusing about JHK is how he hates suburbs with such a passion.  I agree with a good part of what he says but I have a hard time taking him completely seriously when he so vehemently spews the anti-suburb venom.  I keep wondering if some dark event occurred at June and Ward Cleaver’s house during his formative boyhood years that evoked this such unrelenting loathing.  Otherwise, it’s great to see his contribution here.

    [/quote]

    I absolutely hate suburbs too….  LOATHE them!  They make my skin creep, and they’re ugly beyond belief…..

    There.  Had to get that off my chest!

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 5:15am

    Reply to #42

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=lotsofquestions]

    This is the only post on CM that I have ever been socially offended by.   Thanks to CM for going to great lengths to remove emotion and slurs while reporting the truth.  JHK has no place on this website until he can make his case without slamming the beliefs of others. 

    [/quote]

    Wow……  some of you people as so thin skinned it’s hard to believe.  How do you deal with REALITY?  How will you cope WTSHTF?  Get over it..

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 5:45am

    Reply to #40

    Stan Robertson

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 07 2008

    Posts: 516

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Damnthematrix]

    [quote=ao]

    What I find amusing about JHK is how he hates suburbs with such a passion.  I agree with a good part of what he says but I have a hard time taking him completely seriously when he so vehemently spews the anti-suburb venom.  I keep wondering if some dark event occurred at June and Ward Cleaver’s house during his formative boyhood years that evoked this such unrelenting loathing.  Otherwise, it’s great to see his contribution here.

    [/quote]

    I absolutely hate suburbs too….  LOATHE them!  They make my skin creep, and they’re ugly beyond belief…..

    There.  Had to get that off my chest!

    [/quote]

    Ah, it takes all kinds, eh? Having lived two decades in small towns (~ 10,000) in rural areas and two others in suburbs of a large metropolitan area, I fail to see much difference. Eveything that arrived in either villages or burbs came by truck. Neither were sufficient in agriculture or energy. We had great neighbors in both places, decent houses and comfy back yards with gardens. The primary difference was that most folks in the burbs were commuters. When the day comes that commuting is impossible or impractical, most people will be better off in the burbs with a garden than in the concrete canyons of a city. Just my $0.02

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 7:27am

    Reply to #40

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=ao]

    What I find amusing about JHK is how he hates suburbs with such a passion.  I agree with a good part of what he says but I have a hard time taking him completely seriously when he so vehemently spews the anti-suburb venom.  I keep wondering if some dark event occurred at June and Ward Cleaver’s house during his formative boyhood years that evoked this such unrelenting loathing.  Otherwise, it’s great to see his contribution here.

    [/quote]

    ao,

    Either Read or Watch Dmitry Orlov in his February 2009 lecture – ‘Social Collapse Best Practices’. That should settle any doubts you might have over suburban housing by design, in that with there distance from anywhere, built with massive fossil fuel input in mind as there only means to opporate, they are going to successfully kill, directly and indirectly, many many people in the United States alone. With six out of every ten barrels of oil to run them imported every day, there will barely be enough resource’s to feed the 311 million people of today, let alone support suburbanites intensely heavy transportation and heating allocation. There will be a mass exodus away from many of them over time. They are one of the severest of danger’s, yet hidden in plain siight.

     

    Without abundant fossil fuel, the Detroit of today may well become the reality of the America of tomorrow …

     

    ~ VF ~

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 7:58am

    Reply to #45

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=nickbert]

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    He’s still talking left/right paradigm and voted for Obama for Christs sake, but have an opinion about anything and a complete nobody starts writing about you as though they’re a professional critic??? [/quote]

    I’m a complete nobody, huh?  Or did you mean one of the other posters here?  Well gee, thanks for that.  I wasn’t aware that constructive criticism needs to come only from people who matter  (Now I could swear I heard someone say something earlier about “attacking the messenger”…)

    Yes, I get you. Too much reality. Calm your message Paul, people will be switching off …

    Stop trying to twist my motives and words into something they’re not.  My post was not about political correctness or too much reality or making everyone the same.  It is about dealing with the world as it is (not what we think it SHOULD be), and knowing what your true goals and priorities are and acting in harmony with those priorities.  That kind of hostility may wake up or attract some, but how many more are unnecessarily turned away?  I understand well the merits to an in-your-face approach, but there’s much more to that approach than hostility.  Judging just from the number of comments in this thread speaking out against said hostility, I’d say I have a case.  Should people be able to stay level-headed enough to look past that to find the kernels of wisdom… why yes!  But most don’t.  Oh well, the real world disappoints again, and so we have to work with what is and not what should be.

    – Nickbert

    (edited for grammar)

    [/quote]

    Nickbert,

    Yes, you and ninety-nine percent out of one hundred are complete nobody critics. A follower and not a leader. Isn’t this obvious? Go stand in front of a large audience and see what happens when talking to the animal known as the general public, and if you already have, you already have my meaning.

    Beige blends. Colour however, the more vibrant, makes beige ever more beige. Offended? Of course you are. Write a blog. Set up a site dedicated to this sh*t storm, and see what ooze eminates out of the woodwork.

    If offence gets people talking about you, then great!

    If innoffensive gets people talking about you, then great!

    ‘Nobody’ critics, when massed together, form a collective mindset, and wallaaa, there’s your consensus. That consensus keeps Kunstler alive and challenging social boundaries. Kunstler is pure journalism at its dirtiest, built as an afront to your sensibilities to get you talking about real issue’s …

    Manipulative? Yes. I’m doing the same with you in provoking a response. Are you replying to me with honesty? I hope so …

    Here endeth the lesson …

    ~ VF ~

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 10:57am

    #46

    Nacci

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 23 2009

    Posts: 15

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    One point to take from this discussion is that many hold prejudices, some very severe.  Most hide them right under the surface.  Take away the rule of law and some will act upon them.  Kunstler’s rants sound rather mild to me.  Still he either misjudged this community, does not care or both.  Either way let’s stop being offended by little stuff like this, there are far greater indignities heading our way to deal with.  Nacci.

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 11:27am

    Reply to #40
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Damnthematrix]

    [quote=ao]

    What I find amusing about JHK is how he hates suburbs with such a passion.  I agree with a good part of what he says but I have a hard time taking him completely seriously when he so vehemently spews the anti-suburb venom.  I keep wondering if some dark event occurred at June and Ward Cleaver’s house during his formative boyhood years that evoked this such unrelenting loathing.  Otherwise, it’s great to see his contribution here.

    [/quote]

    I absolutely hate suburbs too….  LOATHE them!  They make my skin creep, and they’re ugly beyond belief…..

    There.  Had to get that off my chest!

    [/quote]

    Personally, I love ’em.  Everytime I pull up to my McMansion in my Hummer and see that beautiful green lawn with the sprinklers going full time and that nice long asphalt driveway, I think I’m coming home to heaven.  Think I’ll take my muscle car out for a cruise to nowhere to pump some more carbon into the atmosphere for the tree huggers to whine about. 

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 11:33am

    #47

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Way to go ao,

    Here’s to emancipation!!!!!!!!!!!

    ~ VF ~

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 11:48am

    Reply to #40
    ao

    ao

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Feb 04 2009

    Posts: 882

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    ao,

    Either Read or Watch Dmitry Orlov in his February 2009 lecture – ‘Social Collapse Best Practices’. That should settle any doubts you might have over suburban housing by design, in that with there distance from anywhere, built with massive fossil fuel input in mind as there only means to opporate, they are going to successfully kill, directly and indirectly, many many people in the United States alone. With six out of every ten barrels of oil to run them imported every day, there will barely be enough resource’s to feed the 311 million people of today, let alone support suburbanites intensely heavy transportation and heating allocation. There will be a mass exodus away from many of them over time. They are one of the severest of danger’s, yet hidden in plain siight.

     [/quote]

     

    Already have.  What amuses me about people like Orlov is that they grow up in a culture half a world away from ours yet feel qualified to make detailed commentary on it as if they were immersed in every aspect of it their entire lives.  He makes some good points but he’s mistaken about others.  These overseas experts also seem to think America is this uniform society and culture.  It’s not.  They also seem to forget the resilience and adaptability of humans and especially Americans.  Those who came to America were those who were willing to step out of their comfort zone and leave their native land and risk everything for a new start.  They’re far more adaptable than most give them credit for.  They’re not going to just roll over and die just because oil supplies are shrinking.  I like to think this fella embodies some of that “can do” attitude.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlMz2sCDCA4  

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 6:01pm

    Reply to #45
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 16 2010

    Posts: 35

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    Nickbert,

    Yes, you and ninety-nine percent out of one hundred are complete nobody critics. A follower and not a leader. Isn’t this obvious? Go stand in front of a large audience and see what happens when talking to the animal known as the general public, and if you already have, you already have my meaning.

    Beige blends. Colour however, the more vibrant, makes beige ever more beige. Offended? Of course you are. Write a blog. Set up a site dedicated to this sh*t storm, and see what ooze eminates out of the woodwork.

    [/quote]

    This isn’t fair nor necessarily true. You have no idea who is here posting under anonymous usernames, and what they have or have not done in terms of leading in their respective communities or niches. Don’t presume that other people here aren’t blogging or organizing or otherwise having impact in their fields.

    And the truth of the matter is, JHK is *not* that well-known either. He’s known to a select group of people who are interested in peak oil, which is not a huge group of people right now considering the mainstream media won’t touch the subject. JHK is fringe. Alex Jones is better known than JHK is.

    And JHK’s manner of presentation and inability to restrain his hostility towards a good number of Americans is an issue, precisely because he’s set himself up as the messenger on peak oil and the death of suburbia.

    Unfortunately, because he’s determined to insult a good portion of the American populace, he’s doomed to mostly obscurity and only mild recognition amongst a fringe audience.

    The peak oil message needs to get out, and it needs to be heard by heartland Americans. JHK is unfortunately a very poor messenger in this regard. Chris thankfully tempers his personal opinions and provides a site that is politically neutral and therefore can reach a larger number of people. JHK would do well to learn from Chris’s example. Not because he needs to become more “beige” (as you would say) but because the message is more important than his personal gripes.

    You can also be quite lively without being insulting to half the country. Karl Denninger over at Market Ticker primarily vents his rage against the powers that be, not everyday Americans. Denninger doesn’t stereotype nor act in a bigoted manner either; he’s generally fair-minded. The worst sentiment you’ll hear from Karl is “wake up sheeple!” and an admonition for the Tea Party to get back to their fiscal roots. But that’s not the same thing as painting an entire socio-economic group as stupid “crackers.”

    The upshot is, someone such as myself who used to get excited by JHK, will now not be buying his books nor giving him any sort of financial support, because I can’t support someone so bigoted. I also question his future projections because if he can be so completely cynical and blind about mostly good Americans, maybe he’s being a bit too pessimistic about our future too. And that’s the fallout from his poor attitude and hatred. He’s losing people with his vitriol.

     

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 6:47pm

    Reply to #45

    rmurfster

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 17 2008

    Posts: 15

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=soulsurfersteph]

    … I also question his future projections because if he can be so completely cynical and blind about mostly good Americans, maybe he’s being a bit too pessimistic about our future too. And that’s the fallout from his poor attitude and hatred. He’s losing people with his vitriol.

    [/quote]
    I 100% agree.  When one voices such narrow-minded and bigoted views, I must therefore question his ability to think clearly and come to unbiased solutions in other areas as well.

    Richard

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 6:49pm

    Reply to #40
    britinbe

    britinbe

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 54

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=ao]

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    ao,

    Either Read or Watch Dmitry Orlov in his February 2009 lecture – ‘Social Collapse Best Practices’. That should settle any doubts you might have over suburban housing by design, in that with there distance from anywhere, built with massive fossil fuel input in mind as there only means to opporate, they are going to successfully kill, directly and indirectly, many many people in the United States alone. With six out of every ten barrels of oil to run them imported every day, there will barely be enough resource’s to feed the 311 million people of today, let alone support suburbanites intensely heavy transportation and heating allocation. There will be a mass exodus away from many of them over time. They are one of the severest of danger’s, yet hidden in plain siight.

     [/quote]

     

    Already have.  What amuses me about people like Orlov is that they grow up in a culture half a world away from ours yet feel qualified to make detailed commentary on it as if they were immersed in every aspect of it their entire lives.  He makes some good points but he’s mistaken about others.  These overseas experts also seem to think America is this uniform society and culture.  It’s not.  They also seem to forget the resilience and adaptability of humans and especially Americans.  Those who came to America were those who were willing to step out of their comfort zone and leave their native land and risk everything for a new start.  They’re far more adaptable than most give them credit for.  They’re not going to just roll over and die just because oil supplies are shrinking.  I like to think this fella embodies some of that “can do” attitude.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlMz2sCDCA4  

    [/quote]

    I sincerely hope you are right.  All I can say of my own observations of my home country is that in many quarters there is still a feeling of Rule Britannia, the Empire and England’s green and pleasant land.  I often feel that people confuse reality for historical nostalgia of times long gone and if its not reality it can quickly be ressurected if needed.  I sincerely hope that the traits, the hunger, the drive that built Americia, the UK and many other great nations still exists in the collective fabric of these nations, we are going to need it!!  But as I type this, I can’t help but think of some of the things Howe and Struass wrote about in The 4th Turning

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 7:27pm

    Reply to #40

    Dogs_In_A_Pile

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 04 2009

    Posts: 810

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=britinbe]

    I sincerely hope you are right.  All I can say of my own observations of my home country is that in many quarters there is still a feeling of Rule Britannia, the Empire and England’s green and pleasant land.  I often feel that people confuse reality for historical nostalgia of times long gone and if its not reality it can quickly be ressurected if needed.  I sincerely hope that the traits, the hunger, the drive that built Americia, the UK and many other great nations still exists in the collective fabric of these nations, we are going to need it!!  But as I type this, I can’t help but think of some of the things Howe and Strauss wrote about in The 4th Turning

    [/quote]

    You might be surprised how quickly some of these traits reemerge.  Wasn’t that also discussed in Fourth Turning?  At some point, the Hero archetype rises to the occasion, despite the influence of their Prophet counterarchetypes.  Heroes – working together, replacing the Nomads in early adulthood to challenge the failures of the Prophets.

    I just don’t think things are painful enough yet to start the wire brushing and acid testing of what will become the Hero archetype.

     

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 8:07pm

    #48

    Damnthematrix

    Status Diamond Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 09 2008

    Posts: 1132

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/pricey-commute-lifts-cost-of-cheap-houses-2010111
    9-180zf.html

    Pricey commute lifts cost of cheap houses
    Andrew West TRANSPORT
    November 20, 2010

    HOMEBUYERS would be able to log onto a website listing the properties they are considering buying and automatically calculate the costs and time of commuting between home and work, shops and schools.

    Under a system to be trialled in the United States – but also applicable to Australia, say its promoters – people in the property market would know if the cheaper price of a house on the suburban fringe was offset by higher travel
    costs.

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  • Fri, Nov 19, 2010 - 9:54pm

    Reply to #48
    isjrb029

    isjrb029

    Status Member (Offline)

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    Posts: 2

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    For what it is worth I think when he talks about the south and suburbia comments there are some truths about the south around where I live. As a resident of Arkansas all the towns are 20 miles away and sometimes more. In reading some of Chris’s points about high speed rail, I have often wondered how we could ever work out a rail system around Little Rock. It is incredible the traffic and driving from surburbia. A tremendous amount of peopIedrive more than 25 up 60 mile each way to work everyday. I was talking to a friend of mine that had lived and was going back to Germany. He said it is so different there. They walk everywhere. it is their culture. Same thing in England I have friend’s there also. They walk daily to the market for groceries. Here you have to drive 10, 15, 20 miles for a walmart or target or grocery store. When I traveled up north many years ago. You could not find a supermarket but there were mom and pops on every corner, not so here. That is what i think he was talking about.

    I agree with most of you guys on the name calling being a bit harsh. But here in Arkansas we always been the brunt of jokes for most other states anyway. Does not matter. I get up every day and look myself in the mirror and repeat to myself:

    I Renee am a child of god, am a person of integrity with a good attitude and specific goals. I have a high energy level, am enthusiastic and take pride in my appearance and what I do. I have a sense of humor, lots of faith, wisdom, and the vision empathy and courage to use my talents effectively. I have character and am knowledgeable. My convictions are strong and I have a healthly self-image, a passion fo what is right , and a solid hope for the future. (It gets me though the day)

    In the end it does not matter what someone thinks about someone else. It all comes down to what do or did you do to make things better. To me the thing that matters the most is how we treat each other. Poet I am sorry to hear you say that you worry about the price you might pay for your ethinicity. I hope that you find those thoughts to be wrong.

    One thing we do have down south is community. I was impressed with the TB group but felt that they were highjacked by the GOP myself and backed off because of that. I will say that it is disheartening to find out after all the years of being a true blue American. I must say that I am so disappointed in the truth that seems to be coming out all around us. We had been duped, lied to, and taken advantage of. Very sad indeed.

    Most of us will survive and be the better for it.

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  • Sat, Nov 20, 2010 - 3:14am

    Reply to #45

    nickbert

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2009

    Posts: 260

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    Nickbert,

    Yes, you and ninety-nine percent out of one hundred are complete nobody critics. A follower and not a leader. Isn’t this obvious? Go stand in front of a large audience and see what happens when talking to the animal known as the general public, and if you already have, you already have my meaning. [/quote]

    If you’re trying to rile me up or provoke a response with insults and mischaracterizations, don’t bother.  Maybe it’s because I’ve taken to heart that line from the Steven Russel video (0:37) you posted earlier… “Don’t worry about it… he’s a d***!”

    [quote]

    If offence gets people talking about you, then great!

    If innoffensive gets people talking about you, then great!

    [/quote]

    So you say any kind of attention is good attention?  Hmm, well actually this explains a lot.

    [quote]

    ‘Nobody’ critics, when massed together, form a collective mindset, and wallaaa, there’s your consensus. That consensus keeps Kunstler alive and challenging social boundaries. Kunstler is pure journalism at its dirtiest, built as an afront to your sensibilities to get you talking about real issue’s …  [/quote]

    So interesting you can so adamantly ascribe noble motives to JHK whom you happen to agree with, whereas someone you dislike like Glenn Beck who does the exact same things (exhibit a political bias, pushes to see the world reshaped as they think is best for their country, and are prone to offensiveness and cage-rattling) must be dangerous and have sinister motives.  No one knows their true motives but themselves and the people they’re closest with.  You see only what you wish to see, and yet are so quick to point out how the rest of us are blind.

    [quote]

    Here endeth the lesson …

    [/quote]

    “Check check… one two.  Sound check… one two.”  Just making sure you can hear me from atop that giant pedestal you put yourself up on…

    Perhaps us little people wallowing in the mud are having trouble hearing you from all the way down here, because we hear no lesson.  Maybe if you take a break from being arrogant and patronizing, we just might hear it….

    – Nickbert

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  • Sat, Nov 20, 2010 - 5:24am

    #49

    nickbert

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2009

    Posts: 260

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Correction…. Steve Hughes, not Steven Russel.

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  • Sat, Nov 20, 2010 - 6:04am

    #50

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=ao]

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    ao,

    Either Read or Watch Dmitry Orlov in his February 2009 lecture – ‘Social Collapse Best Practices’. That should settle any doubts you might have over suburban housing by design, in that with there distance from anywhere, built with massive fossil fuel input in mind as there only means to opporate, they are going to successfully kill, directly and indirectly, many many people in the United States alone. With six out of every ten barrels of oil to run them imported every day, there will barely be enough resource’s to feed the 311 million people of today, let alone support suburbanites intensely heavy transportation and heating allocation. There will be a mass exodus away from many of them over time. They are one of the severest of danger’s, yet hidden in plain sight.

    [/quote]

     

    Already have. What amuses me about people like Orlov is that they grow up in a culture half a world away from ours yet feel qualified to make detailed commentary on it as if they were immersed in every aspect of it their entire lives. He makes some good points but he’s mistaken about others. These overseas experts also seem to think America is this uniform society and culture.  It’s not. They also seem to forget the resilience and adaptability of humans and especially Americans. Those who came to America were those who were willing to step out of their comfort zone and leave their native land and risk everything for a new start. They’re far more adaptable than most give them credit for. They’re not going to just roll over and die just because oil supplies are shrinking. I like to think this fella embodies some of that “can do” attitude.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlMz2sCDCA4

    [/quote]

    ao,

    Yeah, you’re quite right. Dmitry Orlov grew to the age of 12 half a world away, but then he emigrated with his family to the United States in 1974. With 36 years of first hand experience of America, he gained a BS in Computer Engineering and an MA in Applied Linguistics. Quoting from Wikipedia, “he was an eyewitness to the collapse of the soviet Union over several extended visits to his Russian homeland between the late 1980s and mid-1990s.”

    “In 2005 and 2006 he wrote a number of articles comparing the collapse-preparedness of the US and the Soviet Union published on small Peak Oil related sites. His article “Closing the ‘Collapse Gap‘: the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US” was very popular at EnergyBulletin.Net.”

    To Continue: –

    [quote=Wikipedia]

    Orlov’s book Reinventing Collapse:The Soviet Example and American Prospects, published in 2008, further details his views. The New Yorker’s Ben McGrath writes that Orlov describes “superpower collapse soup” common to both the U.S. and the Soviet Union: “a severe shortfall in the production of crude oil, a worsening foreign-trade deficit, an oversized military budget, and crippling foreign debt.” He believes the U.S. will fare worse because Americans have fewer backup plans. Orlov told interviewer McGrath that in recent months financial professionals have begun to make up more of his audience, joining “back-to-the-land types,” “peak oilers,” and those sometimes derisively called “doomers.”

    Author James Howard Kunstler, who has been described as “one of Orlov’s greatest fans” but denies he is a “complete ‘collapsitarian’”, described the book as an “exceptionally clear, authoritative, witty, and original view of our prospects.”

    In his review of the book, commentator Thom Hartman writes that Orlov holds that the Soviet Union hit a “soft crash” because centralized planning, housing, agriculture, and transportation left an infrastructure private citizens could co-opt so that no one had to pay rent or go homeless and people showed up for work, even when they were not paid. He believes the U.S. will have a hard crash, more like Germany’s Weimar Republic of the 1920s. This is partially true because the U.S. is so much more dependent on imported oil.

    Writing on Atlanta’s Creative Loafing, Wayne Davis considers Orlovs views and anecdotal stories to be an easy read for a serious subject. Orlov gives practical advise, like when to start accumulating goods for exchange purposes and the need to buy goods that would sustain local communities – “hand tools, simple medications (and morphine), guns and ammo, sharpening stones, bicycles (and lots of tires with patch kits), etc.” Orlov writes: “Much of the transformation is psychological and involves letting go of many notions that we have been conditioned to accept unquestioningly. In order to adapt, you will need plenty of free time. Granting yourself this time requires a leap of faith: you have to assume the future has already arrived.” He also advises: “Beyond the matter of personal safety, you will need to understand who has what you need and how to get it from them.”

    The EnergyBulletin.Net review states that “Orlov’s main goal is to get Americans to understand what it will mean to live without an economy, when cash is virtually useless and most people won’t be getting any income anyway because they’ll be out of a job.” The review by author Carolyn Baker, PhD, notes that Orlov emphasizes that “when faced with a collapsing economy, one should stop thinking of wealth in terms of money.” Physical resources and assets, as well as relationships and connections are worth more than cash and those who know how to “do it themselves” and operate on the margins of society will do better than those whose incomes and lifestyles have plummeted.

    [/quote]

    Also worthy of note : –

    cluborlov.com

    Russia Today Interview With Orlov

    Max Keiser Interview With Dmitry Orlov

    Video: Dmitry Orlov – Siezing the Mid-Collapse Moment

    I love America. I would describe it as a place where people outside of it have more of a clue to its inner workings than the people who live within it, but that’s just my point of view. I mean, on a prayer note, little Mikey comes in handy, but show me a reef of links promoting anything positive over $128 Trillion in debts and oil importation factored at 6 out of every ten barrels used. Give me a bright majoritive consensus study on how clued up your average American, or for that matter UK citizen at this time, and I’ll wear a badge with your name on with pride!

    Let me be blunt. Your average American or Brit ain’t writing on this forum for sure. On a comical note, here’s a recent Australian comedy take on their idea of your average American. Cruel isn’t it? But if it isn’t the average you’ve set in your own mind, they sure will make aspiring quick and dramatic change a slow slow process.

    Lets stop guestimating. The facts are in. The Hirsch Report was written in 2005. What I’ve seen done with it so far is nothing much. I won’t be holding my breath for Chris Martenson’s 2014 Peak Oil scenario as a positive outcome any time soon, and that’s assured …

    ~ VF ~

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  • Sat, Nov 20, 2010 - 6:51am

    #51

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Nickbert,

    Glenn Beck is a fictional character built as a platform for corporate means. A schill. A vacuum. An empty carcass. An animated cadaver, morphed into a human form. His two lower ribs are removed to perform heights to a task mere mortal man cannot reach. No contest then on dirty journalism there. That ain’t classical dirty journalism. Comparing Kunstler to that would need such a wide brush, only provocation would cause such a connection, take this thread on a journey of strikingly different means, and boil it down to a sticky indigestible gloop only a corporate monster could stomach. Wheeling Beck up to the plate won’t run to mini castors, but something that launches shipping, so I’ll leave that formed stupidity to fester on ‘that’ locked thread, thank you very much.

     

    ~ VF ~

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  • Sat, Nov 20, 2010 - 8:39pm

    #52
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 16 2010

    Posts: 35

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Oh nooo!!!! Not Glenn Beck again…run away! Run away!!!!

    Though, I’ve caught a few recent clips of Glenn Beck on YouTube where he’s been heavily critical of QE2 and did a great job of explaining it to real people. I see him talking more about economic collapse and telling people to be “prepared.” Sarah Palin has also blasted Bernanke on QE2. So are they corporate shills? Hmm. I don’t know…

    The difference is that Beck criticizes an elite, the small group of “progressives” he claims are trying to take over the country, but he does not insult the average American. JHK criticizes half of America (if not more). Beck, corporate shill or no, has at one time had 4 books on the New York Times bestseller list…JHK? Not so much.

    I guess it could be argued that Americans are, indeed, “idiots” who need things watered down for them…or maybe the messenger needs to figure out a better way to communicate the message. Part of that is to not be so condescending and insulting.

    At any rate, with Beck talking QE2, collapse, and preparation, I’ll be laughing my rear end off if it turns out that he is the one who makes discussion of peak oil mainstream. Would not surprise me one bit.

     

     

     

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  • Sat, Nov 20, 2010 - 11:32pm

    #53

    nickbert

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2009

    Posts: 260

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    soulsurfersteph-

    +1

    Yeah, I wish there had been a better right-leaning example for comparison than He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.  But I’ll take more care in uttering his name in the future, lest I inadvertently wake ancient Cthulhu and bring in ten thousand years of darkness  Laughing

    Oh nooo!!!! Not Glenn Beck again…run away! Run away!!!!

    Glenn Beck = Killer Bunny…. who knew?

    – Nickbert

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  • Sun, Nov 21, 2010 - 12:10am

    #54

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Nick,

    +128 Trillion !!!

    … and a Monty toast to Corporate Indulgence …

    Paul

     

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  • Sun, Nov 21, 2010 - 5:01am

    Reply to #54
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 319

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    I’ve just completed reading all 84 posts.  We are all adults here.  We all have different beliefs.  But we agree on the big picture.

    If this commmunity wants to reach others with the Crash Course concepts, we have to stop ailenating others.  The reason I subscribe to this site is simple because I haven’t figured out Chris Martenson’s politics or religious believes.  By keeping the message apolitical, his efforts reach a much wider audience.  Isn’t that this communities goal?

    Nate

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  • Sun, Nov 21, 2010 - 1:59pm

    #55

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Steph,

    I can side-step one of your posts, but as has been proven, never two in a row …

    Paul Gallico once wrote : – “No one can be as calculatedly rude as the British, which amazes Americans, who do not understand studied insult and can only offer abuse as a substitute” –

    … maybe that’s where we sit???

    Have you ever heard of Timothy Ferris? He wrote a book called – The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9 – 5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich.  He used some pretty clever marketing to get himself on the New York Times book list that you can read about here, using blogosphere tactic.

    In his own words : –

    [quote=Timothy Ferris]

    1. Phenominize: Identify and name a legitimate societal shift or new phenomenon. To best spread a message or product, sell around it by discussing larger issues surrounding its creation: the person, the changing social landscape, and emerging trends. No one cares about your new software, but the reasons it needs to exist might make for a great TV segment on 20/20. Naturally, the software would be mentioned. Mission accomplished without the hard sell.

    2. Polarize: Good stories and trend-spotting, told unapologetically, will create both supporters (“That’s the solution!”) and attackers (“It’s a fraud!”). The battle and ongoing debate this generates is the fuel needed for word-of-mouth wildfire. Don’t piss people off for the sake of offending, but don’t sacrifice the edge of your message to avoid offending. My discussion of personal outsourcing, as one example, gets people hot and bothered. Good. I just want as many people as possible asking the important questions I believe can change the world. Love me or hate me, I just want a strong unadulterated response.

    3. Communitize: Help create base camps for believers. Organic communities grow fastest when natural leaders are identified and encouraged to become leaders. I fostered reader-only communities on the forums of the official book site, but I also encouraged readers to create their own tribes on the social networking site Ning. This is how more than 22 demographic tribes (I call them “demotribes”) came to be, including “4HWW for Programmers,” “4HWW for Families,” and “4HWW for Students.”

    [/quote]

    Fact is, it’s a bloody awful book, pretty comparable in awfulness to “He Who’s Name Must Not Be Mentioned” (one of which I recently reviewed) that has hit the number one slot of the New York Times book list five times using several trend based marketing tools, lately including a 3 million viewer a night daytime base that suffocates and stultifies originality and talent by throwing copious amounts of money at marketing. “Copious”, as in his marketing fund used honourably could more likely fund and support seventeen third world countries combined.

    Amazing then, that such notables as – Norman Mailer, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Vladimir Nabokov, J. D. Sallinger, Saul Bellow, John Updike, Frederick Forsyth, Kurt VonnegutGraham Greene, Gore Vidal, John le CarréJoseph Heller, and Umberto Eco – all rub shoulder’s in the New York Times number one book list with “He Who’s Name Must Not Be Mentioned”.

    Timothy above, explains exactly how!!!!!!!

    Sad to say, the gap between Nietzsche and the present average majoritive inhabitants of planet earth, is far far greater than the present average majoritive inhabitants of planet earth, and knuckle to tarmac scraping Neanderthal man.

    Also sad to say, comparing “He Who’s Name Must Not Be Mentioned” and Chris Martenson would result with the self same outcome as James Howard Kunstler and “He Who’s Name Must Not Be Mentioned”. Though with Chris now backed with the best of Yahoo, no doubt such immersive and structured marketing employed above is having the right effect on this forum of late …

    Condescending and Insulting? If you read me with your tongue planted firmly in your cheek, you’ll get the joke, and wryly laugh along with me at this celestial comedy called humanity … Laughing

    Love,

    ~ VF ~

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  • Sun, Nov 21, 2010 - 2:39pm

    Reply to #54
    Jerome Hobelman

    Jerome Hobelman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 04 2009

    Posts: 10

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Thanks to Nate for bringing it back around.  This is Levin’s wife.  I don’t usually weigh in on any of these discussions.  I have read “The Long Emergency,”  “World Made by Hand,” and “The Witch of Hebron” and consider that each book has it’s areas of distinct value.  While we have the great gift (for the moment) of free speech in this country, the devolution of these comments, in response to the JHK interview, causes me to wonder how people will respond when things really start to get dicey.  I do not have the tendency to become enslaved by the last book/article I read.  I take what I need and leave the rest.  I understand that when you have more than one person in a room, you will have different points of view, and certainly debate can be a healthy and intellectually expansive endeavor.  I suppose we currently have the luxury of intellectual arguments, provocative assertions and flat-out insults.  But, that luxury will not last, and it might be more constructive if we turned our attentions to what we can do to help ourselves, our families and our fellow human beings in the Long Emergency, Post- Peak World – whatever name you ascribe to that future –where it is likely we will need to focus our energies on much more pressing issues and will require all the civility and cooperation we can muster.

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  • Sun, Nov 21, 2010 - 7:54pm

    Reply to #54

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 976

    Dr. Marten(son) "Luther King Jr" - Keep The Dream Alive

    [quote=levin]

    Thanks to Nate for bringing it back around.  This is Levin’s wife.  I don’t usually weigh in on any of these discussions.  I have read “The Long Emergency,”  “World Made by Hand,” and “The Witch of Hebron” and consider that each book has it’s areas of distinct value.  While we have the great gift (for the moment) of free speech in this country, the devolution of these comments, in response to the JHK interview, causes me to wonder how people will respond when things really start to get dicey.  I do not have the tendency to become enslaved by the last book/article I read.  I take what I need and leave the rest.  I understand that when you have more than one person in a room, you will have different points of view, and certainly debate can be a healthy and intellectually expansive endeavor.  I suppose we currently have the luxury of intellectual arguments, provocative assertions and flat-out insults.  But, that luxury will not last, and it might be more constructive if we turned our attentions to what we can do to help ourselves, our families and our fellow human beings in the Long Emergency, Post- Peak World – whatever name you ascribe to that future –where it is likely we will need to focus our energies on much more pressing issues and will require all the civility and cooperation we can muster.

    [/quote]

    Hey everyone, earlier in this thread, Dr. Martenson said, “Can I just say how proud I am of this community?” And: “What I’m proud of is that people here who were offended or felt unfairly targeted by his words explained themselves in a fully rational, calm, and logical manner.

    Yes, getting here took both time and steady moderating, but here we are, with a community that can be trusted to handle the bumps and vicissitudes calmly and with a hefty dose of constructiveness.  ‘I might not agree, but here’s why and here’s the impact and here’s another way for you to consider.

    So thank you for participating, noticing, and helping to create the very safest, most constructive, helpful, and useful place on the web to discuss some of the most difficult material possible and work through this enormous transition and all that it entails.

    Let’s keep the dream alive. 😉

    Poet

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  • Sun, Nov 21, 2010 - 10:39pm

    #56
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 16 2010

    Posts: 35

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    VF, good marketing points from Tim Ferris, though I think it’s a lot easier to sell a book that purports to tell you how to work a 4-day workweek and still be rich! It’s much more difficult to sell “we’re running out of oil, headed for catastrophe, give up your big surburban house and SUV, and oh, by the way, you’re an idiot!”

    But from Nickbert’s Monty Python post, I’ve decided that if Glenn Beck is the Evil Bunny, then JHK is one of the Knights Who Say Ni!

    Therefore, whenever I hear him say something like “cracker” or “teabagger,” I’ll just substitute NI!!! Or, better yet: Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptang Zoo Boing Zow Zing!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTQfGd3G6dg

     

     

     

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  • Mon, Nov 22, 2010 - 3:27am

    #57
    Jerome Hobelman

    Jerome Hobelman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 04 2009

    Posts: 10

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Dr. Martenson,

    I would like make an observation regarding the diversity of reaction and content of the posts to the comments of Mr. Kunstler. Apart from the relevance of the various senarios that Mr. Kunstler outlines, his interview may have caused an inadvertent uncontrolled social experiment about how people may actually react to peak oil and the discontinuity we have probable entered.

    Among a randomly chosen group of peak oil informed persons who are in the upper seats of the metaphorical Crash Course stadium, with the water at this groups feet, some are going to try to get free, and some are going to debate  which of the two drowned football teams had the advantage on the field before the water rose.

    The consequences of peak oil are so severe that I doubt, five years from now, anyone will give a damn about Lady Gaga’s artistic merits, Paris Hilton”s fashion choices, or a right wing political commentator’s opinions.  We’ll be worrying about whether the potato crop will come in.  Now, if we can all, just take a step back and reflect on this, there is a lesson to be learned.  We are all not going to get what we want, we will get and have to deal with what is possible in an energy poor future. 

    For each of us, you make your choices and you take your chances.

     

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  • Mon, Nov 22, 2010 - 9:23pm

    Reply to #57
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 16 2010

    Posts: 35

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=levin]

    Among a randomly chosen group of peak oil informed persons who are in the upper seats of the metaphorical Crash Course stadium, with the water at this groups feet, some are going to try to get free, and some are going to debate  which of the two drowned football teams had the advantage on the field before the water rose.

    The consequences of peak oil are so severe that I doubt, five years from now, anyone will give a damn about Lady Gaga’s artistic merits, Paris Hilton”s fashion choices, or a right wing political commentator’s opinions.  We’ll be worrying about whether the potato crop will come in.  Now, if we can all, just take a step back and reflect on this, there is a lesson to be learned.  We are all not going to get what we want, we will get and have to deal with what is possible in an energy poor future. 

    [/quote]

    Levin, I think you missed the point. While I was being light in my last post, I feel it is a very serious and dire issue when our self-appointed leaders engage in active bigotry. Given that we are in for rough times ahead, divisive rhetoric that demonizes a large portion of the American population is a very dangerous tack to take. 

    It seems to me that labeling conservative white Christians as “teabaggers, racists, crackers, morons, rednecks,” and more is the new form of acceptable racism. It is bigoted, it is classist, and it is hateful.

    I feel it is a serious enough problem – especially when our mainstream media engages in this stereotyping and demonizing regularly – that when I see it, I speak up against it.

    How are going to navigate the perils of peak oil when neighbor is pitted against neighbor? You can already see the effects of this manufactured division when someone like Poet says he’s not willing to live in a white community because of fears that he won’t be accepted…and Safewrite commented that her black family member wouldn’t come visit her in the South due to racial fear-mongering, despite how integrated she says it is down there (and how she’s seen more actual racist behavior among white northerners).

    What JHK says matters, and his divisiveness is creating more problems rather than solving them. I post my reaction here, in hopes that maybe he’ll actually read the comments on PeakProsperity.com. In the least, the next time someone is interviewed for CM, maybe the interviewer can pause and challenge the use of terms like “cracker” rather than let such comments slide. Seriously, if someone used the “n-word” here, would that be tolerated? “Cracker” is the white n-word…and while I am not so PC as to suggest we should never offend, it’s the hatred beneath that term that truly concerns me. I’m shocked that the term is being used in this day and age, by a privileged white man, no less. 

    Finally…we do have the luxury of discussing these things now. Peak oil isn’t affecting us yet. Given the day where I have to walk 10 miles just to get to a doctor, I will probably have other things on my mind. Until then, I’ll comment on this issue because I feel passionate about it. I personally think if we cannot get past these false left/right and blue/red divisions in our country, we are going to have a full blown civil war before too long. Which would make everything a hell of a lot worse.

    So JHK, if you are reading this…think carefully before you speak. Please.

    Now off my high-horse. 🙂

     

     

     

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  • Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - 6:52am

    #58

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Steph,

    Can I first share the joy of being greeted by a pair of owls on an adjacent chimney pot, hooting to each other while I stood on my back-step. Such for the rigour’s of smoking!

    I think where you and I don’t meet is where I accept there are character’s in this world that have chosen not to integrate, and are already bigoted. The US rise of extreme right-wing fundamentalist Christianity scares me witless, and there’s no way I want a part of that, no matter how ingratiating their passive smiles. In my hard studied books, the world was not created in seven days, and the world isn’t 12,000 years old. The Bill Hicks “…dinosaur bones were put there to test my faith in god” sketch, comes to mind loud and clear. I find I can’t integrate with this thinking, no matter even if you pegged me liberal minded.

    If you want to use another term, other than “Cracker”, that’s fine and dandy, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Chris Rock defines well with his definition inside his termed philosophy to his culture.Throwing peak oil into the mix isn’t going to make acceptance to our cause easier, being in mind I haven’t read one too many on this forum, since it tends to opporate at an established 110 IQ and above, which is a separation via integration in itself?

    When the British government in its wisdom over Northern Ireland involved itself in the separation of Catholics and Protestants, extremity ran a river of blood on the streets. It was running a river of blood on the streets without the British government for centuries beforehand too, but not so extreme. Self appointed leadership of one faction or another was, intergenerationally, there assumed right, but not when you have your very own Irish brothers and sisters in British army uniform. Then they are the enemy to both, for which they both agreed in the majority.

    More recently, we have American lead involvement in Iraq pitching allegiance to Sunni or Shiite religious faction’s. You can’t then, alter history with the barrel of a gun as easily as one might think it seems? Intoxicating the Irish with cheap loans and debt sure did raise people away from each others throats as religious ideology goes, but watch and wait, and you’ll see them rise back up as ugly as ever, now the housing smash is in full swing there.

    No matter how much we attempt in our minds that we can use integration to support everyone in the country in supporting one cause in surviving as an attempt at unravelling the future carnage of peak oil, I sense that others here will agree that it is the abundance of energy that has stopped most if every ideology from bumping violently up against the other so far. When television is no-longer the adult tit of nurtured suppression, watch the winning mindset at play, and tell me that order over chaos will be king?

    No. This discussion could well get nasty. Could it be because we’re writing here with a full belly, and for the most part it is quiet outside, with the streets more in order than in chaos complete with owls? Reading up on Argentina’s financial breakdown could help with assessment to the future of the US and UK in the most part, and I’m not saying this to be argumentative, just realistic.

    Where would I be right now if I didn’t have the time and money to read, watch film, engulf myself in the study of subjects surrounding peak oil, with my localised teaching, and my writing on this forum? I have an opportunity to save people, but I can’t save everyone. Not everyone is willing to listen and learn, and I’ve capped that figure at one in a hundred. After two years of using the talented Crash Course method, it is still one in a hundred. So where is the other ninety-nine? When peak oil breaks mainstream, will this forum have the capacity to survive the onslaught of invasion? Could the number then rise to ten out of one hundred? How about fifteen out of a hundred, because eight-five are still missing?

    Try as I have to debate people here on the rigour’s of the The Third Way ideology that we’re living in, people can’t see the complexity of the ideology because they’re living it. Everyone here, including you. It is an ideology that has been embraced by many nation’s, most notably the US and UK.

    A lecture by Isaiah Berlin back in the 1950’s called Two Concepts of Liberty, by definition, outlines what The Third Way has come to embrace. Adam Curtis made an excellent documentary (see below) that this specific clip saves you reading the 32 page 1958 lecture, unless you’re so inclined.

    It has been embraced in such a way that you can no-longer discuss anything in our countries without putting a price on it, in much the same way that capitalism is the ideology of majoritive choice. When peak oil finally hits at its hardest, these two complex multi-faceted ideologies are going to prove themselves either useless ideological devises, or more likely morph themselves into something wholey quite different, in an attempt to regain ground on other competing ideologies that are going to make this world a very fraught place, with war inevitable over remaining resources in an effort to maintain them.

    In truth, name calling is the least of my worries …

    Watching the series The Trap by Adam Curtis should be eye opener enough.

    ~ VF ~

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  • Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - 8:18am

    #59

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Nate & Levin,

    Thank you both for your timely intercept. I am in full agreement with you both. However, this discussion needs more focus. If it ends up as sh*t flinging, I appologise in advance, but it needs the best and brightest here to adapt it, and not just one or two voices shouting into the wind, while objectivity has its back broken in fear of the outrage it may bring. This forum must have more of a spine than that, as you’ve proven by being a part of it.

    I admire you both, as I have witnessed more often only one in a couple being on board to the message of the Crash Course …

    Respectfully,

    Paul

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  • Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - 12:04pm

    #60
    Jerome Hobelman

    Jerome Hobelman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 04 2009

    Posts: 10

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    To Poet and all other Bloggers at this site: 

    This is Levin’s wife, and I wish to offer everyone my sincerest apologies.  Communicating what you mean can be such a difficult thing, which is why I do not normally post.  Honestly, I did not mean to diminish anyone’s very real concerns, but as I re-read my posting, I recognize it can definitely be construed that way.  Poet’s and others concerns are very real, as they address the frightening and reprehensible problems of prejudice and stereotyping, which humanity, in it’s very short history on this planet, still has not overcome.  I, too, find JHK’s inflammatory language and atttitudes to be very dishonorable in a man who possesses gifts that could be better invested, especially when he has a public forum and persona.  JHK, in another interview, claimed he makes these statements to “be provocative.”  And, certainly provocation sparks debate (as it has clearly done here).  But, in the long-run, due to issues revolving around interpretation and “ease of use,” I do not think this stance is a wise choice on his part, and I do end up questioning whether or not these are his personal beliefs.  I recognize that I was not specific in what I was trying to address, and as is often the case, anyone reading thinks I might be talking about them in particular.  I will not make the attempt to clarify what I was trying to convey, because that can just lead to more miscommunication.  Instead, to Poet, especially, I am very sorry for anything I said that may have offended you and your concerns for yourself and your family’s safety, which I am certain is your number one issue.  Bringing those concerns to this forum, is what the forum is for.  Anyone’s concerns revolving around The Long Emergency are valid ones.  I wish all of you safety, resilience and a peaceful transition in a Powered-Down world!  Because I have doubts about the way I communicate, I will not post again.  I’m trying solve problems, not create them.

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  • Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - 7:35pm

    Reply to #58
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 16 2010

    Posts: 35

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=Vanityfox451]

    I think where you and I don’t meet is where I accept there are character’s in this world that have chosen not to integrate, and are already bigoted. The US rise of extreme right-wing fundamentalist Christianity scares me witless, and there’s no way I want a part of that, no matter how ingratiating their passive smiles. In my hard studied books, the world was not created in seven days, and the world isn’t 12,000 years old. The Bill Hicks “…dinosaur bones were put there to test my faith in god” sketch, comes to mind loud and clear. I find I can’t integrate with this thinking, no matter even if you pegged me liberal minded.

    [/quote]

    You don’t  have to agree with them on theology. That doesn’t mean they are going to shoot and kill you over it. I understand the fear of them, this was also programmed into me as a young liberal, particularly over the issue of “my right to choose,” but the more I’ve been actually exposed to fundamentalist Christians, the more I realize they are mostly nice, sweet, genuine people who wouldn’t harm a fly.

    Once you actually sit down and have a talk to them with an open heart and mind, you’ll understand where they are coming from more. I don’t agree with their theology but I am not concerned that they are hateful people. On the contrary, I think most are very loving people, at least the ones I’ve met and spoken with. I had a lovely conversation with an evangelical on an airplane who told me that she had a lesbian friend whom she loved dearly, just disagreed with her lifestyle. So that to me breaks the stereotype of the gay “hater.”

    She is certainly more tolerant than some liberal friends I used to have – I had two male friends of a long history who disowned me for sticking up for Sarah Palin (for feminist reasons). Two! Supposedly tolerant “enlightened” urban liberals – who can’t have anyone in their lives who so much as sticks up for Sarah Palin. That’s insane. These guys are also atheists. So honestly, the people I’m more worried about when it comes to hate are the frothing-at-the-mouth liberal white male atheists like JHK. This is not to say all atheists are crazy haters – I think that most are rational and reasonable, but a few of them turn to politics as their replacement for religion, and become “fundamentalist” about it.

    It seems (in general) to be more those on the left that do this…libertarian atheists, by contrast, are generally rational and not wrought up emotionally when it comes to politics. Maybe it’s because the left is about phrasing their causes as being about “helping” people. I think the liberal atheists have a yearning to do good, but make their politics an identity and a religion replacement, and so they end up making those on the right their version of “Satan.”

    Given all that, if there was a civil war, I’m going to go join the conservative Christians if it’s a choice between them and the angry liberal atheists/agnostics…because I honestly think those evangelicals would be nicer to me. 

    I hope that does not cross the bounds of religious discussion here. 

     

     

     

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  • Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - 9:00pm

    Reply to #58
    Nate

    Nate

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: May 05 2009

    Posts: 319

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Very tough times are coming.  Do you think the government (state or federal) will be there for us?  Community is what everything will be reduced to.  Dividing your local community (and all the associated skill sets needed to survive) into several factions will reduce what small chance of survival you may have.  I have very strong views, but choose not to alienate  folks that may be an important part of my future. 

    The D’s and R’s are very good at picking a hand full of lightning rod issues that continue to pit good people against good people.  The real problem lies with our “leaders”.  

    What is clear to me is that as fuel becomes increasing expensive, we will become increasing decentralized.  Washington will become less and less relevent.  And community will become more and more important.

    Nate

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  • Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - 10:32pm

    #61

    Vanityfox451

    Status Gold Member (Offline)

    Joined: Dec 28 2008

    Posts: 373

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Steph,

    I can assure you that I am not regarding the gentler members of the ideology, but those of a particularly manipulative political agenda. I’ll be happy to further expand on that area of subject via pm.

    What I am trying to express here is the inordinate amount of correctness that is motivating people either not to pose ideas for fear of retribution here, or simply to place their focus upon minor detail, causing a valuable discussion on the bigger issue’s to be lost while braving the possibility of offending each other.

    If I am allowed the option of responsible discussion rather than being singled out as a ripple maker, there is a chance that people here will find some benefit from it.

    This would still my frustration at reading people’s second guesses at what they think I mean, rather than what I really mean.

    If correctness is going to quiet to silence any chance of a discussion on deeply troubling issue’s that require airing by a collection of adults, mighten it prove that the forum is limiting itself to a level of pointlessness in many areas of debate?

    Paul

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  • Wed, Nov 24, 2010 - 12:14am

    #62

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 976

    Minority Survival In A Post-Collapse America

    I subscribe to the idea that most people are apathetic and bad people act with impunity when they don’t think there are any consequences to suffer.

    With a breakdown of law and order, ugly people can afford to get uglier.
    http://www.brazzil.com/articles/188-february-2008/10042.html

    Especially if they think they can get away with it. I’ve had a lot of experience in that regard.

    If you are one of a few minorities (whether by race or religion) in an area, you are more likely to be targeted because:

    1. There are fewer of you to spread the risk of an attacker. There is safety in numbers and in diversity, whether you are gay, Wiccan, Bangladeshi, or whatever.
    2. The vast majority are likely to be ignorant of, and unsympathetic to, you and your culture. There are fewer people likely to have friends of your minority group and a stake in your group’s outcome because there are fewer of you.
    3. Those who wish to act against you have less fear of facing consequences. Social disapproval of their actions is also more likely to be muted.

    In an area where there are more of your minority group in an area with a diverse mixing of racial and religious groups:

    1. There are more of you to spread the risk.
    2. There are enough of you that you can form community groups, interest groups, watch groups.
    3. The vast majority interact with you on a daily basis, likely have close friends or have intermarried or have relatives of your minority (race or religion).
    4. Those who wish to act against you have greater fear of facing consequences. Social disapproval of their actions is also more likely to be heightened.

    While race riots may occur and can be devastating, the outcome is less likely to be one-sided if the minority is well-armed and organized than if they are not.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosewood_massacre
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_armed_resistance_in_the_Los_Angeles_riots
    http://jpfo.org/

    Sure some may wax philosophical about how most people are good people and we shouldn’t stereotype or avoid living in certain parts of this country. Sure, during economic good times, racial and religious tensions tend to recede to the background, but when times are bad or there are foreign relations tensions or glocal conflicts, minorities are scapegoated and persecuted. Whatever. To those who complain, I ask again: “If you trust your own people, why are you storing guns and ammo?”

    Hate is still alive, folks. When law and order breaks down, it will free up hate to act. You wouldn’t have had this spectacle in Dearborn, Michigan would you:
    “Attorney Joe Brandon Jr., representing opponents of the mosque, has leveled multiple accusations at the county and Islamic Center. He accused planning commissioners of pre-deciding the approval of the mosque, argued that a public hearing should have been held to discuss its construction, claimed that Islam is a political movement bent on world domination and not a religion and claimed that Muslims are out to replace U.S. laws with Islamic Shariah laws. He asked county commissioners whether they approved of pedophilia, which he said was allowed under Shariah.”
    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20101112/NEWS03/101112021/Murfreesboro-Mosque-hearing-to-end-Wednesday

    Poet

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  • Wed, Nov 24, 2010 - 2:59am

    #63
    Jerome Hobelman

    Jerome Hobelman

    Status Member (Offline)

    Joined: Nov 04 2009

    Posts: 10

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Steph,

    Good luck with finding a doctor at the end of your ten mile walk.

    Dr. Martenson,

    Thank you for your work on the Crash Course.  Kunstler’s book “The Long Emergency” and the Crash Course threaded the needle through my more than 30 years of studying a resource constrained world first modeled in the 1972 book “The Limits to Growth”.

    I have observed another social experiment on your site and I find it deeply troubling.  You have demonstrated how one person can navigate a way to make a living from the corporate world to the economic and social discontinuity we all now face and in the process a cult of personality seems to have developed around you.  This type of dynamic can impair the understanding of the complex issues we face by your audience.      While you are to be congratulated for spreading “your” message, you stood on the “shoulders of giants” to develop it. Good luck with your preparations.

    I’m done.

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  • Wed, Nov 24, 2010 - 4:26am

    Reply to #63

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 976

    Levin?!?

    [quote=levin]

    “…and in the process a cult of personality seems to have developed around you.  This type of dynamic can impair the understanding of the complex issues we face by your audience.      While you are to be congratulated for spreading ‘your’ message, you stood on the ‘shoulders of giants’ to develop it. Good luck with your preparations.”

    I’m done.

    [/quote]

    Levin:

    Personally I have a lot of respect  and admiration for Dr. Martenson for his work and what he has done and accomplished, while at the same time I maintain a healthy bit of emotional distance because I’ve noticed some people fawning way too much over him.

    However, with all due respect, Levin, having read some of your comments, I want to say, you seem to be intelligent, but you’re not quite all there on this statement (which I’ve quoted above).

    Poet

    P.S. – To Levin’s wife and others: I haven’t really been paying attention to what Levin’s been saying nor responding to them. So I was surprised to receive an apology. Was there a blatant insult earlier in this thread that I just didn’t see because I’ve only skimmed some of the posts in this thread? The main person I’ve been responding to has been soulsurfersteph, trying to address some of her misconceptions about me (and of course I am posting to help those who want to understand my stance on prepping/surviving as a minority member).

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  • Wed, Nov 24, 2010 - 6:46am

    Reply to #63

    nickbert

    Status Silver Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 14 2009

    Posts: 260

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    [quote=levin]

    I have observed another social experiment on your site and I find it deeply troubling.  You have demonstrated how one person can navigate a way to make a living from the corporate world to the economic and social discontinuity we all now face and in the process a cult of personality seems to have developed around you.  This type of dynamic can impair the understanding of the complex issues we face by your audience.      While you are to be congratulated for spreading “your” message, you stood on the “shoulders of giants” to develop it. Good luck with your preparations.

    [/quote]

    levin,

    I can’t tell for sure if the preceding is a compliment or a bit of a dig at our host.  Seems like some of both, but it’s hard to determine intent with this kind of electronic communication. Can you provide evidence where he is encouraging a cult of personality, or where he may not be giving credit where credit is due as you seem to insinuate?  On the face of it these seem purely subjective or belief-based assessments, and so far I don’t see any solid basis for either. 

    I agree with what Poet said…. this comment is kind of confusing.  It’s almost like hearing only one half of a conversation. 

    Poet,

    I second you on keeping some emotional distance.  Not really because I feel uncomfortable with any growing exposure/popularity of our host (or that I’ve seen any reason to mistrust his intentions), but simply because I like to be able to look at things from all angles, and I like to think of things in terms of probabilities instead of certainties.  But that’s just me.

    – Nickbert

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  • Wed, Nov 24, 2010 - 7:42pm

    #64
    soulsurfersteph

    soulsurfersteph

    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jun 16 2010

    Posts: 35

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Poet, I do appreciate everything you are sharing about race. I just wanted to add some comments (and I don’t think I have “misperceptions” of you so much as some other perspectives of my own, which may or may not be valid).

    I lived in Los Angeles for a total of 17 years, and it can be a dangerous place. Mostly I lived there as a single female in apartments for people with average incomes, which meant my buildings were filled with people ranging from professionals to welfare queens. People of all races and colors and backgrounds.

    I’ve made friends with guys “from the hood,” from completely outside my socio-economic background as a white girl who primarily grew up in midwest suburbia. It’s pretty easy to do, just be nice to them.

    I’ve had a friend who has been in jail multiple times for beating people up, not someone I could ever imagine knowing from my sheltered childhood. But he’s mostly a good guy and I know in a pinch he’d protect me if something happened. I made friends with some hispanic guys who were living next door to dealing drugs to make a living. These guys loved me and I am certain I had an added level of “protection” because I was nice to them. They knew how to pick locks (I saw one of their friends break into their own apartment in a manner of seconds by picking the lock when they had lost the keys) but I didn’t worry that I was going the target of a breakin because to them “I was cool.”

    I used to date a guy who had been one of two guys who escaped his gang from high school. He had broken legs though hadn’t killed anyone. 

    For me the big lesson I learned in LA was that, one of the best survival skills you can have is to know how to make friends with people from completely different backgrounds than your own. If I, a midwest gal, can make friends with “gangstas” then I’m sure you can make friends with white Christian conservatives. Maybe not every single one of them, but a good number of them.

    Furthermore, from my time in LA, I was less worried about bloody violence for myself even though I lived in an area with a good amount of crime, because sadly, it seems that the minorities in LA do their damndest to shoot and kill themselves over white people. Or shoot and kill each other. I have actually remarked to friends, why don’t those gang members from South Central drive up to Beverly Hills and go postal on the rich people there? But they don’t. (Usually. Though a famous PR woman I knew was just shot there in the last week.)

    Meanwhile, the 35th murder in Austin this year has been a hispanic guy going postal on an hispanic couple that ran into his car. Not a white guy going and killing a person of color, or the reverse. Who probably beats, rapes, and kills more white women than anyone else?  Their own white husbands.

    It’s almost like, people like to eat their own first, and so maybe that’s why it’s snobby white people who are the hardest on and most angry towards “white trash.” I even had a conversation with a black guy here in Austin yesterday about it, where he was telling me about how a rich white person coming into the store looked upon a poor white trash person there with utter disdain while being totally cool with him. 

    So it’s not even about race so much anymore as class or internal conflicts within races that I see being a big problem.

    All I know is, the best antidote to being isolated and left out of a group is to make personal connections with people.

    Perhaps a discussion of race and class would be better started in the forums? I find this is an interesting topic and worthy of  more sharing.

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Wed, Nov 24, 2010 - 8:51pm

    #65

    Poet

    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Jan 20 2009

    Posts: 976

    Re: Straight Talk with James Howard Kunstler: "The World is ...

    Thanks, SoulsurferSteph. The main misconception was that you thought of “those few minorities such as Poet who apparently have the money and time to prep.”

    The other is that, while, yes, people do go postal on “their own” and they can make friends with neighbors by being nice – I still think having diversity in the area you live in and some people of your own background (race or religion) gives you an edge for the reasons given previously.

    Poet

     

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  • Fri, Jun 10, 2011 - 7:44am

    #66
    SPAM_cabrach

    SPAM_cabrach

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    Akron Jobs

    Has been created keeping in view of the IT-professionals. This site will help you”Professionals” to quickly and efficiently locate many opportunities that exist. Akron Jobs It’s user friendly tool to help you match your own Specifications, Qualifications and Requirements.

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