Monday, January 15, 2007


Michael (of the very good) 2Blowhards demonstrates his discerning taste:

Pearce and some co-conspirators (including the excellent Clark Stooksbury) will be blogging for a time here. Here's the Schumacher Society. Here's Schumacher's most famous piece, "Buddhist Economics." The most Schumacherian publication I know of is Orion Magazine, which regularly publishes New Urbanist (and Peak Oil) firebrand James Kunstler. Here's a recent interview with Kunstler.


Anonymous said...

I have a very hard time taking Kuntsler seriously. We have alot of oil in the ground. We have more shale oil than the entire middle east has real oil. Canada has tons of sand oil. There is a great amount of oil in the ocean of the continental shelves. We can turn coal into oil and have enough to last five hundred years at current rates of usage. There are electric cars, hybrids, nuclear power (to recharge battery-powered electric cars), clean coal, helium 3 on the moon (if you believe NASA scientists), geo-thermal, waves, wind, and even zero point energy in the future.

We can use any of the above to power battery (lithium) powered electric cars with ranges over 120 miles to upwards of even 200-plus miles. We are NOT going to have to give up electricity because oil will eventually run out (in a few hundred years, not fifty). Kuntsler is one of those people who hates people in my opinion. Maybe its because he is such a profoundly ugly, short, little, extremely bald man and there is some sort of psychological resentment towards the rest of the human race as a consequence of that for him personally. I cringe when I see his name in the contents page of the American Conservative for fear that any new reader might thumb to his article first and discard the whole damned magazine after his chicken-little-ass tells the reader that the sky is falling and we will be back in the 19th century in 20 more years. Gimme a break.

The human mind can overcome problems when given time to work them out beforehand. We will lick oil dependency and environmental damage someday. Smart people are working on it.

Michael Blowhard said...

Hey Clark, thanks for the link, and looking forward to your Smaller is Beautiful contributions.

Anonymous -- Kunstler may or may not be right about Peak Oil, but I think you're mischaracterizing him wildly and a little irresponsibly when you speculate that he hates people, and that's because he's short and ugly and full of resentment. Love him or hate him, but Kunstler's in fact a super-vivacious, full of brio, life-affirmin' kind of guy, and his writing comes out of that. Whether that makes his opinions and his p-o-v worthwhile, well, that's up to you. Hint: he's (among other things) a provocateur. You're suppoed to get worked up about his p-o-v and the way he expresses it. That's a big part of the fun of reading him. And the excess and hyperbole that are sometimes in his writing? That's a sign that he's full of beans, not down on things.

brian said...

I agree with Michael's assessment of JHK. In fact, Orion recently published an interview with Kunstler where he explains the way out of this mess:

t's a daunting agenda, all right. And some of you are probably wondering how you are supposed to remain hopeful in the face of these enormous tasks. Here's the plain truth, folks: Hope is not a consumer product. You have to generate your own hope. You do that by demonstrating to yourself that you are brave enough to face reality and competent enough to deal with the circumstances that it presents. How we will manage to uphold a decent society in the face of extraordinary change will depend on our creativity, our generosity, and our kindness, and I am confident that we can find these resources within our own hearts, and collectively in our communities.

That's pretty damn hopeful.

Kunstler wants us to re-assess our addiction the automobile. To do that, he has to be provocative. Whether or not his predictions about our oil supply are correct, he is right-on about the cultural problems that our love of transportation has caused (and if you don't like the way he puts it, see what Ivan Illich has to say about it).

Anonymous said...

The automobile has been a huge salve for racial problems.

If not for cars, we'd all be living very close to one another, with all the externalities (diseases, crime, violence, racial animus) that would ensue.

"Our addiction to the automobile". There are too many of us now to walk everywhere we go. If not for cars, then what? Buggies drawn by horses? Its gotta be something. Unless we all want to live like the ol' Unabomber wanted us to in "small settlements" using lots of wood.

We simply have to find a method of procuring electricity that doesn't emit greenhouse gasses. We have that in solar, wind, geo-thermal, nuclear, clean coal, and a few other things in development.

In thirty years, Kutsler will look like Paul Ehrlich, who predicted we'd be in an ice age by the year 2000 back in the seventies. I cannot fathom how NBC trots Ehrlich out on eco-matters STILL even though he has been wrong about every damned thing.