More Fun Facts

Over at TMN, an interview with James Howard Kunstler, author of nine novels and four books of non-fiction, most recently The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century:

RB: Your apocalyptic vision. We are trying to understand how to process your description of this major discontinuity that people view with various degrees of acceptance and incredulity. Again, I was talking about your book, and someone claimed that their boyfriend converts vegetable oil to fuel for their car. I said, “Didn’t it take some energy to get the vegetable oil to its current state?”

JHK: Let’s talk about this [alternative fuels] for a moment. I tell people that no combination of alternative fuels will allow us to continue running the interstate highways and Disney World and Wal-Mart—even a substantial fraction of what we are running in America—the way we are running it. And we will use them but probably at a much smaller scale than most people anticipate. I had a run-in with bio-diesel enthusiasts in Middlebury [Vt.], and they were incensed that I wasn’t as enthusiastic as they were about it. A lot of them were young. I tried to explore their thinking. And I asked, “Has it occurred to you that as our industrial methods of agriculture fade and fail that probably we’ll have to devote more crop land to the production of human food because our crop yields will go down when we stop pouring fertilizers and pesticides and natural gas-based products and oil-based fuels and so forth on the soil? And so we will have to devote more land for growing food for humans?” And it was, “Oh, dude, we, like, didn’t plan on that.”

One thought on “More Fun Facts

  1. I’ve been reading Kunstler’s blog for a while, even though at first I was put off because it’s called “Clusterfuck Nation.” I still don’t know what a clusterfuck is and I just didn’t like the sound of the word. He’s extremely negative and almost delighted at the prospect of the end of civilization as we know it. However I still read him.

    He hates California BTW and I doubt he likes Texas much, either, not even Austin. He thinks the only places that will survive are small towns.

    I personally think that big cities may change form, become denser in pockets surrounded by crop areas – but that’s me, a sunny, optimistic Californian (on some days)

    INteresting that you’re covering him. What gives?

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