The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century
With his classics of social commentary "The Geography of Nowhere and "Home from Nowhere, James Howard Kunstler has established himself as one of the great commentators on American space and place. Now, with "The Long Emergency, he offers a shocking vision of a post-oil future. The last two hundred years have seen the greatest explosion of progress and wealth in the history of mankind. But the oil age is at an end. The depletion of nonrenewable fossil fuels is about to radically change life as we know it, and much sooner than we think. As a result of artificially cheap fossil-fuel energy we have developed global models of industry, commerce, food production, and finance that will collapse. "The Long Emergency tells us just what to expect after we pass the tipping point of global peak oil production and the honeymoon of affordable energy is over, preparing us for economic, political, and social changes of an unimaginable scale. Are we laboring under a Jiminy Cricket syndrome when we tell ourselves that alternative means of energy are just a few years away? Even once they are developed, will they ever be able to sustain us in the way that fossil fuels once did? What will happen when our current plagues of global warming, epidemic disease, and overpopulation collide to exacerbate the end of the oil age? Will the new global economy be able to persevere, or will we be forced to revert to the more agrarian, localized economy we once knew? Could corporations like Wal-Mart and McDonald's, built on the premise of cheap transportation, become a thing of the past? Will the misguided experiment of suburbia--considered a birthright and a reality by millions of Americans--collapse when the car culturebecomes obsolete? Riveting and authoritative. "The Long Emergency is a devastating indictment that brings new urgency and accessibility to the critical issues that will shape our future, and that we can no longer afford to ignore. It is bound to become a classic of social science.