Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Kunstler's Forecast: Bouts of Violent Upheaval

How’s this for a cheerful view of the future?

Kunstler is an emphatic petro-pessimist who argues that civilization is about to enter a sustained period of economic, social, and environmental decrepitude triggered by the end of the cheap-oil era. He summarily rejects the possibility that renewable energy could forestall disaster, and predicts that spiking fossil-fuel prices will precipitate the collapse of the airline industry, the electricity grid, highway infrastructure, agribusiness, big-box retail stores, and suburbia itself. The majority of Americans, he says, will likely suffer bouts of violent upheaval and be forced to return to agrarian, small-town lifestyles.

The Kunstler in question is James Howard Kunstler, the writer and professional curmudgeon who lives in Saratoga Springs. Let’s hope that if we have to suffer bouts of violent upheaval, it will at least help solve global warming. The summary is from the intro to an interview with Mr. Optimism in Grist.


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