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2 Beaverton Environmental Studies- Energy
2 Hawthorne Environmental Studies- Climate Change and Global Warming

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

by

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century Cover

ISBN13: 9780802142498
ISBN10: 0802142494
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From one of our most exciting thinkers, the most prescient and engaging look at the problems we face since Alvin Toffler's Future Shock.

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 culture becomes 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.

Warnings from The Long Emergency:

  • The oil age began in 1859 and peaked in 1970.
  • The oil endowment allowed us to use the stored energy of millions of years of sunlight. Unfortunately the fossilfuel honeymoon is almost over.
  • It has been estimated that without coal, oil, or natural gas, it would take several planets just like Earth to support the current number of humans living.
  • World oil discovery peaked in the 1960s. Since 1999, the discovery of large oil and gas fields has collapsed: sixteen in 2000, eight in 2001, three in 2002, and none in 2003.
  • There are half a billion cars and trucks currently in use around the world.
  • We will not be rescued by the wished-for hydrogen economy. Our daily enjoyment of oil and gas has given us the energy equivalent of three hundred slaves per person in the industrialized nations. No combination of alternative energies will permit us to continue living the way we do, or even close to it.
  • All the major systems that depend on oil, including manufacturing, trade, transportation, agriculture, and the financial markets that serve them, will begin to destabilize. The boundaries between politics, economics, and collective paranoia will dissolve.

Review:

"The indictment of suburbia and the car culture that the author presented in The Geography of Nowhere turns apocalyptic in this vigorous, if overwrought, jeremiad. Kunstler notes signs that global oil production has peaked and will soon dwindle, and argues in an eye-opening, although not entirely convincing, analysis that alternative energy sources cannot fill the gap, especially in transportation. The result will be a Dark Age in which 'the center does not hold' and 'all bets are off about civilization's future.' Absent cheap oil, auto-dependent suburbs and big cities will collapse, along with industry and mechanized agriculture; serfdom and horse-drawn carts will stage a comeback; hunger will cause massive 'die-back'; otherwise 'impotent' governments will engineer 'designer viruses' to cull the surplus population; and Asian pirates will plunder California. Kunstler takes a grim satisfaction in this prospect, which promises to settle his many grudges against modernity. A 'dazed and crippled America,' he hopes, will regroup around walkable, human-scale towns; organic local economies of small farmers and tradesmen will replace an alienating corporate globalism; strong bonds of social solidarity will be reforged; and our heedless, childish culture of consumerism will be forced to grow up. Kunstler's critique of contemporary society is caustic and scintillating as usual, but his prognostications strain credibility." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[The Long Emergency's] central message — that the country will pay dearly unless it urgently develops new, sustainable community-scale food systems, energy sources, and living patterns — should be read, digested, and acted upon by every conscientious U.S. politician and citizen." Michael Shuman, author of Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age

Review:

"Cant-filled and overwrought: a crying-wolf approach to real but largely addressable issues, long on jeremiads but absent of remedies." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Credit Kunstler with an energetic argument, but whether he has achieved his stated goal — waking up an ostensibly somnolent public — via his relentless and alarmist pessimism remains to be seen." Booklist

Review:

"As brilliant as it is baleful...and we disregard it at our peril." The Washington Post

Review:

"Funny, irreverent, and blunt." Globe & Mail

Review:

"The book succeeds as an accessible primer to a looming crisis that could end the American way of life." A.G. Gancarski, Washington Times

Review:

"If you express doubt about his views, then you may well be among the deluded masses too addicted to your McSUV and McSuburb to accept the reality that lies ahead." Katharine Mieszkowski, Salon.com

Review:

"If you give a damn, you should read this book." Colin Tudge, The Independent (UK)

Synopsis:

The depletion of nonrenewable fossil fuels is about to radically change life much sooner than anticipated. This title describes what to expect after the honeymoon of affordable energy is over, preparing readers for economic, political, and social changes of an unimaginable scale.

Synopsis:

A controversial hit that sparked debate among businessmen, environmentalists, and bloggers, The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler is an eye-opening look at the unprecedented challenges we face in the years ahead, as oil runs out and the global systems built on it are forced to change radically.

Synopsis:

James Howard Kunstler's The Long Emergency was an underground hit, going into nine printings of the hardcover edition. His shocking vision for our post-oil future caught the attention of environmentalists and business leaders and was the subject of much debate, stimulating discussion about our dependence on fossil fuels. Now in paperback, with a new afterword, The Long Emergency is set to reach an even larger audience.

The last two hundred years have seen the greatest explosion of progress and wealth in the history of mankind, much of it based on the exploitation of cheap, nonrenewable fossil-fuel energy. But the oil age is at an end. Life as we know it is about to change radically, and much sooner than we think. The Long Emergency tells us just what to expect after we pass the 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. 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.

About the Author

James Howard Kunstler was born in New York City in 1948. He is the author of two nonfiction books, The Geography of Nowhere and Home from Nowhere, and eight previous novels, including The Halloween Ball, and An Embarrassment of Riches. He has been a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine and the Op-Ed page, where he has written on environmental and economic issues.

Table of Contents

1. Sleepwalking into the Future 1
2. Modernity and the Fossil Fuels Dilemma 22
3. Geopolitics and the Global Oil Peak 61
4. Beyond Oil: Why Alternative Fuels Won?t Rescue Us 100
5. Nature Bites Back: Climate Change, Epidemic Disease, Water Scarcity, Habitat Destruction, and the Dark Side of the Industrial Age 147
6. Running on Fumes: The Hallucinated Economy 185
7. Living in the Long Emergency 235

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

novacop923, April 13, 2012 (view all comments by novacop923)
Think of not as a "book" but, simply, a "source"!,

Like reading Bruce Sterling[*] and Cory Doctorow[**], reading Kunstler one gets the sense that most other "critics" are, sadly, stuck in "first gear"!

Who could've predicted the 2008 economic crash? Um ... anyone who dissected the housing market bubble in 2005, or read a book about someone who did! [HINT HINT!]

Precious-sounding protests to the contrary, human "ingenuity" is NOT what's going to be found to be "lacking" in the times ahead -- but, simply, human "scope" to deal with the very real -- and hardly "scalable" (to use a crucial Kunstler word) -- problems that've been taking root under our feet since, well, before most of us were born!

As Thomas Pynchon says in "Against the Day", "It was the end of something--if not his innocence, at least of his faith that things would always happen gradually enough to afford time to do something about it in."

You've been WARNED, kids! (No hard feelings, or nothin' ... but we're all gonna get to know our "friends & neighbors" real well REAL soon!)
-----------------------------
[*] "Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next 50 Years," say, or "The Hacker Crackdown: Law And Disorder On The Electronic Frontier," or even his novel, "Distraction"
[**] "Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright, and the Future of the Future," say, or "Context: Further Selected Essays on Productivity, Creativity, Parenting, and Politics in the 21st Century," or even his novel, "Little Brother"
The Hacker Crackdown: Law And Disorder On The Electronic Frontier,
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
james dulemba, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by james dulemba)
Kunstler's book is representative of the key issue of the decade--energy. It traces the root causes of our energy problems, and what will happen to society should we not do anything about it. Some rather interesting solutions are already being tried.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
james dulemba, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by james dulemba)
Kunstler's book is representative of the key issue of the decade--energy. It traces the root causes of our energy problems, and what will happen to society should we not do anything about it. Some rather interesting solutions are already being tried.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802142498
Author:
Kunstler, James Howard
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic
Subject:
History
Subject:
Petroleum industry and trade
Subject:
Industries - Energy Industries
Subject:
Government - U.S. Government
Subject:
Public Policy - Environmental Policy
Subject:
POL044000
Subject:
Political Science-Public Policy - Environmental Policy
Subject:
Climate and civilization
Subject:
Petroleum as fuel -- United States.
Subject:
Politics-United States Politics
Subject:
Politics - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20060331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 13 oz

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Related Subjects

Business » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » Politics of Oil
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Climate Change and Global Warming
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Energy
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Petroleum Geology
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Meteorology

The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century Used Trade Paper
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Product details 336 pages Grove Press - English 9780802142498 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The indictment of suburbia and the car culture that the author presented in The Geography of Nowhere turns apocalyptic in this vigorous, if overwrought, jeremiad. Kunstler notes signs that global oil production has peaked and will soon dwindle, and argues in an eye-opening, although not entirely convincing, analysis that alternative energy sources cannot fill the gap, especially in transportation. The result will be a Dark Age in which 'the center does not hold' and 'all bets are off about civilization's future.' Absent cheap oil, auto-dependent suburbs and big cities will collapse, along with industry and mechanized agriculture; serfdom and horse-drawn carts will stage a comeback; hunger will cause massive 'die-back'; otherwise 'impotent' governments will engineer 'designer viruses' to cull the surplus population; and Asian pirates will plunder California. Kunstler takes a grim satisfaction in this prospect, which promises to settle his many grudges against modernity. A 'dazed and crippled America,' he hopes, will regroup around walkable, human-scale towns; organic local economies of small farmers and tradesmen will replace an alienating corporate globalism; strong bonds of social solidarity will be reforged; and our heedless, childish culture of consumerism will be forced to grow up. Kunstler's critique of contemporary society is caustic and scintillating as usual, but his prognostications strain credibility." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[The Long Emergency's] central message — that the country will pay dearly unless it urgently develops new, sustainable community-scale food systems, energy sources, and living patterns — should be read, digested, and acted upon by every conscientious U.S. politician and citizen."
"Review" by , "Cant-filled and overwrought: a crying-wolf approach to real but largely addressable issues, long on jeremiads but absent of remedies."
"Review" by , "Credit Kunstler with an energetic argument, but whether he has achieved his stated goal — waking up an ostensibly somnolent public — via his relentless and alarmist pessimism remains to be seen."
"Review" by , "As brilliant as it is baleful...and we disregard it at our peril."
"Review" by , "Funny, irreverent, and blunt."
"Review" by , "The book succeeds as an accessible primer to a looming crisis that could end the American way of life."
"Review" by , "If you express doubt about his views, then you may well be among the deluded masses too addicted to your McSUV and McSuburb to accept the reality that lies ahead."
"Review" by , "If you give a damn, you should read this book."
"Synopsis" by , The depletion of nonrenewable fossil fuels is about to radically change life much sooner than anticipated. This title describes what to expect after the honeymoon of affordable energy is over, preparing readers for economic, political, and social changes of an unimaginable scale.
"Synopsis" by ,
A controversial hit that sparked debate among businessmen, environmentalists, and bloggers, The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler is an eye-opening look at the unprecedented challenges we face in the years ahead, as oil runs out and the global systems built on it are forced to change radically.
"Synopsis" by ,
James Howard Kunstler's The Long Emergency was an underground hit, going into nine printings of the hardcover edition. His shocking vision for our post-oil future caught the attention of environmentalists and business leaders and was the subject of much debate, stimulating discussion about our dependence on fossil fuels. Now in paperback, with a new afterword, The Long Emergency is set to reach an even larger audience.

The last two hundred years have seen the greatest explosion of progress and wealth in the history of mankind, much of it based on the exploitation of cheap, nonrenewable fossil-fuel energy. But the oil age is at an end. Life as we know it is about to change radically, and much sooner than we think. The Long Emergency tells us just what to expect after we pass the 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. 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.

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