Category: Oil Addiction


James Howard Kunstler

Image by Dean Terry via Flickr

Thought I would share a recent email exchange I had with James Howard Kunstler over the downside of planetary rescaling.  I think we both agree that there is only one direction for humanity, given the current state of affairs.  The point I was trying to make was although globalization has been for the most part a negative, there are some upsides that will be sorely missed in the massive scale back that Jim predicts is inevitable.  Namely, in my opinion, we will see a dramatic rise of regional violence or what might be referred to as “Balkanization”.  As communities become more insular and localized there will no doubt be a de-homogenization of the human species.  That’s great if you like diversity but not so great if you champion the cause of greater peace and harmony.  Here’s the exchange below:

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Jim,

Love the podcast and the books.  One thing about your predictions has left me unsettled, a topic not yet addressed.  If we move to a smaller scale society and away from globalization will this not have the effect of Balkanizing the world?  I think one of the great advantages of our modern world has been to open communication and dialogue between citizens of Earth.  This homogenization of society in many ways has led to less conflict between people. I am not suggesting that we should remain in our hyper-consumer, car addicted fantasy.  I just worry that in an effort to curb our consumptive ways that we are going to create a new era of regional conflicts.  I suppose you could argue that this is inevitable either way.  As resources (water, gas, minerals, etc.) dwindle, conflict is nearly unavoidable.  Just thought that the topic would be good for the podcast.  Keep up the great work and say “hey” to Duncan!

Take Care,
Jim Spignardo

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From: kunstler james howard [mailto:XXXXXXXXXXX]
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2011 8:49 AM
To: jim@XXXXXXXXX

Subject: Re: Podcast Topic

On Jan 27, 2011, at 11:44 AM, Jim Spignardo wrote:

If we move to a smaller scale society and away from globalization will this not have the effect of Balkanizing the world?  I think one of the great advantages of our modern world has been to open communication and dialogue between citizens of Earth.

Well, sure. of course.

You may like "diversity" et cetera, but the trajectory of events is not based on your personal preferences.

I certainly do expect more friction between various groups and tribes of people contesting for dwindling resources.

Jim

James Howard Kunstler

“It’s All Good”

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Jim

I agree it’s not based on my personal preferences whatsoever, or yours for that matter.  For the record, my preferences aren’t for the continued devastation of our planet at all costs.  My point (although poorly made) is that not much discussion has been paid to how we could possibly keep alive the parts of globalization that have been positive as we move toward smaller scale societies.  If anything “diversity” has caused much of the friction, historically speaking.  I see things moving, in its current state, away from diversity (a mocha world if you would)…at least in the short term.   Thanks for the taking the time to respond and keep up the good work.

Take Care,
Jim Spignardo

_________________________________________________________________________________________

From: kunstler james howard [mailto:jhkunstler@XXXXXX]
ent: Friday, January 28, 2011 11:29 AM
To: jim@XXXXXXX

Subject:RE:Podcast Topic

On Jan 28, 2011, at 11:07 AM, Jim Spignardo wrote:

My point (although poorly made) is that not much discussion has been paid to how we could possibly keep alive the parts of globalization that have been positive as we move toward smaller scale societies. 

I just don’t thing we’re gonna, really.

Jim

James Howard Kunstler

“It’s All Good”

________________________________________________________________________________________

Jim,

That is a sad and miserable portrait that you’re painting. So how do we, as a society , soften the blow? I suppose that’s a topic for a much longer discussion.

Take Care,
Jim Spignardo

________________________________________________________________________________________

Not really. The future I depicted in my "World Made By Hand" novel and it’s sequel is real different from ours, but it’s not miserable.

Globalism was an anomalous set of conditions. Now it’s passing. We’ll be more focused on our own region, for the better.

Jim

James Howard Kunstler

“It’s All Good”

 

 

If you are interested in more of JH Kunstler’s ideas and predictions see the right navbar for a feed of his weekly article and subscribe to the KunstlerCast Podcast.

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After years and years and decades really, we are no closer to ending our insatiable need for foreign oil.  Forget the fact that we can’t even imagine a future without the black stuff.  As only Jon Stewart can, he highlights the failures of 8 consecutive presidents to affect a change in any measurable way.  So, so sad indeed.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-june-16-2010/an-energy-independent-future

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The price of our oil addiction – CNN.com 

In light of the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, I think it’s high time we start asking ourselves some real tough questions about our oil consumption practices.  We need to begin to connect the dots between our gluttonous consumer lifestyles and the mess that is unfolding before our eyes.  This article is a well written explanation of the damage our addiction is doing to our planet but also our society.

The crack addict needs the dealer; the trafficker needs the producer; and each is embedded in an immense empire of shady government officials,mules, cartel acolytes and peasant growers, as well as a vast shadow world of drug barons, security forces and corrupt governments.

…90 percent of our transportation is fueled by oil; 90 percent of all goods involve oil in some way; and 95 percent of our food products require oil. (To raise one cow and deliver it to market requires more than 250 gallons of oil.) Globally, the world consumes more than 80 million barrels every day; the United States alone accounts for one-quarter of that. According to most industry expectations, by 2025 global oil consumption will increase by more than 50 percent…

By conservative oil industry estimates there were almost 7,000 oil spills between 1970 and 2000, more than one each day (the real figure might be twice or three times that number).

Our oil addiction is hugely destructive, defies logic and is nearly impossible to break. But unlike crack and tobacco, we will eventually run out of oil.

Something has to give.  We need to start viewing every single policy and law through a post-oil filter before it is too late.  It is no coincidence that as we attempt to supplement our oil addiction with other carbon-based resources that tragedy has struck again.  One only needs to read the headlines about the multitude of coal mine disasters that have happened in the last few years, to understand what I am referring to.  I don’t want those deaths on my conscience.  How about you?

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