Oil’s end and the Long Emergency

The Rolling Stone recently published an article called The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunstler in which Kunstler spells out an apocalyptic vision of the coming Great Weaning from Oil. Briefly, he forecasts an Atlas Shrugged sort of societal meltdown. That giving up oil will not be pleasant, I have no doubt, but his Cassandra routine is a little over the top. Still, I feel like the meta-story here is that stories like this are getting more exposure. And there are many indisputable facts about the gravity of the situation throughout the article. For instance,

In March, the Department of Energy released a report that officially acknowledges for the first time that peak oil is for real and states plainly that “the world has never faced a problem like this. Without massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary.

Fair enough, but Kunstler sags when he predicts the breakdown of government at all levels. He is not sanguine about the Red States:

I’m not optimistic about the Southeast… I think it will be subject to substantial levels of violence as the grievances of the formerly middle class boil over and collide with the delusions of Pentecostal Christian extremism. The latent encoded behavior of Southern culture includes an outsized notion of individualism and the belief that firearms ought to be used in the defense of it. This is a poor recipe for civic cohesion.

Look for a whole new breed of survivalist gear to appear in stores.

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