Jim Kunstler Goes All Happy Face On Us


I have always liked Jim Kunstler since he wrote about planning, and was impressed by The Long Emergency although many find his recent writings dyspeptic. He must be feeling the heat, because in his latest post to his blog, he denies being Mr. Gloom n'doom and makes positive and realistic recommendations of what we will have to do to adapt to climate change and peak oil. Many of the suggestions are rather uplifting.

-start thinking beyond the car. trying to salvage the entire Happy Motoring system by shifting it from gasoline to other fuels will only make things much worse.

produce food differently. Farming will soon return much closer to the center of American economic life...This situation presents excellent business and vocational opportunities for America's young people.

inhabit the terrain differently.Our small towns are waiting to be reinhabited. Our cities will have to contract.

move things and people differently. Don't waste your society's remaining resources trying to prop up car-and-truck dependency. Moving things and people by water and rail is vastly more energy-efficient. Need something to do? Get involved in restoring public transit.

transform retail trade.
The local networks of commercial interdependency which these chain stores systematically destroyed (with the public's acquiescence) will have to be rebuilt brick-by-brick and inventory-by-inventory. This will require rich, fine-grained, multi-layered networks of people who make, distribute, and sell stuff. Do you have a penchant for retail trade and don't want to work for a big predatory corporation? There's lots to do here in the realm of small, local business.

make things again in America. This is something that the younger generations can put their minds and muscles into

The age of canned entertainment is coming to an end.
Learn to sing, dance, and play the piano.

reorganize the education system. The centralized secondary school systems based on the yellow school bus fleets will not survive the coming decades.

reorganize the medical system
We will probably have to return to a model of service much closer to what used to be called "doctoring."

become much more local. If you can find a way to do something practical and useful on a smaller scale than it is currently being done, you are likely to have food in your cupboard and people who esteem you.

I am sorry, this is as positive a vision and realistic assessment of what to do as I have seen from anyone. It looks like we might even all get through it and thrive. ::James Howard Kunstler

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