Light Pollution, the Printed Page v. the Screen & More
Released: April 12, 2012
JHK fields listeners calls about the healthcare industry and its future in the Long Emergency, the validity of peak oil, cognitive ability to retain information from a computer screen vs. the printed page, and light pollution.
“The Heirloom,” by Richard Davies, explores a post peak world where a group of Native Americans comes to terms with a dangerous and chaotic world. Guy McPherson, of Nature Bats Last, says, “Ultimately, The Heirloom is a wide-ranging tale about the human experience. It is about life, love, death, honor, and people struggling to make their way in a world not of their choosing.”
James Howard Kunstler speaks by phone with Arthur E. Berman, who is a petroleum geologist and consultant to the energy sector; editorial board member of The Oil Drum; associate editor of the AAPG Bulletin; director of The Association for the Study of Peak Oil. Berman has published more than 100 articles on petroleum geology and technology and has made more than 50 presentations in the last year to professional societies, investment conferences and companies. He speaks to Jim tonight about the history of shale gas “fracking” and a lot of the “magical thinking” surrounding the prospects of America becoming “energy dependent” through fracking.
Join CNU in West Palm Beach, FL this year May 9-12, for the 20th anniversary event of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Confirmed speakers include Richard Florida, Sprawl Repair Manual author Galina Tachieva, retail guru Robert Gibbs, Fighting Traffic author Peter Norton, Peter Calthorpe, Lizz Plater-Zyberk, Jaime Correa, Andres Duany and many more speakers being added every day.
Go to www.cnu20.org and register now to take advantage of early registration rates.
JHK discusses his 2012 Annual Forecast. He thinks this may be the year that we discover that shale gas and oil is just another bubble, simply a destination for hot money to make returns in a financial landscape that doesn’t offer many. He also mentions a recent encounter with Noam Chomsky.
Lastly, Jim shares his resolution for the new year
Apocalypse Not, Green Wizardry and Techno-Narcissism
Released: Dec. 22, 2011
Apocalypse Not, by John Michael Greer
John Michael Greer, author of The Long Descent, The Wealth of Nature and, most recently, Apocalypse Not, joins JHK and Duncan by phone to speak about 2012 apocalypse scenarios, Green Wizardry, politics and techno narcissism. Greer explains how the 1970s were the last time that America was confronted by a major disruption in its energy supply. At the time, many Americans began exploring renewable energy and more modest living arrangements that require less energy. But that was the road not taken. And now we face what he describes as a “stairstep collapse,” like many other civilizations that have overshot their resource base. Other topics include: our modern delusions about technology, the re-enchantment of our worldview, and the potential resurgence of fraternal orders which once served as the foundation of public life in America.
In this episode, Duncan appears solo on a radio program called Relocalizing Vermont to talk about The KunstlerCast book and podcast and the influence that James Howard Kunstler has had on him. In this half-hour interview by Carl Etnier asks Duncan about the KunstlerCast came to be, why JHK always seems to rip on Amory Lovins, the Y2K thing, and other topics. A caller from Britain asks about the prospects of “re-villaging” suburbia.
Thursdays 8:30 – 10:00 am
Exploring energy, food, and the local economy at the end of the age of oil
WGDR Plainfield 91.1 FM
WGDH Hardwick 91.7 FM
streaming at wgdr.org
JHK takes questions from the students in a college English class who have just completed reading “World Made By Hand,” a post-peak oil novel. These highly intelligent questions range in topic from the role of religion, violence, and narrative strategy of Wold Made By Hand. Jim also reveals his true feelings about George Lucas and his thoughts about making revisions to novels.
JHK Debates Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White
Released: Nov. 3, 2011
In this special episode we listen to a recording from: “The Long Emergency vs. NYC’s Resurgency: A Debate about the Future of Cities” featuring Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White and author James Howard Kunstler. Jeff Olson of Alta Planning & Design moderates before an audience at Skidmore College. Organized by Kim Marsella, professor of the Skidmore Environmental Studies Department.
Description: “We live in a time of either the collapse of our society or the emergence of innovative solutions. This discussion will feature two of America’s most interesting voices: Kunstler, whose book The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, is an apocalyptic vision of a post-oil future, and White of Transportation Alternatives, a leader who is helping to transform New York City into a livable metropolis. Both speakers share a common vision of the need for a sustainable future – the debate will focus on whether or not change is possible in light of our modern condition. ”
Transportation Alternatives’s mission is to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives.
Alta Planning & Design
Alta’s mission is to create active communities where bicycling and walking are safe, healthy, and fun.
Jeffrey S. Olson
Jeff Olson is an architect and planner who has been involved in greenways, open space, active living and alternative transportation projects for more than 20 years.
Jim and Duncan talk about Historic Preservation on their return drive from the annual conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, held in Buffalo this week. This show includes an excerpt from the keynote address Jim gave to kick off the conference. During the talk JHK explained to preservationists that not all buildings are worth saving — particularly the modernist architectural abortions of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
JHK and Duncan get caught up on listener calls. Question topics include: Phoenix vs. Georgia; repealing the gas tax, The Long Descent, the downgrading of America and why aren’t there any African-American characters in Jim’s World Made By Hand novels. One listener also shares a bizarre and raunchy consipiracy theory.
KunstlerCast Get together in Buffalo
October 19, 2011
8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Pearl Street Grille and Brewery
67 Pearl St., Buffalo, NY
In conjunction with a party hosted by the Buffalo Young Preservationists. For info and to RSVP: click here.
During National Preservation Conference
KunstlerCast Book Release Party
Nov. 1, 2011
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Daisy Bakers, Troy NY
In the conclusion of this one-hour conversation, Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything, The Party’s Over and the newly published The End of Growth joins James Howard Kunstler by phone to talk about peak oil, financial dysfunction, techno-grandiosity, the fate of industrial aggriculture and the suburban living arrangement. Heinberg also reacts to being labeled a “Doomer.”
Buy full one-hour audio (.mp3) interview – $1
(Note: Parts 1 & 2 are now avaialble for free. But you can still buy the full interview in one file if you’d like.)
In part one of this one-hour conversation, Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything, The Party’s Over and the newly published The End of Growth joins James Howard Kunstler by phone to talk about peak oil, financial dysfunction, political convulsions and generational conflict.
*If you can’t wait to hear the exciting conclusion of this conversation, you can download the entire interview and/or purchase a transcript now.
Car Dependency and the American National Character
Released: Aug. 18, 2011
A listener asks if American’s cherished value of spontaneity is inextricably bound to car dependency. JHK shares his thoughts on the American National Character and how it may change during The Long Emergency. Topics include: Alexis de Tocqueville, Carmageddon, Convenience, Car Sharing.
JHK and Duncan visit The Sanctuary for Independent Media, an old church in North Central Troy NY which has been repurposed as community media space. After a public lecture, JHK takes questions from the audience on a variety of urban planning and energy topics.
This week’s sponsor is The Congress for the New Urbanism, the nation’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.
The Dependency-enabling Relationship Between Govt. & The U.S. People
Released: April 14, 2011
James Howard Kunstler has said many times that he’s allergic to conspiracy theories. Yet his own ideas about peak oil sort of sound like a conspiracy theory since he believes that the U.S. government has a dependency-enabling relationship with the American public regarding our energy consumption habits and reality. JHK concedes that there may be a “soft conspiracy” at play.
James Howard Kunstler believes Americans and their leaders are lying to themselves about our current energy predicament. There is a tremendous body of fantasy about how much energy Americans can harvest from shale gas, shale oil, tar sands, running the American truck fleet on natural gas and other forms of alternative fuel for motoring. There is even one fantasy that an endless supply of abiotic oil is located in the earth’s core. Kunstler runs down the list and gives us the score.
This week’s sponsor is PostPeakLiving.com, offering online courses that prepare you for a post-peak world. Enroll now in the UnCrash Course, Sustainable Post-Peak Livelihoods, Navigating the Coming Chaos, Introduction to Sustainable Gardening or Chickens 101. Find out more at: http://postpeakliving.com.
James Howard Kunstler speaks about his annual forecast for 2011. Although there are a lot of people out there cheering for a “recovery,” JHK believes it’s time for a reset. He foresees food shortages, financial strain and political troubles ahead.
James Howard Kunstler joins Duncan by phone from his hotel room in New Orleans. Their conversation moves from Dearborn, Michigan (2:49 – 5:13 mins) to the failings of the airline industry (5:13 – 14:30 mins), to Burlington, Vt. (14:30 – 22:45 mins), to the potential of Thorium, the so-called “green” nuclear energy source (22:45 – 26:50 mins), to the Boomer generation’s parting gift to future generations (26:50 – 40:06 mins).
JHK Travels Back in Time to Warn The American People of the Future that Awaits Them
Released: Sept. 16, 2010.
Duncan asks JHK what he would say to the American people of 1946 if he had the means to travel back in time. What would Kunstler tell them about the suburban dream as promised to them? Would they listen?
Journalist/Author Peter Golden interviews James Howard Kunstler about The Witch of Hebron (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010), the second novel in Kunstler’s World Made By Hand series. Without giving away any important plot points, Golden explores the major themes in this autumn story set in a world after the lights have flickered out and the oil has dried up. Topics include: the rule of law, the importance of ritual holidays, and the role of religion in a tight-knit community. In this novel, Kunstler has revealed more about the circumstances that have placed his characters in a world without modernity. Golden ask if Kunstler believes that people are happier in this imagined future than they are in today’s high tech world.
Music: “Be Thou My Vision,” performed by Ed Lowman & John Kirk, recorded specially for the World Made By Hand series.
JHK examines the tragic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the fog of incomplete information that surrounds it. Kunstler sees this incident as further proof that the peak oil story is real. Now that the low hanging fruit of our oil resources has been plucked, the paradigms of our car-dependent society are forcing us to drill under difficult conditions that are hard to control. The return of $4 gallons of gasoline is not far around the next corner and the trauma from this event is already provoking strange emotional outbursts and pockets of denial from the public who do not want to get off the path of Happy Motoring. JHK also believes that the escalating and increasing failures of liberal democracy in the U.S. are getting to the point where American people don’t trust the government to be competent anymore. Ecological disasters are amplifying economic disasters, which are feeding a political disaster. In the end, this event may accelerate the process of America rethinking how its living and whether in fact maybe what we’re doing is insane, especially this campaign to sustain the unsustainable which is underway.
Support for the KunstlerCast comes from Post Carbon Institute, the world’s leading think tank dedicated to getting society off fossil fuels fast. PCI is proud to have James Howard Kunstler as a valued advisor–joining Richard Heinberg, Bill McKibben, Majora Carter, Rob Hopkins and 25 other Fellows in leading the transition to a more resilient world. Learn more at http://PostCarbon.org.
James Howard Kunstler recently returned from the 18th Annual Congress for the New Urbanism. Agrarian urbanism was a hot topic among many New Urbanists at the Congress and in this episode Kunstler takes the time to explore the topic of food production in cities. Rising energy prices and poor growing weather may lead to global food shortages, but JHK believes that the idea of feeding the U.S. population with rooftop gardens and skyscraper terrariums is absurd. Gardening and even raising certain animals in the city was a normal part of urban life before World War II and we may see a return of some of those practices. But Kunstler believes that it is important to cut through some of the fantasies to figure out what’s really possible. We must also be careful not to confuse the urban with the rural.
Support for the KunstlerCast comes from The Law Office of Paul C. Rapp … Specializing in intellectual property law including copyright, trademark, Internet, art and entertainment matters. Paul Rapp is licensed in New York and Massachusetts. For information visit: PaulRapp.com
James Howard Kunstler takes a moment to examine where we’re at as a culture at the end of 2009. JHK shares his thought process leading up to his 2010 Forecast. Topics include healthcare, economics and foreign affairs.
There will be a staged-reading of James Howard Kunstler’s play, “Big Slide” this Jan. 9 at the Multi-use Community Cultural Center in Rochester NY. The playwright will introduce the show, which begins a 7:30 p.m. Admission is pay what you can. For information, visit: http://muccc.org
In this in part two of this discussion, James Howard Kunstler predicts how various regions of the United States will fare during the coming energy crisis that he anticipates. Kunstler refers to the coming crisis as “The Long Emergency.” In this half of the discussion, Kunstler discusses: the Great Plains, the Upper Midwest, the Mid Atlantic and New England. He also talks about issues with fresh water scarcity.
This week’s sponsor is PostPeakLiving.com, offering online courses that prepare you for a post-peak world. Enroll now in our new e-learning course, or our 6-week, instructor led Un-Crash Course. Find out more at: http://postpeakliving.com.
In this in installment, James Howard Kunstler predicts how various regions of the United States will fare during the coming energy crisis that he anticipates. Kunstler refers to the coming crisis as “The Long Emergency.” In the first part of this discussion, Kunstler discusses: the Southern States, the Southwest, the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies. A listener call reacts to the Happy Motoring podcast and Duncan closes the show with the Esso Happy Motoring song.
This week’s sponsor is Chelsea Green, publisher of Waiting on a Train by James McCommons, with forward by James Howard Kunstler. Waiting on a Train is a critical look at the embattled future of passenger rail service, told by a journalist who spent one year traveling across America by train in 2008. Look for “Waiting on a Train” at your local bookstore, or visit: http://chelseagreen.com. .
Cruising Toward Collapse with a Stunning Stupidity
Released: Nov. 26, 2009.
James Howard Kunstler believes that the Happy Motoring project is running out of time. Peak Oil and problems with alternative energy aren’t the only issues facing future motorists. He thinks that car ownership will become less democratic in the future as cars become too expensive to buy without the current financing options. Kunstler dismisses Christopher Steiner’s “$20 Per Gallon” book for assuming that an orderly procession of events will take us from $3 per gallon to $20. The conversation naturally leads to a discussion of NASCAR, which Kunstler views as a particularly pathetic reincarnation of Roman chariot races that serve to preoccupy the masses as the American empire declines. Lastly, Kunstler addresses a recent International Energy Agency scandal to coverup the reality of dwindling oil supplies.
This week’s sponsor is Chelsea Green, publisher of Waiting on a Train by James McCommons, with forward by James Howard Kunstler. Waiting on a Train is a critical look at the embattled future of passenger rail service, told by a journalist who spent one year traveling across America by train in 2008. Look for “Waiting on a Train” at your local bookstore, or visit: http://chelseagreen.com.
Additional support for this program comes from PostPeakLiving.com Additional support for this podcast comes from PostPeakLiving.com, offering online courses that prepare you for a post-peak world. Find out more at:http://postpeakliving.com
Inspired by David Owen’s book “Green Metropolis,” James Howard Kunstler examines the idea of Manhattan as a “green” city. Kunstler believes that, during his lifetime, New York has never been in as good shape as it is now. But he also thinks it will never be in as good shape again. Financial and energy problems in the future may turn our newest skyscrapers into one-generation buildings, outlandish monuments built during the twilight of an empire. Of all the boroughs, Kunstler thinks Brooklyn may fare the best because of its higher quality urban fabric.
This week’s sponsor is Grinning Planet, providing real news in a free weekly mp3 format. Grinning Planet compiles the best audio news coverage of the week on a single page to save you time and cut through the mainstream propaganda. Listen at: http://www.grinningplanet.com/mp3-news
In this week’s episode, listener Frank Aragona of the Agroinnovations Podcast asks James Howard Kunstler to talk about the role of food in Jim’s post-peak oil novel World Made By Hand. Although the characters in the novel must overcome many obstacles, the food that they eat is delicious in general and is a vast improvement to the current American diet. Aragona thinks that perhaps food is the triumphant element in the novel. Kunstler talks about how horrendous spectacl and the tragic results that the fast food nation has brought about. He also speaks about the lost ceremony of eating with family and friends. Listeners also comment on the recent podcasts about Los Angeles and white rooftops.
This week’s sponsor is The Agroinnovations Podcast, covering all things related to sustainable agriculture and the world-wide local food movement. Featuring interivews on fair trade, conservation, permaculture, and healthy alternatives to factory farming. Learn more and listen at http://agroinnovations.com/podcast.
James Howard Kunstler explores the possibility of transitioning our society from fossil fuels to one that runs on electricity. This discussion is based on ideas presented in an episode of NOVA titled “Car of the Future” (Season 33, Episode 3). You can watch the entire NOVA program below.
Waiting for the Storm After the Fossil Fuel Fiesta
Released: July 16, 2009.
James Howard Kunstler and other commentators are often called “doomers” for their seemingly bleak outlook for modern society after the peak of oil production. Kunstler gives a brief introduction to other “doomer” authors, including Dmitri Orlov, John Michael Greer, Jay Hanson, and James Lovelock . Though Kunstler rejects the doomer label, he does believe that we are involved in a human system that needs to be severely pruned. He believes that resurrection and redemption are great themes in the human story and that civilization has a few more cycles to go.
New Urbanist Planner and Author Jaime Correa speaks about urban planning in the peak oil era. KunstlerCast Host Duncan Crary recorded Correa’s talk on May 28 at the Albany Roundtable in Albany, N.Y. Correa speaks about how the end of cheap oil will affect communities in the future. He describes his peak oil action plan, which he calls The 40 Percent Plan. As urban communities begin to contract in the future, Correa has some ideas about what people need to do to successfully prepare for the future. James Howard Kunstler introduces Correa and chats with Crary about the role that Correa has played in the New Urbanism. Kunstler also responds to a question posed to him by Correa about his preparations for peak oil.
Note: Curse words and adult language occur at 27:30, 27:37 and 30:17
James Howard Kunstler tells the story of how he came to learn about peak oil while writing about suburban sprawl. Topics include The Yom Kippur War, The Hubbert’s Curve, the New Urbanists and the strong relationship between suburban sprawl and diminishing supplies of cheap fossil fuel. Kunstler explains the chronology and relationship between all four of his nonfiction books.
Every year James Howard Kunstler publishes his annual forecast on his popular blog. For this installment of the KunstlerCast, Jim gives us a sneak preview of some of his predictions for 2009. Topics in this show include: phony baloney money, new economies, home deliveries, oil shortages and price increases. Kunstler also talks about his 1999 predictions and thoughts about Y2K.
How not to be a crybaby, clown or passive consumer of hope
Released: Oct. 9, 2008.
James Howard Kunstler is not a hope dispenser to passive consumers of hope. But ultimately he believes that life is moving into a more favorable phase, even if it will be difficult to get there. In this show Kunstler responds to a listener call about our moral responsibility to do the right thing and fix our country. He talks about the importance of cultivating joy in one’s life and doing meaningful work. He also shares his thoughts on Sen. Barack Obama’s hopeful message and discusses how his own mood has changed since he first wrote The Geography of Nowhere.
Can natural gas and electricity replace gasoline and diesel fuel?
Released: Aug. 21, 2008.
This July, oilman T. Boone Pickens told Congress that James Howard Kunstler is worth listening to and that he’s right on about the mistakes we’ve made in America regarding our use of cheap oil. In this program, Kunstler discusses the “Pickens Plan” to use wind energy and natural gas to reduce America’s reliance on foreign oil. Other topics include Shai Agassi’s Better Place plan to make electric cars viable. Kunstler also answers a listener’s question about purchasing a new car.
Jiminy Cricket, Cargo Cults, Prayer & Other Ways to Get Something for Nothing
Released: June 19, 2008.
Religious activists are praying at Washington DC gas stations for cheaper fuel. James Howard Kunstler says that type of neurotic behavior isn’t much different than the behavior of cargo cults in the South Pacific. The concept of getting something for nothing is widely accepted by American culture, and religion, too. But Jim feels spirituality in America might one day evolve into something worthy of more respect than the Jiminy Cricket, consumerist culture of today’s suburban mega churches.
A listener from New Zealand asks James Howard Kunstler what peak oil holds in store for his island nation. The picture isn’t pretty. Kunstler says the Kiwis better watch their backs. China, Japan and even Australia could all pose threats to New Zealand as they face shortages in the new energy future. At the end of the program, a cast of listeners sounds off. We hear from a black man in Queens who is not African-American, a former Long Island nanny, and an urban planner from Canada who asks Jim to lay off the planners, dude.
Arizona after cheap oil + alternative fuel fantasies
Released: March 27, 2008.
A listener from Flagstaff, Ariz. wants to know what fate awaits his town in the post oil future. The verdict from Jim? At least it’s not Phoenix, but most of Flagstaff looks like the service road around Newark Airport. The caller also asks about the new Honda hydrogen fuel cell car, which reminds Jim to bash so-called environmentalist Amory Lovins’ fantasy to keep the motoring scene going at all costs.
James Howard Kunstler reads from World Made By Hand, his new novel based on the post-oil future. Published by The Atlantic Monthly Press, World Made By Hand is set in upstate New York in the not distant future. It is a fictional account of the ideas based in Kunstler’s nonfiction book, The Long Emergency.