Friday, August 13, 2010


Here is an old New Yorker article about people who believe the collapse of the US is imminent. I agree with many of James Howard Kunstler's assertions that US culture has been really messed up by consumerism and irresponsible business practices. The US has way too many ugly houses, ugly neighborhoods, ugly people, eating ugly foods, consuming ugly products, and acting ugly towards one another. In fact, in college I was so embittered by the flaws I saw in the society around me that I was pretty unbearable to be around. But I no longer believe that things are so bad. In the US there is still a substantial amount of people living what I consider a decent, well-grounded life. Many people still eat good, homemade food with their families, value old, beautiful houses, fix their own things and do their own work, contribute to their communities.

A separate, technical note is that I don't think we'll ever have a peak oil crisis as many of the article's subjects predict. As oil becomes more expensive, we'll shift our use to other fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. The real problem will be that our addiction to fossil fuels will continue to have severe climate effects, and it's likely that the people most impacted by this won't be in the US but elsewhere.

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