Monday, February 12, 2007

Ten Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society. Hint: It's NOT Going To Be Easy

The best way to feel hopeful about our looming energy crisis is to get active now and prepare for living arrangements in a post-oil society.

By James Howard Kunstler, Posted February 10, 2007.

Out in the public arena, people frequently twang on me for being "Mister Gloom'n'doom," or for "not offering any solutions" to our looming energy crisis. So, for those of you who are tired of wringing your hands, who would like to do something useful, or focus your attention in a purposeful way, here are my suggestions:

1. Expand your view beyond the question of how we will run all the cars by means other than gasoline. This obsession with keeping the cars running at all costs could really prove fatal.
2. We have to produce food differently. The Monsanto/Cargill model of industrial agribusiness is heading toward its Waterloo.
3. We have to inhabit the terrain differently. Virtually every place in our nation organized for car dependency is going to fail to some degree.
4. We have to move things and people differently. This is the sunset of Happy Motoring (including the entire US trucking system).
5. We have to transform retail trade. The national chains that have used the high tide of fossil fuels to contrive predatory economies-of-scale (and kill local economies) -- they are going down.
6. We will have to make things again in America. However, we are going to make less stuff.
7. The age of canned entertainment is coming to and end. It was fun for a while. We liked "Citizen Kane" and the Beatles.
8. We'll have to reorganize the education system. The centralized secondary school systems based on the yellow school bus fleets will not survive the coming decades. The huge investments we have made in these facilities will impede the transition out of them, but they will fail anyway.
9. We have to reorganize the medical system. The current skein of intertwined rackets based on endless Ponzi buck passing scams will not survive the discontinuities to come.
10. Life in the USA will have to become much more local, and virtually all the activities of everyday life will have to be re-scaled. You can state categorically that any enterprise now supersized is likely to fail -- everything from the federal government to big corporations to huge institutions.

Read the whole piece. It was up on Alternet since Saturday...

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