Strategies for Survival - 08 May 05 - James Kunstler

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Linnea
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Strategies for Survival - 08 May 05 - James Kunstler

Post by Linnea » 05-08-2005 01:49 PM

Art Bell has an important guest on C2C tonight. James Kunstler - 'The Long Emergency - Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the 21st Century'. His website is not being posted on the C2C website....for reasons that are apparant if you visit his website:

http://www.kunstler.com

He has posted a relevant and thoughtful article on his website...

'I get e-mail from people who object to what they construe to be an excessively pessimistic view of our national scene. Well, what if you suggested to the people of Germany in 1936 that Dresden would be turned into an ashtry within a decade and that Berliners would cut down all the trees in the Tiergarten to heat their homes?

What I've been suggesting about the direction of our country is hardly that drastic.

I personally believe that there is much we can do as a nation, and as a collection of communities, to mitigate the problems I have been describing, even to create conditions in which American civilization can advance beyond the hardships of the early 21st century.

The overriding imperative task for us in the face of the problems ahead will be the downscaling of virtually all activities in America. This should not be misunderstood. I do not mean that we ought to become any less of a nation, or less of a democracy, only that the scale at which we conduct the work of American life will have to be adjusted to fit the requirements of a post-globalist, post-cheap-oil age. The future is already telling us very clearly what must be done. If we fail to pay attention, we risk very costly distraction in political turmoil, military mischief, civil disturbance, and permanent economic loss.

I will focus here on examples of three national "systems," so to speak, that will have to be downscaled sooner rather than later: retail trade, agriculture, and schooling.

America made the unfortunate choice (by inattention, really) of allowing nearly all of its retail trade to be consolidated by a very few huge national operations, the Wal-Marts and other gigantic discounters. Many Americans viewed this as a bonanza of bargain shopping without noticing the significant losses and costs entailed to their communities, and to the long-term health of their nation's economy. I have described the extreme vulnerability of the giant national retail operations to the vicissitudes ahead: disrupted oil markets, far-flung supply chains, and so forth. When these behemoths go down - and they will go down hard and fast - everyday retail trade will have to be reorganized in America. This is a tremendous task.

It will have to be reorganized at the local and regional scale. It will have to be based on moving merchandise shorter distances at multiple increments and probably by multiple modes of transport. It is almost certain to result in higher costs for the things we buy - which is another way of stating we face a period of austerity - but it is apt to bring back many lost civic benefits in return. The national chains eliminated practically all the "middlemen," who were disparaged as parasites adding needless costs to everyday products. The fact is that these middlemen, the wholesalers, jobbers, warehousers, distributors, played necessary roles in a complex system that operated very differently than the current model. They were members of local communities; they were economic participants in their communities; they made decisions that had to take the needs of their communities into account; they were caretakers of civic institutions, and they were employers. We will need this category of business person again, as we will need the local retailer, the persons and families who run local businesses trading with the public at large. We will need a multi-layered system for the distribution of regular goods, even if it costs more to operate.'

Article continues on Kunstler's website....

http://www.kunstler.com/mags_diaryplus.html

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Post by SETIsLady » 05-08-2005 03:09 PM

Thanks for posting the link ..Linnea, I wish there was one night I could stay awake to visit the ORR and join in the conversation.

Sounds interesting and I will definetely listen to it tomorrow on streamlink :)

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Post by sayntbrigid » 05-08-2005 04:12 PM

Hi Linnea, :)
This is one of the most difficult topics to discuss, it is SO very complicated. One of the most difficult situations we face IMMHO, Is how do we survive in a world where in some places people earning only a few dollars a day are earning enough to provide nicely for their families? It seems to me that we need to start thinking about this. I wish I had some solutions to share, I dont, I'm very worried about what the consequences of this situation could be. :(

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Post by sayntbrigid » 05-08-2005 04:26 PM

Actually, I do have a few ideas about some solutions, but they are not very popular. What would happen if everybody parked their cars....permanently. Learned to grow their own food, and raise their own chickens, and sew their own clothing. (Ask ourselves, or our children to wear home made clothing? Oh my goodness) Chop their own wood for heat and cooking, and learn to lend a helping hand and just get along in their own neighborhoods. If we could do this, the rest would maybe fall into place. The ethics and the morality both. We are dependant, and thats they way they want us to be. They would fall quickly if we knew how to take care of ourselves, as a community. IMMHO
Last edited by sayntbrigid on 05-08-2005 04:30 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Linnea » 05-08-2005 07:56 PM

I agree, sayntbrigid. We need to more forward with the best technology we can, and simplest life styles we can. Hope this will be a good show.

Glad you will be listening, SETIsLady. :)

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Post by sayntbrigid » 05-08-2005 08:27 PM

U put it perfectly Linnea :) TY

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Post by Devastated » 05-09-2005 06:10 AM

In a way it was an interesting show. In many ways it just sounded like another man revealing his trip and trying not to let Art interrupt him.
Glad I was born when I was born and not a day later.
You don't have to believe everything that you think...

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Post by sayntbrigid » 05-09-2005 07:06 AM

I think he did a good jo of explaining the situation.
I think he spoke in a way that everybody can understand
I got a real surprise out of JC showing up LOL
In short, I thought it was a great show.

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Post by Dale O Sea » 05-09-2005 12:10 PM

Yes, it was a great show and I hope Art has him back. It would also be nice to have had Streamlink another day or so to listen tot he last couple of hours that I missed while sleeping. I love the title he gives his Blog - Cluster*** Nation Chronicle, LOL and he even has some movie reviews there...He didn't like very many that I saw. Here's what he said about his host of last night's" The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow
(Director Roland Emmerich)
Emmerich manages a really amazing feat here: to take a crucially pressing world issue and make it absolutely ridiculous. Global warming leads to a systems collapse of the ocean currents and brings on another ice-age -- all in about forty-eight hours. The special effects, such as a fiesta of multiple super-tornadoes tearing through Los Angeles, have an impressive nightmarish appeal. Everything else is melodramatic garbage. The script is unworthy of a home video. In a better world, Dennis Quaid's preposterous performance would be a career-ender.
Not one of the good ones. heh, but he didn't like very many on his list..mostly bad reviews.

I read in it's entirety his log on his total hip replacement with much personal interest. I'm glad it was him that tried all those failed docs and procedures and not me. I wish I'd have found his site last night - might have kept me from falling off so soon. My bad - as I didn't even see this till today.

Thanks for posting this Linn and hope I didn't take anyone too far off topic with my wandering observations, heh. :)

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Post by Linnea » 05-13-2005 09:49 AM

It was a good show. Kunstler, being an academic - can afford to be somewhat freewheeling. Heh. I thought his website was interesting too, Dale. ;)

Regarding the coming global superstorm, there is evidence one of the three 'feeders' of the gulf current is failing. Whitley has new information on http://www.unknowncountry.com
:eek:

As far as the 'end of oil' - here is a link to a website about new energy technology and community:

http://www.crest.org/

As far as some local activism to let our communities know we are concerned, and need to get going in a direction of new energy technology - writing letters to the editors of local newspapers is a good way to get some thinking and comment and these issues. I've heard the 'tipping point' in getting some kind of response - is about 20 letters on an issue. If anyone gets others in your communities to send in letters - let us know here if you get any action or comment.

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Post by Devastated » 05-14-2005 06:07 AM

A little love never hurts, either.:)
You don't have to believe everything that you think...

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Post by Cherry Kelly » 06-27-2005 10:09 AM

bridig,
While I have long been an advocate of doing for yourself - ie - wood stove, gardens, etc. as well as our solar battery backup for energy -- its an uphill battle.
Kids are not taught many of these lost HOW TOs - by either their parents or their schools. Now as for sewing and wearing home made clothes - at the prices of material needed - it too has fallen by the wayside, though cutting down clothing from larger to smaller - for kids for summer wear -- yes!

= = =

Linnea - how about a thread for Common Sense How Tos. For everything from making your own slip covers to help make furniture last longer (keep it cleaner, etc.) to tiling your own floors, to winterization to -- well whatever...

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