The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunslter

Subtitled: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

Published: 2005

Genre: nonfiction, peak oil

Length: 307 pages

Interest: It’s a book I’m considering using for my Environmental Problem Solving class next term. I was looking for something that covered many of the current environmental problems, particularly peak oil. Sharon Astyk from Casaubon’s Book provided the book recommendation.

Summary: The author walks us through the causes of pek oil and how peak oil is going to change society. He starts with the fact that so few people are aware of peak oil. Then, he outlines how our modern society has been built on cheap, plentiful oil, in terms of our economy, our politics, and even where and how we live. He describe why he thinks alternative sources of energy won’t help us, and how peak oil gets into all parts of the environment, from climate change, to species extinctions, to water scarcity, and beyond. He finishes things off with what it will mean to live in a post-oil society.

Final thoughts: An excellent find for my class as it discusses most of the environmental problems I like to cover. As a book, it was a bit depressing, and I had to break it up with something lighter. It does reinforce my desire to make more ties to the local community, like through the Grapevine TimeXchange. It did seem that the author was a bit biased toward his home region (New England area) when discusses how things would change post oil. He felt most of the other regions would have serious problems, but New England should be able to weather the changes with minimal problems – which is good for me, if true. He even discussed why our current education system is a result of cheap oil and industrialization, and how it will need to change – I’m just in the vanguard of change by homeschooling. Yeah, that’s it.

Title comes from: Kunslter sees peak oil as a tipping point in our society, and everything is gradually downhill from here. It’s not an acute, catastrophe, but a chronic problem we will have to learn to deal with.

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2 responses to “The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunslter

  1. Pingback: Environmental Issues book | Fill Your Bookshelf

  2. Pingback: The Long Emergency by James Howard Kunslter | Fill Your Bookshelf

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