"The Long Emergency" By Kunstler

Essay by WuzDropdOnMiHedCollege, UndergraduateB+, May 2007

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Kunstler's book describes how American society will drastically change, very soon. He begins the book by describing how life in America will not be the same for long. Suburban life can only survive with cheap oil-which is shortly going to be depleted. Nearly everything that we use has been produced with the help of oil somehow. "The blandishments of cheap oil and gas were so seductive, and induced such transports of mesmerizing contentment, that we ceased paying attention to the essential nature of these miraculous gifts from the earth: that they exist in finite, nonrenewable supplies, unevenly distributed around the world." (Kunstler, 3) If we don't serious look at ways to avoid an economic meltdown, we will have serious problems. The alternative fuel prospects we have now, won't support our economy the way oil has-and they generally require the use of oil to run properly. "To aggravate matters, the wonders of steady technological progress under the reign of oil have tricked us into a kind of 'Jimmy Cricket syndrome,' leading many Americans to believe that anything we wish for hard enough can come true.

These days, even people in our culture who ought to know better are wishing ardently that a smooth, seamless transition from fossil fuels to their putative replacements-hydrogen, solar power, whatever-lies just a few years ahead. This is a dangerous fantasy." (Ibid, 3)Life in the twentieth century was based on the use of fossil fuels. Without them, life would not have been the same. They have allowed us to drastically increase the world's population. This holds true for the future. Fossil fuels will ruin out and Kunstler points out that it will happen sooner rather than later. "The age of fossil fuels is about to end. There is no replacement for them at hand. These facts are...