The Long Emergency

A five-part video exploration with author. lecturer, and de facto cultural historian James Howard Kunstler

PART ONE: How the Hell Did We Get Here? (6:18)
Before trying to figure out how we’re going to get out of the oil mess we’re in, it might help to know a bit about how it all happened. Kunstler offers a casual history of the industrial experience (fossil fuel use), from the 17th century up to the modern period.
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PART TWO: Hubbert’s Curve, and Other Inconvenient Facts (8:11)
On the rise of OPEC and the turbulent 1970s — how it all happened, and what it means for us today.
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PART THREE: Reagan’s Short-Lived “Morning in America” (7:11)
On the 1980s, the 1990s, the “Jiminy Cricket” economy, and an awful lot of wishful thinking about alternative energy.
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PART FOUR: The Twilight of Wal-Mart (and Everything Else That’s Huge) (7:14)
On the symptoms of systemic failure. Without cheap oil for transport, will Wal-Mart be able to maintain its long-distance romance with China? Will FEMA even be able to answer the phone in twenty years?
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PART FIVE: Keeping the Lights On (6:06)
On facing the New Reality. We can begin to envision and to build a post-oil “American Way of Life.” But are Americans ready? (Are they even listening?)
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James Howard Kunstler is the author of The Long Emergency and The Geography of Nowhere, as well as the novel (his tenth) World Made by Hand. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Rolling Stone. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York.