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KunstlerCast 253 – Yakking with Alice Friedemann of

KunstlerCast 253 – Yakking with Alice Friedemann of

Alice Friedemann insists she is not an academic, but publishes on a wide variety of contemporary scientific issues bearing on the fate of industrial civilization. She subscribes to a scenario that she calls the “fast crash.” She worked for 25 years as a systems architect and engineer in the corporate world, or “Dilbert-Land” as she calls it, before dropping out to write full time. Her science and economic essays can be found at her website: Alice is also a cookbook writer and blogger at the website She lives in Berkeley, California.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.

18 Responses to “KunstlerCast 253 – Yakking with Alice Friedemann of” Subscribe

  1. Being There May 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Thanks Jim,

    Excellent interview with Alice Friedmann. Very well researched discussion. I have already bookmarked Energyskeptic.

    Looks like an excellent resource for info.

  2. Karah May 13, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

    academics sound as nutty as everybody else, letters do not impress me.

    the whole protein allele thing was nutty. we need protein because that is what makes up meat, we are made of meat. quinoa is great replacement for meat on occasion. during world war the zoos in england had no meat to feed the lions so they were fed grains. they became more docile however i still would not feel safe around them.
    dogs, like cats, were bred for certain dominant genes. the interesting thing about breeding genetics is that you are never sure what you will get, what will be expressed and what will stay hidden. it is an art.

    a lot of stuff we do disappears seemingly overnight and most of us do not miss it. i will not miss driving four hours on highways. i will miss electricity. solar cells do not require full sun to make electricity. i am not really concerned about massive amounts of people dying because of ignorance and dependence on the state. i will not miss them. they usually are very unreasonable and defend the state right or wrong. the people who become violent are trying to sustain that which is unsustainable.

  3. Marquis_Zardoz May 14, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    Good stuff. This is the first of the KunstlerCasts that I’ve listened to. I look forward to time traveling through the older ones.

  4. chipshot May 17, 2014 at 7:45 am #

    That was a good one.
    Would’ve listened all night if you two kept going.

    Seems many females have much more common sense
    than males, especially those in leadership positions.

    Any chance of getting Lester Brown ?

  5. mtko May 17, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    She mentioned “peak sand”.

    Where I live, sand is abundant at any gravel pit, and quite a few road cuts. There are huge seams of it in the ground. I don’t know about applications for semi-conductors, etc., but she is wrong about construction sand coming from the beach.

    And sand is not necessary for most road construction. She is confusing it with the “fines” portion of a bituminous mix. You get the needed fines any time rock is crushed to make the gravel.

    Just need the energy to keep all them machines going………

  6. Karah May 19, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    2150 Celsius (°C)
    72670 Fahrenheit (°F)

    i believe only electrical furnaces can get that hot.

  7. RickH May 21, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

    Geesh, that was bleak! But I guess that’s why I’ve been tuning into the Kunstler cast for the last half dozen years or so – to get a dose of apocalypse. The problem is that it hasn’t come to pass these long years that Jim has been forecasting it and lining up guests to support “his” world view.

    Jim might be startled to realize that he, (and his latest guest), really have so much in common with Christian evangelicals describing how sinful, depraved and “fallen” the world really is, but in the case of Alice, in scientific detail. To live on this earth is to consume and produce waste – then we die and go to an ecological paradise.

    I can’t help but think of Jim (and most of his guests) as being “counter-culture” and “anti-establishment”, i.e. a legacy and product of the 60’s and the age of being contrarian (for many good reasons), but it seems to persist as a way of life for many. “No, can’t shop at Walmart, because it’s run by “the man””. “Only old-tech is OK, because new-tech is run by “the man” who is lying to us”.
    In the 70’s my dad had a few bins of whole grain wheat in the basement along with a grinder – waiting for the collapse… which hasn’t come. I’m not sayin’ that it will never come, but in the meantime a lot of cool things have come to pass.

    But I do “enjoy” the perspective. Regards

    • chipshot May 24, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      “To live on this earth is to consume and produce waste”

      Waste is a human product only, non-existent in the natural world.

      Many say Malthus and Paul Erlich were wrong b/c their forecasts did not happened when they predicted (collapse of our species from overpopulation). It is far, far more difficult to predict then “when” than the “what”. Their only mistake was putting a time frame on their predictions.

      • routersurfer May 27, 2014 at 11:20 am #

        You nailed that chipshot !

      • RickH June 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

        Matthew 25:13 – Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

      • RickH June 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

        … and one day the sun will flicker out and that will be the end. In the meantime…

      • RickH August 14, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

        The day humans started making tools and technology is the day the natural world started to be conquered. Believe me, you do not want to return to a ‘natural world’. For starters you’d have to get ride of the computer you’re reading this on… then your house, your heat/AC, your hospitals, your car, your literacy, your recreation, your job. Essentially, the ‘natural world’ does not include you, me and 7 billion of our closest friends.

    • routersurfer May 27, 2014 at 11:19 am #

      Hi RickH ! We will not know the hour or day……but it will hit us like a ton of bricks. Keep looking for the good things in life but remember to duck. History packs a punch. Enjoy life friend.

  8. routersurfer May 27, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    I think Alice is a hoot ! Please have her on again. I am in the fast crash camp also. Mostly because I got on board with the energy crash crowd back in the late 60’s. Geology, not purple microdot folks !! The guy cleaning my car was building subdivisions back in 2006. Guy across the street is an under employed petrol geologist chew on that. Think he needs to attended online “U” & get a degree in massage therapy to get a job ? ” Mow your lawn Lady! ” will be everyone’s song soon. I have many friends dumping toys and such in 2014. Too many to think this is just a “Normal” year. Large ships turn slow. We had the largest ship of all. It will only feel fast. Fact is it has been going on for 40+ years. You can start your “Crash Calender” from the date we stopped exporting crude. 401K’s and the rest are just tricks to prop up a slow turning,slow sinking ship. QE infinity anyone?

    • RickH June 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

      Router, you may be confusing the waning fortunes of your area and perhaps the USA with that of the rest of the world. Much of what used to be call “the Third World” is experiencing rising standards of living, increased health & longevity and material prosperity like never before. That’s a good news story!

  9. solarbobky January 14, 2015 at 12:49 pm #

    Alice’s websites:

    Alice’s book:…

    article mentioned:
    “Old Sunlight vs Ancient Sunlight -An Analysis of Home Heating and Wood” Nate Hagens


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