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KunstlerCast 244 — Interview with author Michael Klare

JHK interviews Michael Klare, author or The Race For What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources. Michael is also the author of Resource Wars, and Blood and Oil. He runs the Department of Peace and Security Studies at Hampshire College, a program that also serves the Five Colleges organization which includes, Smith, Mt Holyoke, U. Mass, and Amherst.

The KunstlerCast music is “Adam and Ali’s Waltz” from the recording Waiting to Fly by Mike and Ali Vass.

Direct Download: http://traffic.libsyn.com/kunstlercast/KunstlerCast_244.mp3

Please send questions and comments to letters@kunstler.com.

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.

4 Responses to “KunstlerCast 244 — Interview With Michael Klare” Subscribe

  1. xxzzy999 August 30, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Great interview… thanks Jim!

    • dannyboy8 August 31, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      This was a very disappointing interview. Yes another egghead intellectual perspective on how things are going to play out. He states that you will have a crash here and a crash there and some places will be fine? Let me ask you this if you are fine in Amherst and your neighbor is struggling to feed his kids are you just fine? Do you think your little pension is going to just keep rolling in? Things are intrinsic and if you start to have any sort of collapse in the U. S it will have significant effects in the global system.

      This guy has no idea of what is coming; he is looking at all this from his intellectual chair at his comfortable second home on the lake. I can’t believe I wasted my time listening to this farce of an interview!!! Without Saudi oil you have WW3 not just hard times.

  2. DanielOney September 1, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    Best question was asking him about the attitudes and actions of the pointy-headed set in his part of the country. I visited my mom and sister in east Texas today. I am not sure that part of the wold is as aware of some of these issues. But it was interesting that my sister who professed to have no interest in history or politics could talk quite intelligently about the fact that there was no economy left in their home town except for what the federal and state government could pour into health care. She said there were only two major businesses in town that were not health care related and one of them probably sold most of their products to the regional hospitals and nursing homes.

  3. Max Bacon September 14, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Personally there was much I could disagree with in what Michael was saying, particularly with regard IEA. I don’t share his view that they are the font of objective truth and reason, they have a job to do and it isn’t to spike oil and gas prices. Also on that point I have to agree with James in that among academics there is very much an element of ‘magical thinking’. However it is still worth remembering, whatever we may personally observe or predict for the future, on the whole, so far it has actually worked out in their favor. Shale gas and tar sand and alike may be inefficient and costly but, possibly, if they can print enough, borrow enough and cheat investors then they may just stand a chance of maintaining a portion of the population, the military and the police at levels where it is still in their interests to continue. Joseph Tainter gives a good description of this and how in order to maintain lifestyle for the ‘chosen’ as it were, they will be prepared to use even more resources to maintain sustainability. just think of the working conditions that we in the west are prepared to allow in producing nations. Our tea and Coffee is the price it is, despite all the work that goes into its production and transport, precisely because some people are living on a dollar a day or there abouts. That the poor are set to get poorer so that certain favored groups in society can continue is nothing new, its just that it is once again revisiting us here and it is that that exercising our annoyance currently. Here it will happen slowly or in short intense bursts. If possible enough time will be allowed for reorientation to the ‘new normal’ and we will, as we always have before, forget that it was ever any different.

    A good example of this in the UK is the feed in tariff for solar energy. The power companies are under obligation to buy solar power from private householders at vastly inflated prices. This, over the course of twenty five years pays for the investment they make along with interest. It is a good if rather long term investment for those with capital. For the rest of us, who haven’t got the money it is an even greater drag on resources. We actively become poorer as others benefit. Also as smart meters are adopted we will again be discriminated against as variable pricing becomes possible. Great numbers of people are already officially in energy poverty and in the last few heavy winters in the UK thousands of extra deaths from hypothermia related diseases have been reported. Extra deaths means less pensions and savings from costly chronic end of life illnesses. You can see the right wing muttering to themselves, well if you can’t be bothered to save up enough for you old age then what can you expect. Lets forget the fact that so many people did well just to earn enough money to live day to day. Instead of attempting to create more capacity on the power grid the spikes will be smoothed out by consumer choice. British gas are actually selling the smart meter idea on just that premise ‘You’re In Control’. No, It won’t be a case of rationing where everyone suffers a little according to need, that would be most unpopular, far too much like a serious event, like the war. No, it will be a consumer choice to quietly freeze to death or have thrombosis or a stroke or clot or whatever.

    If I and many others at my level can no longer afford to maintain a car, all the more petrol for them. If they cut benefits for the disabled and push them into suicide or just dying of worry, so be it, that’s less idle mouths to feed as far as they are concerned. Extreme hardship coupled with family planning programs will lead many to avoid having children, That is a reality now, All the better for the Malthusians I think.

    Magical thinking works providing you can earn enough to remain in the land of magic. Michael doesn’t sound a bad sort and gets much of what James is saying yet I suspect by what he is saying that he thinks somehow the the draw bridges can be raised up on a precarious world outside the bubble. Ultimately I doubt if this is possible but it could go on for quit some time.

    As a last comment I feel that Michael’s description of the banking financial system is weak and somewhat anti semitic in nature. Not just that recipients for gold were used and not that some kind of con was taking place. It forms an unfortunate picture in some peoples heads. Also It leads to the fallacy that an exchange medium needs to be something valuable in itself, very popular at the moment but never the less untrue. As I think James or one of his other guests( Nicol Foss I believe) said, ithat n the absence of anything else all kinds of things became a means of exchange. Banks would lend on future cargo’s to the owners in exchange for a cut and all that. Anyway, James explains eloquently what has happened in the financial system so I don’t need to rattle on any more.

    Thanks for some great programming James, Hope your recovering well and look forward to hearing from you in future programs.

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