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Archive by Author

The Coming Siege of Austerity

     It’s a curious symptom of the consensus trance zombifying the American public and its auditors in the media that something like a “recovery” is now deemed to be underway. And, as events compel me to repeat in this space, it begs the question: recovery to what? To Wall Street booking stupendous profits by laundering more »

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KunstlerCast #59: The Role of Bicycles

Bicycle Commuting, Transportation & NYC’s Broadway Pedestrian-Bicycle Project. Released: April 9, 2009. James Howard Kunstler responds to a listener who doesn’t understand why Jim sounds kind of down on bicycle transportation. Kunstler clarifies his position on bicycles — he’s a big supporter of bicycle use, but he doesn’t know if Americans will support bicycle projects more »

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Strange Days

     Even while a wave of reflex nausea washed over America last week, and the unemployment rolls swelled by much more than another half million, the greatest stock market suckers’ rally in seventy years pulled in the last of the credulous. These are strange days. The earth is heaving and the buds swelling again — more »

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KunstlerCast #58: New Urbanism in South Africa

Kunstler Reports on His Recent Trip to Johannesburg Released: April 2, 2009. James Howard Kunstler reports on two recent trips he took. First he talks about his appearance at the annual Aspen Institute Environmental Forum, where talk of alternative fuel, and other ways to keep our happy motoring scene running, dominated the talks about peak more »

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Under a Fluorescent Moon

           Mr. Obama heads to Europe now where official hostility is rising against the Anglo-American method of pounding monetary sand down the rat-holes of “non-performing” debt, bankrupt enterprise, and bubble-levitated bonds. Our poised and charming Prez may escape personal obloquy from the quaint old-world street folk, but most of the other G-20 policy more »

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KunstlerCast #57: New Orleans Follow Up

Listeners React to Previous Podcasts Released: March 26, 2009. In this short podcast, James Howard Kunstler returns briefly to the topic of New Orleans. This time he discusses the future of the Port of New Orleans. In the second half of this program, we hear from listeners around the country. One listener from New Orleans more »

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Full Commanding Denial

          If central casting called for a poised, straight-talking, and capable-seeming president, it would be hard to come up with someone better than the Barack Obama who walked and talked around the White House grounds with Steve Croft on “60-Minutes” Sunday night. He may perfectly represent the majority who elected him, though, because he more »

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KunstlerCast #56: Virtual Walking Tour of Paris

JHK Gives a Walking tour of Paris using Google Street View Released: March 19, 2009. At the suggestion of a listener caller, James Howard Kunstler gives a virtual walking tour of Paris, France using Google Street View. Google Street View is an interactive photographic map that allows users to view photographs of streets and buildings more »

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Side Trip

    While evermore appalling shenanigans within the AIG corporation preoccupied the US media last week, I made a side trip to the Republic of South Africa. The travails of that country are best summed up in this song by the late pop singer Lucky Dube, who was murdered in a botched carjacking a year and more »

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KunstlerCast #55: Meaningful Work in a New Economy

Rickshaws, and Other Ways to Make a Buck Released: March 12, 2009. At the suggestion of a listener, James Howard Kunstler muses on the future of animal powered transportation in the future. He briefly describes the systems required to maintain a horse-drawn transportation system. The conversation leads to a discussion about finding meaningful work in more »

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Forget about “Recovery”

      At the risk of confirming my critics’ dumbest charge — that I am a “doomer” — the mandate of clarity requires me to ask: to what state of affairs do we expect to recover? If the answer is a return to an economy based on building ever more suburban sprawl, on credit card over-spending, more »

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KunstlerCast #54: Retooling Suburbia

Abandoned subdivisions and population decline Released: March, 5 2009. James Howard Kunstler explores the topic of building traditional town centers in suburbia, where town centers are typically absent. Though it may be possible to retrofit the suburbs, Kunstler doesn’t believe that Americans will have the money to remake some of the worst suburbs into more more »

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What Next?

      Isn’t that a question, though….       The Peak Oil story was never about running out of oil. It was about the collapse of complex systems in a world economy faced by the prospect of no further oil-fueled growth. It was something of a shock to many that the first complex system to fail would more »

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KunstlerCast #53: Incomprehensible Buildings

Anti-Social, Despotic, Architecture Released: Feb. 26, 2009. A listener asks James Howard Kunstler to react to the Feb. 9 fire that destroyed a Beijing building by Dutch starchitect Rem Koolhaas. Kunstler believes many famous architects, including Koolhaas, often strive to confound people in order to appear supernaturally brilliant. It’s all in the service of grandiosity more »

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The Abyss Stares Back

             The public perception of the ongoing fiasco in governance has moved from sheer, mute incomprehension to goggle-eyed panic as the scrims of unreality peel away revealing something like a national death-watch scene in history’s intensive care unit. Is the USA in recession, depression, or collapse? People are at least beginning to more »

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KunstlerCast #52: Rebuilding New Orleans

Cultural Programming and the Patina of Decay Released: Feb. 19, 2009. James Howard Kunstler discusses the issue of rebuilding New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Legal disputes, government inefficiency and suburban mindsets have stood in the way of constructing traditional neighborhoods in New Orleans. While the charming urban fabric of the French Quarter and the Garden more »

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President’s Day

           A creepy feeling ushers in President’s Day this year as the suspicion grows that nobody in charge of anything knows what what to do next. The usual yin-yang consensus has solidified in congress along party lines, both equally idiotic. In the White House, Mr. Obama is under excruciating pressure to “do more »

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KunstlerCast #51: Seaside Revisited

The Future of New Urbanism is Urbanism Released: Feb. 12, 2009. James Howard Kunstler is back from a visit to the American South. He reports on two New Urbanist developments outside of Montgomery, Alabama. In many ways Kunstler believes that the new urbanist model of building 400 acre “traditional neighborhoods” out in the green fields more »

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Poverty of Imagination

          Venturing out each day into this land of strip malls, freeways, office parks, and McHousing pods, one can’t help but be impressed at how America looks the same as it did a few years ago, while seemingly overnight we have become another country. All the old mechanisms that enabled our way of more »

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Road Trip

          “We will not apologize for our way of life….”      This unfortunate phrase from President Obama’s otherwise sturdy inaugural address, echoed through my mind last week as I cruised the suburban outlands of Montgomery, Alabama. All the usual commercial furnishings of consumerist America hugged the flattish ochre and dusty-green landscape of played-out cotton more »

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KunstlerCast #49: After the Plastic Fiesta

Goodbye Vinyl Siding, Hello Mr. Repair Man Released: January 29, 2009. Many everyday items in our lives are made from petroleum byproducts like plastic. But James Howard Kunstler believes that the rising costs of petroleum will change our relationship to plastic products. In the future, people might actually start repairing items rather than just throwing more »

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New Yorker Article Featuring Jhk

The New Yorker January 26, 2009 The Dystopians; Bad times are boom times for some. by Ben McGrath SECTION: FACT; American Chronicles; Pg. 41 Vol. 84 No. 46 LENGTH: 7208 words A year and a half ago, with real-estate prices falling, Dmitry Orlov, a forty-six-year-old software engineer from Leningrad, sold his apartment in the Brighton section of Boston, along more »

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State of Cringe

     Just as Mr. Obama has danced into the oval office, we’ve arrived at a moment when a lot of people have a hard time imagining the future. This includes especially the mainstream media, which has reached a state of zombification parallel to that of the banks. But even in the mighty blogosphere, with its more »

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KunstlerCast #48: From Suburbia to Peak Oil

Fossil Fuels and Our Built Environment Released: January 22, 2009. James Howard Kunstler tells the story of how he came to learn about peak oil while writing about suburban sprawl. Topics include The Yom Kippur War, The Hubbert’s Curve, the New Urbanists and the strong relationship between suburban sprawl and diminishing supplies of cheap fossil more »

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Hope and Fear

         Tomorrow at noon, Barack Obama steps into the shoes of Lincoln, FDR, Millard Fillmore and forty other predecessors — this time as the wished-for Mr. Fix it of a nation run into a ditch. Surely over the months of transition, someone with a clear head and a fact-laden portfolio has clued-in the new more »

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