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Forget the speculation of pundits and media personalities. For anyone asking “Now what?” the answer is out there. You just have to know where to look.  In his 2005 book, The Long Emergency, James Howard Kunstler described the global predicaments that would pitch the USA into political and economic turmoil in the 21st century—the end of affordable oil, climate irregulari Forget the speculation of pundits and media personalities. For anyone asking “Now what?” the answer is out there. You just have to know where to look.  In his 2005 book, The Long Emergency, James Howard Kunstler described the global predicaments that would pitch the USA into political and economic turmoil in the 21st century—the end of affordable oil, climate irregularities, and flagging economic growth, to name a few. Now, he returns with a book that takes an up-close-and-personal approach to how real people are living now—surviving The Long Emergency as it happens.  Through his popular blog, Clusterf**ck Nation, Kunstler has had the opportunity to connect with people from across the country. They’ve shared their stories with him—sometimes over years of correspondence—and in Living in the Long Emergency: Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward, he shares them with us, offering an eye-opening and unprecedented look at what’s really going on “out there” in the US—and beyond. Coming from all walks of life, the individuals you’ll meet in these pages have one thing in common: their stories acutely illustrate the changing realities real people are facing—and coping with—every day. In profiles of their fascinating lives, Kunstler paints vivid, human portraits that offer a “slice of life” from people whose struggles and triumphs all too often go ignored.  With personal accounts from a Vermont baker, homesteaders, a building contractor in the Baltimore ghetto, a white nationalist, and many more, Living in the Long Emergency is a unique and timely exploration of how the lives of everyday Americans are being transformed, for better and for worse, and what these stories tell us both about the future and about human perseverance. 


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Forget the speculation of pundits and media personalities. For anyone asking “Now what?” the answer is out there. You just have to know where to look.  In his 2005 book, The Long Emergency, James Howard Kunstler described the global predicaments that would pitch the USA into political and economic turmoil in the 21st century—the end of affordable oil, climate irregulari Forget the speculation of pundits and media personalities. For anyone asking “Now what?” the answer is out there. You just have to know where to look.  In his 2005 book, The Long Emergency, James Howard Kunstler described the global predicaments that would pitch the USA into political and economic turmoil in the 21st century—the end of affordable oil, climate irregularities, and flagging economic growth, to name a few. Now, he returns with a book that takes an up-close-and-personal approach to how real people are living now—surviving The Long Emergency as it happens.  Through his popular blog, Clusterf**ck Nation, Kunstler has had the opportunity to connect with people from across the country. They’ve shared their stories with him—sometimes over years of correspondence—and in Living in the Long Emergency: Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward, he shares them with us, offering an eye-opening and unprecedented look at what’s really going on “out there” in the US—and beyond. Coming from all walks of life, the individuals you’ll meet in these pages have one thing in common: their stories acutely illustrate the changing realities real people are facing—and coping with—every day. In profiles of their fascinating lives, Kunstler paints vivid, human portraits that offer a “slice of life” from people whose struggles and triumphs all too often go ignored.  With personal accounts from a Vermont baker, homesteaders, a building contractor in the Baltimore ghetto, a white nationalist, and many more, Living in the Long Emergency is a unique and timely exploration of how the lives of everyday Americans are being transformed, for better and for worse, and what these stories tell us both about the future and about human perseverance. 

30 review for Living in the Long Emergency: Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Wineberg

    How will it end? Living in the Long Emergency is a fat sandwich of a book. The top piece (of the sandwich) is the expected endtimes scenario collection (what with the author being James Howard Kunstler), in which civilization is well on its way out, mostly of its own doing. In this version, the focus is on the electrical grid, where it rightly should be. The middle (filling) is a collection of biographies of fans of James Kunstler’s blog. They all have their issues, from bad luck to incompetence, How will it end? Living in the Long Emergency is a fat sandwich of a book. The top piece (of the sandwich) is the expected endtimes scenario collection (what with the author being James Howard Kunstler), in which civilization is well on its way out, mostly of its own doing. In this version, the focus is on the electrical grid, where it rightly should be. The middle (filling) is a collection of biographies of fans of James Kunstler’s blog. They all have their issues, from bad luck to incompetence, and are struggling to keep above water. This section seems to have nothing whatever to do with the first section. The bottom piece comes back to endtimes, more focused on incompetent, incapacitated and disgraced government, via selfish, self-serving political parties. It is closer to the top piece than the filling, but makes little sense following them. From this construct it is impossible to draw a conclusion, and fortunately, Kunstler makes no such attempt. The electric grid is the weakest link in western civilization. It is a totally unthought-out connecting of electrical generators. Together, they are supposed to be able to share, fill in where needed and shut down locally to prevent damage from spreading. History has shown otherwise, as local faults have caused failovers that black out huge sections of the country, sometimes for days. Worse, no one is even pretending the system is being attended to, with upgrades, replacements or new facilities. No one is building nuclear power plants to replace the overage, existing ones, for example. Shortages can therefore be increasingly expected. But worse still is the vulnerability to sabotage. Facilities can be bombed, or more easily fried from the comfort of a laptop half a world away. Unfortunately, on top of all this, the plants are all unique. There are no building or system standards imposed by government. So if a station seizes up, it could take years for new generators to be custom built, shipped in (from overseas since the USA no longer has those facilities or even skills) and installed. If the whole northeast, say, gets fried, the orders for new generators would back up for years. And there would be no electricity in the interim. This might play into the back to nature and sustainability movements Kunstler looks fondly upon, but it would mean the end of civilization regardless. Organic farming would solve nothing. Man has become so totally dependent on electricity that nothing at all would function without it. Gas could no longer be pumped, not that it could be manufactured or delivered. Credit cards would not work, paychecks would not be deposited, phones could not be charged, natural gas would not flow, nor would water. Trash would not be picked up, streets would be fearfully dark. Elevators? Ha! Facebook? Please. Houses could not be heated, save for cutting, chopping and burning wood, which could not be delivered unless dragged by horses. Food shortages would occur in less than a week as wholesale deliveries would cease, store freezers and coolers would not function, and neither would cashier stations. No one would go to work because there would be no point and no pay. And no way to make the normally 75 minute commute. No one would have access to their money. On the brighter side, Kunstler says economic collapse would forestall collapse from Artificial Intelligence, which Man is hellbent on implementing as soon as possible. The biggest grid threat would be an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). That would not only seize up every generator, but every electric motor in every appliance from alarm clocks to cars. They would all have to be replaced, a total impossibility without electricity. An enemy capable of exploding a device in the air (delivering the pulse) would be all that is needed to stop the country cold. No invasion necessary, no prisoners of war, no home casualties. That is a very real endtimes scenario, without waiting for the sun to swell or a galaxy to intersect ours, or for global warming to upset everything. We can do this ourselves, right now. So it is very odd that the next section of the book is about a bunch of people who have long, twisted paths to little or no success in getting their lives on track. They marry and separate, change jobs frequently, move a lot, strike out on their own, start blogs and podcasts, and struggle. They’re all fans of Kunstler’s, and he contacts them and meets them for the first time so he can interview them in person, the old-fashioned way. Tying this back to a world without electricity is not even attempted. The final section is mostly a rant against the total ineffectiveness of government, consuming itself in pointless politics, and at no point serving the populace it pretends to. There is talk of techno narcissism, by which we ignore our position and role in the ecological system at our peril. And also the principles of adaptation vs mitigation, in which smarter folks try to fit in rather than carve out a forced compromise with nature, which is mostly what people do. This is because of overinvestment in complexity (via Joseph Tainter) by which Man is evolving to ever more complex states, rather than natural evolution, which tends towards elegant simplicity. Kunstler helpfully lists the endless stupidity of geoengineering, where impossibly expensive geeky solutions to natural phenomena (induced by Man) would make things ever so much worse when they fail. The diminishing returns of this fiendish complexity are a recipe for total collapse in Tainter’s view. Many can see it already, and many more see it coming soon. These last insights are the best in the book. Had it been organized around them, it would have made a far better impact. David Wineberg

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    Wow, that was a long and twisting road. I started this book thinking that had more to do with climate change and a future that was drastically different because of those effects (acidifying oceans, increasing storms and droughts, failing crops, rising temperatures and sea levels, etc.). It is not, although those things are also touched on. It is about a hopeless future created by our rapidly disappearing fossil fuels (and Kunstler does a great job of explaining why alternative energy also needs Wow, that was a long and twisting road. I started this book thinking that had more to do with climate change and a future that was drastically different because of those effects (acidifying oceans, increasing storms and droughts, failing crops, rising temperatures and sea levels, etc.). It is not, although those things are also touched on. It is about a hopeless future created by our rapidly disappearing fossil fuels (and Kunstler does a great job of explaining why alternative energy also needs fossil fuels and cannot support our lifestyle in any way) and our outdated electrical system that could basically topple at any moment, and the massive economic and monetary collapse he sees coming soon. He talks about how dependent we are on fossil fuels and on our cars even though we're precariously close to out of oil, the fracking industry is a hoax of smoke and mirrors that's costing the industry far more than it makes, and there are no viable options for fuel in the near future. Even Amazon.com will soon be dead in the water since trucks have been notoriously impossible to fuel with anything but gasoline. Our nuclear reactors are old and dangerous (and not being replaced or safely retrofitted), and our entire computer-based and electrical-driven society is doomed in the very near future. Oh yeah, and the banks are going to fail, money will be worthless, and almost everybody who doesn't live on farmable land (and know what to do on it) is completely doomed -- although they're sort of still doomed too. Okay then. From there, he takes us chapter by chapter to meet people who are living nontraditional lives now that would basically serve them fairly well in the future. Some are homesteaders, some are self-employed oddballs. One is a white nationalist who runs a taxi company. It's all somewhat interesting but not completely helpful in terms of learning from them anything that would help you in the future Kunstler says is coming soon. Despite that, I found each of their stories interesting. A common theme was that they were all very self taught in a wide variety of areas and consistently rewrote their own stories to adjust to the trials that life through at them. And then we get to the third section, when he just goes off the rails for me. It reminded me of when you have a fun uncle you like and then one day you find out he's a Klan member or something. Wow. This guy really dislikes... um, almost everybody. But especially liberals, socialists, the democratic party, people of color (and especially the type of people who use the term people of color), women who don't understand our biological differences from men, LGBTQ people, politicians, college professors, Black Lives Matter folks... It kind of goes on. He really hates "techno-narcissists" -- the people who believe technology is going to save us. But he kind of hates almost everybody. There's a lot about the democratic party's illegal actions and witch-hunt in going after Trump to cover those actions (he doesn't like Trump that much either, though he seems to understand his followers and I think he may have said he voted for him), with a ton about Hilary's emails and a fair amount of swearing, blustering and name calling. It totally took me by surprise, as the rest of the book seemed rather serious and thoughtful if not impassioned. I'd still recommend the book, just as I'd recommend reading Atlas Shrugged even though I'm on the total opposite side of Rand and her beliefs. It's a good read. It's interesting. I think he's right about a lot of stuff, even though he occasionally turns into some kind of flustered, angry old white man. It's quite a book, with a whole lot to think about even if I disagree with some of his core values. I read a digital ARC of this book for the purpose of review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Randall Wallace

    Peak Oil happened in 2005, after that it takes more and more money to refine oil from increasing poor product. EROI = Energy Return on Investment. In the 50’s EROI for oil was 100 to 1. Civilization to exist needs energy with at least an EROI 10 to 1. Now we are at 15 to 1. Shale oil has an EROI of 5 to 1. The shale oil and gas boom bought us only about a decade. Yeah, Denmark is doing great stuff with solar and wind but it has natural gas power plants idling for when there’s no rain or wind. Wi Peak Oil happened in 2005, after that it takes more and more money to refine oil from increasing poor product. EROI = Energy Return on Investment. In the 50’s EROI for oil was 100 to 1. Civilization to exist needs energy with at least an EROI 10 to 1. Now we are at 15 to 1. Shale oil has an EROI of 5 to 1. The shale oil and gas boom bought us only about a decade. Yeah, Denmark is doing great stuff with solar and wind but it has natural gas power plants idling for when there’s no rain or wind. Wind farms degrade by one third in ten years. James doubts in a decade whether one will be able to find the rare earth materials to make wind turbines. Stoners on couches have long assumed one could solve the world’s energy needs by throwing up solar panels in Arizona or the Sahara, however such places get too hot and cell performance is impaired by constant sand and dust pounding. If you ramp up solar, you’ll also run out of silver and you’ll drive silver price up by trying. Two-thirds of our electric grid’s energy is dissipated as heat and only one third becomes power. Two thirds of the lines are more than thirty years old. For replacement cost, think one million dollars per mile. Nuclear plants require fossil fuels to service the reactors (and Pierre Chomat told me French uranium mining for Nuclear required multiple coal plants). Good line: “Entropy never sleeps.” There’s a great future in Chestnut flour instead of corn flour (corn degrades soil and is is “hell on a biome”). James wrongly says Scott Nearing died “18 days shy of his 100th Birthday” – I was a photographer at Scott Nearing’s 100th Birthday Party and he died a few weeks later as Wikipedia will confirm. One interviewed person named Rob said it well, “I noted that Americans were anti-intellectual dilettantes. It’s hard to find someone who’s interesting to talk to. It’s hard to find anyone who reads books.” One third of an ounce of wood alcohol (Methanol) can blind you and 3.4 oz. can kill you. Bad bootleggers used it. Alcohol proof = double the %, so 86 proof is 43% alcohol. James to his credit mentions Albert Bates and gives his bio. James feels that when society resets after the big collapse, the western standard of living will be equivalent to medieval. James sees how the Drawdown Project doesn’t understand how much the scale of human activities has to be reduced and can’t compute to show how shifting to solar would make the world run out of affordable silver. The Drawdown Project thinks planes will still be in the sky in 2040, in fact they laughingly believe there will be two and a half times more flying going on. All those tourists flying around in a collapsed economy. Airplane fuel (not taxed as a favor to capitalism) is basically unleaded kerosene. There will be no electric trucks as Frito-lay and Staples tried to create a fleet and it was 3X the price of regular trucks. Supply chains in our just-in time economy depend almost exclusively on trucks. When the trucks stop, we are three days from anarchy. Supermarkets carry three days of food. Whatever town you live, plan on it having system failure. Polls show politicians are the least trusted of all professional occupations. If that is true, why do Facebook’ers endlessly post photos and deifications of Obama’s family while never posting any photos of MLK or Gandhi or ANY non-political hero of the Left? If you are planning to eat after the collapse, remember that you may need seven years to get fruit trees fully productive. So, start planting. A good book, but I’d far rather recommend James’s original The Long Emergency and also his great Geography of Nowhere. Those two earlier books of his are total must reads.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Monier

    I was assigned the Long Emergency as required reading for a community college class. This was mid-2000’s and that book really opened my mind and changed the way I view the world around me. It made me change my habits. Reading Living in the Long Emergency during the Covid-19 pandemic situation was a surreal experience. Despite the outlined converging catastrophes we’re facing, Kunstler manages to find optimism. He points out the resiliency of the human spirit despite being propped up on a house o I was assigned the Long Emergency as required reading for a community college class. This was mid-2000’s and that book really opened my mind and changed the way I view the world around me. It made me change my habits. Reading Living in the Long Emergency during the Covid-19 pandemic situation was a surreal experience. Despite the outlined converging catastrophes we’re facing, Kunstler manages to find optimism. He points out the resiliency of the human spirit despite being propped up on a house of cards.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Geissberger

    “Living in the long Emergency” is the 2019 sequel to Kunstler’s previous Book simply called “The Long Emergency” published in 2006. I have not read the first book but could gather that it predicted coming US economic, ecologic and social crisis’s due to eroding cultural structures, rising inequalities and financial mismanagement. Key was the prediction of the end of cheap Oil and all the follow-up consequences that spell out the end of our modern technological civilisation. Living in the Long em “Living in the long Emergency” is the 2019 sequel to Kunstler’s previous Book simply called “The Long Emergency” published in 2006. I have not read the first book but could gather that it predicted coming US economic, ecologic and social crisis’s due to eroding cultural structures, rising inequalities and financial mismanagement. Key was the prediction of the end of cheap Oil and all the follow-up consequences that spell out the end of our modern technological civilisation. Living in the Long emergency appears to double down on Kunstlers assessment with more examples and further facts from the last two decades. The book is split in three parts. In the first rather short part Kunstler speaks of his previous book, and his failed prediction of the End of oil. He explains the continued extraction of oil in recent years as a result of a “great financial stunt” from Wallstreet and the US government, namely in the near-zero interest policies and oil-price manipulation that enabled oil companies to use oil-shale and oil-sand Extraction. A panicked short-term solution. He concludes that his predicted state of Long emergency is already in full swing. In this section he showcases an understanding of oil industry practices, financial markets and the events that allowed Oil to perpetuate itself still. This section offers insights that hook the reader and motivate to read further on. The second section of the book is on various biographies and interviews with people he terms “hardy early adapters to the long emergency” and is the weakest in the book. Each section begins with how he contacted that person and expands into prose as we follow Kunstler and his subject into their “living rooms”. A biography of these people follows, their activities, past, worldview and beliefs. The one question that binds them all together is the last one, Kunstler’s “Now what…?” where each of these interviewees musters their own prediction of that the future holds for the US. The problem with this section is that in the end I ended up bored and scratching my head on what exactly the point was, how these stories are relevant to the other sections of the books, and to the titular Long emergency. The threads are there, but Kunstler fails to connect them to the rest of his book to weave a more complete picture. As it stands, you can skip this entire section and not miss anything. The third section is a relieving return to form as Kunstler picks up and begins to address Financial, economic and cultural problems of the US and plots potential ideas for moving forward. He sharply critiques “magical Techno-narcissism” rampant in academic and high-class circles that believe that Growth can be sustained with better technology. Kunstler makes it clear that he believes that the era of “happy motoring, Suburbia and consumerism” and the American lifestyle imbued with them is coming to an end. He advocates for a return of local industry, community, self-reliance and scaling down of fragile complexities to more simpler networks to weather the coming years. Sadly He also diverges into wildly irrelevant topics, such as the Political nonsense during the trump election, or his personal Gardening Project in the last chapter, which feels very disjointed. Overall, I do recommend this book, as it was an enjoyable read and grants a comprehensive insight into a possible future for America. But It has its flaws. I must caution readers to take these gloomy predictions with a healthy pinch of salt. Its entirely embedded in US context and fails to look beyond its borders, and it’s very Cynical regarding nearly everyone and everything regarding technology, society and government.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    I have followed the author since the mid-2000's since reading The Long Emergency and The Geography of Nowhere, both of which have influenced my thinking a lot. I also liked the World Made by Hand books. But this sequel to The Long Emergency is a disappointment and really adds nothing to JHK's body of work. I guess I should have known better, when there are blurbs on the back cover saying that this book will tell the reader "what's really going on in this country" (a ridiculous claim about a poli I have followed the author since the mid-2000's since reading The Long Emergency and The Geography of Nowhere, both of which have influenced my thinking a lot. I also liked the World Made by Hand books. But this sequel to The Long Emergency is a disappointment and really adds nothing to JHK's body of work. I guess I should have known better, when there are blurbs on the back cover saying that this book will tell the reader "what's really going on in this country" (a ridiculous claim about a political book if there ever was one). As others have observed, the beginning and ending chapters provide a serviceable synopsis and update of what The Long Emergency reported on, but the middle chapters, which comprise about half of the book, are just thrown in without much explanation for why they matter. These chapters consist largely of interview transcripts with individuals whose lifestyles the author purportedly finds decisive for reckoning with the times. (Actually, some of them are simply folks who read and comment on his blog.) Although the individuals do have interesting lives and live a tad more independently than average, I'm not sure I learned a squat more about the topic from these chapters. Okay...so there are some people who do permaculture and self-reliance homesteading, etc., but I already knew that. JHK himself does not offer much commentary on what we should learn from these people either. I do find persuasive much of what JHK argues about energy scarcity, scalable/human-size communities, and the general population's broad denial of what the future of the world will look like, but outside of these subjects, lately he comes across to me as more of an old crank. On issues of race, gender, and sexuality he strikes me as particularly tone-deaf and insensitive in the context of the present. (And the token chapter featuring a black man unfortunately does not help much here.) I think this is not where he is at in his intellectual journey any longer, but I think JHK really shines when he works at unraveling the underlying psychology of the various human problems he tackles - when he takes more of the approach of a philosopher rather than simply the voice of a Fox News commentator.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    This is a follow up to his earlier books, The Long Emergency (2005), and Too Much Magic (2012). The first book looked at Peak Oil and the ramifications of it. The second book was about techno-utopianism (he calls it techno-narcissism) and also the financial shenanigans and pseudo- capitalism that resulted in the 2008 economic meltdown. This new book is in three parts. The first is a pair of chapters revisiting his earlier predictions and looks again to the future. The second section is the bulk o This is a follow up to his earlier books, The Long Emergency (2005), and Too Much Magic (2012). The first book looked at Peak Oil and the ramifications of it. The second book was about techno-utopianism (he calls it techno-narcissism) and also the financial shenanigans and pseudo- capitalism that resulted in the 2008 economic meltdown. This new book is in three parts. The first is a pair of chapters revisiting his earlier predictions and looks again to the future. The second section is the bulk of the book - biographical sketches of people who he sees as living lives that are prepared to face the "long emergency" of resource depletion, economic hardship, and political instability. Or, are emblematic of the sorts of people and ideas that will play a larger role as things begin to unwind. Not all of them are people you'd want to break bread with. The last section are a series of essays dealing with some of the issues we will be facing. I have read all of his non-fiction books and four of his novels. I'm a fan boy. Here is a long quote: "The sense of gathering crisis persists. It is systemic and existential. It calls into question our ability to carry on "normal" life much further into this century, and all the anxiety that attends it is hard for the public to process. Disinformation rules. There is no coherent consensus about what is happening and no coherent proposal to do anything about it. Bad ideas flourish in this nutrient medium of unresolved crisis. Lately, they dominate the scene on every side. A species of wishful thinking that resembles a primitive cargo cult grips the technocratic class, awaiting magical rescue remedies to extend the regime of Happy Motoring, consumerism, and suburbia that make up the armeture of "normal" life in the USA."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Stienberg

    An interesting examination of the many problems with our overly complex and interdependent economic systems. A just expose on why the JIT (Just In Time) systems which power much of our consumer lives are very fragile, and a somewhat byzantine look at the problems with the less and less profitable oil industry. The second part of the book is a look at what the author calls "early innovators" who are trying to live a different life in a world which is almost alien to the one they grew up in and the An interesting examination of the many problems with our overly complex and interdependent economic systems. A just expose on why the JIT (Just In Time) systems which power much of our consumer lives are very fragile, and a somewhat byzantine look at the problems with the less and less profitable oil industry. The second part of the book is a look at what the author calls "early innovators" who are trying to live a different life in a world which is almost alien to the one they grew up in and the one they were promised. It was an almost amusing section because you didn't find one story where someone hadn't undergone a divorce, to the point that part of the title could quite literally have had 'and been divorced' added in. Many of these innovators were interesting, some for obvious reasons like practicing sustainable living, to the less obvious like podcasters and an interview with a white nationalist who doesn't seem to do much but run a cab company. The books third part breaks the flow from going on a skeptical run on climate sciences (and its solutions) to upbraiding the banks and oil industries as unsustainable to a legitimately weird rant on a grab bag of conspiracy theories surrounding the 2016 election as the Democrats plotting against Donald Trump and identity politics. A strange, but legitimately intriguing book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cierra

    There were some somewhat interesting points made in this book although I found a majority of it to be rather boring. No real solutions to these increasingly problematic world issues which made it very much a depressing read. Realistic but depressing nonetheless. The big thing that irritated me though was the chapter from a White Nationalist’s point of view. The author claimed that he included the unpopular point of view to be fair in a sense and at the end of the chapter says that he understands There were some somewhat interesting points made in this book although I found a majority of it to be rather boring. No real solutions to these increasingly problematic world issues which made it very much a depressing read. Realistic but depressing nonetheless. The big thing that irritated me though was the chapter from a White Nationalist’s point of view. The author claimed that he included the unpopular point of view to be fair in a sense and at the end of the chapter says that he understands that most readers probably found that specific chapter “unappetizing” but “at least we know [Rob’s] point of view.” The dude is a White Nationalist. It’s already clear as f*ck what his point of view is. I understand the author spoke to him about other things but his identity in the book was broadcasted as a WN. So, that part irritated me because it was ignorant to include and gave this person a platform to spread their hate. Doesn’t matter if he’s not as flamboyant about his views as his counterparts. Hate is still hate. Like they’re not loud about it already. Overall, dud of a read, depressing, and then the White Nationalist part just did it for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    I was hoping to find some answers in this book, or at least some thought provoking insights. Instead, I was bitterly disappointed. Rather than "showing us the way forward", Kunstler doles out information that could easily be classified as common knowledge. Not satisfied with boring the reader into stupefaction with that, he conducts long interviews with his devotees, whom I assume are the people he thinks are going to "show us the way forward". Unfortunately, although most of them seem to be ver I was hoping to find some answers in this book, or at least some thought provoking insights. Instead, I was bitterly disappointed. Rather than "showing us the way forward", Kunstler doles out information that could easily be classified as common knowledge. Not satisfied with boring the reader into stupefaction with that, he conducts long interviews with his devotees, whom I assume are the people he thinks are going to "show us the way forward". Unfortunately, although most of them seem to be very nice people, they are generally a collection of loopy wingnuts whose method of living is certainly not a model for the future of humanity. I admire Kunstler and his ilk for taking the time and making the effort to see civilization for what it is, recognizing it's short comings, and working towards it's improvement. In that regard, perhaps this book is a useful tool that may prompt it's readers to think, which seems to be a lost art in our society. Just be sure to read this book with the understanding that it will provide no realistic answers, or direction.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Linda Bond

    While many of us are pacing the floor, worried about the coming disasters brought about by global climate change, some people are already living with and responding to their fears, finding ways to adapt their lives and survive. To bring us their stories, Kunstler travels across the country, interviewing disparate people. These are real people, living real lives, who are coming up with some fairly shocking answers to help themselves make sense of the changes occurring all around them. In order to While many of us are pacing the floor, worried about the coming disasters brought about by global climate change, some people are already living with and responding to their fears, finding ways to adapt their lives and survive. To bring us their stories, Kunstler travels across the country, interviewing disparate people. These are real people, living real lives, who are coming up with some fairly shocking answers to help themselves make sense of the changes occurring all around them. In order to do justice to his work, be prepared to set aside your prejudices, withstand your tendency to laugh at these people’s ideas, and listen to what they have to say. We might just learn something about what drives us as human beings and how we can learn to get along with each other. Wow! What an eye-opener! I met this book at Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, WA.

  12. 5 out of 5

    (a)lyss(a)

    I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. This book isn't quite what I expected. I was not aware of the author's previous book that is referenced in the introduction, so this book was the only context I had. This book isn't just about individuals, it's about larger problems of climate change and oil consumption. I was surprised how much this book humanized the people interviewed. There are lots of details about their lives and relationships a I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. This book isn't quite what I expected. I was not aware of the author's previous book that is referenced in the introduction, so this book was the only context I had. This book isn't just about individuals, it's about larger problems of climate change and oil consumption. I was surprised how much this book humanized the people interviewed. There are lots of details about their lives and relationships and their thoughts that paint a picture of their lives. This book also doesn't give a lot of answers. It's mostly focusing on giving context for issues with the last chapter looking at what possibilities are in the future. It's not the book I was expecting. There are interesting insights into why we face these problems, but not a lot of problem solving.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Clark

    Like many of the other reviewers, I found Part 1 and Part 3 of the book compelling but the vast middle felt like filler. I didn't really like any of the "early adapters" mentioned in the title really showed any way forward nor was there much affirmative action on their parts. Mostly they were victims of circumstances or external forces largely out of their control. I am glad that they are finding ways to survive but didn't find any knowledge that I really felt like could be widely extrapolated t Like many of the other reviewers, I found Part 1 and Part 3 of the book compelling but the vast middle felt like filler. I didn't really like any of the "early adapters" mentioned in the title really showed any way forward nor was there much affirmative action on their parts. Mostly they were victims of circumstances or external forces largely out of their control. I am glad that they are finding ways to survive but didn't find any knowledge that I really felt like could be widely extrapolated to the greater whole. I just had very different expectations for the book than what it actually was...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    This glass half empty book looks at current social, political, and environmental challenges in the 2020's. If you are always on the sunny side of life, the information presented may block the sun or at least bring a cloud overhead. If you are pessimistic, the books supports what you have always believed. If you are neither, the book present ideas and situations that challenge you to see how your actions fit into the scheme of life and may lead to some middle ground between despair and unrelentin This glass half empty book looks at current social, political, and environmental challenges in the 2020's. If you are always on the sunny side of life, the information presented may block the sun or at least bring a cloud overhead. If you are pessimistic, the books supports what you have always believed. If you are neither, the book present ideas and situations that challenge you to see how your actions fit into the scheme of life and may lead to some middle ground between despair and unrelenting hope.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Du

    I get why I am many others revered Kunstler two decades ago. I understand his drive and the desire he has to expose the unfortunate circumstances that created today's world and our energy dependence and consumer culture. That said, reading this book reminded me why I stopped listening to his podcast. It has a real negative vibe to it. Not just critical, which it is, and not just hitting the heart of the issues, but bitter and discouraging. Intellectual, yes. Readable, sure. Informative, some tim I get why I am many others revered Kunstler two decades ago. I understand his drive and the desire he has to expose the unfortunate circumstances that created today's world and our energy dependence and consumer culture. That said, reading this book reminded me why I stopped listening to his podcast. It has a real negative vibe to it. Not just critical, which it is, and not just hitting the heart of the issues, but bitter and discouraging. Intellectual, yes. Readable, sure. Informative, some times. Enjoyable, no. But maybe it isn't supposed to be.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Florence Millo

    I was disappointed in this book. I was very much looking forward to reading about how people were preparing for the long emergency: gardening, of course, but also the husbandry of animals, sewing, weaving, canning and preserving, use of hand tools, arts, community. I doubt if any of the people in the book could survive a serious long emergency; they seem to be barely surviving today. Anyway, I agree with his premise of the long emergency but got nothing really useful from it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edie Hanafin Phillips

    This is a depressing, scary book, but one that sheds some interesting light on humanity's potential future. The author argues that renewables won't solve all our problems, nor can they because they are incapable of doing so. What about fuels for trucks which are the backbone of our economy? He believes that instead, we should focus on our lifestyles of being smaller and more self-sufficient. It's a good read with plenty of thought-provoking capability. This is a depressing, scary book, but one that sheds some interesting light on humanity's potential future. The author argues that renewables won't solve all our problems, nor can they because they are incapable of doing so. What about fuels for trucks which are the backbone of our economy? He believes that instead, we should focus on our lifestyles of being smaller and more self-sufficient. It's a good read with plenty of thought-provoking capability.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Knapp

    This is a timely sequel to The Long Emergency. Even a year ago, most people would see the author as a pessimist, expecting the end of the world as we know it. But the past 3 months has opened new journeys in America and the World as a whole, making this book an essential look into the future. I don't agree with everything the author predicts or thinks needs to change to prevent TEOTWAWKI, but there is plenty here that could be initiated to make our world a better place. This is a timely sequel to The Long Emergency. Even a year ago, most people would see the author as a pessimist, expecting the end of the world as we know it. But the past 3 months has opened new journeys in America and the World as a whole, making this book an essential look into the future. I don't agree with everything the author predicts or thinks needs to change to prevent TEOTWAWKI, but there is plenty here that could be initiated to make our world a better place.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Piemaker

    While Kunstler's willingness to confront narratives contrary to those of the mainstream expectation of endless progress remains valuable, his complete misunderstanding of Derrida, post-structuralism, and the caricature of 'identity politics' he advances is a significant detraction from the real issues at play in the struggle for the future. While Kunstler's willingness to confront narratives contrary to those of the mainstream expectation of endless progress remains valuable, his complete misunderstanding of Derrida, post-structuralism, and the caricature of 'identity politics' he advances is a significant detraction from the real issues at play in the struggle for the future.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tim Good

    I am a big fan of JHK's first book on this topic The Long Emergency. Read that book first. I loved the updates and where he went wrong in the first part and the third part of where he looks at the world now. The stories in the middle were good stories, but not what I was hoping from this book. Overall a good book. I am a big fan of JHK's first book on this topic The Long Emergency. Read that book first. I loved the updates and where he went wrong in the first part and the third part of where he looks at the world now. The stories in the middle were good stories, but not what I was hoping from this book. Overall a good book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Elenbaas

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Very good book. I was hoping the author would give different examples of how people are making changes, but the examples are more uncommon type people in some extreme situations. I wanted the author to offer some doable solutions for the everyday solution. Not as helpful as I was hoping.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dundus

    A survival guide for the survival of the fittest!Well worth a second read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen Kinsella

    Wonderful, informative. Plus, JH Kunstler is one of the most entertaining wordsmiths on the planet.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  25. 4 out of 5

    beverly whitson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bill W

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tod Smith

  28. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

  29. 4 out of 5

    Albert Bates

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sean

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