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The Long Emergency

Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century

Web exclusive to the January/February 2006 issue of Orion magazine

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?)
PLAY NOW: Windows Media V.8 or QuickTime V.6

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James Howard Kunstler is a contributor to Orion magazine, Mother Jones, The Atlantic Monthly, and many other publications. He is the author, most recently, of The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century, published by the Atlantic Monthly Press. He drives a 1992 Toyota pickup truck, when he drives at all.

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