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The End is Near

The End is Near - Kevin Grimes CMLT 3210 Dr Betty Jean...

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Kevin Grimes 11/17/08 CMLT 3210 Dr. Betty Jean Craige Term Paper Is The End in Sight? A jolt is coming. Sooner than later the world will run out of cheap oil but does the spell the end to the comfort our life as we know it? What will happen next is unknown, but according to the dismal beliefs of James Howard Kunstler, alternative energy sources will never meet our needs and America, who has been “lost in dark raptures of non-stop infotainment, recreational shopping, and cumpulsive motoring .... are in for a rough ride through uncharted territory” (Kunstler 1). He quickly relates that “we have walked out of our burning house and we are now headed off the edge of a cliff. Beyond this cliff is an abyss of economic and political disorder on a scale that no one has ever seen before. I call this coming time the Long Emergency" (1). I had the fortunate chance of meeting Mr. Kunstler and the cynical view of our future seems to be characteristic of his self, constantly looking at the bad things in the world, serving up portions of hopelessness through his words. However, he had nothing short of plenty to rant about and throughout his book The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty- First Century , as in person, he adds a scary, entertaining, and absolutely relentless voice to the rising alarm about life after the cheap oil is gone. He hopes that America will wake up from “sleepwalking in the future” and “act to defend the project of civilization” (2), but Kunstler later assures us that the human race will not comprehend this tremendous trauma that is upon us. He labels this as a “cognitive dissonance” and the “[human race] will not believe that this is happening to us, that two hundred years of modernity can be
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brought to our knees by a worldwide power shortage” (20). This further explains the sleepwalking and through the continual daily destruction to our earth there is little that we can do to stop the monster that the human race has created. Scholars and prophets have been warning the world, particularly America, of the terrible things in store for decades. Kunstler emphasizes that the root of the terrible things to come is in the decline of oil production. “ The United States passed its own oil peak -- about 11 million barrels a day -- in 1970, and since then production has dropped steadily. In 2004 it ran just above 5 million barrels a day. Yet we consume roughly 20 million barrels a day now. That means we have to import about two- thirds of our oil, and the ratio will continue to worsen.” The subject of peak oil production is of particular interest because after oil, Kunstler believes the human race is doomed. He focuses his attention on equating the end of fossil fuels to literally turning some cities into dust. Humans rely on cheap fossil fuels for virtually everything and since we face the end of the cheap fossil fuel era, “
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The End is Near - Kevin Grimes CMLT 3210 Dr Betty Jean...

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