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Wow!

Very well written, and as you said straight up.
 

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That's pretty much It, all right. He does make the mistake of thinking that big cities and buildings are bad. Big cities and big buildings do require large concentrated efforts to keep them supplied, but that makes them our *most* efficient ways to live in both energy and materials. New York City uses roughly half the energy per person as does suburban America. Dividing up the world's population into little villages would maximize sprawl and in-efficiency.

One bright spot he points out: we can have significant numbers of new nuclear power stations running in just ten years. (True, there's only enough uranium to power all humanity at a European standard of living for about a hundred years, but that can be extended for centuries by using breeder reactors and thorium fuel. One permanent solution that we already know how to build is Solar power stations in orbit. They can power us cleanly forever, but will take some time to put in place.) We need to get started now; we can't afford to do the typical American thang of waiting for a problem to smash us in the head before we notice it.
 

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richard schumacher said:
That's pretty much It, all right.

We need to get started now; we can't afford to do the typical American thang of waiting for a problem to smash us in the head before we notice it.
Ah, but that would take a level of leadership of which we have never seen in this country in our lifetime. Even the politicians that "get it" don't dare mention it. I would bet on the "smash us in the head" scenario. :?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
richard schumacher said:
He does make the mistake of thinking that big cities and buildings are bad. Big cities and big buildings do require large concentrated efforts to keep them supplied, but that makes them our *most* efficient ways to live in both energy and materials. New York City uses roughly half the energy per person as does suburban America. Dividing up the world's population into little villages would maximize sprawl and in-efficiency.
That part of the article surprised me, because "Home From Nowhere" is practically a hymn to urban density. Perhaps Kunstler is referring specifically to skyscrapers etc. which even today are only economically feasible in places with stratospheric real estate values (no pun intended). :wink:
 

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coloradospringsprius said:
richard schumacher said:
He does make the mistake of thinking that big cities and buildings are bad. Big cities and big buildings do require large concentrated efforts to keep them supplied, but that makes them our *most* efficient ways to live in both energy and materials. New York City uses roughly half the energy per person as does suburban America. Dividing up the world's population into little villages would maximize sprawl and in-efficiency.
That part of the article surprised me, because "Home From Nowhere" is practically a hymn to urban density. Perhaps Kunstler is referring specifically to skyscrapers etc. which even today are only economically feasible in places with stratospheric real estate values (no pun intended). :wink:
That is exactly what I thought he was getting at. Those big buildings are hugely energy dependent. Perhaps also the concentration of populations so far from land that can support the food supply. We've removed farmland and put a hundred mile ring of asphalt around many of our core cities.
 
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