Friday, January 27, 2012

What is the Long Emergency?

Caught between rising costs and shrinking resources, a society in overshoot faces an impossible dilemma: it has to feed, clothe, and house its work force, maintain and replace its industrial plant and infrastructure, and keep drawing down natural resources to fuel and feed its economy, all at an ever increasing rate, while costs spin out of control and resources run short. The result isn't the end of the world, or the sort of Hollywood apocalypse that features in so many fantasies about the future. The collision between an economy in overshoot and the limits of a finite world doesn't add up to a return to the Stone Age or a Road Warrior future; it adds up to what social critic James Kunstler calls the Long Emergency, a slow, difficult transition from modern industrial civilization to the sustainable civilizations of the

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