Energy discussion highlights new Ashokan series

James Howard Kunstler. (Photo by Charlie Samuels)

James Howard Kunstler, one of three panelists at the “Energy: Past, Present, and Future” kick off of The Ashokan Center’s new “Meeting of the Minds” discussion series this Sunday, September 25, is quick, and blunt, with his analysis of current affairs.

“What we’re seeing is a kind of horse race between the banking fiasco and the fossil fuel situation, with Climate Change in third place, to see which will put us out of business,” he says by cell call from one of the many international stops he’s been making on his endless speaking tour of recent years. “Right now, the financial situation may end up being the deciding factor in our future…”

Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency:  Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century, along with 14 other nonfiction works and novels (with a 15th getting completed as we spoke), will be joined at the Ashokan campus this weekend by James R. Norman, author of the Oil Card:  Global Economic Warfare in the 21st Century, and Amanda Little, author of Power Trip:  A Journey Through Our Fossil-Fuel Past in Search of a Renewable Future. The free public program, sponsored without any irony by the local heating oil company Kosco, will be moderated by Gerald Benjamin, former county legislator and SUNY New Paltz dean,  and Daniel Lipson, Assistant Professor of Political Science at SUNY New Paltz.


“I voted for Obama but I’m extremely disappointed,” Kunstler said, referencing the administration’s failure to seriously prosecute anyone responsible for the financial collapse of recent years. “And he and his Energy Secretary Stephen Chu have failed completely to tell the American people the truth about our energy predicament. By saying we have a hundred years of shale gas they are blatantly misleading the public…”

As for the GOP’s obstructionist agenda in Congress, including attacks on Climate Change science, energy alternatives, and any new ideas, Kunstler is even more blistering.

“The Republican Party is even more dedicated to denying any aspect of this situation other than their wish to get rid of Obama,” he added. “They are in denial about our climate predicament, our oil production, and they think that if you keep up a drill drill drill call we’ll keep living the way we have.”

There is one comment

  1. Shawn

    The economic slowdown may have been engineered by global policy makers- Afraid that the planet doesn’t have enough resources for India and china to come on board to American middle class status, etc. Meanwhile w/ this global decline pollution levels would drop and open spaces preserved, etc…Simply kill the middle class and kill consumption.

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