Monday, November 28, 2005

Jim Kunstler's Post

Check out Jim Kunstler's Season's Greeting Post . Sure sometimes Kunstler get the facts wrong and is overly dire; but makes solid points.


  1. Kunstler is great. No one is right 100% of the time. Kunstler is closer to being correct than the clowns on CNBC.

  2. Kunstler the Hustler is almost never right. Don't confuse a stopped clock for one that is right twice a day. That said, he doesn't mean to be right in his predictions. He deliberately overstates near every case just to rattle the cages of the sleepy.

  3. Kunstler's critics remind me of the bubbleheads during the stock market frenzy six years ago.

    Guys like Bill Fleckenstein would say that the stock market was way overvauled, and that probably a lot of fraud was going on with these companies always beating by a penny. Critics would say " AHA! You said the stock market would fall in 1999 and IT DIDN'T! You're WRONG!!!!" Of course, Fleckenstein was right overall, but exact timing is a difficult thing that doesn't mean someone is otherwise "wrong."

    Likewise, Kunstler's basic thesis is that dwindling petroleum means that the US suburban model is doomed relatively soon. Now whether that is 2005 or 2010 is sort of irrelevant, as (I hope) both years are within my lifetime.

    Whether Kunstler is right or wrong... I don't know. But him being "wrong" about something happening by a particular date, if it is right in two years, doesn't strike me as a great criticism.

  4. I discovered Kunstler's blog only recently, I like it, and on many things I'm in broad agreement with him. But he seems to be susceptible to a kind of thinking that reflexively extrapolates to the worst case, and then considers it proven. Our land use and our transportation system and our energy consumption have given us some terribly complex problems. But the rate at which things happen -- in particular, how quickly the oil reserves are depleted -- makes all the difference. And as far as I can tell, knowledgable, unbought people offer a variety of timelines.

  5. Kunstler has ALWAYS said the US exurban paradigm was doomed. It's a personal preference in search of supporting evidence. He's put forth any number of reasons over the years. Dwindling oil is just the latest. Doesn't make it so. Dwindling oil will accellerate the abandonment of the OPAC (obsolete pre-automotive cities) and densepack inner ring suburbs. It is entirely specious to presume the typical suburban lifestyle is more energy dependent (and/or less able to respond) than other development patterns. The imminent end of oil has been promulgated since the 1850s. someday they'll be right but if forced to bet I'd look at the last 150 years track record of the doomsayers first.