Star spangled collapse

Photo: DVIDSHUB/Flickr.

Apparently, people who write titles for politico-military thrillers about nuclear brinksmanship find the language of The Star Spangled Banner just too good to resist. It must be the power of dark irony, to turn words of patriotic celebration into a warning for patriots. For example: Twilight's Last Gleaming is a 1977 drama starring Burt Lancaster as a renegade air force general who takes over a … [Read more...]

Farewell to empire

Vermont independence parade entry

For one of America's smallest states, Vermont has a lot to teach the rest of the country about living locally. It's always had the local democracy of the New England town meeting.  Now Vermont is getting attention for a thriving local food economy of small farms, great farmers markets and food entrepreneurs exporting everything from organic seeds to local tofu. And in the future, the Second … [Read more...]

Holidays as a benchmark


Another holiday season is behind us. As I reflect on mine, I get a strong sense that holidays can be seen as a sort of benchmark. We tend to remember certain traditions and how they played out throughout the years. On needles and pins Take the Christmas tree, for example. Let’s face it, there's nothing that can bring out the worst in any of us than the tree. Remember the year that the kids … [Read more...]

Four things that were better in 1899

Gibson print

It's no accident that the 1960 film adaptation of The Time Machine opens with host HG Wells welcoming four friends to a dinner party in London on January 5, 1900 to recount events that had occurred since he last met them, on New Year's Eve, 1899. What year could be more symbolic of the end of an era, for good or ill, than 1899? Since Americans worship at the altar of progress, we hardly need … [Read more...]

Will 2013 be the year globalization died?

Insourcing American Jobs conference

In The Campaign, last year's hilarious, potty-mouthed political romp with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, the Motch brothers (modeled of course on the Koch brothers) shovel piles of cash onto the campaign of Galifianakis's character Marty. Why? They want to build factories in his North Carolina congressional district, where they will employ Chinese workers at Chinese wages. They call it … [Read more...]

Peak oil and climate change: hold your nose and vote

Obama at debate

At last night's third and final presidential debate, we heard about horses and bayonets, nukes and drones, Israel and Iran and whether we should just give up on Pakistan. But, for the first time since 1988, we didn't hear anything last night or in either of the two previous debates this year about climate change. As to energy, it came up much less in last night's foreign policy debate than … [Read more...]

World made by hand

Letterpress Bike

My friend Cate Fitt, an artist and fellow blogger, shared a video that really blew my mind. It inspired this piece. Thanks Cate! Ink it, don't think it I love of old school printing presses. I love the quality and the raw nature of the medium. I also love that it's done by hand. As a writer and graphic designer, I've long harbored the fantasy that when the world hits the skids after peak oil … [Read more...]

Finger pointing on gas prices — the pink slime of politics

Rove Slime

During this already hyper-bizarre presidential election cycle, Super PAC money is enjoying an unprecedented ability to reach a media-addicted public while being held to virtually no standards of truth. Sadly, donors do all this with a nod-nod wink-wink relationship to the candidates each Super PAC wishes to support. Nowhere is this getting more crazy than on the emerging "gas prices" … [Read more...]

Magical thinking: Kunstler and Berman on natural gas euphoria

Fracking Cartoon

In Episode #192 of the Kunstlercast which aired February 2nd, James Howard Kunstler and Duncan Crary have done us all a great favor by interviewing noted petroleum geologist, Arthur Berman. Berman’s popular in the peak oil world. In addition to his day job as a petroleum geologist and consultant, he's on the board of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and an editorial board member of the … [Read more...]

Talkin’ peak oil blues: The new KunstlerCast book

Crary and Kunstler

Beloved curmudgeon and peak oil prophet James Howard Kunstler doesn't mince words. Whether it's on his Monday blog, Clusterfuck Nation, in his many public appearances, as a featured commentator in documentaries, or in books like peak oil classic The Long Emergency, Kunstler delivers the bad news straight on. Take his comments in the ABC-TV film Earth 2100: One of our political leaders said, … [Read more...]