free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 325. JIM KUNSTLER: WORLD'S SHITTIEST FORECASTER

Monday, December 31, 2007

325. JIM KUNSTLER: WORLD'S SHITTIEST FORECASTER

Amid all the year-end retrospectives, top ten lists and prediction contests, I guess it's time for one of PeakOilDebunked's favorite features: our presentation of the POD Asswipe of the Year award. This highly coveted prize is awarded to the peak oil person or persons whose predictions are judged most suitable to wipe your ass with. I've just received the envelope from POD's crack staff of dandruff-sprinkled MIT dorks and former cast members of Saturday Night Live, and this year's winner is ..... Jim Kunstler!

Congratulations Jim!

Jim got off to a rip-roaring start in April 1999 by predicting that "Y2K is real. Y2K is going to rock our world... I believe [Y2K] will deeply affect the economies-of-scale of virtually all activities in the United States, essentially requiring us to downsize and localize everything from government to retail merchandising to farming... I doubt that the WalMarts and K-Marts of the land will survive Y2K."

I know what you're thinking: "Man, I wish I had a whole roll of that stuff to wipe with." And I couldn't agree more. Kunstler is a real talent, a genuine one-in-a-million find, and he hasn't let us down in the years since Y2K. He's made shitty prediction after shitty prediction -- to the point that the only proper response is probably a standing ovation with armpit farts for his uncanny ability to not see the future.



"I'm inclined to predict a gruesome journey down for the Dow Jones into the 4000 range by the end of the year. " -- June 27, 2005 Source

"I'd called for a Dow-4000 late in 2005. I think that was just an error in timing, and still call for the Dow to sink into that range, or worse, in 2006." -- Jan. 2, 2006 Source

"Let's get this out of the way up front: the worst call I made last year was for the Dow to crumble down to 4000 when, in fact, it melted up to a new all-time record high of about 12,500." --Jan 1, 2007 Source

"The commercial airline industry is already whirling around the drain. 2006 will send it decisively down that drain. Since we cannot do without aviation in a nation as large as the US (with train service on the level with Bolivia) then the government may have to take over the crippled air routes." -- Jan. 2, 2006 Source

"But I must say, at the risk once again of sounding extreme, that the structural and systemic sickness in the finance realm is now so severe that it is hard to imagine we will get through the month of December without some major trauma in the markets. In fact, I'd go so far as to predict a thousand-point drop (or more) in the Dow just in this week after Thanksgiving." Nov. 26, 2007 Source

"For those of you concerned about my sense of pride -- yes, I sure got that eggy feeling all over my face last week after calling for a thousand-point Dow plunge, only to watch it put on the greatest two-day melt-up in five years." Dec. 3, 2007 Source

"So I would conclude by again predicting a substantial drop in the Dow and other equity markets." January 1, 2007 Source

"I can't imagine that quite a few major banks will not collapse in the first half of 2008. It is hard to escape the conclusion that many hedge funds will also blow up, given the unsoundness of their counter-parties' positions, not to mention the frailty of the bond reinsurers." Dec. 31, 2007 Source

"Okay, my final comment. After being chastised endlessly about mis-calling the DOW in 2006 (I said 4000), I have learned my lesson about making numerical predictions for the stock markets. So let's just say there is no fucking way that the DOW, the NASDAQ, and the S & P will not end the year 2008 absolutely on their asses."
Dec. 31, 2007 Source
by JD

32 Comments:

At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 9:13:00 AM PST, Blogger Oldnovice said...

I'd been wondering how many of the Peak Oil enthusiasts were equally enthusiastic regarding Y2k, as I saw many of the Y2k doomers simply change hats at the stroke of midnight on 2000 when the world didn't end as they'd predicted and pick up the next threat to mankind as their crusade. The majority of the ones I've been watching decided that H5N1 was the next threat to mankind, but I did see SOME gravitate toward Peak Oil doom.
Having watched the Y2k doom phenomenon explode online from maybe 1997, learning how easily people get caught up in the stream of FUD, I tend to question the credentials of people seen as knowledgeable on Peak Oil. One person I've been questioning in my mind is Sharon Astyk, sole author of the Casaubon's Book blog (referenced on the blogs of many who are trying to reduce their environmental footprints). While Sharon tends to write eloquently, I couldn't help but ask myself what credentials she has to write on this subject at all. I couldn't find any. She reads a lot, writes a lot, and enjoys farming. LOTS of the people caught up in Y2k fear read a lot, wrote a lot, and enjoyed farming. It was all very confusing to a Y2k remediator at the time. "Why are those least likely to be affected by supply chain interruptions so fearful?" My conclusion revolves around the need to feel important. IF these people were right and TEOTWAWKI occurred and IF their evangelizing had helped some people survive the "shit hitting the fan", they'd finally feel special.
Here's what Sharon Astyk wrote on Jim Kunstler in her December 12,2007 issue of Casaubon's Book dealing with "must have" books: "The Long Emergency:Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century. By James Howard Kunstler, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York:2005. Kunstler is a brilliant writer, funny, perceptive and furious. His book was the very first to bring together climate change, peak oil and the coming financial crisis, and he has proved enormously prescient."

 
At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 12:24:00 PM PST, Blogger popmonkey said...

very insightful oldnovie. i also think age has something to do with it. note that most doomcasters are middle aged. they see the world as a reflection of themselves and the reflection is that of decay and dieoff...

but if think it's pointless to try and classify and generalize doomers. the truth about y2k was that there was an army of people who prevented a real disaster. and this is why kunstler is so fucking wrong about peak oil. he and the other doomers of his ilk just assume that humans will fail to address the issue and adapt.

any of you read science and tech news regularly? in the past year there has been incredible amounts of tremendous advances in energy. from batteries to capacitors to affordable pvs to incredibly efficient computers and engines to biological methods of creating fuel, the list goes on and on. savinar and other closed minded morons of his ilk will tear into each of these advances on their own and poke holes while driving traffic to their website to support their failed lives... but the answer isn't singular, it never was.

i was worried once. i'm not worried anymore. not about peak oil anyway.

and i'm middle aged :P

 
At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 1:58:00 PM PST, Blogger Oldnovice said...

Interesting thoughts, popmonkey. Might not be the age so much as the disconnection with technology which tends to come with age, though. Afterall, *I* was over the hump
of middle age when I worked on Y2k remediation. Weren't many mainframe programmers younger than I at the time, so it might be more like
people who tend to be unfamiliar with technology or the technology involved with the areas involved COMBINED with whatever it is folks have going
on that requires them to be seen as saviors. There's definitely an emotional or personality aspect involved, though, IMO.

 
At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 3:05:00 PM PST, Anonymous dc said...

Its a counter-culture, plain and simple. Just like many conspiracy "theorists," the average peak oil believer is empowered by a perceived sense of exclusive knowledge and insight. It helps rationalize their own middling lives by allowing them to shift the blame of their own failures and disappointments onto "the system." Everyone wants to believe that they're special. Some people truly are. Most people come to grips with the realization that they aren't and move on. IMO, many peak oilers, Y2Kers, etc. seem to be people who haven't been able to deal with this reality.

 
At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 4:27:00 PM PST, Anonymous Giancarlo said...

I think peak oil conspiracy theorists need to come back to reality. Oil fields are actually filling back up in the gulf of Mexico, and oil shale can easily make up any changes. There are huge reserves in this country that are basically untapped (oil shale becomes viable when oil prices are at $40/gallon, and they are far past that).

 
At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 4:29:00 PM PST, Blogger JD said...

carlhole smoked out Kunstler over at peakoil.com. Check it out:
Link

 
At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 5:20:00 PM PST, Anonymous dc said...

Carlhole wrote:

"The Chinese are desperate for any and all energy sources they can lay their little yellow hands on. And they have all the cheap labor in the world. They have every reason to begin mass producing advanced thin-film solar in every variety and for every possible use."

Since I was kicked off from the boards many moons ago for calling out Heir Park Ranger's bias and illogic, I'll post my little addendum to Carlhole's argument here:

The Chinese government's disregard for anything resembling patent protection is another factor in favor of them becoming a mass producer of cheap solar technologies. Simply put, if anyone in the world develops a cheap, effective solar technology, then you can be sure that the Chinese will rip it off and mass-produce it, trade agreements or free trade protocol be damned.

 
At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 5:57:00 PM PST, Anonymous dc said...

I love how Kunstler tried to weasel his way out of his Y2K hysteria by asserting that no one knew what was "really" going to happen. What utter b.s. First, there was quite a bit of analysis leading up to the event (hence, the mitigation effort). Second, he wasn't hashing out the possibilities for everyone to consider. He was promoting the armageddon scenario as inevitable, indicating his dismissal or ignorance of said analyses and mitigation efforts.

BTW Jim, wasn't the West Coast supposed to be overrun by Asian pirates by now? ::snicker::

 
At Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 6:32:00 PM PST, Blogger Oldnovice said...

Heh. You're considered the resident "troll" there, JD. I'm familiar with the term, having been a Y2k debunker posting irregularly
on a Y2k forum considered to be (which I assume this one is, as well) intended for "people of like mind". Kunstler just "joined" this forum today? THAT seems odd.

 
At Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 6:11:00 AM PST, Blogger ScubaSteve said...

Well now let’s not be too hard on ol’ Jim. I’m a big fan of his and really enjoy reading his books. Although I have to admit I love disasters - disaster movies, shows about engineering failures freak weather events, etc. So for me “The Long Emergency” is a fun read. He has many very good points, including his commentaries on urban planning, automobile culture and the rather strange society we’ve evolved into in America. There is definitely something dehumanizing about suburban sprawl and I wouldn’t mind seeing it contract.

And I even agree with him (somewhat) on the scope of the problem with peak oil. Oil is so useful as fuel and packs so much energy no other source really comes close in terms of flexibility, ease of transport and energy content. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some cities (like maybe Atlanta?) suffer a “Detroit-like-contraction” which for a lot of people would be a disaster. Much of the financial and economic foundation of the United States today rests on 1) growth and more growth and 2) economic activity to do with housing. I could see high oil prices chop those off at the knees, although I can’t pinpoint at what price - $150 oil? $200?

That having been said, I found this site/blog about a month ago and have loved reading it. It’s so nice to get a different perspective on these issues and be reminded that all is not lost. Kunstler’s biggest weak spot is that he hates the current car culture and suburbia so much he wants an asteroid like impact to destroy it. As the author of this blog points out, there are so many ways to avoid catastrophe and to draw the transition out over a longer period of time that instead of a “die-off” we have a massive restructuring over many decades or even a century or longer.

You just have to take Kunstler with a grain of salt. He’s right – people will suffer. And the biggest hurdle will be changing people’s assumptions about “normal life” – unrestricted growth, disposable everything, unsustainable debt, etc. I think once people get past the mind-shift, change their expectations about the future, they’ll rise to the challenge and start implementing the variety of small, simple and technological solutions that will ultimately make a big difference.

In the mean time, keep up the great work here!!

Steve

 
At Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 10:21:00 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kunstler is a fool selling books based on knee jerk fearmongering. Pessimism is an indefensible position. It is also a lazy position. It says " you are all fucked and there is nothing you can do about it" If this is true then why bother telling people....

 
At Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 12:48:00 PM PST, Blogger Jeremy Steven said...

The way Y2K was handled might serve as a good model (along with the steps taken to address hole in the ozone layer) to use for peak oil (you, yourself, JD admit oil will peak someday):
• The problem was identified well in advance (years, in fact) and taken seriously.
• A consensus was reached that action needed to be taken.
• Preparations and plans were made and executed.

The fear of Y2K had its proper effect: it motivated people to take action. Sometimes that action was misplaced: people moved to the countryside, stocked up on shotgun shells and MREs, etc. But the correct actions were also taken. Due to proper planning and execution, the effect was very mild (almost non-existent, one might say).

There are a lot of big differences between Y2K and peak oil:
• You didn’t have a trillion dollar a year industry (and entire nations) whose whole revenue stream relies on making sure that Y2K corrective action wasn’t taken.
• There was a set date by which action needed to be taken, Jan 1, 2000. Peak oil will only be seen with hindsight, and the peak is hard to predict.
• The effects of not taking action were well understood. Not so with peak oil. It may or may not be mitigated or replaced by technology. It may plateau or not. It may be a shallow decline or a steep one.

And in scope, peak oil and Y2K aren’t really comparable. Fixing Y2K took years and cost companies 10s of millions. Transitioning away from oil and other non-renewables will take decades and cost trillions. At the very least we should be having the discussion as a nation. Yet it’s only discussed among the blogs, the occasional op/ed, and a few documentaries (oh, and the Connecticut legislature, heh).

Technology is a tricky thing. There have been a lot of advances in recent years. But are they scalable? What are their inputs? Where do those inputs come from? Most lithium comes from South America. The price of lead has skyrocketed as the Chinese soak it up to make electric scooters (20 million and counting). How will these resources be extracted and produced in light of declining fossil fuels? There are a lot of unanswered questions. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but this kind of analysis needs to be done so we know how to properly allocate future resources.

Conservation will be a huge factor, but you run up against the limitations of physics eventually. How much more efficient can refrigerators and air conditioners really be made?

I actually like Kunstler. He makes a lot of valid points. But there’s one thing we can agree on. He should stick to making points and not predictions.

 
At Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 2:59:00 PM PST, Blogger bc said...

Kunstler writes :
The phenomenal lack of apparent problems with electricity grids and nuclear plants and basic infrastructure all over the world that ensued on the rollover came as quite a shock to many of us who had reasoned that something had to give.

It was absolutely no surprise to me, as someone who works with embedded systems. It was obvious at the time that some people saying that virtually anything electronic would fail (eg traffic lights) were talking complete bullshit.

So, with PO, an awful lot of people who really know little about the oil industry, and even less about energy and industrial society in general, make similar prognostications of doom, and I find very little evidence that these dire predictions are any more likely to transpire than those for Y2K.

Sure there is a problem, it may cause some extra expense and hardship, but the solution is most likely a technical one.

 
At Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 11:16:00 PM PST, Blogger Johan said...

There are idiots in the world. I don't think that's really news to anyone, whether they believe in "peak oil" or not.

The fact is, however, that last year at this time a barrel of oil cost half as much as it does now. And no amount of shoveling shit in anyone's face is going to change that...

I am curious though, because you state that you believe that oil will eventually peak -- when do you believe this will happen, and to what do you attribute the 100% rise that we've seen in the last year?

 
At Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 5:55:00 AM PST, Blogger JD said...

Hi johan, welcome to POD.
At the moment, EIA stats indicate that world crude oil production peaked about 2.5 years ago, in May 2005. Total liquids set a new record in October 2007.

I believe the $100 price is due to surging demand and stagnant supply. There's also a fairly large speculative component.

My peak oil prediction: Oil will peak sometime between 3 years ago and 20 years from now, +/- 15 years. I'm going to be dead-on accurate in terms of the big picture, and that's what's important. ;^)

 
At Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 12:25:00 PM PST, Anonymous Al Fin said...

Johan, when you go to someone's blog and accuse them of "shoveling shit" in your face, that is not responsive to the conversation at hand. And you did not even provide a profile with your blogger account! Tsk, tsk.

Any of you peak oil devotees and true believers who have not read maugeri's "the age of oil" are out on a limb.

The main difference between "peak oil" and "y2k" was that while both scares were accompanied by kooks, y2k was a genuine problem that required urgent action to avoid major snarls and complications.

"Peak oil" is a metaphor, and a faulty metaphor at that. Like JD says, when demand outgrows supply, prices can double, triple, or more.

The supply is there for roughly 30 more years of oil at today's demand--which will undoubtedly shrink due to cyclic recessions and down-the-pipeline oil replacements.

The oil is there for decades more of today's economy. But it will cost you.

But go ahead and panic. It's fun to watch.

 
At Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at 12:30:00 PM PST, Anonymous philbiker said...

Jim Kunstler should stick to commentary on urban and town planning (and lack thereof) and architectural atfulness (and lack thereof). His books "The Geography Of Nowhere" and "Home From Nowhere" are an entertaining read, I sympathize with his "new urbanist" ideal. Highly recommended - "Eyesore Of The Month" on his web site.

However, his peak oil / economic doom and gloom is ridiculous and only serves to make him look like a "crazy person" as he reports in his blog.

 
At Friday, January 18, 2008 at 4:02:00 PM PST, Anonymous Syn Diesel said...

He wants the world to crash so it can be rebuilt in his image. It can all be summed up in a single famous saying:

Immanentize the eschaton.


It really is that simple with the Doomers.

 
At Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 10:24:00 PM PST, Blogger David Moisan said...

I give Sharon credit though: She does think Kunstler is a misanthrope, from http://casaubonsbook.blogspot.com/2007/06/depletion-racism-and-paving-road-to.html.
" And while I admire Kunstler's writing and think he's really smart, I have to say, this is almost certainly true. Kunstler comes very close to being a simply misanthropist - but it is hard not to notice that he's surprisingly more tolerant of people who are a lot like him. My friends and I laugh about his nasty stereotyping of southern white people, and his claims that Asian pirates and Mexican nationalists are going to overrun the country, but what you get, in the end, is a sense that Kunstler thinks that any place that isn't mostly white northeasterners is doomed, mostly because it has a lot of non-white people in it. This is bigotry, and we need to point that out.
"
I would point out Vermont seems to be a state within itself that Kunstler and other luddites like Kirkpatrick Sale inhabit; they are in no less a hermetically-sealed opinion bubble than their counterparts in the Beltway, Silicon Valley or Wall Street.

Though I respect Sharon for being more humanistic than her friends, I take their views with no less salt than I do for any other echo-chamber.

 
At Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at 8:41:00 PM PDT, Blogger UmassMenus said...

What was said above:

"The supply is there for roughly 30 more years of oil at today's demand--which will undoubtedly shrink due to cyclic recessions and down-the-pipeline oil replacements.

The oil is there for decades more of today's economy. But it will cost you."

This is not a valid reason to go against Johan's statement. Already we are seeing fractures in our economy and oil is rising in cost due to demand.

Saying it will cost you is the equivalent of saying the economy is danger of collapsing because of this situation. The economy is strong, but because of the importance of oil and to keep everything running every sing part of the private and public sector is straining to keep it together.

And you can't just tag people who are Peak Oil enthusiast as jumpers from another crisis. I am a 22-year old in college and I believe in it.

Do I believe it could happen now? Maybe. Do I believe it will happen? Certainly. But you can't get mad at Peak Oil people for being doom & gloom; Most of them are only ( but a big only) a change in the infrastructure of our energy & economic dynamics within our country.

Its the equivalent to insurance. I don't think my house is going to explode, but I don't mind having an insurance policy in case it does.

Peak Oil enthusiasts aren't crazed people trying to ruin your lives; I myself only advocate a decent insurance policy structure that will ensure some type of energy and economic security "in the event" that peak oil occurs. If we keep holding out on the views of Peak Oil advocates, then we will never reach a mindset to come up with brilliant solutions that could solve the problem as it transpires.

Saying it will cost you is also giving the middle finger to a majority of Americans who will not be able to afford this expensive energy that culminates into higher prices in not only gasoline, but food, plastic & electronic goods, and manufacturing dynamics (ie: cost-cutting by job-cutting). If people can't afford the only energy that allows them to live, then we need to come up with a solution to change it.

 
At Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 12:14:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Gary said...

I agree with this, but what you've got to understand Umass is this. For all the Peak Oil pundits. None speak as loudly as those who say we have no chance of making it. That we need to get ready for the "powerdown" as if they know it has been written. WHen in fact it hasn't. A lot of folks "pick" on the dommers for their view, but so what they pick on us for being optimistic, do thay not? The truth is, is that there are some crazed people out there who are trying to ruin our lives. That is a fact. You say no one will take it seriously, then when folks search Peak Oil on Google and they come up with sites like LATOC and other doomeristic sites......you begin to wonder and then you may think like them.....or you may just say it's crazy stuff that'll never happen. When it will. I myself try to raise awareness when it is socially acceptable. I address all the arguments and I tell folks, this could happen. Don't rule it out because someone who looks like a crackpot said this. They could very well be wrong, and proabably will be, but they could be right as well. Too many variables and what not.

As for the prices of food going way up because of Oil, I don't think that will happen. Yes they'll go up, but not something of which we will all starve.

Things vital to preserve human life....such as Medicine will not go up so much that many will die because of it, or certain plastic goods.

I have to take Heart meds to get by, I'm only 23 years of age. My pills as of right now without insurance cost a whopping 3 dollars a bottle. Even if my pills were to cost 15-20 a bottle, I could live with that. I know not everyones meds are as cheap, but a lot of them are.

Yes, you are right this could happen very soon, maybe even another decade, or two. Perhaps it won't even happen in our lifetimes because we decided to undertake a full on energy revolution and now, we don't need Oil.

As to the blog itself. Kunstler is a shitty forecaster. Sorry to rain on any of his fans, but this guy is in love with the "farming age" Perhapd he should go and farm and leave us all the hell alone. Certain people I just have NO respect for this guy and Matt Savinar.

 
At Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 7:04:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kunstler was a guest on public radio in Wisconsin last night. His new prediction is that in the next three years the oil crisis will hit the U.S. and send the economy into a complete tailspin. On top of that, he declared that every other form of energy production will not satisfy the needs of this country. He has a new book out, and it's time for Jim to try to scare us all again.

 
At Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 1:26:00 AM PDT, Anonymous -q|p- said...

1. It's not wise to list a person's wrong predictions without listing their accurate predictions.
2. Kunstler understood the scale of the US collapse we are now witnessing, but did so very early, though not as early as an Emmanuel Todd and others.
However, he didn't take into account that The Dow swells with the inflation (crashing in real currency), or that the gov will postpone the crash by making new debt and inflation, rendering any hope for a turn-around after a huge depression hopeless. Kunstler thinks too often that the elite will react responsible, where in reality they do not. That is even more true with the self-proclaimed "debunkers".
3. I am generally not interested in Kunstler's forecast, but a lot in his thoughts and reasoning. Taken with a grain of salt, it is another important part to understand the situation. It shouldn't be the only thing one relies on, though. More like one of hundreds of parts. That's also why I am none of the doomers: Doom may very well come, but not in that monocausal fashion.

 
At Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 9:38:00 AM PDT, Anonymous jim ludwig said...

I see that Kunstler has made a number of wrong predictions. It is easy to forget that no one really knows what it going to happen, at least to the point of being able to put dates to it. I think the best we can do is infer probability based upon an intelligent cognitive grasp of whatever the subject is.

Thus I wouldn't throw out Kunstler's view of things based upon faulty (and perhaps arrogant predictions.) I think his main message is that the system we have created is not sustainable, in numerous ways, and I think that that point of view is defensible.

Infinite economic growth on a finite planet is not a good, long-term plan. Operating as if we had an endless supply of oil - not a good plan. Creating a global system of "consumerism" which values people wasting as much energy as possible - a really dumb plan.

A tiny percentage of the world society profiting while billions are barely surviving - how long can that model be sustained?

Senseless wars at a costs beyond imagination, leaving the basics of our society unfunded? Conditioning the "consumer" to go deeper and deeper into debt (and paying him badly enough that he has to) - where is that shit headed?

The way we are running things is clearly not working and there is a madness to it. I can see why Kunstler would feel passionate about that, perhaps enough so to make foolish predictions, but let's not throw the baby of defensible observations out with the baby water of big ego.

Will it be next week or years from now that the various pieces of dysfuctionality fall together? I sure don't know, but I think that I do know in what direction this ship is sailing!

 
At Monday, August 25, 2008 at 12:07:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm some one who mostly deals with transport policy issues & Kunstler has made some very good observations coming from some one who doesn't deal with this field.

He has said stuff that looks really bad in hind sight, though like the weather we won't know till it happens.

Even some of the threads on this blog don't debunk peak oil, but back it up.

People buy fire extinguishers and hope that they never have to use them.

So if any thing Kunstler is a lot like a smoke detector in your house, in that some times you'll get a false alarm. Though you are better with it, than with out.

 
At Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 10:21:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's made some spectacularly failed predictions in the past but this post in retrospect actually redeems Kunstler a bit -- the banks, the Dow -- some of these quotes were absolutely right.

 
At Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 4:09:00 AM PDT, Blogger Eclipse Now said...

Hi JD,
I hate predictions tied to actual dates. They suck. But ANYONE with half a brain's worth of basic economics saw that the housing bubble was unsustainable, that it was inflated because not much else was performing as "seemingly" as well (which of course only accelerates the bubble problem due to the false perception that Houses are performing... and always will!), and that subprimes were taking over the field, and that the average American debt was now so high that "at some point" something had to give.

Jim's problem is jumping the gun. But his concerns are SPOT ON! His vision of the future might be off, but the questions he asks are right. I personally am more optimistic than Jim, because I see that there is some truth in what you write. SOME. However, you have done nothing to "debunk peak oil". It's still going to rock our world.

Again I ask you to consider renaming your blog "Dieoff debunked" because you'll have major egg on your face if you don't.

 
At Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 7:21:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brian said...

Strange, how this thread ends, just as the dire predictions start to really "hit the fan"... Looks to me like there might already be egg on someone's face, though no blame is to be laid. Figure it out: think about how we all use energy to "strengthen our enemies and degrade our environment" and make the personal decision to do SOMETHING different in our daily lives, rather than just blogging away, waiting for someone else to fix things so that we don't have to make any changes or sacrifices. Bike to work. Walk to the store. Move closer to where you do things daily... This will give us the time needed to make the transition without any big "die-off.

 
At Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 10:35:00 AM PDT, Blogger Oldnovice said...

I wonder why you think we don't conserve, Brian. *I* certainly do. Some might even suggest that I'm ALL ABOUT conservation. What I'm NOT all about, however, is fear mongering.

 
At Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 4:28:00 PM PDT, Blogger Eclipse Now said...

Yeah, so why not call this blog "Dieoff debunked" instead of "Peak Oil Debunked"? If people have to do everything you just mentioned, then surely that's a major change brought on by peak oil and therefore peak oil itself is not "debunked". Because I can tell you now that for most people, sleeping 4 nights at the office because of transport difficulties is simply NOT on the agenda, neither is cycling to work or moving home to be closer to work and / or schools etc.

Insisting that "peak oil will be nothing" on the one hand BECAUSE people will have to sacrifice their current normal family patterns and lifestyles on the other hand doesn't quite add up I'm afraid.

Peak oil debunked? The more JD and his fanboi's talk, the more he confirms the reality of it.

I do appreciate some of the posts here, especially those that prove dieoff and the collapse of law and order are not inevitable. However, calling it "peak oil debunked" is just a bit too much.

 
At Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 5:45:00 PM PDT, Blogger Eclipse Now said...

But there's so much society COULD do if we were motivated. Unfortunately, most Americans and Australian's think unlimited fuel is their God-given right. There are consequences for stupidly just **assuming** that "they" are in charge, and "they" will fix it, and "they" have an answer, where in reality our whole marketplace is utterly dependent on oil and going to be in a very bad way because of our dependence on it. "Fear mongering?" Is drawing up scenarios in a risk mitigation exercise fear mongering? Is highlighting health risks of smoking and obesity fear mongering? Is portraying the troubles with being under-insured fear mongering, or analysing crash incidents to prevent future harm, or studying all manner of risk scenarios and planning for them?

"Fear mongering" seems necessary to get an even basic level of agreement that **something** must be done about peak oil. But no, our governments keep pouring billions and billions into maintaining a way of life that really is now outdated and must change, and change fast. We in typical American/Australian western nations need to move to a public transport and city plan that is "more European than European" and FAST. But stupid right wing FEAR MONGERERS will scream of communists under the beds before they realise the financial and public health and social benefits of adopting a greater rail infrastructure and New Urban development plan. I suggest that FEAR MONGERING really works both ways.

 
At Monday, May 18, 2009 at 9:58:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Donny-Don said...

Kunstler has correctly predicted 17 of the last two economic crises.

 

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