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Kunstler: Not So Happy Motoring

Consumption

It hasn’t been a great month for America’s electric car fantasy. Elon Musk’s Tesla company — the symbolic beating heart of the fantasy — is whirling around the drain with its share price plummeting 22 percent, its bonds downgraded by Moody’s to junk status, a failure to produce its “affordable” ($36,000 — Ha!) Model 3 at commercial scale, a massive recall of earlier S Model sedans for a steering defect, and the spectacular fiery crash in Silicon Valley last week of an X model that may have been operating in automatic mode (the authorities can’t determine that based on what’s left), and which killed the driver.

Oh, and an experimental self-driving Uber car (Volvo brand) ran over and killed a lady crossing the street with her bicycle in Tempe, Arizona, two weeks ago. Don’t blame Elon for that.

There’s a lot to like about electric cars, of course, if, say, you’re a Google executive floating through life in a techno-narcissism bubble, or a Hollywood actor with wooly grandiose notions of saving the planet while simultaneously signaling your wealth and your “green” virtue cred. Teslas supposedly handle beautifully, ride very quietly, have great low-end power, and decent range of over 200 miles. The engine has something like twenty moving parts, is very long-lasting, and is easy to repair or change out if necessary.

Are they actually “green and clean?” Bwaahaaaaa….! Are you kidding? First, there’s the energy embedded in producing the car: mining and smelting the ores, manufacturing the plastics, running the assembly line, etc. That embedded energy amounts to about 22 percent of the energy consumed by the car over a ten-year lifetime. Then there’s the cost of actually powering the car day-by-day. The electricity around the USA is produced mostly by burning coal, natural gas, or by nuclear fission, all of which produce harmful emissions or byproducts. But the illusion that the power just comes out of a plug in the wall (for just pennies a day!) is a powerful one for the credulous public. The cherry-on-top is the fantasy that before much longer all that electric power will come from “renewables,” solar and wind, and we can leave the whole fossil fuel mess behind us. We say that to ourselves as a sort of prayer, and it has exactly that value.

There are at least a couple of other holes in story, big-picture wise. One is that electric mass motoring — switching out the whole liquid fuel fleet for an all-electric fleet — won’t pencil out economically. We probably started the project forty years too late to even be able to test it at scale, because economic events are now moving so quickly in the direction of global austerity that the putative middle-class customer base for electric cars will barely exist in the near future. Americans especially nowadays are so financially stressed that they can’t qualify for car loans — and that is mainly how cars are bought in this land. The industry has strained mightily to bend the rules so that these days it’s even possible to get a seven-year loan for a used car whose collateral value will dissipate long before the loan is paid back. Hard to see how they can take that much further.

The usual answer for that is that you won’t need to own a car because the nation will be served by self-driving electric Uber-style cars-on-demand, which will supposedly require far fewer cars in all. That really doesn’t answer some big questions, such as: how might commuting work in our big metroplex cities? Even if you posit multiple occupancy vehicles, it still represents a whole lot of car trips. Oh, you say, everybody will just work from home. Really? I don’t think so — though I wouldn’t rule out an end to corporate organization of work as we’ve known it, and if that happens, we will be a nation of farmers and artisans again, that is, a World Made By Hand. Also consider, if the car companies only need to make and sell a fraction of the vehicles they sell now, the whole industry will collapse.

Another hole in the story is the universal assumption that the USA must remain a land of mandatory car dependency, hostage to the fiasco of our suburban infrastructure. I understand why we’re attached to it. We spent most of the 20th century building all that shit, and squandered most our wealth on it. It’s comfortably familiar, even if it’s actually a miserable environment for everyday life. But none of those monetary and psychological investments negate the fact that suburbia has outlived its limited and rather perverse usefulness.

We’re so far from having any intelligent public debate about these issues that the events now spooling out will completely blindside the nation.

Kunstler



287 Comments on "Kunstler: Not So Happy Motoring"

  1. Boat on Sun, 1st Apr 2018 10:26 pm 

    So mm

    Since rappier may be correct now what. Should we take over Venz? Seems less disruptive than a nuke war. Nigeria seems like an oil rich target.

  2. MASTERMIND on Sun, 1st Apr 2018 10:26 pm 

    Boat

    How about my Cubs winning the year before and we had five million fans to celebrate. You only had a few hundred thousand in your shit hole city..I cheered when Houston got flooded and hope they do again…Serves you people right for executing woman.

  3. MASTERMIND on Sun, 1st Apr 2018 10:29 pm 

    Boat

    That would be a lot of work taking over another country. Easier just to shoot off a dozen or so nukes and kill around a billion oil users. That might buy us another fifteen years. Rinse and repeat!

  4. GregT on Sun, 1st Apr 2018 11:12 pm 

    Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘Bread and Circus’ Boat?

  5. GregT on Sun, 1st Apr 2018 11:47 pm 

    “Should we take over Venz?”

    Assuming that you would be referring to Venezuela, how are you and MM going to ‘take over Venz’ Boat?

  6. Anonymouse1 on Sun, 1st Apr 2018 11:50 pm 

    The only phrase boatwetard knows is,

    ‘Praise the lord and pass the remote control’.

  7. makati1 on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 12:26 am 

    Food for thought Americans:

    ““The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays – Propaganda (1928)”

  8. Theedrich on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 12:54 am 

    Official U.S. policy: educational stupefaction.  On Wednesday, 2018 Jan 9, Lance Izumi, Pacific Research Institute fellow, gave a talk recorded by
    C-SPAN, in which he exposed what is happening nationwide in American primary and secondary education.  He has also presented this catastrophe in greater detail in his book, The Corrupt Classroom: Bias, Indoctrination, Violence and Social Engineering Show Why America Needs School Choice.  The teachers and their unions spew violent anti-Trump political propaganda onto and into the children they are supposed to be teaching;  the public school curricula in many places (e.g., California) are grotesquely leftist.  The few Negro children who attempt to study and do homework are accused by their Black classmates of “acting White” and shunned, physically beaten and excluded from social intercourse.  Violence is endemic in 65% of public schools:  nine tenths of middle schools report violence, but the principals, afraid of are being called “racist” and getting politically incorrect statistics leading to less tax money, suppress and hide the reports of the mayhem, and do nothing to punish the criminal minors responsible for the chaos and crimes.  Since the coup by the Obama administration, discipline has broken down nationwide.  “Common core,” Obama’s education takeover, was a disaster, a fraud based on inferior standards which did not result in anything like what it had promised to produce.  Anti-suspension policies have made teachers feel unsafe due to the threat of violence from the young malefactors.  In short, the fantasy that “all men are created equal” is lowering educational levels to ever lower levels.  Of course, the teachers’ unions resist even the hint of school choice.

    Due to this disintegration of education in the lower grades, American ranking in international comparisons is plumeting — at a time when the need for higher competence in all intellectual categories is growing rapidly.

    The “unhappy-motoring” of Kunstler’s cri de cœur is a symptom, not a cause of America’s terminal illness.  Overshoot is the result of a rigid, hidebound adherence to the propaganda spewed out by self-proclaimed “authorities.”  The myth is that whatever has worked in the past, such as complexification and government-enforced almsgiving to low IQs, indigent parasites and bribe-ocrats in the world’s outhouses, will work in the future.  Meanwhile, as global economics shifts many industries from World 1 to World 3, and the unemployed offspring of the “greatest generation” despairs, narco-poisons from leechlands flood in to fill the psychic vacuum.  Traditional Judeo-Cretinism no longer works.  Vast numbers of children are fatherless, raised by psychotic single “moms” who reject stable marriage as too patriarchal.  The anti-White Left loves it.

    Yes, Obama-style Stalinism is the future.  This is logical consequence of Yankeedom’s centuries-old White genosuidicism.  And the Yid media assure us that this is what we need.

  9. makati1 on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 2:57 am 

    Yes, Theedrich, the us is headed for a Stalin type dictatorship, as soon as they can get the guns out of the hands of the serfs. The dumbing down has been successful as anyone educated before 1960 can see. We have some perfect examples on here.

    http://grandfather-economic-report.com/1895-test.htm

    I have to admit that I only scored about 60%.

    Most of the questions covered items not taught, even in the 50s, in the first 8 grades. I would bet few today would even get 20% correct.

  10. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 4:23 am 

    today supremetard raised from the dead and bought our sins. we are liberated. we thank our kind supremetard to forgive us our sins. this is not an act of inequality. it is a proposition that forgiveness is better than punishment.

    We thank supremetard and appreciate luke 22:36, amen

    Always look at he bright side of life, forumtard! Happy Eas… um Northern!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlBiLNN1NhQ

    https://neweuropeanconservative.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/defining-paganism-faye/

    https://www.gutenberg.org/files/19322/19322-h/19322-h.htm

  11. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 5:24 am 

    “Yes, Theedrich, the us is headed for a Stalin type dictatorship, as soon as they can get the guns out of the hands of the serfs. The dumbing down has been successful as anyone educated before 1960 can see. We have some perfect examples on here.”

    Sure, billy 3rd world, like you are showing an education. We have a dumbing down along with more wisdom being built up. It is like the obesity problem along with all the people who work out and look great. The US has both of these trends. You and the other anti-Americans here just choose to cherry-pick the worst. I know I am here and I see it you are not. We are a 3rd world country with a 1st world backbone.

    There will be no Stalin type dictatorship. There might be a military rule if things get bad. There are too many competing factions in this country. There are too many regions with the tendency to go their own way.

  12. MASTERMIND on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 5:35 am 

    Another long word salad from Theo..Dude is a total fucking basket case..Why are there so many extremist on this site?

  13. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 6:01 am 

    “as the insane Marxist parasites of the west turn on the Russians and anyone else that dares not agree with them. ”
    “Davy is in support of those parasites, or quite possibly one of them. That’s the main reason for all of the bitching.”

    I am against mass anti-Americanism with its history revisions, misrepresentations, and factual embellishments. I am against the one-sided conversations of multiple extremist people pursuing their personal agenda distorting the truth beyond recognition. I am especially against you the head cheese of the anti-Americans. You say absolutely nothing and just stalk and prick all day long whining and gnashing your teeth.

  14. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 6:17 am 

    Bring up the subject of “insane Marxist parasites” and millimind and his water carrier meathead get angry.

    Touche pas à mon pote.

    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touche_pas_%C3%A0_mon_pote

    Another long word salad from Theo..Dude is a total fucking basket case..Why are there so many extremist on this site?

    Indeed. The air would clear cohnsiderably if you and your idea of nuking 2 billion and raping Taylor Swift, would take a hike.

  15. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 6:23 am 

    There are too many regions with the tendency to go their own way.

    Me, salivating, noticed that too. That’s a good thing dude. It is the most bloodless scenario way out of the US empire, heck, way out of the US. Multi-ethnic societies don’t work: USSR, Yugoslavia, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Belgium, Czecho-Slovakia, Ukraine… and that is only the last 27 years. Need I go on?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9xHhbG3wvk

  16. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 6:35 am 

    “Touche pas à mon pote.”
    Yea, that is what I do to your extremism daily. You get neutered and moderated. Enjoy your punishment Nazi

  17. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 6:38 am 

    “Me, salivating, noticed that too. That’s a good thing dude. It is the most bloodless scenario way out of the US empire, heck, way out of the US. Multi-ethnic societies don’t work: USSR, Yugoslavia, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Belgium, Czecho-Slovakia, Ukraine… and that is only the last 27 years. Need I go on?”

    Unlike you I am honest about the end of the status quo and globalism. I am balanced and not extreme like your groupies. Your Europe is set to be ripped apart from all directions including internally. You can’t even maintain your population:

    Will Germany Still Belong To Germans In The Near-Future?
    https://tinyurl.com/ybpfj5ft

    “The speed with which the German population is shrinking seems to be even too much for the statisticians of Destatis, the official German bureau of statistics, who posit that by 2060, with a zero level of net immigration, the German population will have declined to 60,2 million. However, our research team has found out that this number is far too optimistic: in 40 years Germany will have a population of 52,6 million people, a considerable 34% drop from the current 81 million inhabitants, and by the end of the century the native German population, the indigenous people without a migration background, will have shrunk even further and be approaching 21,6 million. The explanation that Destatis has mailed us is tantamount to admitting that their projections are unrealistic. If the German elites succeed in maintaining their population at 80 million, in 2060 the majority of naturalized Germans will have no historical relation to the nation’s ancestors who were once proud subjects of the Holy Roman Empire. Moreover, they will stand in the same relation to Albert Schweitzer, Johann Sebastian Bach, Karl Benz and Friedrich Nietzsche as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stands to the Byzantine emperors. The excessive numbers of migrants will have altered the German nation forever.”

  18. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 6:42 am 

    Yea, that is what I do to your extremism daily. You get neutered and moderated. Enjoy your punishment Nazi

    I wonder if you really understand the meaning of that French sentence, despite your alleged presence in that country at an earlier stage in your life.

    https://i2.wp.com/nerdbastards.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/dead-snow-2nazis.jpg?resize=1600%2C900

    That guy in the middle, that’s me meathead. Note this is how I look when I am in a good mood, after I had my plate Sauerkraut mit Bratwurst und das Fraulein was nice to me the other night.

  19. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 7:00 am 

    “I wonder if you really understand the meaning of that French sentence, despite your alleged presence in that country at an earlier stage in your life.”
    I wonder if you have a clue about life. Maybe get off your ass and go outside. You are on this forum more than anyone. You friggin don’t sleep. What kind of drug are you on? I mean seriously you are here 24 hours a day.

    “That guy in the middle, that’s me meathead. Note this is how I look when I am in a good mood, after I had my plate Sauerkraut mit Bratwurst und das Fraulein was nice to me the other night.”
    Awesome picture nedernazi. Show it to greggie and Billy 3rd world. They will have an ejaculation over it.

  20. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 7:48 am 

    You are on this forum more than anyone. You friggin don’t sleep. What kind of drug are you on? I mean seriously you are here 24 hours a day.

    Complete BS. I never post between 7:30-19:00 CET during weekdays, since more than 4 months and won’t for the coming months, while I work my way into (potential) early retirement.

    Easy to verify with Google.

    But I’ll never really retire as working, writing, developing, coding, etc. is so much more interesting that sitting on your a**.

  21. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 7:55 am 

    Good, I can watch your ass now and serve you crow.

  22. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 7:59 am 

    Ah, neder, you wants some crow? It is 15:00. You should be working.

  23. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 8:10 am 

    Damn, forgot today is another one of those many holidays when Eurotards take time off from working.

  24. joe on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 8:18 am 

    He won’t post between 7 and 7 because he’s in bed asleep so he can stay up all night trolling sites.

  25. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 9:12 am 

    “Ah, neder, you wants some crow? It is 15:00. You should be working.”

    I thought you Prozarks were all deep in that semitic Christ cult. Ever heard of Easter?

  26. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 9:46 am 

    Easter was yesterday. Here in America we work on Mondays after Easter. In Euroland, you take several days off for a holliday we take one off for. Just more reasons why you Eurotards avoid working.

  27. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 9:57 am 

    “Easter was yesterday. Here in America we work on Mondays after Easter. In Euroland, you take several days off for a holliday we take one off for. Just more reasons why you Eurotards avoid working.”

    We get our work done, faster, perhaps.

    Besides, you would not know what to do with your life other than slaving for money 24/7 in order to buy Chinese stuff.

    “Joi de vivre” is a French expression after all. And for some reason, eating cheese and drinking wine is slightly more civilized than bombing farawaystan, would you not agree?

  28. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 10:03 am 

    “In Euroland, you take several days off for a holliday we take one off for.”

    Why shouldn’t we?

    https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2010/08/04/why-dont-americans-have-longer-vacations/the-vacation-gap-between-the-us-and-europe-is-wider-than-we-think

    Hours worked:

    Germany 1430
    USA 1860

    And who again is export weltmeister?

    You guys should enjoy life more, provided you have the talent for joy.

  29. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 10:35 am 

    Who has the biggest economy in the world (GDP)? There is a reason for that. Eurotards are lazy with low productivity. The artificially low Euro makes up for that.

  30. GregT on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 11:15 am 

    “Who has the biggest economy in the world (GDP)? There is a reason for that.”

    There are many reasons for that. The main ones being a much larger share of the world’s energy and resource bases, the exorbitant privilege provided by the petro dollar, warmongering, and the big one as of late, cheap Chinese labor.

  31. MASTERMIND on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 11:23 am 

    Trump’s Tariffs Hurting American Factories as Prices Skyrocket

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-02/trump-s-tariffs-hurting-american-factories-as-prices-skyrocket

  32. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 1:13 pm 

    “Who has the biggest economy in the world (GDP)? There is a reason for that.”

    According to the “anti-Americans” of Pew research the US has not the largest economy but is 3rd:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/09/few-see-eu-as-worlds-top-economic-power-despite-its-relative-might/ft_17-08-04_eu_economy_global_medians/

    I must remind you that if the US will lose the dollar reserve currency privilege, GDP will sink even further with 35-40%.

    Note, that is if the US remains in one piece. Chop that in 2, “after the break”. Add Russia to the EU, as is the wish of Vladimir the Great, we arrive at $23T. If we manage to add the $7T of (T)-rump America to that of Europe, we arrive at a comfortable $30T for Eurosphere.

    No worries. Whitey will remain on top.

  33. Davy on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 1:43 pm 

    Neder, your understanding of economics and finance is less than your understanding of military matters. 35-40% drop? In a vacuum no doubt in Nederfantasy. The US has the largest economy on GDP terms have fun cherry picking away that fact. BTW, Vald wants Euroland under his thumb. It is easier that way with a gun to their head. You PBM Eurotards never learn.

  34. Cloggie on Mon, 2nd Apr 2018 11:53 pm 

    35-40% drop? In a vacuum no doubt in Nederfantasy.

    Eh no. That was what a silver-haired, serious looking man said from a US MSM. But you don’t watch “my stupid videos” (your words).

    The US has the largest economy on GDP terms

    Well, not according to Pew Research.

    Vald wants Euroland under his thumb.

    What’s your proof for that he wants to copy your behavior? Vlad has 144 million and $4T, the EU has 500 million and $19T. Ultimately he wants to park his country in Europe and as such bring himself into safety for China. His weapons will be a nice add-on to Europe, what you not agree? Once that has happened we can set ourselves up as the protector of European-America (“hands of whitey or else”) or what’s left of it.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/HarmlessYardDog/status/967415441839796225

    Should be a comforting idea to you. No?

  35. Davy on Tue, 3rd Apr 2018 4:11 am 

    “Eh no. That was what a silver-haired, serious looking man said from a US MSM. But you don’t watch “my stupid videos” (your words).”
    Eh yea, how many silver haired serious looking men say shit on msm? You like to believe and cherry pick those that conform to your agenda. MR. Neder the Economist, please tell me what a 30-40% drop would do to other major economies including the Eurotard one? Right, it would kick ass and take names. This shit does not happen in a vacuum but that is how binary agenda spouting people like you think.

  36. Cloggie on Sat, 7th Apr 2018 5:59 am 

    VW to present eCrafter e-van:

    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/06/volkswagen-ecrafter-all-electric-van-to-make-uk-debut-at-commercial-vehicle-show-at-nec-april-24-26/

    Range 160 km
    Topspeed 90 kmh

    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/04/06/uk-diesel-car-sales-fell-by-over-a-third-in-march/

    Sales diesel cars collapsing. Too “stigmatized”.

  37. Davy on Sat, 7th Apr 2018 6:54 am 

    “Sales diesel cars collapsing. Too “stigmatized”.”

    A perfect example of failed Eurotard corporate strategy with more to come I am sure with unrealistic renewable policies.

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