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Kunstler: There Is No Normal

Public Policy

The wheel of time rolls forward, never retracing its path, but because it is a wheel, and we are riding in it, a persistent illusion persuades us that the landscape is recognizably the same, and that our doings within the regular turning of the seasons seem comfortably normal. There is no normal.

There is for us, at this moment in history, an especially harsh turning (so Strauss and Howe would say) as our journey takes the exit ramp out of the high energy era into the next reality of a long emergency. The human hive-mind senses that something is different, but at the same moment we’re unable to imagine changing all our exquisitely tuned arrangements — especially the thinking class in charge of all that, self-enchanted with pixeled fantasies. The dissonance over this is driving America crazy.

The wheel hit a deep pothole in 2008 turning onto the off-ramp and has been wobbling badly ever since. 2008 was a warning that going through the motions isn’t enough to sustain a sense of purpose, either nationally or for individuals trying to keep their lives together ever more desperately. The cultural memory of the confident years, when we seemed to know what we were doing, and where we were going, dogs us and mocks us.

The young adults feel all that most acutely. The pain prompts them to want to deconstruct that memory. “No, it didn’t happen that way,” they are saying. All those stories about the founding of this society — of those Great Men with their powdered hair-doos writing the national charter, and the remarkable experience of the past 200-odd years — are wrong! There was nothing wonderful about it. The whole thing was a swindle!

They are feeling the wheel’s turning most painfully, since they know they will see many more turnings in the years ahead, and the direction of the wheel is vectoring downward for them. The bottom-line is less of everything, not more. That is a new ethos here in America and it’s hardly comforting: Less income, fewer comforts, more literal hardships, fewer consolations for the universal difficulty of being alive. No wonder they are angry.

It’s this simple. We landed in the New World five hundred years ago. It was full of good things that human beings had barely begun to exploit, laid out like a banquet. There was plenty of good virgin soil for growing food, the best timber in the world, clean rivers and great lakes, ores full of iron, gold, and silver, and down deep a bonanza of coal and oil to drive the wheel through very flush times. The past century was particularly supercharged, the oil years.

Imagine living through the very start of all that, the blinding, fantastic newness of modernity! Look back at the stories and images around Teddy Roosevelt and his times, and the confidence of that era just astonishes you, An emergent cavalcade of wonders: electricity, telephones, railroads, subways, skyscrapers! And in a few more years movies, cars, airplanes, radio. Even the backstage wonders of the day were astonishments: household plumbing for all, running hot water, municipal water and sewer systems, refrigeration, tractors! It’s hard to conceive how much these developments changed the human experience of daily life.

Even the traumas of the 20th century’s world wars did not crush that sense of amazing progress, at least not in North America, spared the wars’ mighty wreckage. The post-war confidence of American society achieved a level of in-your-face laughable hubris — see the USA in your Chevrolet! — until John Kennedy was shot down, and after that the delirious moonshot euphoria steadily gave way to corrosive skepticism, anxiety, acrimony, and enmity. My generation, booming into adulthood, naively thought they could fix all that with Earth Day, tofu, and computers, and keep the great wheel rolling down into an even more glorious cybernetic nirvana.

Fakeout. That’s not where the wheel is going. We borrowed all we possibly could from the future to pretend that the system was still working, and now the future is at the door like a re-po man come to take away both the car and the house. The financial scene is an excellent analog to our collective psychology. Its workings depend on the simple faith that its workings work. So, it is easy to imagine what happens when that faith wavers.

We’re on the verge of a lot of things coming apart: supply lines, revenue streams, international agreements, political assumptions, promises to do this and that. We have no idea how to keep it together on the downside. We don’t even want to think about it. The best we can do for the moment is pretend that the downside doesn’t exist. And meanwhile, fight both for social justice and to make America great again, two seemingly noble ideas, both exercises in futility. The wheel is still turning and the change of season soon upon us. What will you do?

Kunstler



177 Comments on "Kunstler: There Is No Normal"

  1. Davy on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 3:08 pm 

    I feel so much safer now I’m in Europe without all those dirty wetback illegal gimmigrants like juanpee.

  2. JuanP on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 3:13 pm 

    US To “Drown The World” In Oil
    Profile picture for user Tyler Durden
    The U.S. could “drown the world in oil” over the next decade, which, according to Global Witness, would “spell disaster” for the world’s attempts to address climate change. The U.S. is set to account for 61 percent of all new oil and gas production over the next decade. A recent report from this organization says that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, “we can’t afford to drill up any oil and gas from new fields anywhere in the world.” This, of course, would quickly cause a global deficit, as the world continues to consume around 100 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil. Global Witness notes that the industry is not slowing down in the United States, notwithstanding recent spending cuts by independent and financially-strapped oil and gas firms. If anything, the consolidation in the Permian and other shale basins, increasingly led by the oil majors, ensures that drilling will continue at a steady pace for years to come. It isn’t as if the rest of the world is slowing down either. The global oil industry is set to greenlight $123 billion worth of new offshore oil projects this year, nearly double the $69 billion that moved forward last year, according to Rystad Energy. In fact, while shale drilling has slowed a bit over the past year amid investor skepticism and poor financial returns, offshore projects have begun to pick up pace. But that trend might turn out to be just a blip. The U.S. is still expected to account of the bulk of new drilling and the vast majority of new production, with much of that coming from shale. Already, the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of both oil and natural gas. And the pace has accelerated in recent years. In 2018, U.S. oil and gas production increased by 16 and 12 percent, respectively. According to the EIA, the U.S. surpassed Russia in terms of gas production in 2011, claiming the top spot, and it surpassed Saudi Arabia in oil production last year. Going forward, new production from the U.S. will be eight times larger than the next largest source of growth, which is Canada. In fact, the U.S. will add 1.5 times more oil and gas than the rest of the world combined, according to Global Witness. But because so much drilling in the U.S. is concentrated in a few areas, individual U.S. states on their own tower over the rest of the world. If Texas were a country, it would account for the most new oil and gas production in the world. Between 2020 and 2029, Texas could account for 28 percent of all additional output, Global Witness says. Canada and Pennsylvania tie for second and third with 7 percent each. Then comes New Mexico at 5 percent of the growth and North Dakota at 4 percent. Oklahoma, Brazil, Colorado, Russia and Ohio are all tied at 3 percent a piece. In other words, 7 out of the top 10 sources of new oil and gas production globally over the next decade are U.S. states. “If things don’t change, by the end of the next decade, new oil and gas fields in the US will produce more than twice what Saudi Arabia produces today,” Global Witness said in its report. This presents a massive challenge. “To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, our analysis shows that global oil and gas production needs to drop by 40% over the next decade. Yet, instead of declining, US oil and gas output is set to rise by 25% over this time, fueled by expansion in new fields,” the report warned.

  3. Davy on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 3:15 pm 

    “I feel so much safer now I’m in Europe without all those dirty wetback illegal gimmigrants like juanpee.”

    Juanpee, I am liking the food that is for sure. I am up in the mountains and it is also nice and cool. I am going to do some hiking tomorrow

  4. Cloggie on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 3:36 pm 

    “The US could wipe China off the map cloggo or have you forgotten that.”

    Actually you can’t, because you would sign your own death warrant.

    That statement about China being able to wipe out US military bases in a couple of hours, refers to conventional means, not nuclear.

    Joe Stalin already knew: nukes are useless, because you can’t use them (if you have them).

    If China issues an ultimatum against the presence of foreign navies in the SCS (read: Anglo navies) and if the US would ignore that ultimatum and China would sink a ship, the US CAN’T retaliate with nuking Chinese cities, because it would be disproportional, leaving the Chinese no option but to retaliate.

    “my wife is very ill I came over to Italy to bring her home.”

    Sorry to hear that. Wish hear speedy recovery.

  5. Richard Guenette on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 3:38 pm 

    Since nukes are a waste of money, all of the world’s nukes should be dismantled and destroyed- starting with Amerika.

  6. Davy on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 4:09 pm 

    Thanks for the Zerohedge copy and paste juanpee. Good to see someone else is as much of a dumbass as I am.

  7. Davy on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 4:11 pm 

    How many of the rest of you dumb, poor slobs have the financial ability to gas up the family Lear jet and fly off to Europe for some hiking, fun, and sun.

    This is why I vote straight Republican in every election. It’s my money and fuck the rest of you.

  8. Davy on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 4:48 pm 

    “Sorry to hear that. Wish hear speedy recovery.”

    Thanks nedernazi scumbag, old friend.

  9. Dearest Davyturd on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 5:30 pm 

    Send 5M to the ‘farm’ in unmarked bills, or the goat gets it. No funny business.

  10. makati1 on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 5:58 pm 

    Davy is spouting bullshit again. He never left the Ozark swamp he calls his “farm”. Nor does he have a wife or family. He cannot prove I am wrong, only spout more lies, threats, and delusional bullshit, just like his precious US.

  11. makati1 on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 6:24 pm 

    Preparing the American tax slaves for Marshal Law: “Special Forces Launch War Drill In 21 North Carolina Counties Next Week”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-22/us-special-forces-launch-war-drill-21-nc-counties-next-week

    Nuff said…

  12. Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 1:22 am 

    “Actually you can’t, because you would sign your own death warrant. That statement about China being able to wipe out US military bases in a couple of hours, refers to conventional means, not nuclear.”

    Actually they can and it may be a death warrant. But how do you know an attack by China does not start that same death warrant. You assume too many things, cloggo, and usually what you assume fits the anti-American puzzle you work on 20/7

    “US would ignore that ultimatum and China would sink a ship, the US CAN’T retaliate with nuking Chinese cities, because it would be disproportional, leaving the Chinese no option but to retaliate.”

    The US can sink every ship China has cloggo, and avoid its cities except where there is collateral damage with ports. You don’t think things through. This is the problem with agendas.

  13. Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 1:22 am 

    “my wife is very ill I came over to Italy to bring her home.”Sorry to hear that. Wish hear speedy recovery.”
    Thanks, clog, after all you know most of our talk is good debate among friends as opposed to Juanpee and his mindless trolling. My wife got a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They don’t have this disease in Italy so treatment was delayed because they were not sure what she had. Ticks are bad on our farm. She could have died. She is better now but weak.

  14. mindless juanpee trolling on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 1:23 am 

    “Richard Guenette on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 3:38 pm Since nukes are a waste of money, all of the world’s nukes should be dismantled and destroyed- starting with Amerika. Davy on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 4:09 pm Thanks for the Zerohedge copy and paste juanpee. Good to see someone else is as much of a dumbass as I am. Davy on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 4:11 pm How many of the rest of you dumb, poor slobs have the financial ability to gas up the family Lear jet and fly off to Europe for some hiking, fun, and sun. This is why I vote straight Republican in every election. It’s my money and fuck the rest of you. Davy on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 4:48 pm “Sorry to hear that. Wish hear speedy recovery.” Thanks nedernazi scumbag, old friend. Dearest Davyturd on Thu, 22nd Aug 2019 5:30 pm Send 5M to the ‘farm’ in unmarked bills, or the goat gets it. No funny business. Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 1:12 am I’m so relieved to be back at home cloggo. Stupid fucks can have my goat. I’m keeping the REAL Green Learjet though. You never know when an emergency might pop up and you got to travel 9000 miles away from yer REAL Green doomstead. That’s what I’m talkin about. REAL Green Dumbasses

  15. Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 1:23 am 

    “He never left the Ozark swamp he calls his “farm”. Nor does he have a wife or family. He cannot prove I am wrong, only spout more lies, threats, and delusional bullshit, just like his precious US.”
    Makato, I am in the Ozarks as in highlands so no swamps. The bootheel of Missouri is where the swamps are. This is the internet so you don’t know where I am. I love my country but I am very upset with the leadership. You hate your country and this is why you are so conflicted. Your life is lonely freak show. I have a life you don’t.

  16. Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 1:24 am 

    “Preparing the American tax slaves for Marshal Law: “Special Forces Launch War Drill In 21 North Carolina Counties Next Week”
    Makato, martial law is likely coming to the planet at least to those places where the military can manage it. Some places like you p’s may just be killing fields. Get a grip we are facing a global decline and a systematic break up of unknow dimensions. Get out of your emotions and look at the world scientifically.

  17. I AM THE MOB on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 2:39 am 

    Is Russia’s Doomsday Missile Fake News?

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/22/is-russias-doomsday-missile-fake-news/

  18. I AM THE MOB on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 3:09 am 

    Your sanity is in state of decline davyskum, and has been for last 70 years. You are so stupid it hurts. lolololol

  19. Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 4:16 am 

    “Your sanity is in state of decline davyskum, and has been for last 70 years.”

    Juanpee, gets some sleep trolling is hard work.

  20. I AM THE MOB on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 5:47 am 

    ‘Nearly all’ high voltage EV charging stations lose money: Report

    https://www.utilitydive.com/news/nearly-all-high-voltage-ev-charging-stations-lose-money-report/561026/

  21. Cloggie on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 6:38 am 

    Advanced Scottish plans for a new ferry Scotland-Netherlands (Eemshaven, Groningen in the north)

    https://www.ad.nl/groningen/vergevorderde-plannen-voor-veerverbinding-tussen-groningen-en-schotland~ab39eb28/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

  22. mindless juanpee trolling on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 1:23 am on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 6:57 am 

    OBVIOUS JUANPEE TROLLING BELOW. GET SOME SLEEP SICKO JUANPEE.

    “my wife is very ill I came over to Italy to bring her home.”Sorry to hear that. Wish hear speedy recovery.”
    Thanks, clog, after all you know most of our talk is good debate among friends as opposed to Juanpee and his mindless trolling. My wife got a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They don’t have this disease in Italy so treatment was delayed because they were not sure what she had. Ticks are bad on our farm. She could have died. She is better now but weak.

  23. The Truth Shall Set Davy Free on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 7:04 am 

    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Ozarks…. yeah right. Kinda like catching malaria in the Antarctic. Come, come, would have expected a more realistic story than this load of Davy crap. If you had said malaria, yellow fever, cholera, parasitic infestation that would be believable since these diseases are endemic to southern Missery in light of the blistering heat and humidity for 9 months of the year. Any wonder the region is only occupied by deplorables,,,,,,, and the mentally ill.

  24. juanpee ID fraud on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 7:14 am 

    Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 4:16 am

  25. Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 7:26 am 

    I am spending less time on this lame unmoderated forum to concentrate on my own blog. I am still on my family’s farm in MO. My wife divorced me years ago, and jet setting to Europe is not REAL Green. All of the above bullshit is juanpee trying his best to make me look like a retard. It’s not working juanpee. Your wasting you’re time.

    dumbass

  26. Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 7:42 am 

    Juanpee, I guess you got some sleep because you are back to trolling.

    “mindless juanpee trolling on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 1:23 am on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 6:57 am OBVIOUS JUANPEE TROLLING BELOW. GET SOME SLEEP SICKO JUANPEE.“my wife is very ill I came over to Italy to bring her home.”Sorry to hear that. Wish hear speedy recovery.”Thanks, clog, after all you know most of our talk is good debate among friends as opposed to Juanpee and his mindless trolling. My wife got a Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They don’t have this disease in Italy so treatment was delayed because they were not sure what she had. Ticks are bad on our farm. She could have died. She is better now but weak.The Truth Shall Set Davy Free on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 7:04 am Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the Ozarks…. yeah right. Kinda like catching malaria in the Antarctic. Come, come, would have expected a more realistic story than this load of Davy crap. If you had said malaria, yellow fever, cholera, parasitic infestation that would be believable since these diseases are endemic to southern Missery in light of the blistering heat and humidity for 9 months of the year. Any wonder the region is only occupied by deplorables,,,,,,, and the mentally ill.
    juanpee ID fraud on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 7:14 am Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 4:16 amDavy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 7:26 am I am spending less time on this lame unmoderated forum to concentrate on my own blog. I am still on my family’s farm in MO. My wife divorced me years ago, and jet setting to Europe is not REAL Green. All of the above bullshit is juanpee trying his best to make me look like a retard. It’s not working juanpee. Your wasting you’re time.dumbass”

  27. More mindless juanpee trolling behavior on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 9:19 am 

    Davy on Fri, 23rd Aug 2019 7:42 am

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