KunstlerCast - Suburban Sprawl: A Tragic Comedy
James Howard Kunstler, author of The Geography of Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and World Made By Hand, takes on suburban sprawl, disposable architecture and the end of the cheap oil era each week with program host Duncan Crary.

James Howard Kunstler takes a moment to examine where we're at as a culture at the end of 2009. JHK shares his thought process leading up to his 2010 annual forecast. Topics include healthcare, economics and foreign affairs.

Direct download: KunstlerCast_95.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:55pm EDT

James Howard Kunstler explains the story behind Disneyland, Disney World, and Walt Disney's legacy on the American built environment.

Direct download: KunstlerCast_94.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:49am EDT

James Howard Kunstler discusses the built environment on the American college campus and how modernist ideas about architecture are programming young people to become cynical. Kunstler talks about some of the ugliest campuses in the country, as well as some of the best. Even some of the best beaux arts Ivy league campuses have been thrashed by starchitecture, parking lots, and "diversity monomania." Sponsor: PostPeakLiving.com

[Note to re-broadcasters: This show contains one curse word at 12:57 and 26:09]

Direct download: KunstlerCast_93.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01pm EDT

In this in part two of this discussion, James Howard Kunstler predicts how various regions of the United States will fare during the coming energy crisis that he anticipates. Kunstler refers to the coming crisis as "The Long Emergency." In this half of the discussion, Kunstler discusses: the Great Plains, the Upper Midwest, the Mid Atlantic and New England. He also talks about issues with fresh water scarcity. Sponsor: www.postpeakliving.com

Direct download: KunstlerCast_92.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

In this in installment, James Howard Kunstler predicts how various regions of the United States will fare during the coming energy crisis that he anticipates. Kunstler refers to the coming crisis as "The Long Emergency." In the first part of this discussion, Kunstler discusses: the Southern States, the Southwest, the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies. A listener caller reacts to the Happy Motoring podcast and Duncan closes the show with the Esso Happy Motoring song.

Direct download: KunstlerCast_91.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:37pm EDT

James Howard Kunstler believes that the Happy Motoring project is running out of time. Peak Oil and problems with alternative energy aren't the only issues facing future motorists. He thinks that car ownership will become less democratic in the future as cars become too expensive to buy without the current financing options. Kunstler dismisses Christopher Steiner's "$20 Per Gallon" book for assuming that an orderly procession of events will take us from $3 per gallon to $20. The conversation naturally leads to a discussion of NASCAR, which Kunstler views as a particularly pathetic reincarnation of Roman chariot races that serve to preoccupy the masses as the American empire declines. Lastly, Kunstler addresses a recent International Energy Agency scandal to cover-up the reality of dwindling oil supplies.

Sponsors: http://www.chelseagreen.com and http://www.postpeakliving.com

Direct download: KunstlerCast_90.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:39pm EDT

James Howard Kunstler thinks that most modern buildings are not really architecture, they're just manufactured boxes. Whether it's suburban houses, or retail stores, the buildings of our everyday environment send the message that we don't care about ourselves or our surroundings. Kunstler tackles cartoon eateries, reflective glass office buildings, and otherwise good new urban buildings that lack proper ornamentation. We hear from a listener caller in Pittsburgh at the end of the show.

Note: curseword at 35:18 mins

Sponsors: Chelsea Green, publisher of James McCommons' "Waiting on a Train" ( http://chelseagreen.com) and Post Peak Living, online courses to prepare for a post-peak world (http://www.postpeakliving.com).

Direct download: KunstlerCast_89.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

James Howard Kunstler speaks about the role of generalists in a world of hyper specialists. Although hyper-specialists are experts in their narrow fields, their work is often disregardful of the larger picture. Traffic engineers, for example, can move huge numbers of cars extremely efficiently, using fine-tuned formulas for curve ratios and grades, but their final product often makes downtowns un-walkable for pedestrians. A sense of hyper-individualism in U.S. culture is another obstacle that stands in the way of thinking about our society and its problems in general terms. At the close of the show, a listener shares his thoughts on the vibrant center city of Philadelphia.

Sponsors: Chelsea Green, publisher of Waiting on a Train by James McCommons, with forward by James Howard Kunstler. http://chelseagreen.com. Additional support from: http://audiblepodcast.com/kunstler

Direct download: KunstlerCast_88.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:42pm EDT

James Howard Kunstler thinks Boston is one of the few healthy major cities left in the U.S. He says gentrification has been a good thing for the city. He is disappointed with the outcome of Boston's "big dig" project, though. When the city finally placed a major elevated expressway underground, Boston squandered a great opportunity to repair the street-and-block fabric that the highway had previously disrupted. Instead, so-called environmentalists succeeded in advocating for a half-assed, nebulous "green space." On the subject of ugly architecture, Kunstler says the MIT area in nearby Cambridge is the ugliest academic neighborhood in America. The devil could not have designed a worse campus.

Note: Curse word at 15:47 mins.

Sponsor: http://GrinningPlanet.com

Direct download: KunstlerCast_87.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:10pm EDT

James Howard Kunstler discusses two major projects that have recently turned 19th century railroad structures into parks: the High Line in lower Manhattan and the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The High Line is a unique park in New York City, built upon a former elevated rail line that used to bring trains through buildings. Although the High Line gives reprieve to New Yorkers, Kunstler finds it to be an accidental freak of urban nature. We would benefit more from the deliberate creation of beautifully designed streets and boulevards at grade level. The Walkway Over the Hudson is an extremely long railroad bridge that now serves as a pedestrian park. On the plus side, Kunstler believes this type of project might protect the bridge so that it doesn't completely fall apart. But he finds it tragic that America has discarded the major investments it once made in a rail system. A listener caller who is an urban planner in Vancouver shares his thoughts on adaptive reuse of buildings.This week's sponsor is Revolution Hall in Troy N.Y., inviting listeners to see Deer Tick, the band that sings the KunstlerCast theme song, this Nov. 4. www.RevolutionHall.com

Direct download: KunstlerCast_86.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:09am EDT