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 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