Thu, 30 April 2009
James Howard Kunstler talks about the recent outbreak of swine flu and the increased attention to modern-day pirates. Several bloggers have noted some similarities between current headlines and the scenario in Kunstler's novel, World Made By Hand, in which a severe economic downturn is followed by a deadly Mexican flu epidemic. A few years ago, Kunstler took some heat from critics for his chapter in The Long Emergency that addressed the potential threat of Asian pirates in the Pacific Northwest. Now that piracy is in the news, some people are going "hmmmm." The show closes with a listener call responding to the KunstlerCast about bad behavior and urban policing. Sponsorship for this podcast comes from The Congress for The New Urbanism, www.cnu.org
Thu, 23 April 2009
Host Duncan Crary has been taking James Howard Kunstler's ideas about water transport seriously. This Spring, Duncan is bringing back passenger riverboat commuting service to the Hudson River in Albany. On May 13, Duncan is hosting a day where people can commute to and from work on board the Dutch Apple between the cities of Albany and Troy NY. Kunstler talks with Duncan about this project. People take ferries to work every day in other regions and it's a rewarding experience that can be replicated. On the topic of alternative commuting, Kunstler addresses the notion that telecommuting will solve our impending energy woes. Kunstler doesn't think that telecommuting will save us, but a combination of alternative commuting that includes some telecommuting might help.
Support for this podcast comes from the Congress for New Urbanism, www.cnu.org, and Audible http://www.audiblepodcast.com/kunstler,
Thu, 16 April 2009
James Howard Kunstler often advocates for a return to urban living arrangements. But urban living often bring residents into close proximity to bad behavior. The situation can be especially frightening when people inhabit cities that aren't fully repopulated yet. Suburban style "car cop" policing causes additional problems because car culture can foster bad behavior from the police themselves. Kunstler believes that police on foot and horse would lead to more productive policing and would also allow citizens to police the police. Later Kunstler speaks about the "Broken Window Theory." Host Duncan Crary asks Kunstler about the obligation of citizens to address and correct bad behavior when they encounter it. In his response, Kunstler touches upon the underlying racial issues that are sometimes present in these situations. Finally, Kunstler muses on the future of community policing after insolvent municipalities can no longer afford to pay for overwhelming vehicular policing styles. A listener caller from Portland, Maine ends the show with thoughts on "driving" bicycles on the street. This episode is sponsored by the Congress for the New Urbanism. Learn more at www.cnu17.org
Thu, 9 April 2009
James Howard Kunstler responds to a listener who doesn't understand why Jim sounds kind of down on bicycle transportation. Kunstler clarifies his position on bicycles -- he's a big supporter of bicycle use, but he doesn't know if Americans will support bicycle projects with so many highways and bridges in disrepair. While places like Amsterdam have excellent bicycle facilities that are integrated into their urban fabric, Kunstler believes the most successful bicycle facilities in the U.S. are separate from the street pattern. He also warns of overly ambitious, high tech plans regarding bicycle trail projects. Lastly he discusses New York City's recent plans to turn a portion of Broadway into a bicycle/pedestrian way, and the bicycle sharing program in Paris. A listener call from a former student of Frank Lloyd Wright defends and clarifies Wright's feelings about cities. Sponsorship of this podcast comes from The Congress for New Urbanism.
Thu, 2 April 2009
James Howard Kunstler reports on two recent trips he took. First he talks about his appearance at the annual Aspen Institute Environmental Forum, where talk of alternative fuel, and other ways to keep our happy motoring scene running, dominated the talks about peak oil. For the remainder of this program Kunstler reports on his recent trip to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he inspected a 35-acre new urbanist neighborhood project. Kunstler describes his urban planning and cultural observations of this region of the world.