Summary of The Long Emergency

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The Long Emergency book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Books with disturbing, unconventional ideas are invariably controversial and James Howard Kunstler’s dire treatise falls into this category. He presents global warming and the impending oil crisis as a simultaneous set of calamities, and contends that the U.S. faces economic, political and social crises as a result of the looming fuel shortage and climate change. This is not an upbeat prediction, but it packs a shocking punch that could alter your point of view. Certainly, his central theme – the demise of cheap oil colliding with the impact of global warming – rings true, but since no one has an accurate estimate on when the flow of oil will end or how climate change will unfold, his predictions warrant more investigation. Kunstler relates drought, famine, upheaval and disease to oil shortages and climate change. Despite some repetition, his arguments, especially regarding globalism, provide a needed, mind-changing perspective. Kunstler raises interesting questions. The challenge will be finding out if any of them have answers. getAbstract thinks this provocative book could stir widespread debate, especially in business circles.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How cheap oil sets the stage for pessimism about America’s future;
  • What will cause the “Long Emergency”; and
  • What its global effects will be.

About the Author

James Howard Kunstler has written three other nonfiction books, The Geography of Nowhere, Home from Nowhere and The City in Mind, and nine novels. He has been an editor with Rolling Stone, and his articles have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times Magazine.



Sleepwalking into Oblivion
Americans need a reality check. Although they should focus on terrorism and the war in Iraq, they face an even larger looming problem: the end of cheap oil and the impending energy crisis. The lack of oil will disrupt the suburban way of life and generate frequent...

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