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This book traces the development of modern American car culture and the architecture and social life of cities and suburbs that developed around it.
Kunstler discusses the implications of peak oil, where oil production will eventually start to decrease as most of the easily-accessible oil has been used already. He gives some historical background and then discusses various proposed alternatives to oil and natural gas for providing transportation and electricity. He is skeptical that anything will be able to replace the abundant supply of energy that has been supplied by oil, with the possible exception of nuclear energy for electricity, and believes that the age of globalization will come to an end with declining standards of living. He discusses what he sees as the implications for different parts of the country and the world, each having their unique situations.
With vision, clarity of thought, and a pragmatic worldview, Kunstler argues that the time for magical thinking and hoping for miracles is over, and the time to begin preparing for the long emergency in America has begun.
"World Made by Hand is the story of Robert Earle, a former software executive turned carpenter, and his friends and loved ones, and what happens to them one summer in a country that has changed profoundly. The New Faith order, a radical religious sect fleeing the troubles of their native Virginia, has bought the vacant high school and moved in. Their leader, the darkly comical Brother Jobe, takes center stage in the town's affairs at the expense of the troubled local minister Loren Holder. A gang of lowlife ex-motorheads runs the old town dump as a mining operation and bullies everyone else around the county. Meanwhile, the townspeople struggle to feed their families and hold what's left of their community together." "When the crew of a trading boat on the Hudson River goes missing, Robert is enlisted to find them. His strange journey downriver and the events swirling in Union Grove play out against a panorama of abandoned highways and empty houses, horses mowing in the hayfields, and neighbors working shoulder-to-shoulder at things that matter. A powerful tale of love, loss, violence, and desperation, World Made by Hand depicts a surprisingly lyrical, tender, and hopeful new America struggling to be born." "The future is not what you expect. But it is not necessarily something to fear."--BOOK JACKET.
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