The Long Emergency. Climate change

Global warming coincides quite exactly neatly with the use of petroleum-based products on a large scale, something which is hardly coincidence. Industrialization and globalization were literally fueled by oil, and an unexpected consequence of that is climate change. Melting ice caps, the spread of disease in now-warmer climates, and severe drought in some areas are just a few of the effects we are now seeing.

The Long Emergency. James Howard KunstlerThus, our carbon-based economy is a direct cause of climate climate. So concludes Jim Kunstler in The Long Emergency in the chapter Nature Bites Back. Because it’s not just climate change that is problematic, it’s also the damage humans are doing directly. Water levels in aquifers are dropping precipitously primarily due to irrigation for farming in arid areas, something made possible by fertilizers created from oil-based products. Gigantic flood control projects like those in China created dams that divert water from elsewhere and then silt up within 100 years anyway.

Kunstler asks, what happens when large farming areas go bust due to lack of water? Will those affected be peaceful about it, get angry and take up arms, or migrate elsewhere, causing huge strains on those areas. I’m guessing on the last two.

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