If you are sitting around the kitchen table contemplating the escalating cost of your grocery bills (and just about everything else), then welcome to what U.S. writer James Kunstler calls “the long emergency.”
In 2005 Kunstler, famous for his critique of suburbia, noted that civilization’s energy appetites were unsustainable given the declining quality of fossil fuels left in the world.
“We can be certain that the price and supplies of fossil fuels will suffer disruptions in the period ahead that I am calling the Long Emergency,” advised Kunstler. “No combination of alternative energies will permit us to continue living the way we do, or even close to it.”
The inflation we are facing today is a manifestation of that long emergency intensifying. The elephant in the room is the rising cost of all fossil fuels.
That’s not of course what we are hearing from those either trying to calm our nerves or inflame populist emotions.
The experts mostly blame the pandemic, unsettled supply chains and great surges in demand. Don’t worry, the authorities tell us, all of this is temporary and transient.
At the same time political insurrectionists, who now proliferate like rodents in our whack-a-mole culture, have blamed everything from government deficits to carbon taxes for inflation. They do so even though inflation has appeared in jurisdictions with no deficits and no carbon taxes.
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