discusses pending collapse due to energy crisis Wednesday, June 04, 2008
DEXTER - A very thought-provoking topic was discussed at the Abbott Memorial Library on Wednesday, May 28. The
newly formed book club dug into William Howard Kunstler's book "The Long Emergency."
The "emergency" predicted by Kunstler is that the world will be virtually past peak oil production any day now. The
decrease in production being matched with ever increasing world wide demand will result in the eventual collapse of all our
social, economic, transportation, and commerce systems.
He predicts massive loss of life due to famine, warfare, and epidemics as the world goes into turmoil without enough cheap
oil and its byproduct plastics. He feels we cannot sustain our present standard of wasteful living for long.
Sixteen book club members were from Dexter, Parkman, Ripley, Corinna, Guilford, Garland, Cambridge, and
Sangerville. A comprehensive dialogue was held that covered many concerns relating to increasing energy prices, world
population, having large families again, and climate change. Hydropower from Maine's vast water resources was mentioned.
Hydrogen and nuclear power were discussed.
Paul Stefanoni questioned; "why not return railroad passenger trains to Maine?"
Jim Bunn proposed a unique idea: why not use the school bus fleet for public transportation on off school hours?
Beth Ranagan asked how to retrofit a modern house with solar power and information on a root cellar.
Patti Dowse talked about high-energy costs as a world wide problem. France fuel cost is now $8 per gallon. In Britain
truckers recently blocked roads to protest $11 per gallon fuel.
Ed Hummel stated, "We need a different way of thinking, and convenience cannot be a part of the solution." He explained
how he lives off the grid. His vegetables go from his garden to root cellar, not 1200 miles by truck.
Bud Kluchnik and Julie Turner rode in to the library from Ripley with a horse and cart and stated how they live off the grid.
Bill Shirk related how the Amish does very well on their farms in Pennsylvania and maybe we should look into how they
live successfully without modern conveniences.
Frank Spizuoco mentioned that Dexter had at least 100 shops and manufacturers less than 100 years ago. They produced
and sold almost any goods that a person needed to live comfortably; without ever having to leave the town of Dexter.
All agreed as a nation we need to become more agrarian again and produce much more of our food locally as we did in
Bud Kluchnik and Julie Turner of Ripley are preparing for the long emergency by traveling to the book discussion with horse
Bill questioned if our nation and democracy will be able to survive this
emergency? He noted that most democracies last no longer than 250 years. Will our form of government cease to exist by
Coincidentally, on the day after our discussion, James Kunstler had a column concerning this very topic in the Bangor Daily
News. He is getting nationwide attention with his writings and appearances, and his web site lists over 3 million hits to date.
The club decided that we need a better understanding of our nation's beginnings. On Wednesday, June 25th we will be
reading and discussing Thomas Paine's, "Common Sense." This was America's first best seller.
All agreed the coming crisis is the most pressing problem facing our nation and community today, and decided to stay on
this topic in a future book club session. The group chose "Deep Economy" by Bill McKibben for its July reading.
People interested in participating in the discussions are asked to contact the library (924-7292) for copies of the books.