Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Dystopians

by Ben McGrath

You can't turn on the news or pick up a paper these days without being greeted with further dire economic news - the market is bad, jobs are being lost, etc. etc. This article is a tour of the landscape of people (and their websites) that have been predicting our exact collective predicament for a while now.

McGrath, writing in a slightly bemused tone, introduces his reader to Dmitry Orlov, a who lives on a boat (or is that life-raft?), James Howard Kunstler, who is at the centre of the growing culture of doomers and peak-____ers, and other people such as Jim Sinclair and Nassim Taleb. As well, we are taken to the Vermont Indepedence Convention, a secessionist meeting that somehow took place in the House chamber of the state capital.

The article is a little kooky - as are some of the theories - but at the same time reveals the depth of the uncertainty we face, and confronts the unsustainability of the North American lifestyle. Much of what is in this article is frightening, and it dawns on me that I am in no way prepared for a less comfortable life.

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