Tag Archives: oil

Q&A with James Howard Kunstler: Author, Social Commentator and Critic of American Culture

The Pearl Street Mall pedestrian area in downtown Boulder. (Photo/Leia Larsen)
(Photo/Charlie Samuels)

(Photo/Charlie Samuels)

Years ago, James Howard Kunstler took a long look at our post-war method of planning — the model of “suburbia” — and didn’t like what he saw. The upstate New York-based writer has since made a career out of touring the nation’s cities and towns, lecturing, writing and commenting on what he calls “the tragic comedy of suburban sprawl.” He has authored numerous books on the subject, both fiction and non-fiction, including “The Geography of Nowhere,”  “The Long Emergency,” and, most recently, “Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation.” He speaks regularly about urban issues on his weekly podcast, “The KunstlerCast,” which just resumed after a brief hiatus.

Kuntsler spoke with The Boulder Stand about our unrealistic dependence on technology, problems with our current planning models and the future of our cities. His critique of Boulder and Denver might surprise you.

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The Boulder Stand Index: Info to Mull Over as 2011 Winds Down

In 2011 the U.S. spent $52 billion on damages from 12 separate weather/climate disasters.

By Marissa McNatt

From the hype around the Keystone Pipeline’s potential for job creation, to the whopping tax breaks given to oil companies, these are some of the numbers and statements that caught our attention this year.

Our index offers food for thought on environmental issues as 2011 comes to a close.

1) Record-breaking amount the U.S. spent on damages from 12 separate weather/climate disasters in 2011: approximately $52 billion

2) Amount in profits the five biggest oil companies in America made during the first three-quarters of 2011 due to high oil prices: $100 billion

3) Amount oil companies have fought to retain in tax breaks: $4 billion annually

4) Amount the federal government spends on the oil and gas industry annually compared to investments in renewable energy: 13 times more

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