What My World's Like

Watch: The End of Suburbia

Jun
24

Rising energy costs are on everyone’s mind.  There’s no way to escape the concern, even if you don’t drive because everyone’s feeling the pinch as the rising transport and production costs are being passed on to consumers.  We have to pay to check bags on flights now.  The price of food has experienced astronomical increases with regard to their prices just a few months ago.  Electricity, gas…everything’s going up while the value of the dollar and the availability of jobs continues to decline. 

Those experiencing it the worst are the same people who, at some point, were actually saving money.  I’m talking about suburbanites.  Suburban existence is completely dependent upon car transport and the availability of cheap fuels.  Well say it ain’t so, but yeah…peak issue is a very real concern no longer relegated exclusively to energy industry.  Peak oil doesn’t mean that there isn’t anymore oil, but that we’ve reached the maximum level of production, so from this point onward, every barrel of oil will be harder to get out of the ground, of lesser quality, and more expensive.  The days of cheap energy are over.

A while ago, there was an explosion of SUVs on the market.  Little men wanted them to feel more manly.  Big men wanted them for more space…and to feel more manly.  And little women wanted them to feel more manly.  (Strange, yes?)  Then hits rising energy costs and SUVs are no longer regarded as cool, but stupid if the space was unused and unnecessary.  If you didn’t sell/trade-in your SUV when they were still “in”, the likelihood of selling/trading-in now is low.  If you live in the suburbs and drive a SUV, effectively your little toe bleeds as the gun falls out of your hand. 

We’re going to see a continuing rise in urban populations and the development of more urban spheres.  Local living is key.  Moving forward, living, buying, working, and eating locally are all going to be of increased importance, something most suburbanites just can’t do without automobile reliance.  According to James Howard Kunstler, “The Wal-Marts of North America have very efficiently and effectively destroyed almost every local and regional network of economic, commercial interdepence.  And those networks are going to have to be rebulit.”

I found a great 52-minute documentary about this called The End of Suburbia.  Watch it below.

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