"We have become a nation incapable of thinking, or at least of constructing a consensus that jibes with reality ... Guess what: the Japanese are engaging in this [methane hydrate exploration] because they have absolutely no fossil fuels of their own, and a failing consensus about nuclear power, and they are on a course to become the first advanced industrial nation to be forced to return to a medieval economy. That is, they are the most desperate among the desperate ... Today's near-peak production [of light tight oil a.k.a. shale oil] is based on furious drilling and fracking of extremely expensive wells -- known as 'the Red Queen syndrome' because they are running as fast as they can to keep production up. Meanwhile, the depletion curve on shale oil is a reverse 'hockey stick' ... Non-cheap oil has already worked its hoodoo on advanced industrial economies: it has already destroyed the process of capital formation. These economies were not designed to run on non-cheap oil and they can't ... Furthermore, there is no prospect that we can rescue the process of capital formation at the scale required to continue financing things like shale oil. The absence of real growth in the USA, Europe, and Japan has already destroyed the operations of interest and repayment of debt, and any new debt issued will never be repaid, meaning it is functionally worthless (we just don't know it yet) ... What all this means is that the capital does not exist to run non-cheap oil economies, or to continue indefinitely the production of non-cheap oil and gas, not to mention methane hydrates and other fantasy fuels ... The reason we, in effect, lie to ourselves incessantly is because of the master wish behind all the subsidiary wishes: we want to keep driving to WalMart forever and we can't imagine any other way of life, let alone the way of life that the contraction of industrial economies is tending toward -- which is to say a way, way downscaled and re-localized economic life centered on farming and artisanal manufacture. Yes, we are going medieval too, eventually, just like the Japanese, who will get there a little sooner than we will."

Zum Artikel von James Howard Kunstler, erschienen auf Clusterfuck Nation (29. April 2013) »