Peak Suburbia Peaks

James Howard Kunstler has made a cottage industry out of his Peak Suburbia tough-talk, taking semi-persuasive arguments about peak oil and spinning them into a comprehensive theory of civilizational collapse that end-times paleocons and doom-and-gloom greens alike find irresistible. It’s a “truth-telling” pose that is more about gleefully inflicting richly deserved punishment on fat-and-happy squares than it is about the mundane and thankless work of public policy.

So it’s nice to see Joseph Romm gently demolish Kunstler’s case for The Long Emergency.

Speaking of plug-in hybrids, Fast Company has an entertaining profile of automobile innovator Johnathan Goodwin that’s well worth a look. After extensive modification, Goodwin managed to soup up his Hummer.

“Conservatively,” Goodwin muses, scratching his chin, “it’ll get 60 miles to the gallon. With 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. You’ll be able to smoke the tires. And it’s going to be superefficient.”

He laughs. “Think about it: a 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and does zero to 60 in five seconds!”

And that’s just the beginning.