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  ‘The End of Suburbia’ Offers Few Solutions  
Posted 2005-07-25 by Tony Walsh
Oil-dependency will be the undoing of suburban sprawl and its unrealistic standard of living. So says documentary "The End of Suburbia," which I found on DVD at my local video store. An essay on the decline of the American Dream, the documentary exposes the origins of suburban life, and paints a dire picture for the future of our petrochemically-dependent world. While I appreciated the film's message, I would have preferred an in-depth (rather than cursory) look at solutions to the problem. In summary, it's suggested that on a household level, we need to become more self-sufficient, since the costs of remaining part of our existing system will eventually become too great. If you believe the "experts" in the film, we've got a much lower-tech future--and a lower standard of living (depending on your point of view)--in store for us.

For anyone interested in keeping on top of "green" developments, I highly recommend adding MetaEfficient, Treehugger, and WorldChanging to your daily reading material. These sites typically contain reccomendations that middle-class consumers can reasonably act upon.
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Comment posted by Titus
July 25, 2005 @ 1:25 pm
As a rule, you won't see much change until the crisis hits.

That being said, don't be too spooked about the peak oil theory. While it might result in short-term setbacks, I've never really heard of a convincing argument for long-term devastation. There are just too many existing alternatives around (ie, nuclear power, thermal depolymerization, hybrid vehicles, etc) for a major derailment to be likely.
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
July 25, 2005 @ 2:17 pm
I agree that human beings are notoriously poor at proactivity. But we are very adaptable.

The documentary made it seem like most alternate fuel-sources either rely on machinery to produce (so if we can't power the machines, how can we make the fuel), or require about as much energy to produce as the source creates. An example given was ethanol fuel and the growing, harvesting, and processing of the corn. Personally, I think we'll be forced to go nuclear.
Comment posted by Jos 'Hyakugei' Yule
July 25, 2005 @ 2:59 pm
I concure. I do hope that more governments start looking at the pebble bed reactors, as they are much safer then the current style of reactor. In fact, they can't go critical, and cause the kind of devistation that we saw in Chernobyl.
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