Originally Posted by tfahrner
I like Kunstler's stuff mostly, and the man does ride a bike. But he is somewhat pointedly dismissive of the significance of bikes to negotiating the downslope of oil. I'm not surprised they don't exist in his fictional "end time."
Kunstler's interview with Bikescape
from a couple of years ago is informative. It's possible, maybe, to appreciate his big ideas, while recognizing that he's kind of an ass, and not really a straightforward ally to our little cause.
My favorite (nonfiction) Kunstler is his descriptive mode -- when he's illustrating the places that he loves or hates. His voice really comes into its own when he's passionately describing some road or building or circumstance that has caught his eye, for good or ill. That stuff makes me cheer, or grin, or otherwise do stuff people shouldn't do while reading. Personally, this is where I think he could make the most difference: as a critically insightful observer of things-as-they-are, rather than the futurist pundit he sometimes tries to be.
He's much less effective when he gets into the data, or wrangles with history, or tries to outline prescriptive solutions to the problem. It feels like he's in over his head, and has to fall back on some weak rhetorical strategies to make it through.
I haven't read the new novel, but I can imagine fiction being a great vehicle for his ideas, given the strengths of his nonfiction writings. He used to be a novelist, after all.