The truth of the matter is: We’re not going to run Walt Disney World, Wal-Mart, and the interstate highway system on any combination of wind, solar, nuclear, bio-diesel, ethanol, or used French-fried potato oil. Or dark matter.
The main symptom of where our heads are at collectively and the failure of collective imagination in this country can be seen in the fact that the only conversation that’s going on about this all over the country is: how are we going to run the cars on some other kind of fuel. That’s all anyone wants to talk about. And it’s not just the stupid people and its not just the NASCAR people, it’s the policy wonks and the environmentalists. The conversation is the same, and it is a huge fantasy, because that’s not going to happen. We have to really, comprehensively make other arrangements for daily life in this country—and [yet] we can’t think about it.
What we can do is, well, there is a comprehensive menu of intelligent responses to this set of circumstances. They mainly have to do with downscaling most of the activities of normal life, reorganizing them, doing them differently, doing transportation differently, fixing the passenger railroad system—
We need to understand that things like Wal-Mart and Target—they’re not going to function on the leaner energy diet, they’re not going to be able to run the warehouse on wheels. The just-in-time delivery of products that are made 12,000 miles away, that’s over with. We have to rebuild local networks of economic interdependency. We’re going to have to grow our food differently—because this whole trip of pouring oil and gas-based soil amendments onto the ground and then harvesting the cheese doodles, that’s going to be over with.
(A long interview)