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January 27, 2014

OIL PLANT COULD DESTROY 1614 DUTCH FORT IN ALBANY, N.Y.

Filed under: Author,Features,News,peak oil — duncan @ 12:38 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Don Rittner, 518-378-9256 drittner@aol.com
John Wolcott, 518-465-8930 beverwyck1@nycap.rr.com

Oil Plant Could Destroy 1614 Dutch Fort in Albany, New York

Historians: First Dutch Habitation in North America Located at Port of Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (1/27/14) — A proposed facility to heat crude oil at the Port of Albany could forever destroy “Fort Nassau,” North America’s oldest Dutch habitation built in January, 1614, say historians. But the structure could be saved, if the project is handled correctly.

Historical Map: Fort Nassau Albany, N.Y.“This is probably the most important European archaeological site in North America,” said historian, author and archaeologist Don Rittner. “Right now in January, 400 years ago, the Dutch were building Fort Nassau. This structure represents the first real presence of the Dutch in North America, but there is a chance it could be destroyed. The timing is amazing.”

Fort Nassau was constructed during a 1613 trading expedition for the Amsterdam Van Tweenhysen Company, commanded by Captain Adriaen Block. In January 1614, Block remained in New York Bay but sent Hedrick Christiaensen and his crew up the Hudson River (then called the “North River”) to build a trading post, named Fort Nassau.

The fort was located on “Castle Island,” which has since gone by several other names, and was later buried under silt and earth. Fort Nassau became the focal point for the North American fur trade in the Northeast, where the Dutch and indigenous Mohicans traded goods for fur. It also became the staging point for expeditions to seek out mineral deposits and other natural resources for exploitation.

After several washouts by the Hudson River spring floods, and a final severe flood in 1617, the Dutch moved on to the mainland and built Fort Orange, which in 1970 was partially excavated before an exit from I-787 was placed on top of it.

Today, Global Companies plans to build a facility to heat crude oil at the Port of Albany in the general vicinity of where Albany historian and cartographic sleuth John Wolcott has determined that the original Fort Nassau is located. Wolcott was responsible for finding the remains of the original Fort Orange in the early 1970s.

“John Wolcott is very good at reading old maps, old measurements, old triangulations,” Rittner said. “If John tells you something’s in the ground, I’ll put money on it.”

Wolcott has been searching for the remains of Fort Nassau for 50 years. He is now confident that he knows the precise location of the structure. And he does not want to see Albany repeat the same mistake it made with Fort Orange when it buried the colonial fort beneath a highway exit.

“That was so stressing and hurtful to me, personally and publicly,” Wolcott said of the loss of Fort Orange. “Fort Nassau wasn’t a permanent settlement, but it was the beginning of it all here in the Northeast. Let’s finally save one.”

Wolcott is not the only historian who believes Fort Nassau is located on the site of the planned boiler plant. Historian Shirley Dunn, former curator of Fort Crailo in Rensselaer and author of “The Mohicans and Their Land 1609-1730,” published proof of the general whereabouts of Fort Nassau.

“One key to finding the general location of Fort Nassau is a map made by Johannes Vingboons, one of the most masterful cartographers of his time,” Wolcott said. “Shirley Dunn looked at the original map, which was probably made in 1626, and there’s a little smudge at the north end of the island just before you come up to Fort Orange. She enlarged the smudge and found it to be a ruined building which she determined to be Fort Nassau.”

Wolcott also found further verification of the fort’s location by reinterpreting the latitude provided by the historical writer Joannes de Laet. (The latitude reading reported by de Laet must be adjusted for problems caused by being inland using instruments of that time, Wolcott said.)

Based on a contemporary record, Wolcott says the dimensions of Fort Nassau are 58 feet across the quadrangle, surrounded by an 18-foot moat. That poses higher probability of finding something.

Historical Map: Fort Nassau Albany, N.Y.

ABOUT THE PROPOSED PLANT

Global Companies, a unit of Global Partners, based in Waltham, Mass., plans to build a 2,600-square-foot facility at the port’s rail yard to heat crude as it is pumped out of rail cars and into storage tanks. The oil will then be shipped out on barges headed downriver toward refineries on the east coast. Global’s application does not specify what kind oil would be heated, but many worry it will be volatile tar sands from Canada.

The proposed boiler plant will have to be reviewed by the Albany Planning Board, and will be subject to an archaeological review. If handled correctly, with sensitivity to the historical importance of this structure, a compromise could be achieved that would save the fort, Rittner said.

“If they find this fort, you can preserve it,” Rittner said. “You can design the plant so that it incorporates the fort into the site plan. You can display any artifacts in a structure on site, or move them to the museum. But you can also expose part of the fort for the public to go see. This is located in a place that is easily accessible to the public and near a public park.”

Wolcott and Rittner are 100 percent opposed to anything being constructed over the ruins of the fort if they are found.

The next planning board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 20, but so far the proposed boiler plant does not yet appear on the agenda. That means there’s still time for the City of Albany to advocate for the best possible outcome, Rittner said.

MAJOR HERITAGE TOURISM DOLLARS AT STAKE

“Heritage tourism is one of the biggest industries in America. Heritage tourists stay an extra day or two and spend up to $600 more than average tourists. The stats are there. The economy is there. And we do next to nothing to promote our heritage in this region,” Rittner said. “Gettysburg rakes in more money in heritage tourism than all of the Capital District sites combined, and all they have is a Civil War Battlefield – we have 400 years of history here. What we do instead is find the sites and put parking lots on top of them. Then the politicians complain: ‘I don’t know why we don’t get tourists here.’ My response is: ‘Well we’ve got plenty of places for them park. But what they want to see is underneath.’”

Historical Map: Fort Nassau Albany, N.Y.LACK OF CITY ARCHAEOLOGIST COULD LEAD TO MAJOR LAWSUITS

Don Rittner was the City Archaeologist for Albany from 1973 to 1979, the first position of its kind in the United States, during the Erastus Corning II administration.

The City Charter for Albany calls for a City Archaeologist to “advise the Mayor, the Common Council, the Historic Resources Commission, the Planning Board, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Commissioner of Public Safety the Division of Building and Codes, the Engineering Department, and the Planning Department on archaeological matters in the City of Albany,” — Section 7. Section 42-360(A) of Part 35 (Office of the City Archaeologist) of Chapter 42 of the Code of the City of Albany.

The city budget has annually allocated $55,000 for the position, but that position has been unfilled for years.

“Albany is opening itself up to major lawsuits,” Rittner said, with respect to archaeological sites. “But lawsuits can’t bring back what is destroyed. We must be sure this site is preserved, now.”

CALL TO ACTION

Concerned citizens from any area are encouraged to write a letter to the city planning board at:

The Department of Development & Planning
21 Lodge Street Albany, NY 12207
P: (518) 434-2532 | F: (518) 434-9846

MORE ARTICLES

For more information on Fort Nassau and the proposed boiler plant, read Don Rittner’s Times Union Blog posts:

HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES

For historical maps and details showing Fort Nassau, visit:

http://DuncanCrary.com/clients/FortNassau.html

CONTACT:

Don Rittner, 518-378-9256 drittner@aol.com
John Wolcott, 518-465-8930 beverwyck1@nycap.rr.com

###

November 29, 2011

PODCAST-BASED BOOK EXPLORES THE TRAGIC COMEDY OF SUBURBAN SPRAWL

Filed under: Author,Features,Troy NY,peak oil — duncan @ 4:55 pm

For Immediate Release

Contact Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723

Podcast-Based Book Explores The Tragic Comedy of Suburban Sprawl

The KunstlerCast: Conversations with James Howard Kunstler by Duncan Crary

TROY, N.Y. (Nov. 29, 2011) — James Howard Kunstler is one of the most outspoken and funniest critics of suburban sprawl, fossil fuel depletion and the collapsing American dream.

The KunstlerCast by Duncan CraryHis best-known books on the subject include “The Geography of Nowhere,” “The Long Emergency,” and the post-oil novel “World Made By Hand.”

A new book-length interview with the acclaimed urban planning/social critic revisits and updates his ideas on America’s built environment, impending energy crisis and unfolding financial meltdown.

“The KunstlerCast: Conversations with James Howard Kunstler … The Tragic Comedy of Suburban Sprawl,” by Duncan Crary (New Society Publishers, Nov. 2011) is available through booksellers. The book is based on four years of recorded conversations between Kunstler and Crary, which first “aired” on the popular weekly “KunstlerCast” podcast.

The topics covered in “The KunstlerCast” are often dire, like peak oil, urban planning, architecture, the economy, gentrification and infrastructure. But these intergenerational conversations between Kunstler, 63, and Crary, 33, are often highly amusing.

“It’s sort of evolved into a comedy act,” Kunstler says of his approach to critiquing life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. “Samuel Beckett put it well when he said ‘Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.’ Our built environments cause us so much unhappiness, so much distress, that they’re a source of comedy.”

Crary, who has spent more than 100 hours talking with Kunstler on the podcast, says Kunstler’s humor and command of language keep him coming back for more, year after year, despite the commentator’s sometimes bleak and frightening outlook for American civilization.

“Like a lot of Gen X’ers, I was hatched on a cul-de-sac in the American suburbs,” said Crary. “And I was very unhappy growing up out there. But Jim’s maliciously funny view of suburbia has always given me a lot laughs. And it helped me to better articulate the failures of that ‘living arrangement with no future.’”

ADVANCE PRAISE FOR THE KUNSTLERCAST

“James Howard Kunstler plainly has a lot to say about the state of the world. And while much of it is bad, bad news — aggressively, congenitally, perhaps even fatally bad — he speaks with such vim and vigor that you find yourself nodding in agreement rather than looking for a noose. Duncan Crary wrangles these free-wheeling conversations masterfully. A bracing dose of reality for an unreal world.”

— Stephen J. Dubner, co-author, “Freakonomics” and “SuperFreakonomics”

PUBLICITY IMAGES

For more information and high-resolution publicity images, visit http://KunstlerCast.com/book

Contact Duncan Crary, 518-274-2723.

###

Media coverage Resulting from this press release

For news & reviews of The KunstlerCast, visit: http://kunstlercast.com/book/book-reviews

November 29, 2010

POPULAR PEAK OIL AUTHOR PUBLISHES CHRISTMAS NOVELLA

Filed under: Author,peak oil — duncan @ 2:22 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: Duncan Crary 518-274-2723

Popular Author Publishes Vermont Christmas Novella – James Howard Kunstler

Author of “The Long Emergency” and “World Made By Hand” novels visits the warm-hearted side of life with “A Christmas Orphan”

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (11/29/2010) – Author James Howard Kunstler is best-known for his books and novels warning about peak oil, economic collapse and the failures of suburbia.

Book Cover A Christmas Orphan by James Howard KunstlerBut this holiday season he’s taking a short break from analyzing the converging catastrophes of the 21st Century to share a Christmas parable with his readers. “A Christmas Orphan,” by James Howard Kunstler, is a new novella about a big city boy who runs away from home to small town Vermont on Christmas Eve.

“We all need a time-out from the fiascoes of the day,” Kunstler said. “Christmas is the perfect theme for reflecting on what’s enduringly funny and heart-warming. Also, I don’t think Glenn Beck should get to hog all the holiday sales.”

Set in the 1960s, “A Christmas Orphan” is the story of 11-year-old Manhattanite Jeff Greenway. When Jeff overhears his parents arguing after his dad’s holiday office party, he gets the idea that he was actually an orphan who was placed on his parents’ doorstep in a willow basket. Shocked to discover that his parents are “phonies,” he runs away to Grand Central Station on Christmas Eve and catches a train to the small town of Drakesville, Vt. There, he goes from door to door asking people to adopt him.

“When I was a kid growing up in Manhattan, I always longed for a Currier & Ives existence in a small town, where you could fish for bass and ride your bike without getting killed by a taxi-cab,” Kunstler said. “Instead, I spent my city childhood in museums, with the shrunken heads and stuffed gorillas.”

Though Kunstler’s acclaimed nonfiction books and novels are published by New York City -based Grove/Atlantic, his newest 76-page novella is the product of a print-on-demand publishing experiment with Chris Morrow, owner of Manchester, Vt.-based Northshire Bookstore.

“My own publisher didn’t know what to do with it,” Kunstler said of his novella, “and the whole industry is in turmoil. Chris recognized its value and we’re blazing the trail for a new publishing model. I think readers will get a huge kick out of it.”

Northshire is one of the only independent bookstores in the U.S. to have an Espresso Book Machine on its premises. The machine prints, binds and trims completed books on location.

“A Christmas Orphan” is available for purchase for $10 at Northshire Bookstore, located at 4869 Main Street Manchester Center, Vt., and online at: http://www.northshire.com. It will be available at select other bookstores this December.

Kunstler will read from “A Christmas Orphan” at Northshire Bookstore on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

ABOUT JHK

A renowned social commentator, Kunstler lives in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He is the author of four nonfiction books: “The Geography of Nowhere,” “Home from Nowhere,” “The City in Mind” and “The Long Emergency.” He has written 11 novels and one play. His website is http://kunstler.com.

For information and high-resolution author photos and book covers for reproduction, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/JamesHowardKunstler.html

To schedule an interview with James Howard Kunstler, or to request a review copy of “A Christmas Orphan” contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723.

###


Media coverage resulting from this press release:

Prognosticating author lightens up with Christmas book
The Saratogian, Dec. 05, 2010

Kunstler reads from ‘Christmas Orphan’ at Northshire Bookstore
Bennington Banner, Dec. 9, 2010

September 23, 2010

NOVELIST PORTRAYS LIFE AFTER FOSSIL FUEL

Filed under: Author,Features,peak oil — duncan @ 3:12 pm

Popular Novelist Portrays Life After Fossil Fuel – James Howard Kunstler

“The Witch of Hebron” Author Warns That A Permanent Oil Crises is Coming

For Immediate Release

Contact Duncan Crary 518-274-2723

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (09/23/2010) — A new novel by best-selling author James Howard Kunstler imagines life after fossil fuel.

Set in upstate New York in the not-distant future, “The Witch of Hebron” (Atlantic Monthly Press, Sept. 2010) is the sequel to Kunstler’s acclaimed 2008 post-oil/collapse novel, “World Made By Hand.”

Book Cover The Witch of HebronA renowned social commentator, Kunstler is perhaps best-known for his 2005 nonfiction book “The Long Emergency,” which delivered a stark warning about peak oil, climate change, economic instability, political strife and other converging catastrophes of the 21st century. The nonfiction ideas in “The Long Emergency” provide the basis for his “World Made By Hand” and “The Witch of Hebron” novels.

“A permanent oil crisis is coming. No combination of alternative fuels will allow us to keep running suburban development and commerce the way we have been,” said Kunstler. “Life in the mid-21st century is going to be about living locally, whether we like it or not.”

In “The Witch of Hebron,” Kunstler weaves hot-button issues like oil depletion and the perils of climate change into a compelling narrative of violence, religious hysteria, innocence lost and love found.

“The Witch of Hebron” picks up the story where “World Made By Hand” left off, in a not-distant future in the tiny upstate New York hamlet of Union Grove. The electricity has flickered out. The Internet is a distant memory. There may be a president, and he may be in Minneapolis, but it’s little more than a rumor. Travel is horse-drawn, medicine is herbal and farming is back at the center of life. But it’s no pastoral haven. Wars are fought over dwindling resources and illness is a constant presence. Bandits roam the countryside. And a sinister cult, led by a man of other-than-worldly abilities, threatens to shatter Union Grove’s fragile stability.

Though characters from “World Made By Hand” reappear in this sequel, the new novel centers on 11-year-old runaway Jasper Copeland and the men searching for him. Out in the open, the boy encounters a landscape of social disruption comparable to the Middle Ages, but with abandoned strip malls in the place of crumbling Roman aqueducts.

Life without cars, air conditioning, Cheez Doodles and modern medicine may sound like a doomsday scenario, but it’s not all bad.

“The people in my fictional town have lost a lot of comfort and convenience, but they’re not distracted by television, computers and hand-held devices. Instead, they are compelled to fill their world with meaningful ceremonies, deep personal relationships and satisfying work,” Kunstler said. “I believe that when circumstances compel us to live differently we’re going to benefit hugely from making these changes.”

ABOUT JHK

James Howard Kunstler lives in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. He is the author of four nonfiction books: “The Geography of Nowhere,” “Home from Nowhere,” “The City in Mind” and “The Long Emergency.” He has written 11 novels and one play. His website is http://kunstler.com.

Visit http://thewitchofhebron.com for a book trailer, chapter readings and an interview with the author.

For information, a high-resolution author photo and book covers for reproduction, visit: http://duncancrary.com/clients/JamesHowardKunstler.html

To schedule an interview with James Howard Kunstler, or to request a review copy of “The Witch of Hebron,” contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723.

###


Media coverage resulting from this press release (and localized versions):

(This press release resulted in dozens of radio interviews, a handful of articles and a few book reviews. List coming soon).

March 8, 2010

CLASSES COPE WITH ANXIETY ABOUT LIFE AFTER OIL

Filed under: Business,Features,peak oil — duncan @ 2:46 pm

Contact: Andre Angelantoni, 415.754.3294

Classes Cope With Anxiety About Life After Oil

Global Energy Crisis Brings New Opportunities To Connect With Community

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — A psychologist is teaching students to prepare emotionally and spiritually for life after the collapse of fossil fuel-based civilization.

“I think everybody knows deep down in their bones that changes are ahead, and that we are at the end of the world as we have known it,” said Carolyn Baker, Ph.D. “There’s going to be tremendous emotional turbulence as things unravel. People are going to have to cope with their feelings and be anchored to some kind of sense of principle or meaningfulness.”

Starting April 24, Baker will lead a four-week distance-learning course titled “Navigating the Coming Chaos of Unprecedented Transitions.” The Boulder, Colo.-based psychotherapist is the author of “Sacred Demise: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse” (2009), which is the textbook for this course offered by PostPeakLiving.com.

The premise of Baker’s book and online course is that a global energy crisis is very near. The world’s oil supply is already at peak production now. As we pass the “peak oil” point, soaring energy costs will disrupt everything from the economy to the food supply, and will make paying down the world’s debt impossible.

“We need to prepare for the daunting changes ahead in our future,” Baker said. “This course and my book are about preparing for the inner transition for life after the peak.”

Books like James Howard Kunstler’s “The Long Emergency” (2005) and television shows like National Geographic’s “Aftermath: World Without Oil” (airing March 8 & 11) are introducing the concept of peak oil to large audiences. The new Transition Town social movement is supporting communities throughout the country to re-make their local economies as they prepare for a world of expensive and likely scarce oil.

The most emphatic among the peak oil proponents are often called “doomers” by their critics and fans alike.

But getting ready for a post-peak oil world isn’t all doom-and-gloom, said André Angelantoni, founder of PostPeakLiving.com. Baker’s upcoming course is just one of many offered by the California-based online, distance-learning school. Other courses include: “Sustainable Post-Peak Livelihoods,” “Introduction to Sustainable Gardening,” “Chickens 101″ and the “UnCrash Course,” the company’s six-week intensive preparation course.

“Our course instructors dedicate a lot of time to showing people the opportunities they have to redesign their lives after oil,” Angelantoni said. “The sooner we acknowledge that the days of cheap oil are numbered, the sooner we can start making realistic plans for the next phase in human history.”

All PostPeakLiving.com courses are available to anyone with access to the Internet. Baker’s course will begin on April 24 and consists of four three-hour sessions on consecutive Saturdays. Students call into a central phone line where they can hear the instructor and each other. They follow along with an online PowerPoint presentation and complete homework between sessions.

“When most people first learn about peak oil, they get depressed,” Baker said. “But it’s worse when they are so terrified of this impending change that they don’t even want to hear about it.”

For information, visit http://www.PostPeakLiving.com.

Contact: André Angelantoni, 415.754.3294

###


Media coverage resulting from this press release:

Imagining Life Without Oil, and Being Ready*
The New York Times, June 5, 2010

Oil is front and center in doomsday scenarios
MSNBC, June 6, 2010 (syndicated)

[*Note: The online version of this article links to three clients of Duncan Crary Communications: Post Peak Living, James Howard Kunstler and the KrisCan show.]


February 17, 2010

AQUAPONICS IS REVOLUTIONIZING SUSTAINABLE HOME FARMING

Filed under: Business,peak oil — duncan @ 1:33 pm

Contact: Susanne Friend, contact@friendlyaquaponics.com

Aquaponics is Revolutionizing Sustainable Home Farming

HONOKA’A, Hawaii (02/17/2010) — The creators of a new home-farming system say their “Aquaponics” technique is the world’s most sustainable and affordable food production method.

The new Do-it-yourself “MicroSystem” by Friendly Aquaponics costs less than $500 to build and can grow between 20-40 pounds of fruits and vegetables per month, while using a fraction of the time, space, energy and water of in-the-ground gardening. The system comes with detailed instructions and plans. Training courses are available.

“Our MicroSystem helps anyone step onto the path of food freedom,” said Tim Mann, co-founder of Friendly Aquaponics. “It will pay for itself in just three months with the money saved in store-bought groceries. You could even make money by selling your extra produce!”

Aquaponics is the combination of Aquaculture (growing aquatic life like fish and prawns) and hydroponics (growing plants in water). By combining these technologies the Friendly Aquaponics way, users create a vibrant natural ecosystem that will easily grow an abundance of food.

Friendly Aquaponics is the world’s first certified organic aquaponics farm, located on the Island of Hawaii. The group has created dozens of innovations to simplify and refine aquaponics so that just about anyone can grow safe, nutritious, and delicious food just about anywhere in the world.

Friendly Aquaponics is also a functioning family-run farm with a long-term contract delivering hundreds of pounds of organic lettuce to their local Costco every week, and it all sells out within hours.

“We want to feed our neighbors and teach folks everywhere how they can do the same thing, too,” said Susanne Friend, owner.

The Friendly Aquaponics team developed their MicroSystem and instructional courses after their farm became overwhelmed by visitors seeking tours of the facilities and asking for more information.

Already, hundreds of students from the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin American, Japan and China have studied auquaponic farming techniques at the Hawaii headquarters of Friendly Aquaponics. The group also offers private consultations and training materials by postal mail or Internet download.

The next commercial training will be offered in April 19-22, and is expected to sell out well in advance.

For information about Friendly Aquaponics, to purchase the MicroSystem, or to inquire about training sessions, visit: http://friendlyaquaponics.com

To contact Susanne Friend directly, email: contact@friendlyaquaponics.com

###


Media coverage resulting from this press release:

Do-It-Yourself Sustainability
Hawaii Business
magazine, May 2010


February 2, 2010

NEW e-BOOK BY JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER IMAGINES COLLAPSE OF U.S.

Filed under: Author,Business,Features,peak oil — duncan @ 1:26 am

Contact: James Howard Kunstler, 518-581-1876

NEW e-BOOK BY JAMES HOWARD KUNSTLER
IMAGINES COLLAPSE OF U.S.

In “Big Slide,” Family Seeks Refuge in Adirondacks During National Meltdown
Available as e-Book, Kindle, and Podcast

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Feb. 2, 2010) — Author and social commentator James Howard Kunstler is using live theater, podcasting and a self-published “e-book” to distribute his new three act-play, titled “Big Slide.”

The story centers on a large family seeking refuge in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state as the country is collapsing into economic and political turmoil.

“Right now, we are a nation going through a slow-motion train wreck. But obviously our situation is not as grave as the compressed events that are portrayed in this play,” Kunstler said. “‘Big Slide’ is a work of the imagination that happens to be circumstantially about the times we’re living in and the times we may be moving into.”

Set in the autumn of an unspecified near-future year, “Big Slide” tells the story of three generations of the Freeman family, who have gathered at their Adirondack “great camp” (near Big Slide Mountain) to take refuge from New York City and Boston during a severe national political maelstrom. We are never fully apprised of the exact nature of this event, but it appears to involve a coup d’etat in the White House and the uprising of local militias all over the nation in response.

The estate at Big Slide is isolated from these events, but news dribbles in by radio. The electricity has stopped working and law enforcement seems to have been suspended, making it dangerous to travel even to the nearest town for food and necessities.

The thirteen members of the family, ranging from the dying patriarch, Clifford Freeman, to his grown children and their spouses, to the two teenage step-siblings, Raven and Zach, struggle to work out how they will organize themselves for survival in the months ahead against a background of old and deep personal grievances with each other.

“This was designed to be a classic, three-act play with a large cast and swirling motion on two levels of the stage,” Kunstler said. “But the situation with regional theater now is that nobody wants to do a play with more than one character, so that all you get is ‘A Night With Emily Dickinson’ or somebody impersonating Truman Capote. When I was a drama student at SUNY Brockport, we did big plays with lots of characters — ‘The Cherry Orchard,”Marat / Sade’ — and that’s what this is.”

“Big Slide” was first performed before a live audience as a “staged reading” by 13 actors on Jan. 9 at the Multi-use Community Cultural Center in Rochester, N.Y. Kunstler said he hopes to see a full-theatrical production in the future. A free audio .mp3 recording of the staged reading is available through author’s weekly podcast, “The KunstlerCast.”

A script of “Big Slide” is available for purchase (price: $5) as a downloadable 116-page .PDF, or in Kindle and Kindle-for-the-iPhone editions.

Production and oversight of the “Big Slide” e-book is by Duncan Crary, an independent media and publicity consultant, who hosts and produces “The KunstlerCast.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kunstler is the author of four non-fiction books, including “The Geography of Nowhere” (Simon & Schuster, 1993) and “The Long Emergency” (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2005), which have been concerned with a wide range of urgent issues, such as the global oil predicament, the banking fiasco and the problems associated with suburban development in America.

His most recent novel, “World Made By Hand” (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008), takes place in a post-petroleum American future. A sequel is scheduled to be published this year.

For information, to purchase “Big Slide,” or to listen to the podcast, visit: http://Kunstler.com/BigSlide

JOURNALISTS ONLY:

Artwork and publicity images are available at: http://www.kunstler.com/BigSlide/PublicityImages.php

Journalists may request a review copy of “Big Slide.”

###


Media coverage resulting from this press release:

Kunstler tries hand at writing a play on social collapse
Daily Gazette, Feb 21, 2010

Family takes refuge in the Adirondacks in ‘Big Slide,’
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Feb. 12-18, 2010

Kunstler play available online
Press Republican, Feb. 11, 2010

Where’d Those Books Go? (and does it matter?)
Seven Days, Feb. 04, 2010


January 19, 2010

GET READY FOR LIFE AFTER OIL WITH FUN YOUTUBE SHOW

Filed under: Business,Features,peak oil — duncan @ 6:45 am

For Immediate Release

Contact: KrisCan Show, Email

GET READY FOR LIFE AFTER OIL WITH FUN YOUTUBE SHOW

Web Videos Prepare Viewers For Life After Fossil Fuel in a Fun, Sexy Way

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (Jan. 19, 2010) — Most people don’t want to think about what will happen when the world runs out of cheap oil. But a semi-monthly Internet video program is reaching a growing audience by making the issue of Peak Oil fun and entertaining.

“Peak Oil is real. Fossil fuel depletion is real. It’s not getting better, and it’s not going away,” said Internet video host/interviewer KrisCan. “Selling bad news is tricky. But people are more likely to watch and learn about these issues when you present them in an upbeat, cool, humorous way.”

With more than 60 episodes since 2008, “KrisCan: Peak Oil Action and Adventure” tackles serious issues like energy depletion, sustainable agriculture and transportation through interviews, sexy video shorts and spoofs.

Notable guests have included James Howard Kunstler, author of “The Long Emergency,” and Richard Heinberg, author of “The Party’s Over.” Other guests include: David Yarrow, author, environmentalist and biochar expert, and Ethan Roland, permaculture designer and teacher.

One provocative episode titled “Peak” features a seemingly naked KrisCan posing behind two strategically placed oilcans. A straightforward voice over informs viewers about the impending global energy crisis.

In another episode, KrisCan parodies the Internet phenomenon “Hot For Words,” a YouTube video blog starring sexy host Marina Orlova who gives the etymology of words while flirting with the camera.  Dressed as Orlova, KrisCan gives the origin of the term “Peak Oil,” a term first used by M. King Hubbert to describe the point where maximum petroleum output is reached.  Many people believe the global oil supply is at or near peak oil production now.

The goal of the KrisCan Show is not only to entertain and educate, but also to use video to reflect on the predicaments arising from our energy challenges. The show also presents various solutions people are using to increase their resiliency and sustainability in lieu of a future with less affordable energy.

KrisCan created her show after observing a lack of interesting and informative media about the global petroleum shortage.

“Even now, it’s only a handful of older white men who are really talking about Peak Oil and the serious energy crisis we’re facing,” said KrisCan. “I felt an urgent need to make this message more appealing and fun for a wider audience. I want to motivate younger generations to get involved now in some of the efforts to prepare for a world that no longer runs on cheap oil.”

To watch episodes of the KrisCan show, visit: http://www.kriscan.com . For information and press images, visit: http://www.kriscan.com/what-is-kriscan .

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Media coverage resulting from this press release:

Monday, January 25, 2010
Philadelphia Inquirer

August 11, 2009

ONLINE PEAK OIL PREPARATION CLASSES NOW OPEN

Filed under: Features,peak oil — duncan @ 2:34 pm

Contact: Andre Angelantoni, 415-462-1626

Online Peak Oil Preparation Classes Now Open

Raising Chickens, Growing Food and Making Money After Fossil Fuel

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (Aug. 11, 2009) — An online school based in California is teaching students how to prepare for a coming world without oil.

“Right now, oil production is at or past its peak. The days of cheap oil are numbered,” said André Angelantoni, president of Post Peak Living. “The sooner we acknowledge that, the sooner we can start making realistic plans for the next phase in human history.”

PostPeakLiving.com has opened registration for its new “UnCrash Course,” a six-week online program that teaches people how to succeed in a world of declining oil production. Students may also register into the “Sustainable Livelihoods” course, which concentrates on the skills that will earn money as the economy changes.

With 18 hours of instruction, the UnCrash Course gets students ready for the major areas of life after peak oil. Topics covered in the course include: transportation, food production and storage, finances, shelter, post-peak jobs and health. Expert instructors provide individual feedback to students on all homework assignments. Students also learn from each other in online discussion forums.

“As a civilization, we are completely addicted to oil. Nearly every aspect of modern society depends on cheap, abundant fossil fuels. The clothes we wear, the food we eat, the roads we drive on are all made with petroleum products,” Angelantoni said. “No matter how hard we try, we are not going to bailout our economy so long as it is based on a rapidly depleting supply of increasingly expensive oil.”

But preparing for a post-peak oil world isn’t all doom-and-gloom, Angelantoni said, because many new businesses will form in North America as foreign imports become too expensive. “Our course instructors dedicate a lot of time to showing people the opportunities they have to redesign their life after oil,” he said.

The Sustainable Livelihoods course is a two-hour examination of how the work world will change and the specific kinds of jobs that will be in demand. It is taught by Sarah and Paul Edwards, authors of “Middle Class Lifeboat, Careers and Life Choices for Navigating a Changing Economy.”

The number of people who are aware of peak oil is growing. But they are still few and far between, so it is vital that these courses are available to anyone with access to the Internet, Angelantoni said.

The UnCrash Course begins Sept. 5 and continues for six Saturdays. Sustainable Livelihoods: Now, In Transition and Post-Peak takes place Sept. 13.

In addition to these courses, Post Peak Living also offers “Chickens 101″ and “Introduction to Sustainable Gardening.”

For information, visit http://www.PostPeakLiving.com or call André Angelantoni at 415.462.1626.

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Media coverage resulting from this press release:

Can You Survive Life After Cheap Oil? It May Be Time to Find Out
Huffington Post, Sept. 17, 2009

Would You Know How to Survive After the Oil Crash?
AlterNet, Sept. 17, 2009

Meet the Planet (Radio)
Aug. 30, 2009