Review of John Robb’s Brave New War

Dan from Madison has written a thoughtful review of John Robb’s Brave New War.


Most urgently Robb almost begs for the US to radically restructure the electricity grid. Again, those who can afford it will simply go off the grid – through the use of wind, solar and other types of generation. Another interesting point he made is that some municipalities may just go ahead and create their own power generation and distribution. A wonderful example he provides is suburbia – I think Chicago. Many suburbs are breaking apart from large cities as we speak to ensure their own safety and care. This is an excellent point. IIRC there is a suburb in Atlanta doing this exact thing right now and I would argue that many suburbs in the Chicago area will eventually break away from the black hole that is Cook County. Do you honestly think that people in places like Downers Grove will ever send their kids to the Chicago Public Schools? On the flip side, what sort of parent, if they have the resources and live in the City of Chicago wouldn’t send their kid to a private school? That would be borderline child abuse.
De-centralization of everything seems to be Robb’s key point.

Read the whole thing.

3 thoughts on “Review of John Robb’s <i>Brave New War</i>”

  1. “..decentralization. Everything from oil delivery systems, basic services, electricity, you name it. And he mentions that large corporations and the rich will be the first ones to do it. Those who can afford it will have generators, jets, and safe havens.”

    I’m not sure how you decentralize oil delivery systems. Oil is a resource that only occurs in certain places, and the only practical ways to transport it over long distances are pipeline, rail, and barge/ship. For natural gas, the above simplifies to “pipeline” with the exception of LNG ships, which are now used only for ocean transportation and also require considerable loading/unloading infrastructure.

    Generators are, of course, dependent on a supply of diesel fueld or natural gas. It may be possible to store enough on-site for a couple of weeks, but not for continuous operation in perpetuity. Solar/wind will be dependent on sites with considerable land area available.

    Jets are dependent on the air traffic control system, which has some decentralized aspects but is by no means a completely decentralized system.

  2. “Do you honestly think that people in places like Downers Grove will ever send their kids to the Chicago Public Schools?”

    Speaking from experience, that would be a safe “No”.

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