"I'm Jeremiah, and I'm not talking about God being mad at us," novelist Kurt Vonnegut says with a straight face, gazing out the parlor windows of his Manhattan brownstone. "I'm talking about us killing the planet as a life-support system with gasoline. What's going to happen is, very soon, we're going to run out of petroleum, and everything depends on petroleum. And there go the school buses. There go the fire engines. The food trucks will come to a halt. This is the end of the world. We've become far too dependent on hydrocarbons, and it's going to suddenly dry up. You talk about the gluttonous Roaring Twenties. That was nothing. We're crazy, going crazy, about petroleum. It's a drug like crack cocaine. Of course, the lunatic fringe of Christianity is welcoming the end of the world as the rapture. So I'm Jeremiah. It's going to have to stop. I'm sorry."
Here's an online excerpt
. Unfortunately, to read the whole interview you've got to get a copy of Rolling Stone
, or at least have a father willing to send you the pages through the mail (thanks, Dad).
The article comes with a list of the "essential" Vonnegut novels, and I'm quite pleased that it's essentially my list: Cat's Cradle, Welcome to the Monkey House, Slaughterhouse Five, Breakfast of Champions, Galápagos,
. Just give some love to The Sirens of Titan
and maybe Timequake
in there and I'm on board.