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Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak [Paperback]

Kenneth S. Deffeyes
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak + The End of Oil: The Decline of the Petroleum Economy and the Rise of a New Energy Order + Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis
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Product details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Hill & Wang (1 Jun 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080902957X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809029570
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 16.3 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 432,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

"This book explains both why the decline of our most precious fuel is inevitable and how challenging it will be to cope with what comes next."--Richard E. Smalley, University Professor, Rice University, and 1996 Nobel laureate With world oil production about to peak and inexorably head toward steep decline, what fuels are available to meet rising global energy demands? That question, once thought to address a fairly remote contingency, has become ever more urgent, as a spate of books has drawn increased public attention to the imminent exhaustion of the economically vital world oil reserves. Kenneth S. Deffeyes, a geologist who was among the first to warn of the coming oil crisis, now takes the next logical step and turns his attention to the earth's supply of potential replacement fuels. In "Beyond Oil," he traces out their likely production futures, with special reference to that of oil, utilizing the same analytic tools developed by his former colleague, the pioneering petroleum-supply authority M. King Hubbert. "The bad news in this book is made bearable by the author's witty, conversational writing style. If my college econ textbooks had been written this way, I might have learned economics." --Rupert Cutler, "The Roanoke Times"

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The supply of oil in the ground is not infinite. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The fat lady is singing" (p. 49) 24 April 2005
By Dennis Littrell TOP 500 REVIEWER
"Hubbert's Peak" is at the top of the bell-shaped curve of world oil production, just at the spot where production starts to decline. Geologist Kenneth Deffeyes sets a likely date: Thanksgiving Day, 2005. I have read other sources and they agree that half the oil in the ground will be out of the ground by a similar date or not later than about 2010. True, there are others who give it another decade or so, but they are in the minority. At any rate, Deffeyes has his old mentor's curve to support his view. M. King Hubbert was the guy who predicted with startling accuracy when US oil production would peak (early 1970s). Deffeyes uses the same methodology to predict the peak for world oil production.
The bugaboo here of course is that world oil demand will not decrease, but with the rapid industrialization of places like China and India, it will increase, perhaps dramatically. The result? Higher oil prices, of course. In fact, Deffeyes's book, written last year, effectively predicted the current spike in oil prices! Clearly he is a man to listen to. But the salient point is in his title: "Beyond Oil."
Metaphorically, he sees us gazing down from Hubbert's peak (which is exactly where we are) looking back and looking forward and asking, just what will the world be like "beyond oil"? Ah, yes, like the baby suckling the bottle, we will soon or late, abruptly or with planned gradualness (but always with some kind of real discomfort), have to give up our dependence on cheap oil and switch to something else.
What Deffeyes does so very well in this intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable book is first give us the background on oil, where it came from, and explain in detail why it's clear that production is about to decline.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Geologist M. King Hubbert gained renown by predicting an end to the era of abundant energy. His 1956 projection that U.S. petroleum production would peak in the early 1970s and then decline has come true. Production leveled off and has never gone up again. So, if you are betting against global projections based on Hubbert's metrics, you are, in a very real sense, betting against history. Author, professor and geologist Kenneth S. Deffeyes is a leading proponent of Hubbert's theories. His pleasant, very conversational book thoroughly examines why Hubbert appears correct: He explains how and why - unless public and private powers begin to react and plan - the energy shortage will change everyone's life, and could lead to famine and beyond. This book is similar in tone to Deffeyes' earlier work, "Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage." Some messages bear repeating and - particularly since this iteration is so clearly presented and rich in updated information - we believe that this is one of them.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical view of the end of oil 23 May 2008
By andys
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author says early on that he isn't going to cover the politics, economics or environmental consequences of peak oil and he doesn't. This book is purely about the geological and practical side of the problem.

And it's non the worse for that. It's a refreshing change to find a book that doesn't carp on about carbon emissions or how terrible big cars are, just where oil comes from and why production has peaked. On top of that there's good coverage of why the so called oil alternatives like shale oils aren't as much of an alternative as they are touted to be.

All in all this is a cracking book on the subject. Authoritative and yet very readable.
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