5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Thought provoking - an important book, 3 Feb. 2009
I very much recommend this book to anyone interested in, or worried about, energy issues. The author is an industry insider (which he acknowledges up front) but the book is very far from being an apologia for the oil industry. It is a dense and fact-heavy read which is closely argued. The core arguments are as follows:
- the Hubbert theory of 'peak oil' is just that, a theory, and not a scientific truth
- there are major weaknesses in the Hubbert theory and there are significantly greater hydrocarbon resources than is commonly thought
- oil is not about to run out and even if it did it would not result in the collapse of civilized society
- gas and coal can be used to susbtitute for many (if not all) applications of oil
- even so, the threat of climate change means that diversification away from, and more sensible usage of, hydrocarbons is important and necessary
- there are huge opportunities for such diversification and efficiency
The book is a powerful and intelligent riposte to the doom-laden, apocalyptic genre of 'peak oil' literature.
Many environmentalists won't like it one bit but they will find it hard to argue with the facts laid out in the book - and they should remember that the author is a confirmed believer in anthropogenic global warming and its dangers.
However, read with an open mind the books shows how a calm, rational approach to energy issues is much more sensible than much of the polemical hyperbole written on the subject.
It deserves to be read widely.