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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking - an important book, 3 Feb. 2009
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This review is from: The Myth of the Oil Crisis: Overcoming the Challenges of Depletion, Geopolitics, and Global Warming (Paperback)
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.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Oct 2009 19:43:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 31 Oct 2009 20:03:39 GMT
LoneHermetic says:
Its Hubbert not Hubble (that's a telescope). Yes gravitational attraction and the efficacy of aspirin as a drug is also just 'theory'. But they are theories with a good deal of evidence to back them up. Hubert predicted US oil would peak in 1970. In hindsight it peaked in 1971. as a 'theory' that makes it a pretty damn good one. 'Scientific truth' is what is the current consesnsus reality. Both you and the author suggest there's this massive public belief in peak oil as a reality. There is NO such thing. Most people don't even know what the term means. This is a straw man argument. Sure there's a few peak oil books knocking around but the consensus public opinion is that economic growth is continuing and, with a few blips here and there, will continue to do so: and that even if there is an energy problem we will sort something out in time.

Behind all the qualifying statements and aknowledgments of anthropogenic climate change this is still the 'middle road' assurance Mills gives us. Technical ingenuity will save the day. Its all a bit of a gamble in the final analysis. If you want to back Mills' confidence in Oil shale and carbon sequestration then go ahead but there are many other experienced industry insiders such as Dr Colin J. Campbell who would very strongly disagree. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Campbell_%28geologist%29 He and others will also suggest that the touted 'new discoveries' do not affect the general trend of Hubberts cruve in any way let alone make it redundant.
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