Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak

Kenneth S. Deffeyes, Author Hill & Wang $24 (202p) ISBN 978-0-8090-2956-3
For those who wonder why certain countries insist on developing nuclear power, geologist Deffeyes has a possible answer: ""World oil production has ceased growing."" In this sobering, instructive and somewhat apocalyptic book, Deffeyes (Hubbert's Peak) paints a bleak picture of the future of fossil fuels and of what will happen to the world without them. Deffeyes bases his book on the work of M. King Hubbert, who mathematically determined that the world's oil supply would peak in 2000 and then drop steadily thereafter. Deffeyes tackles the mathematics of Hubbert's method and offers his own prediction (that the peak will occur at the end of 2005), but there is plenty here for those who aren't enamored with numbers, including a crash course in the slow evolution of oil. Oil and its related petroleum byproducts, Deffeyes points out, have changed the world economically, technologically and socially, and its absence could have a similarly massive, though negative, effect. Deffeyes predicts that famine, war and death will result from the shortages, but he does more than just sound the alarm: a large portion of the book is devoted to surveying the pros and cons of alternative resources like coal and hydrogen. Though Deffeyes offers only a few practical suggestions for the reader, most of which are obvious (i.e., get on a waitlist for a hybrid car), this is an earnestly written cautionary tale and a great resource for anyone looking to become energy literate. B&W illustrations and diagrams.
Reviewed on: 03/01/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 202 pages - 978-0-8090-2957-0
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-374-70702-6
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