Coal fuels about 50 percent of US electricity production and provides a quarter of the country’s total energy. China and India’s ferocious economic growth is based almost entirely on coal-generated electricity. Coal currently looks like a solution to many of our fast-growing energy problems. However, while coal advocates are urging full steam ahead, increasing reliance on the dirtiest of all fossil fuels has crucial implications for the global climate, energy policy, the world economy, and geopolitics.
Coal advocates argue that America has 250 years’ worth of coal. They say that although it’s disastrous stuff, coal is cheap and abundant, and so we should find a way to capture the carbon dioxide released from power plants. But what if the basic premise of that argument is wrong? What if coal isn’t as abundant as everyone thinks, and will be getting more expensive, and scarce, very soon? That’s the conclusion of a series of groundbreaking reports discussed in Blackout: Coal, Climate, and the Last Energy Crisis.
The book includes information from the National Academy of Science and the U.S. Geological Survey. Blackout goes to the heart of the tough energy questions that will dominate every sphere of public policy throughout the first half of this century, and is a must-read for planners, educators, and anyone concerned about energy consumption, peak oil and climate change.
The Earth’s mineral riches are distributed unevenly over the globe, and this has tremendous effects on the human condition. Different regions have achieved great power and affluence with the development of resources, from water and fertile soil to oil and high-tech metals. What will happen to these economies as the resources are depleted?
This unique volume presents and analyzes essential data on energy and mineral resources and population issues of concern to sociologists, geologists, ecologists, economists, policymakers, futurists, and political scientists.
Existe versión en castellano (El fin del petróleo), publicada en colección de bolsillo por Público en 2010.
Índice la edición española:
Encendiendo el fuego
El último petróleo fácil
El futuro es brillante
Energía es poder
En camino a ninguna parte:
Dad a la gente lo que quiere
El gran petróleo se inquieta
Y ahora, algo completamente distinto
Menos es más
Hacia el cielo:
La mano invisible
Manteniéndose en sus trece
¿Cómo llegamos hasta allí?
Petroleum is now so deeply entrenched in our economy, our politics, and our personal expectations that even modest efforts to phase it out are fought tooth and nail by the most powerful forces in the world: companies and governments that depend on oil revenues; the developing nations that see oil as the only means to industrial success; and a Western middle class that refuses to modify its energy-dependent lifestyle. But within thirty years, by even conservative estimates, we will have burned our way through most of the oil that is easily accessible. And well before then, the side effects of an oil-based society — economic volatility, geopolitical conflict, and the climate-changing impact of hydrocarbon pollution — will render fossil fuels an all but unacceptable solution. How will we break our addiction to oil? And what will we use in its place to maintain a global economy and political system that are entirely reliant on cheap, readily available energy?
Brilliantly reported from around the globe, The End of Oil brings the world situation into fresh and dramatic focus for business and general readers alike. Roberts talks to both oil optimists and oil pessimists, delves deep into the economics and politics of oil, considers the promises and pitfalls of alternatives, and shows that, although the world energy system has begun its epoch-defining transition, disruption and violent dislocation are almost assured if we do not take a more proactive stance. With the topicality and readability of Fast Food Nation and the scope and trenchant analysis of Guns, Germs, and Steel, this is a vitally important book for the new century.
A cadre of international experts contributed to this book to provide a truly global perspective on the dangers inherent in our over-consumption of oil, gas and coal. Without fossil fuels, mass-produced food and clothing, international travel, cars, and many more things become rare or impossible. The authors provide details of the problem for a variety of countries, including the US and China, as well as those in Europe and the developing world.
Existe una 2ª edición de 2008, editada por Sheila Newman.
In his pathbreaking Resource Wars, world security expert Michael Klare alerted us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-cold-war world. Now, in Blood and Oil, he concentrates on a single precious commodity, petroleum, while issuing a warning to the United States—its most powerful, and most dependent, global consumer.
Since September 11 and the commencement of the “war on terror,” the world’s attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region’s soil. Klare traces oil’s impact on international affairs since World War II, revealing its influence on the Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter doctrines. He shows how America’s own wells are drying up as our demand increases; by 2010 the United States will need to import 60 percent of its oil. And since most of this supply will have to come from chronically unstable, often violently anti-American zones—the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, Latin America, and Africa—our dependency is bound to lead to recurrent military involvement.
The invasion of Iraq may well be remembered as the first oil currency war. Far from being a response to 9/11 terrorism or Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, Petrodollar Warfare argues that the invasion was precipitated by two converging phenomena: the imminent peak in global oil production and the ascendance of the euro currency.
Energy analysts agree that world oil supplies are about to peak, after which there will be a steady decline in supplies of oil. Iraq, possessing the world’s second-largest oil reserves, was therefore already a target of US geostrategic interests. Together with the fact that Iraq had switched to paying for oil in euros—rather than US dollars—the Bush administration’s unreported aim was to prevent further OPEC momentum in favor of the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency standard.
Meticulously researched, Petrodollar Warfare examines US dollar hegemony and the unsustainable macroeconomics of ‘petrodollar recycling,’ pointing out that the issues underlying the Iraq war also apply to geostrategic tensions between the United States and other countries, including the member states of the European Union, Iran, Venezuela and Russia. The author warns that without changing course, the American experiment will end the way all empires end—with military overextension and subsequent economic decline. He recommends the multilateral pursuit of both energy and monetary reforms within a UN framework to create a more balanced global energy and monetary system—thereby reducing the possibility of future oil and oil currency-related warfare.
William R. Clark is manager of performance improvement at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research on oil depletion, oil currency issues and US geostrategy received a 2003 Project Censored Award and was published in Censored 2004. He lives in Columbia, Maryland.
Erin Neal has been living a secluded life in the Arizona desert since the death of his girlfriend and he isn’t happy when an oil company executive comes calling. A number of important Saudi wells have stopped producing and Erin is the world’s foremost expert in resolving just these kinds of complications. As far as he’s concerned, though, he’s left that world behind. Not his problem. Homeland Security sees things differently. Erin quickly finds himself stuck in the Saudi desert, studying a new bacteria with a voracious appetite for oil and an uncanny talent for destroying drilling equipment. But worst of all is its ability to spread. It soon becomes clear that if this contagion isn’t stopped, it will infiltrate the world’s petroleum reserves, cutting the industrial world off from the energy that provides the heat, food, and transportation necessary for survival. Erin realizes that there’s something eerily familiar about this bacteria. And that it couldn’t possibly have evolved on its own.
What if there was a revolution in Saudi Arabia? What if all of the oil-producing nations joined OPEC? What if we had to stop exploiting the resources and peoples of the world? This fictional story gives a powerful new vision of the future.