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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Add to the reading list

I just read a review on the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) web site of a book by Pierre Chomat: Oil Addiction: The World in Peril. Unfortunately, the book doesn't appear to be available at either the Ann Arbor or UM libraries. Here's what the ASPO review says:
[Ex-oilman Chomat] introduces the term Ergamine (or energy slave) to refer to the energy released by fossil fuels. One gram of oil gives as much energy as a manual labourer can deliver in a day’s work. He quotes some nice examples: a plane load of tourists, flying from California to see the Great Pyramid of Egypt, consume as much energy as was used in building it. Running a domestic clothes-washer consumes as much energy as it would take a crane to lift the house 23 feet into the air. He points out how Modern Man is barely conscious of the massive amount of energy he consumes in the daily life during this most exceptional epoch in history. He links this dependence with recent geopolitical events and the posturing of governments incapable of facing the reality of what unfolds.
The reviews at Amazon are all five-star!

I'm currently reading Matthew Simmons' book Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, which goes into a lot of detail about why predictions of continued and growing Saudi oil output are almost certainly bunk--and since the Saudis have been the only basis for pretending that peak oil isn't imminent, well, the book makes a pretty good case that peak oil IS imminent. It certainly gives plenty of technical detail about the Saudi oil industry that I can throw in the face of anyone who thinks we can just keep on wasting oil forever, and it has the dubious advantage of having been written by someone who is supposedly a friend of George W. Bush. Simmons' book wasn't available at the library, so I bought it at Borders. It's not bad, but now I'm wishing that I'd bought Chomat's book instead!

I'll have to consolidate my peak-oil book reviews, now that I've read five or six of them! Maybe later...