Summary and Info
I came across this book while researching an Economics Masters thesis. As someone that has been focusing more and more on energy related issues, I picked this book up.
To say the least, it is very intellectually dishonest. While many of the things he says have some grain of truth, he routinely cherry picks to support his view that the world will collapse if we don't do something drastic immediately. I particuarly liked how he tried to imply that his cigarette smoking father wouldn't have died of emphysema if we didn't have any smog.
He starts out by overblowing the environmental damage that oil production and consumption costs - but then has the hubris to claim we will be out in a few years anyway. If we are going to be out, it would seem that the environmental problem it causes will cease in a few years.
This leads me to his horrible prediction of skyrocketing oil prices and grim picture of the future (which in his mind is in 2025). His estimation of oil reserves is cherry picked to support his panic inducing tone.
The truth is that there is so much petroleum on this planet that the only limitation of use may in fact be the enironmental cost. In my mind, he lost significant credibility by claiming we would have oil shortages by 2025.
He also goes into a tirade about foreign oil, implying that all of our oil comes from sheiks that are trying to bomb us. The truth is our single largest supplier of oil is Canada. Mexico is #2 and Venezuela #3. In fact, if he had counting Canada's tar sands, Canada has more oil than any other country on earth. If we were to count oil shale (which is only economical to produce at 70-90 a barrel) the US has the ability to be energy independent with this source alone.
Overall, this book spouts out a lot of numbers without really analyzing the context of the values. He cherry picks to get cost estimates that bolster his view point (and probably further his career and admiration amongst the faithful) and conveniently ignores everything else.
More About the Author
Terrance Arthur Tamminen (born March 7, 1952) is an author, lecturer, and strategist on energy and the environment.
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