Not a book but an article, "What they don't want you to know about the coming oil crisis", Jeremy Leggett, The Independent, 19.1.2006, available at http://www.energybulletin.net/12226.html ). Although it was published last year, it's probably the most important thing I've read this year, and will remain so.
"Ninety per cent of all our transportation, whether by land, air or sea, is fuelled by oil. Ninety-five per cent of all goods in shops involve the use of oil. Ninety-five per cent of all our food products require oil use. Just to farm a single cow and deliver it to market requires six barrels of oil, enough to drive a car from New York to Los Angeles. The world consumes more than 80 million barrels of oil a day, 29 billion barrels a year, at the time of writing. This figure is rising fast, as it has done for decades. The almost universal expectation is that it will keep doing so for years to come. The US government assumes that global demand will grow to around 120 million barrels a day, 43 billion barrels a year, by 2025. Few question the feasibility of this requirement, or the oil industry's ability to meet it.
They should, because the oil industry won't come close to producing 120 million barrels a day; nor, for reasons that I will discuss later, is there any prospect of the shortfall being taken up by gas. In other words, the most basic of the foundations of our assumptions of future economic wellbeing is rotten. Our society is in a state of collective denial that has no precedent in history, in terms of its scale and implications."
The implications may be hard to take on board (I'm struggling to take them in myself), but this is as big as global warming (the double whammy).
If you're old enough, you may remember the oil crisis of 1973, when fuel -the same fuel that's used to transport virtually all the food we eat - ran out at petrol stations. The Northern Rock panic will be as nothing if - or rather when - a similar crisis happens. Think about the situation in Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia (where most of the 9/11 terrorists came from).
"China in October signed a $70 billion oil deal with Iran, and the evolving ties between those two countries could complicate U.S. efforts to isolate Iran diplomatically or pressure it to give up its ambitions for nuclear weapons. China is also pursuing oil in Angola.
In the case of Sudan, Africa's largest country, China is in a lucrative partnership that delivers billions of dollars in investment, oil revenue and weapons -- as well as diplomatic protection -- to a government accused by the United States of genocide in Darfur and cited by human rights groups for systematically massacring civilians and chasing them off ancestral lands to clear oil-producing areas."
[NB: I've now inserted a reference to this in the opening post, so beware duplication] Another article, this time from 2005 and giving a say to Colin Campbell, retired geologist and former adviser to half a dozen or so leading oil companies. He is now President for the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) and is one of the experts who feature in A Crude Awakening.
"The end of oil is closer than you think
Oil production could peak next year, reports John Vidal. Just kiss your lifestyle goodbye"
saving the energy needed to create digital typeface June ?
No Chris. The system doesn't allow for the posting of blank messages and I expended quite a bit of energy and several keystrokes on that one. Maybe it could be interpreted as 'I'm speechless', or 'What can I say?' or 'No comment'? But, as with every posting, that probably depends on the viewpoint of the 'reader'.