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Oily death throes

by
August 2005, no. 273

The End of Oil: The decline of the petroleum economy and the rise of a new energy order by Paul Roberts

Bloomsbury, $35 pb, 389 pp

Book 2 Cover Small (400 x 600)

Crude: The story of oil by Sonia Shah

Allen & Unwin, $24.95 pb, 231 pp

Oily death throes

by
August 2005, no. 273

The experts may prognosticate, but reality makes fools of them, too. Paul Roberts, in The End of Oil: The Decline of the Petroleum Economy and the Rise of a New Energy Order, reviews several scenarios for the future of oil that were advanced in late 2002 by the US National Intelligence Council. The two most bleak ones had the price of oil reaching US$50 a barrel, the first sometime between 2010 and 2015, the second somewhat earlier, following convulsions in the Middle East. As we know, US$50 was reached only a few months after The End of Oil was published in the US; at the time of writing, the price is around US$60 a barrel. Reading these two books confirms the certainty, speed and completeness of change. The unknowable for oil is: when?

Peter McLennan reviews ‘The End of Oil: The decline of the petroleum economy and the rise of a new energy order’ by Paul Roberts and ‘Crude: The story of oil’ by Sonia Shah

The End of Oil: The decline of the petroleum economy and the rise of a new energy order

by Paul Roberts

Bloomsbury, $35 pb, 389 pp

Book 2 Cover Small (400 x 600)

Crude: The story of oil

by Sonia Shah

Allen & Unwin, $24.95 pb, 231 pp

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