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20040912 Sunday September 12, 2004

What does the post-petroleum economy look like? There's whole way of life enjoyed by the military-petroleum industrial complex from which Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc have emerged. The clock is ticking down on that way of life and on the Western economy as a whole.

In today's San Francisco Chronicle there's a review of a pair of books I've had my eye on but haven't had time to read (thank goodness for book reviewers who have the time!).

cover   Blood and Oil by Michael T. Klare
The world's rapidly growing economy is dependent on oil, the supply is running out and the U.S. and other great powers are engaged in an escalating game of brinkmanship to secure its continued free flow. Such is the premise of Klare's powerful and brilliant new book (following Resource Wars). [Publisher's Weekly]
cover   Oil by Matthew Yeomans
This examination of a slippery subject suffers from schizophrenia: is it straight journalism or an activist's screed? The strength of this book lies in its first half, when freelance journalist Yeomans shows the importance of oil in world history during the last 125 years. [Publisher's Weekly]

The Chronicle review, THE HIGH PRICE OF OIL: We pay at the pump, we pay with taxes, and some pay with their lives, raises important questions about the future of, well, modern civilization. Are we heading towards a Madmaxian world of armored mobile homes and gasoline pirates? Do we want our foreign policy to be directed by our desire to preserve our freeway traffic jams? It doesn't seem too far fetched that, were Bush re-elected, we'd be pushed further along into an era of aggressive oil supply protection. A future where the military mission of young Americans will be security duty will be on the oil rigs, for the refineries and tankers and the other instruments of the petroleum industry isn't a future I want to our tax dollars underwriting. The future belongs to hydrogen fuel cells, solar energy and other alternative energy sources.

I'll probably pick up the Klare book on my next book shopping episode.

Other reading of interest:

In the meantime, I'm envisioning an energy-plentiful post-petroleum world, carpooling, taking BART to get to work and telecommuting when I can get away with it. To hedge my bets, I'll be at the Winnebago dealership today to look for rig that I can harden and equip with rocket propelled grenade launchers.

( Sep 12 2004, 11:59:21 AM PDT ) Permalink