The Last Oil Shock

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 April, 2008, 12:00am

The Last Oil Shock

by David Strahan,

John Murray, HK$144

Some readers may think, 'not this again'. But that should not detract from David Strahan's book, which underscores the imminence of 'peak oil', the point from which worldwide oil production will slide into terminal decline. The investigative journalist argues the problem is grimmer than global terrorism and as hot an issue as global warming. In the 1950s Marion King Hubbert calculated accurately that oil production in the US would peak within 15 years. The American geophysicist estimated the same would occur globally in about half a century. Strahan's book also looks at the behaviour of oil companies and governments that have recognised the seriousness of the problem: America's aggression towards Iran, he says, is driven partly by the energy pacts between Tehran and Beijing. Bolstering his bleak analysis are facts that should make readers think hard about their lifestyles: for every barrel of oil discovered we consume three; production is falling in 60 of 98 oil-producing countries; if we all used oil at the rate Americans do, global reserves would be depleted in seven years. It's enough to make you throw away your car keys.




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