From Publishers Weekly
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
). The U.S.—with less than 5% of the world's total population—consumes about 25% of the world's total supply of oil, he argues. With no meaningful conservation being attempted, Klare sees the nation's energy behavior dominated by four key trends: "an increasing need for imported oil; a pronounced shift toward unstable and unfriendly suppliers in dangerous parts of the world; a greater risk of anti-American or civil violence; and increased competition for what will likely be a diminishing supply pool." In clear, lucid prose, Klare lays out a disheartening and damning indictment of U.S. foreign policy. From the waning days of WWII, when Franklin Roosevelt gave legitimacy to the autocratic Saudi royalty, to the current conflict in Iraq, Klare painstakingly describes a nation controlled by its unquenchable thirst for oil. Rather than setting out a strategy for energy independence, he finds a roadmap for further U.S. dependence on imported oil, more exposure for the U.S. military overseas and, as a result, less safety for Americans at home and abroad. While Klare offers some positive suggestions for solving the problem, in tone and detail this work sounds a dire warning about the future of the world. Illus.
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Agreeing with the premise of "No Blood for Oil" placards, a college professor of international affairs here explains why he thinks the current Bush administration is a disaster on energy and foreign policy. In brief, Klare disputes the contention of the administration's 2001 National Energy Policy (NEP)--the document in the news less for its contents than for litigation against its sponsor, Vice President Richard Cheney--that the U.S. can foster increases in the global production of oil. This work is valuable for ventilating what the NEP says (which mass media rarely do), albeit for the purpose of shooting its arguments down. The NEP's thesis is that the U.S. must diversify its foreign sources of oil, importing more from the Caspian Sea, West Africa, and South America and less from the Persian Gulf. Systematically analyzing these areas, Klare dismisses the diversification strategy and promotes his solution to the foreign-oil dilemma: reducing consumption by sharply increasing fuel taxes. Although it is anti-Bush, this book will better engage readers interested in policy than those seeking polemics. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved