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Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak Paperback – June 13, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Yet the major emphasis of the book is on the energy alternatives. Coming from an academic geologist deeply rooted in the culture of the energy industries, the chapters on natural gas, coal, nuclear, tar sands, and oil shale are most welcome. Most of the books on Peak Oil are not by geologists, so their assessments on these subjects are second hand. Deffeyes 2001 book, Hubbert's Peak - The Impending World Oil Shortage, focused mostly on conventional oil.
There are two extremes to the views on Peak Oil. Some people, often termed "cornucopians", say not to worry - technology will come to the rescue, energy alternatives will take over as soon as the price is right. Others, the "prophets of doom", predict the collapse of industrial civilization and human population via environmental degradation, warfare, disease, and famine. Or at best they predict a return to a primitive 19th century style of existence with far fewer people on the planet. Deffeyes predicts tough going, but he also outlines a way for us to scrape through a few more decades until more sustainable technology can be developed and scaled up. The kind of civilization that can be sustained over the long haul is still an open question.
His short term fixes (p.Read more ›
I almost didn't buy this book. I assumed it would not add much to what I had learned from Deffeyes's earlier book on the same subject, "Hubbert's Peak: The impending world oil shortage". What a mistake that would have been!
"Hubbert's Peak" remains an extremely valuable book for those who want to understand *why* Hubbert's hypothesis may be correct, but "Beyond Oil" is much better at explaining the hypothesis and showing us that the data supports it overwhelmingly. The great new value in "Beyond Oil" is to be found in Chapter 3, The Hubbert Method.
In "Hubbert's Peak", Deffeyes presented only qualitative and graphical descriptions of Hubbert's theory in the main text. He describes what the theory means and why it was important. Reader's may believe him because the rest of the book makes his credentials unmistakable: Professor Emeritus of Geology at Princeton, obvious encyclopedic knowledge of petroleum geology, 50 years in the oil business or consulting to it, friendship and collegial association with Hubbert himself. But his editor did not let him put any equations in the main text. When he does get to the equations in the notes at the back, their presentation is too concise, they require too much math knowledge for most readers, and lack the associated explanation that would make their relationship to the theory easy to understand, even for many readers who have the necessary math knowledge. It's all there, but you have to be committed and sophisticated to dig it out.Read more ›
The follow-up volume to Kenneth Deffeyes very successful Hubbert's Peak, the impending world oil shortage (2001), this book (written in 2004) seeks to take up the discussion where his previous volume left off; namely, what alternatives are available if the world is about to experience the ongoing decline in the productivity and quality of major crude oil reserves. While this intriguing issue is a critical one for the current state of world affairs, and the future of the world economy, the early part of the book goes over some of the ground already discussed by the earlier book. One would have hoped that this was not necessary and that the space would otherwise be devoted to covering the new ground with greater depth of argument on new issues.
What is new in this volume is that Deffeyes examines the alternative energy sources and the issues associated with their use. His key point is that even if Hubbert is wrong, to do nothing, is the worst of possible alternatives. He sees great urgency in the next few years which previous generations have never had to face. Alternative energy strategies are required immediately or a major decline will put much of our fate in the hands of others. Indeed he suggests that the world of tomorrow will be a very unfamiliar place to those of us who have grown up with a relatively abundant oil supply. But to face this situation we are likely to have nothing more than the technologies we have already developed, not an attractive prospect.
Deffeyes oil peak is postulated as 24 November 2005 (`Thanksgiving' Day), after this date world oil will go into decline, slowly at first then more rapidly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
$30 a barrel oil in 2016! Somewhere, Mr Deffeyes is having a mental breakdown. Perhaps he will begin issuing refunds to his sycophantic audience.Published 6 months ago by Boris P
I read it for a college class in 2010 and despite the scare-tactic language, it's hypotheses largely seemed to make sense at the time, namely that U.S. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ponk7652
Es the fracking move the peak some years ahead. So Gorge Monbiot wrote "I was wrong about Peak Oil there's enough to fry us"... Read morePublished 17 months ago by The Black Butterfly
This book is very good because it shows how peak oil will drive the search for substitutes to conventional oil. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Chad M
This was a book I had to read for my MBA program in doing a book review. It's so well written and comical at times, because the core of the subject matter is, well, rather boring. Read morePublished on February 1, 2014 by darleen
Mr Defeyees launches a realistic scenario about the future of oil in the world. Although much criticized, has quite plausible data.Published on December 20, 2013 by M. Maciel
This book takes the reader through the concept of peak oil and most of the possible energy sources to replace an oil shortage. Dr. Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by Paul Cottrell
I have started to read this book, and it is interesting and informative, about the production and use of oil, and I shall enjoy reading my way through the book.Published on January 22, 2013 by Engstrand
Very original viewpoint. If you are not very science-oriented and want to learn about energy issues, this is a good book for you.Published on December 17, 2011 by PoorCollegeStudent