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on October 21, 2010
Dilip Hiro is a regular contributor to TomDispatch. In Blood of The Earth, he discusses the history of oil, its methods of extraction and processing and the politics of diminishing available reserves. There is also some discussion in the book of alternative sources of and their practical application in the coming years. The short conclusion is that we need a combination of resources, including continued use of fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewable sources in order to sustain the world's energy demands in the coming decades.
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on January 6, 2015
Powerful and informing. Denial is not an option for the future of this planet if we do not ween our selfs off this stuff. We as a specie along with all the other diversified living organisms on this little inter dependent sphere.
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on May 18, 2015
A planet of over consumers in a battle for oil reserves, growth seems the like the key to success and the ultimate collapse of the oil industry.
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on December 3, 2014
Provides many views from many sources. Gives many ideas that need to be discussed and good science to highlight them.
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on August 25, 2014
Very informative book that deals with the main power struggle of the 20th century.
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on June 1, 2009
Oil & its by-products are the life blood of every American. But... cheap, abundant oil is running out, plain and simple. The end of this cheap & abundant energy could be a gut wrenching experience for us all, maybe even a matter of survival.

You owe it to yourself, family and loved-ones to have a good understanding of this problem. This book should be fundamental reading for every American so each can a) understand the problem, b) make some contribution to it's solution, and c) develop personal strategies to implement for their future well-being when times get tough. Folks... it can and will get alot worse than $4.00/gallon... the only question is when and how bad. Alternative energy development has been on the back burner too long and probably will not satisfy our energy needs before it get really bad when oil availability diminishes to unacceptable levels.

Everyone has an opinion on "oil"... but if you read this book, you'll have a much better understanding of the situation... hey, get a little education on the subject. It is very well researched and the 92 chronology of dates alone in the back of the book (pgs. 375-380) is probably worth the price of the book. Learn this chronology and you will be a hit at the next cocktail party.

This could easily be the text for a class in school...

1) When & where was the first commerical oil well drilled in the U.S.
2) When did oil begin to replace coal as a major source of fuel for steamships?
3) Who runs the first automobile with an internal combustion engine and when was it?
4) What year did U.S. Antitrust laws break up Standard Oil?
5) By the way, who owned Standard Oil at the time? Many people will miss this question actually...
6) When and where was the first nuclear power plant and by whom?

...Jumping ahead...

7) When was OPEC founded, who was in it, and why was it formed?
8) When was the first oil embargo and what precipitated it? Was it successful?
9) What is OAPEC, why was it formed, what has it accomplished for its members?
10) When was the first oil-embargo that crippled the U.S. Why was it implemented and how long were its results felt? This is the First Oil Shock!
11) When was the Second Oil shock and what precipitated it?
12) The Third?
13) The Fourth?
14) Did any of this have a strong impact on the election of any past presidents? Who & why?
15) Does any of this have an impact on the so-called "Green House" gases?

You get the idea...

Some very significant oil-related history of the world has occurred over the last 100 years and will continue over the next 100 years with even greater consequences... you are watching it and you are a part of it.

So, why not get some significant education on the subject ultimately to help you and you offspring for generations to come???

Enjoy... Jim in Denver!
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on May 22, 2007
I've read a number of books on this topic, so I already had a little background. This book is readable but slightly longer than it might need to be based on some sections that are almost like digressions. Overall though, this book presents a nice background to the history of oil production and the current situation. A nice aspect is that there is coverage of many countries both with respect to their oil history, and their present and future consumption. There is also some coverage of alternative energy sources. In many spots, the apparent research is impressive. The author has either first-hand knowledge of what he is talking about or he has done his background research. There isn't quite as much emphasis on the perils of possible oil depletion as you might find in some other books, but the subject is touched on. There are some quircky aspects to the book. For one, the author seems to feel it necessary to give descriptions of facial features of everyone he mentions in the book. There are also some points at which the book seems to wander from the topic slightly. There are other books that present similar information, some of which are perhaps better than this one, but this is a decent starting place if you are interested in this topic.
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on April 2, 2007
Dilip Hiro's very readable book covers the politics associated with the major discoveries of oil as well as the technological changes associated with it that have completely changed our lives in such a way that we would not know how to live without the products created from oil. His dire warnings about global warming echo those of Al Gore and are a must read. As Americans we are very naive about the reason for the premptive strike on Iraq--it was not for WMD or Saddam, but for oil. This book clearly confirms that by blowing away the rhetoric and looking at the facts. A must read for everyone who cares about the planet.
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on June 17, 2007
BLOOD OF THE EARTH: THE BATTLE FOR THE WORLD'S VANISHING OIL RESOURCES provides both a background history of the formation and use of oil and its evolution as a commodity sparking world interactions, development, and conflicts. This background provides fuel to survey the peaking of oil output and its likely affects on world production, politics, and everyday life: BLOOD OF THE EARTH is thus required reading not only for high school students surveying future energy issues, but for the general-interest collection.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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