- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Praeger (August 30, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0313354790
- ISBN-13: 978-0313354793
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,055,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Myth of the Oil Crisis: Overcoming the Challenges of Depletion, Geopolitics, and Global Warming
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"Geologist, economist, and petroleum industry insider Mills makes an intelligent case for oil's continuing role as a major, growing energy source. A Herculean task, one would think, given public sentiment on the matter. Mills manages it by first neatly dividing opposing viewpoints into five camps: geologists (those who espouse peak oil theory), economists (the markets will work it out), militarists (use power to secure energy supplies), environmentalists (fossil fuels: no), and no-Luddites (fossil fuels, consumption, and materialism: no). He then conquers their positions with lively, exhaustive sourced arguments to say that there may be more conventional oil than reported, colossal unconventional sources, and plentiful energy substitutes. Mills shows deep understanding of the complexity of the issue, and while promising no easy fixes, he is yet hopeful: gloomy predictions do not resemble the real world and take no account of human integrity." - Library Journal, Starred Review
"A debate is currently raging among geologists and economists over whether global oil production has peaked. One school of thought, buttressed by mathematical models and some empirical evidence, argues that the peak production of conventional oil occurred sometime over the last two decades. Kenneth Deffeyes' treatise is the classic statement of this position, and Matthew Simmons' application of the argument to recent Saudi production has attracted much attention. Contrarians argue that the peak-oil theorists may be right -- eventually -- but that the relative lack of new oil discoveries owes far more to underinvestment and geopolitics than to geology. Technological breakthroughs in extracting hydrocarbon from shale and deep water, they note, may be pushing out the time when peak oil might hit. Robin Mills offers a solid version of the contrarian case." Reviewed with: Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage. By Kenneth S. Deffeyes. Princeton University Press, 2001. Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy. By Matthew R. Simmons. John Wiley, 2005. - Foreign Affairs
"Robin Mills's The Myth of the Oil Crisis is an intellectual nail in the coffin of the peak oil lobby's claims for the end of oil. There is no such drama, as this in-depth analysis demonstrates with empirical lucidity, wide-ranging discourse, and persuasive argument to demolish these modern mythologies and proclaimed wisdoms about our world oil future." (Duncan Clarke, Author of Empires Of Oil and The Battle For Barrels)
"Robin Mills's book, The Myth of the Oil Crisis, is a very welcome and intellectual insight into the role of oil and gas in our future societies. It demonstrates with very clear and well-informed arguments why the theory of Peak Oil is invalid and based on an incomplete set of assumptions. Mills book is well balanced in its mix of industry insight, world politics, and humanitarian interest and anyone with a keen interest in world energy should read it!" (Dr Simon Vroemen, Vice President Portfolio Management, RWE-DEA)
"Robin Millis's The Myth of the Oil Crisis is one of the most insightful books on debunking peak oil theory. With deep industry knowledge, persuasive arguments and some of the best quantitative analysis, his book demonstrates that Peak Oil Theory is a hot air balloon with more PR mileage than real insights. His comprehensive view of green energy includes 'green hydrocarbons'; acknowledging hydrocarbons will continue to play a key role in meeting increasing energy demand across the world. This is a must-read for anybody concerned with energy and environmental issues." (William Zhao, CEO, Gaia Carbon Control Systems)
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Top customer reviews
As is obvious from the title, Mills does not believe that peak oil will be coming anytime soon. It's not that he doesn't think it will ever happen; rather, he believes that it is a long way off and that we will have developed other energy sources well before peak oil becomes a major issue.
I found Mills' presentation and discussion of the opposing viewpoints outstanding. Often, books never even touch on opposing viewpoints. Mills' entire book revolves around a discussion of opposing viewpoints. He discusses not only why he believes the opposing viewpoint is wrong, but also presents his own beliefs.
Mills presents an unbelievable amount of supporting data. For the casual reader, the level of detail and support may be too much. For example, in chapter 5, he goes through 31 different countries or regions and breaks down the oil situation for each area, footnoting his data all the way along. For someone not directly involved in the oil industry, this information may be a bit much, but I can't fault him for including it as others may appreciate the level of detail. The contrast is striking compared with other information that I've read from proponents of peak oil that presented almost no supporting data.
However, Mills is not always fair. At one point relatively early in the book, he basically says that peak oil is discredited because prior predictions have proven to be false. He goes so far as to compare proponents of peak oil to prophets of the end of the world, which is unreasonable. Another time, he overstates his case and says that while oil "prices have risen sharply ... at least until 2008, the global economy sailed on almost untroubled. This points out the fallacy of claims by peak oil theorists and Neo-Luddites of the inevitability of economic collapse." I am not convinced that the claims are false just because the economy was in a good state up to 2008. The year 2008 was not exactly a joyride and peak oil theorists will tell you that it will get much worse. My point is that just because it has not happened yet is not proof that it won't happen in the future.
Mills did a convincing job discrediting Hubbert's Peak and explaining how we have enough alternative forms of energy, and the time and resources to deploy them, to avoid the economic meltdown proposed by some. In the end I came away feeling like the doom and gloom that I've read from some peak oil authors is overdone. It's difficult for someone not deeply involved in the industry to really know what's right, however, and I suspect that reality lies between Mill's position and the peak oiler's position.
One note: Some of the charts are hard to read in the kindle version. If I were buying this book again I'd buy the hardcopy version.