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An excellent, absorbing and well written book. Wenar does a very good job of threading together the multiple aspects of what is a complex issue. Exploring history, religion, culture, power and politics to frame the issues, the author provides a refreshingly honest view of our dependence upon oil, the conflicting values of western societies, and makes some practical suggestions for improving the world.
when buying stolen resources from authoritarian rulers; how & why we must stop. A must Read!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
This book is a thorough primer on world affairs. It clarified a lot of things for me with brilliant examples and tidbits, particularly about our relationship with the Saudi Kingdom and other such states.
However, in my jaded view, conflict and war is part of our DNA like water and salt. We humans will never change and will always find something to quarrel about. The book demonstrates this human pitfall in its discussions regarding alternative solutions. ...
Better technology and upheaval because of new technology is most often the driver of social progress and setbacks. For example the abolition of slavery and the American Civil War was an industrial vs agrarian conflict. (And it can be argued that the freeing of the slaves was Lincoln's version of Truman dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) In the case that the author cited, the abolition of the slave trade by England, it is noted that the TRADE of slaves was abolished but NOT SLAVERY itself. For tactical reasons, the abolitionist in England believed that slavery itself would wither away on its own, which was true enough. Industrialization and the replacement of brute manpower with machine power, however, was the ultimate driver (i.e., better profits).
Likewise, alternative fuels or even lifestyles might ultimately cure our dependency on oil; provided, the powers that be allows us to go forward with these alternative lifestyles. Yes, allow --the forces of commercialism and the constant brainwashing are difficult to overcome even by the fiercest of romantics. ...
Enters shale oil --and its taxing horrors on the eco-systems of the states involved, Pennsylvania, upstate New York and other bucolic scenes throughout the United States and Canada and the Americas-- to carry the day until science, our hero, sneaks one in and breaks the spell. ...
6 of 8 people found this review helpful