Michael Ruppert does not mince words in this stirring and uncompromising book on the vital issue of global energy and economics. He addresses some simple but widely ignored concepts relating to the critical role of oil and gas in the modern world. First, they are finite resources formed in the geological past and are, therefore, subject to depletion. Second, they have to be found before they can be produced, the peak of which is long past.
Ruppert considers the broader implications of this realization in terms of a finite Oil Age. The Oil Age started only 150 years ago, precipitating the rapid expansion of industrialization, transportation, technology, etc., fuelled by this cheap-source energy flowing from the ground. But now, at the dawn of the second half of this age, we face a decline of production and all that depends upon it. The economic and political consequences of this turning point for mankind are colossal, demanding far-reaching political responses, as the book discusses. Many claims have been made that new technology will counter the natural decline, yet the arguments overlook the irony that the better the technology, the faster the depletion.
Having laid out the basic facts, Ruppert turns to related subjects, including foreign policy and the invasion of Iraq, the hopes for renewable energy substitutes, the impact on farming and population, and the nature of Money. Though the central theme of this book focuses on the impact of the decline of oil on the American economy, it also explores its global repercussions and puts forth twenty-five sensible recommendations by which the US government can react to the unfolding situation.
This perceptive, stimulating, and readable book grapples with a subject of critical importance. It deserves a place on the bookshelves of every conscientious thinker and actor from the school teacher to the chief executive, the bishop to the politician and world leader.
Colin Campbell, Ph.D.
Colin Campbell is a former oil exploration geologist at Texaco and British Petroleum, a former exploration manager at Total, a former consultant to Shell, Statoil, Mobil, and Amerada, a former executive vice president at Petrofina, the author of many books and publications on oil and gas depletion, and the co-founder of The Association for the Study of Peak Oil.