The Gas Planet
That we are currently at war for fuel is obvious to all but the most blinkered Republican Party hack and the average flag-draped oaf on the street. But this violent scrambling for resources is born more from desperation than from corporate greed, as America has painted itself into a tight corner by basing its entire infrastructure on a finite energy source: oil.
Two new books consider the myopic governmental planning that has brought us to the lip of the proverbial gas hose. Paul Roberts' The End of Oil is an exhaustive study of modern energy production and politics, taking the reader from the dwindling wells of Saudi Arabia to the successful solar-powered German city of Freiberg, stopping en route to gasp at the idiocy that has dragged us into Iraq. David Goodstein's Out of Gas also shudders at the spectacle that is--in the writer's phrase--Oil War II, and warns that this is only the start of chaos unless we wean ourselves off petrochemicals.