Your host is reading a very interesting novel - Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. An interesting and unexpected aspect has been its commentary that relates to the peak oil issue.
"Man's destiny was to conquer and rule the world, and this is what he's done - almost. He hasn't quite made it, and it looks as though this may be his undoing. The problem is that man's conquest of the world has itself devastated the world. And in spite of all the mastery we've attained, we don't have enough mastery to stop devastating the world - or to repair the devastation we've already wrought. We've poured our poisons into the world as though it were a bottomless pit - and we go on pouring our poisons into the world. We've gobbled up irreplaceable resources as though they could never run out - and we go on gobbling them up. It's hard to imagine how the world could survive another century of this abuse, but nobody's really doing anything about it. It's a problem our children will have to solve, or their children."
The story of human cultural history is told by a guru gorilla (a primate, not a soldier). It sounds peculiar, but so far, on page 81, it works. I will be ordering the sequel very soon.
You can find this book at Amazon. Here is a link: Ishmael.