on May 26, 2009
This is a must-read for anyone interested in energy policy or global warming policy.
It contains strong essays by top experts in their fields - economics, geology, etc.
The experts place different emphases on different sets of facts, and come to different conclusions about which is a more grave and urgent problem - the end of cheap oil, or global warming. Thus the reader will be required to think, and come to her/his own conclusions.
What they all agree on, though, is the urgent need for governments to adopt policies that will quickly and sharply reduce consumption of fossil fuels. This would address both challenges.
I would have given it five stars, but for two minor shortcomings. First, the essay by William Marsden is passionate and interesting, but doesn't really seem to fit with the other essays, which are more fact-based and less rhetorical. (Incidentially, I do agree with Marsden's general point about Alberta's headlong rush into uncontrolled tar sands development being incredibly short-sighted - see "Stupid to the Last Drop".) Second, I wish there could have been a chapter (or perhaps an associated online wiki) where the various experts have a brief exchange, and we see the analysis advanced further.
But these are truly quibbles. This is absolutely essential reading for anyone interested in these areas.