Most helpful critical review
Needs more research
on April 16, 2004
The book is well-written and easy to understand. Basically, the world oil production is set to reach an all-time high around the year 2008. But this is a bad thing, since oil production is going down forever after the peak. There is going to be a worldwide scramble for the remaining half of the world's oil resources, resulting in an "Oil Crash". This phenomenon known as "peak oil" has a growing number of proponents among prestigious geologists.
But not all is bad news. There are several alternate sources of energy, such as Solar, Wind and Nuclear. Moreover, there is a new technology called "Thermal Depolymerization" or TDP which can convert any organic material into oil with an output-to-input oil ratio of 5.7 (One gallon of oil plus organic waste can make 5.7 gallons of oil). There was an article in May 2003 in the DISCOVER magazine about TDP titled "Anything into oil". TDP is slowly coming into mainstream commercial production with the help of billionaire investors such as Howard Buffett (Warren's son), so there is hope after all.
Unfortunately, the author wants everyone to "BELIEVE that all hell is going to break loose after oil production peaks" -- and panic, rather than give several scenarios (such as implementation of Solar, wind, TDP) that can pan out in the future. I can believe in the author being an expert on oil production, but his claim to understand the details of the alternate sources of energy without answering the proponents of those fields -- such as the economic viability of TDP, which is making waves -- is not believable.