A thoroughgoing introduction to the omnipresent and decidedly Janus-faced world of fossil fuels.
In a clear, cautionary presentation, Goldstein takes readers into the world of fossil fuels. She notes that humans have been using, on the record, fossil fuels for at least 10,000 years—that’s back to the period of glacial retreat—and thus probably longer, so our current predicaments concerning their use are hardly outside our responsibility. But she is also quite specific about corporate malfeasance and political shenanigans (George Bush and Dick Cheney are sent forthwith to the garden shed) in order to increase profits for the few, grease the campaign-funding chute, and stack the deck to pass legislation that encourages environmental degradation, improper maintenance, and reckless disregard for safety oversight. Though Goldstein has an agenda, her presentation is far from hyperbolic; all of it is buttressed by facts and references augmented by sharp diagrams, crack photographs, and archival illustrations. Goldstein also knowledgeably covers the history, geology, and geopolitics of the oil industry, as well as oil-related catastrophes and easily anticipated problems coming down the road. She does not address the greater energy conundrum—if she mentions electric and biofuels as alternatives to gasoline, she doesn’t interrogate their own drawbacks—but all in all, a stellar treatment of energy issues.
A top-shelf explication of the energy world, measured but pulling no punches and naming names—from ExxonMobil to you and me. (notes, glossary, bibliography, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)