I wrote a review of Russell Gold’s new book on fracking, The Boom, for the scientific journal Nature. It’s behind a paywall, but if you’re a subscriber, you can find it here: Energy: The new oil era
The Boom is a very thorough and interesting read, and I liked it a lot more than I expected to! Highly recommended.
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Those who read my recent articles on economics and energy know that I’m very interested in biophysical economics as an alternative to neoliberal economics, and that I have cited the work of Dr. Charles Hall, along with that of his students like Dr. David Murphy. He has a new textbook on the subject that I would recommend to college audiences, as well as lifelong students of energy like me. Here’s the promo material.
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Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle is an outstanding little book by veteran journalist Chris Hedges, offering one of the most trenchant critiques of American culture and the media I have ever read. I found in it many things I had always wanted to say, and inspiration for my piece “Investing in an Empire of Illusion”. Instead of reviewing it, I’ll just suggest that you buy it and read it.
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I’m pleased to announce that my second book is now out:
Investing in Renewable Energy: Making Money on Green Chip Stocks
with Jeff Siegel and Nick Hodge
Unlike my first book Profit from the Peak, this book was a true collaboration. I wrote about half of it, including material that I borrowed and rewrote from PFTP. For example, the roughly four chapters on peak oil from the first book were condensed into one chapter in this book.
The timing of this book was, unfortunately, terrible. Whereas PFTP came out just as the world woke up to the possibility of peak oil, and oil prices were hitting new highs every week (and kept on hitting them for months more), this book comes out just as the markets are experiencing their worst selloff in decades. That’s too bad for us as authors, but there were very few people who would have said we’d be in this situation a year and a half ago, when we were writing the book. Certainly not us.
Although this is a tough time to be an investor in stocks, let alone the energy sector, I firmly believe that once the market has truly wrung out the toxins and assets have once again become properly valued, the energy sector will take off again. That point could be months or even a year or more in the future, but when it does happen, those who have invested wisely in renewables should make a bundle.
Check it out, and let me know what you think of it!
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Profit from the Peak: The End of Oil and the Greatest Investment Event of the Century
by Chris Nelder
This is my first book, released in April 2008. It discusses peak oil in depth, then moves on to examine the possible peaking scenarios for all sources of energy, and recommends investing angles on each one.
Colin Campbell, co-founder of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO), called it “the best job I have seen in describing the Peak Oil issue in a sound and very understandable way.”
It’s packed with data and charts, and should be a useful resource for peak oil newbies and experts alike.
I encourage you to pick up a copy and let me know what you think!
The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism and Economic Collapse
by Richard Heinberg
This is Heinberg’s third book about peak oil. It presents a simple and elegant proposal, suggested by ASPO founder Dr. Colin Campbell, for managing the decline of global oil production. The protocol establishes voluntary limits for oil producing nations to reduce their output at a measured rate, and for oil consuming nations to agree to reduce their consumption accordingly. This way, the world can work cooperatively to ensure that the transition to a lower energy world is measured and steady and fair, so that we can readjust our economies without too much pain and chaos. It’s probably too sensible an idea to work, but it’s the only suggestion I’m aware of which even attempts to take a proactive approach to the problem of peak oil. I sincerely hope that the world’s governments will see the sense of it and sign on.
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Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World
by Richard Heinberg
This is Heinberg’s second book about peak oil, and examines the four major strategies that people might use in dealing with peak oil: “Last One Standing,” “Powerdown,” “Waiting for a Magic Elixir,” and “Building Lifeboats.” Good, clear thinking on a very difficult topic and guaranteed to leave you reconsidering your own future, and how you will deal with the coming challenges.
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Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate–The Essential Guide for Progressives
By George Lakoff
Everything progressives need to know about why we lost the last election, and how we lost it (aside from the many instances of corruption and dirty dealing at the polls), and what we need to do next, is contained in this slim (119 page), easy-to-read volume by cognitive scientist George Lakoff. Buy it, it’s a lousy $8.00. Read it. Get ten copies for your friends. Seriously.
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The Party’s Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies
by Richard Heinberg
An excellent and well-researched book on the realities of Peak Oil, overpopulation, and unsustainable economics. I can’t recommended it highly enough. Should be required reading for every college freshman in my opinion. Packed with enough charts and data to make it worthy of your reference shelf, yet lively and empathetic enough to make the subject accessible to all.
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I’m not sure if you all saw this as it was buried at the bottom of the 2/27 Progress Report. Kudos to Pat Buchanan for taking a very accurate shot across the Neo-Con bow. His review of the Perle-Frum book, An End of Evil, points out a wealth of flaws in their strategies, tactics, and logic as it pertains to the “war on terror”. This is an extremely cogent analysis of both the book and the entire Neo-Con movement.
[For an earlier GRL article on this book, see “Perle and Frum’s New Neo-Con Manifesto” And kudos to Cirrito for finding a brilliant Buchanan critique of the neo-cons in a conservative publication! –CN]
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Natural Capitalism – Paul Hawken and Amory and Hunter Lovins
Creating the next industrial revolution
Called “One giant leap for sustainability,” this book is “both a calls to arms and a revelation. The authors not only show how today’s industrialists and economists can change to work in harmony with the environment, they reveal how many of them already are doing so—and improving profitability in the process….This is radical stuff.” – Christian Science Monitor
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The Best Democracy Money Can Buy – Greg Palast
The Truth About Corporate Cons, Globalization, and High-Finance Fraudsters
Greg Palast is the investigative journalist who brought us the truth about:
– The 2000 Florida election scandal
– How Bush killed the FBI’s investigation of the financing of terrorist organizations by Saudi Arabia
Painstakingly researched, this is solid journalism, and a shocking look at our political reality.
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Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them – A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right
The inimitable Al Franken takes the Right to task for its lies, especially the hard right media characters of Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and of course, Rush Limbaugh. At turns shocking, amusing, and always factual, fair, and balanced.
Sleeping with the Devil – Robert Baer
How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude
An insider’s view of the Saudis and the Middle East as a whole from a former CIA operative, focused mainly on the oil economy and politics of Saudi Arabia. The facts it presents about the connections between the bin Ladens, Saudi princes, and the Bush family are alone worth the price.
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The Great Unraveling – Paul Krugman
A collection of Paul Krugman’s columns from the New York Times, with new commentary for the book. Krugman is one of the best there is. Highly recommended!
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Chomsky, Noam – Manufacturing Consent
The Political Economy of the Mass Media
This is the ever-brilliant Noam Chomsky’s seminal work on how the mass media are manipulated to serve the agenda of political and economic elites. Crucial reading.
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