Oil has dominated every aspect of the last 100 years, but what happens when it runs out?
In a single century we have evolved into a species for whom oil is as essential as air or water, and one that will go to inordinate lengths to protect it. In fact, petroleum is now so deeply entrenched in our economy, our politics and our expectations of living standards and personal power that even modest efforts to replace it or phase it out are fought tooth and nail by the most powerful forces in the world: the oil companies and governments who depend on oil revenues; the developing nations who see oil as the only means to industrial success; and the Western middle class which refuses to modify its energy-lavish life-style. But within thirty years, by even conservative estimates, we will have burned our way through half the oil that is easily available. How will we break our addiction to oil? And what will we use in its place to maintain a global economy and political system that is currently entirely dependent on cheap, readily available energy?
In this scrupulously researched and gripping book, Paul Roberts shows what is likely to happen, why the transition will probably be traumatic and dangerous, and suggests how and where the coming battle will be fought and what victory will mean for ordinary people. First published 2004.