- Delivering Truth Around the World
Custom Search

Blood of the Earth: The Battle for the World's Vanishing Oil Resources

Dilip Hiro

Smaller Font Larger Font RSS 2.0

by the entry of nations like China and India into the oil production economy. He also spends a lot of time recapping the early 20th-century history of oil production, with a lengthy digression into alternative energy sources. Hiro (Secrets and Lies) brings an undisguised left-wing slant to his reportage, declaring unequivocally that the Bush administration chose to invade Iraq to get at its oil reserves, while praising Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez for using oil money to launch progressive opposition to American interests. He also criticizes the media for not doing enough to call attention to global warming and hammers repeatedly on the obvious point that energy companies have a vested interest in keeping consumers "hooked on oil and gas." The resulting hodgepodge of reportage and analysis fails to meet the standard of Paul Roberts's The End of Oil, still the go-to book on this subject. (Jan.)

From Booklist

A prolific commentator on Middle East geopolitics (lately, Iran and Iraq), Hiro here turns his attention to the geopolitics of oil, which he sees to be a significant exacerbating factor in--if not the outright cause of--the world's major conflicts. Part history of oil-fueled international tensions, part meditation on oil's ubiquity, and part push for alternative energy sources, Hiro blends past and present, politics and geology, reportage and analysis. As with his previous works, Hiro adeptly synthesizes copious amounts of complex information into insightful narratives, making this a worthy addition to a growing list of recent works about our current energy crisis. His straightforward tone and proclivity for picturesque illustrations (the bobbing "donkey pumps" of the West Texas oil fields and the rusty oil rigs off the Caspian shoreline, for example) also make this selection highly accessible for general audiences. Readers primarily interested in pragmatic plans for the future of the energy industry (or those easily put off by strong criticism of the Bush administration), however, may prefer Peter Tertzakian'sThousand Barrels a Second (2006), which covers some of the same ground. Brendan Driscoll

Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Book Description

China is now the world's second largest energy consumer, trailing only behind America. And India has moved up into the fourth place behind Russia, after overtaking Japan in 2001. Dramatically changing the geopolitics of oil in the new century, China and India are rapidly expanding their navies as they become increasingly dependent on lines of oil tankers from the Middle East, posing the beginning of an eventual challenge to American hegemony in the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

But while competition for oil sharpens — the world is approaching the projected peak oil output in 2012 — the number of countries able to export the commodity is shrinking. Those countries will be largely Muslim, or like Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, hostile to Western interests. No Oil sets the stage for the coming oil wars of the 21st century.