Book End

November 1, 2010

books

Energy and climate wars: How naïve politicians, green ideologues, and media elites are undermining the truth about energy and climate. Peter C Glover & Michael J Economides. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010.

The lengthy subtitle lets you know right away where the authors stand in the climate change debate.

Glover, European associate editor for EnergyTribune.com and a contributor for the conservative Canadian syndicate Troy Media, and Economides, a University of Houston professor and OE columnist, are at their best when discussing the geopolitics of oil, and they offer a vigorous rejoinder to peak oil Malthusians.

Deliberately light on technical jargon, Energy and climate wars is geared to the lay reader. The authors take delight in skewering green ‘alarmists’ and pointing out dire predictions that failed to materialize. But by questioning the opposition’s motives – lumping environmentalists with ‘socialist ideologues’, for example – the book at times runs the risk of preaching to the choir.

Oil: money, politics and power in the 21st Century. Tom Bower. Grand Central publishing, 2010.

Bower’s book, released in paperback by Harper Press in the UK under the title The Squeeze: oil, money and greed in the 21st Century, reads like a good thriller.

Bower, an investigative journalist who’s penned tomes on Richard Branson, Gordon Brown and Mohamed Fayed among others, finds plenty of intrigue in the halls of power – at the supermajors, as well as in Washington, London, Moscow and Riyadh – to keep the plot moving. A companion of sorts to Daniel Yergin’s The Prize, Oil lacks that landmark book’s historical scope, instead homing in on the last two decades of gyrating oil prices, gluts and shortages, corporate shakeups and more than a few environmental disasters. ‘Oil is a uniquely human story,’ Bower writes, one ‘that reveals how we are all simultaneously both the victims and the beneficiaries of conflicting realities in the search, production and trading of oil.’

Roughneckin’: My life and times as a cowboy, petroleum engineer and offshore drilling pioneer. Robert F Bauer with F Jay Schempf. Self-published, 2009.

Bauer’s slim volume covers a lot of territory, from his between-the-wars childhood in the US West through a peripatetic life as a roughneck to his founding of Global Marine, with plenty of folksy detours detailing his love of fishing, ranching and, most of all, his wife Dorothy.

This autobiography provides a first-person account of some of the E&P industry’s most important developments, and a career that enabled the move to deepwater: Bauer managed the joint venture between Continental Oil, Union, Shell and Superior known as the CUSS Group in the 1950s, and was involved in the landmark Mohole project that demonstrated the feasibility of deepwater exploration.

Bauer’s conversational tone is helped along by Schempf’s writing and organizational skills; the effect is like a long conversation with an old friend. Russell McCulley

Categories: Energy Products


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