|Challenged by Carbon: The Oil Industry and Climate Change|
Forget the conspiracy theorists, which may or may not be on beam with some elements of their thinking, and completely off-beam with others. This book comes right out of the heart of the oil industry
Forget the conspiracy theorists, which may or may not be on beam with some elements of their thinking, and completely off-beam with others. This book comes right out of the heart of the oil industry. Written by a geologist, self-confessed ‘oil man’, academic and erstwhile politician, this one covers all the ground, literally and figuratively, involved in looking at the oil industry and its roll in perpetuating and, if there’s any luck and justice in the world, in helping us reverse the world’s rapid climate change towards a runaway disaster for everyone – including those who control the levers of power within governments, the oil industry and associated lobby and industry interests. Lovell speaks of the ‘gradual greening’ of the oil industry over the last decade – and even for non-sceptical readers, that process has been gradual indeed. But he also thinks that, with the writing on the wall and even inscribed in the very rocks which form the core of his and his colleagues’ focus on drilling, digging and otherwise gouging through the earth in search of yet more ‘black gold’, the oil industry itself could become a major player in stabilising emissions. His hope lies in what is called carbon capture and sequestration – essentially, grabbing the carbon we are burning off into the atmosphere and trapping it more or less forever deep underground. It’s a highly contentious subject, not only because of the technical challenges involved but because the expense may well be beyond the range of governments and the oil industry itself. On the up side, the author challenges entrenched prejudices on both sides of the debate around oil. He even gives a glimpse of the oil barons as potential environmental ‘saviours’ instead of their usual roll of traditional stage villains. That notion may well be a bridge too far, but he does make one unquestionably valid argument: in the end it’s up to us, the consumers, to drive demand for alternatives to merely burning more and more fossil fuel to meet our energy needs. Inconvenient, slightly more expensive (initially anyway) and irksome as this might be, the truth is that we all need to rise up and simply demand of business and government that they both do things right and do the right things, including moving as rapidly as possible away from traditional fossil fuel energy sources on as many fronts as possible.
Cambridge University Press
ISBN 978 0 521 14559 6