This was a very informative book. It provided information on how oil reserves form, predictions for when oil production will peak, and alternative energy sources. This book would be good to use in an Earth Science classroom because it is incredibly relevant; however, I could see some students getting bored with the book and not wanting to finish it.
It’s no secret that oil plays an important part in each and every person’s life, but many people don’t understand how it’s made or extracted from the earth. Deffeyes provides a clear explanation beginning with where oil comes from and the specific conditions that allow it to form. He then explains various methods that are used to extract oil from the earth. I remember as a child driving through Texas and seeing the “nodding donkeys” but I didn’t know exactly what they were. Whenever I think of oil production, I think of those pumps. Deffeyes explained the purpose of the “nodding donkeys” as well as other equipment that is used to extract oil from the ground.
A major part of the book was discussing when oil production would peak. We will never use all of the oil on the earth, but at some point the amount of money companies have to spend to extract the oil out of the ground will be more than what they can sell the oil for. This goes back to the different methods of oil production. There are certain methods that are relatively inexpensive, but can only be used in certain situations. Once the oil that can be extracted using those relatively inexpensive methods is gone, other more expensive methods must be used. It’s interesting thinking about when this will occur and what will happen. Some people think it will be the end of the world, which makes me think of the apocalyptic movies where the world is coming to an end and everyone is panicking and everything is chaotic. I don’t really think this is what will happen when we reach a peak in oil production and neither does Deffeyes, that is as long as we develop alternative forms of energy.
On my trips across the United States as a child, another thing I remember seeing is the huge windmills. I was intrigued by them as a child and still am in a way. Windmills are just one of the alternative forms of energy that will replace oil in the future. Deffeyes also talks about geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear fission, and solar energy. The idea is that we will not be reliant on one single thing for our energy supply, but that we will use the energy source that works best in specific areas.
Like I said, this book is extremely relevant. I will recommend this book to students who show interest in the topic of oil production and alternative energy sources. I will also use it as a reference when we discuss how oil is made and extracted from the earth....Continua