Item description for High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis by Julian Darley...
Blackouts, rising gas prices, changes to the Clean Air Act, proposals to open wilderness and protected offshore areas to gas drilling, and increasing dependence on natural gas for electricity generation. What do all these developments have in common, and why should we care? In this timely expose, author Julian Darley takes a hard-hitting look at natural gas as an energy source that rapidly went from nuisance to crutch. Darley outlines the implications of our increased dependence on this energy source and why it has the potential to cause serious environmental, political, and economic consequences. In High Noon for Natural Gas readers can expect to find a critical analysis of government policy on energy, as well as a meticulously researched warning about our next potentially catastrophic energy crisis. Did you know that:
Natural Gas (NG) is the second most important energy source after oil;
In the U.S. alone, NG is used to supply 20% of all electricity and 60% of all home heating;
NG is absolutely critical to the manufacture of agricultural fertilizers;
In the U.S. the NG supply is at critically low levels, and early in 2003 we came within days of blackouts and heating shutdowns;
Matt Simmons, the world's foremost private energy banker, is now warning that economic growth in the U.S. is under threat due to the looming NG crisis?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.82" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.94" Weight: 0.93 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2004
Publisher Chelsea Green
ISBN 1931498539 ISBN13 9781931498531
Reviews - What do customers think about High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis?
It's already 12:15 PM Jul 4, 2008
I liked this book very much. This book is well researched and well written. I don't agree with the author's ideas of the Post-Carbon World. He sees "ideological paradigms" ...."enhanced critical thinking skills" "Engaged citizens" It's seems his dislikes Anglo England and Anglo America. He dislikes capitalism and corporations. I don't feel guilty that the United States has 5% of the world's population and uses 25% of the world's energy. Would we be better off if the United States uses as much energy per capita as Bangladesh? No thanks Mr. Darley, I don't want my children to live like Bangladeshies, your children can, but not mine. Mr. Darley is political. Overall, I like the book and his knowledge of natural gas is impressive. Regards, Keith Renick, Peachtree City, Ga.
Hey if you hate progress, go live in a van by the river, and eat government cheese. Sep 25, 2006
The information value of this book is limited by the authors anti Western, anti US stance of practically EVERYTHING that has occured since the beginning of time. His whinning is tedious, and really gets in the way of any information thats there. I hope a better book comes out but I will never read another one by him again.
High noon for Natural Gas Aug 25, 2006
Nice easy reading for non-technical readers who do not insist on verification of facts. Many interesting details, but few data. I have not found any errors or serious omissions, but its somewhat gossippy style is disappointing. The book is not a professional analysis of a diminishing supply or a predicted supply crisis. As is expressed in its title, the book tries to shock and entertain its reader, but it fails to inform.
Great analysis of gas supply and demand, but unrealistic solution Apr 28, 2006
I recommend this book to anyone interested in peak oil and gas. I've read many books on "peak oil", but this is the first one I've seen about "peak natural gas." It is very informative, understandable, well written, and well researched with copious endnotes. One of this book's strengths is that it takes a global perspective on gas supply. Although Darley's warnings are directed primarily to the United States and Canada, he goes into global supply and demand, country by country and region by region, in a way that few other books do.
If any Republicans who still like Bush read this book, they may be turned off by Darley's politics. Some Bush loyalists might even call Darley anti-American for being strongly critical of the Bush regime, its foreign policies, and its energy policy. But to right-wingers who say, "America, love it or leave it," remember, this author is not American, he's British! Bush is not his president, so he has no obligation to support Bush, his policies, or the policies of other American administrations. I think this is an advantage, because it gives Darley the independence to speak freely about America from an outsider's perspective, the way the world sees us, as few Americans are able to do.
My main criticism of this book concerns its suggested solutions to the problem of peak oil and gas. I once criticized a peak oil book by a different author for putting too much emphasis on coal and nuclear power as the solution, ignoring solar and wind, but this book goes too far in the opposite direction! Darley simply writes off coal as too dirty to use and nuclear as too dangerous to use, devoting only about a page to each one. Renewable energy and conservation will be very helpful, true, but Darley is dreaming if he believes that when America is freezing in the dark with no oil or gas, we're going to leave all our coal in the ground, not burn it, just because it's dirty! That is unrealistic. I'm an environmentalist, but face it, there's no way we will abandon both nuclear power and coal. The only way we will avoid burning more coal is to use nuclear power, and the only way we will avoid using more nuclear power is to burn coal. This book is definitely worth reading, at least so you will know what the future holds for Americans, Canadians, and the rest of the world.
Contradictory and factually incorrect Mar 7, 2006
I don't normally write these kind of reviews, but I felt it necessary to do so here, to counteract a book that I see not just as misleading, but as dangerous. Julian Darley has tried, in this book, to link a purported imminent decline in global natural gas production to the better-publicised issue of peak oil. Unfortunately the book has several fundamental weaknesses.
Firstly, he fails to present any really convincing evidence for the shortage of gas. He points out the stagnation in North American gas production, and generalises this to the whole world, using one small graph of annual discoveries from Laherrere (it's noticeable that all these peak oil theorists endlessly cross-reference each other's work but don't quote that of researchers with other views). He suggests that global gas production is going to begin declining in 1 or 2 decades, while even his graph seems to show that production could grow for at least 30-40 years, and other writers see scope for increases in global gas production out to 2070.
Secondly, the whole thesis of the book is contradictory. We are running out of gas, he suggests. Then he suggests we shouldn't even use the gas we have due to the need to reduce energy use to protect the environment. If we really do have to decrease energy use now, then surely the amount of gas we have left doesn't matter. It seems to me that he's just using the argument of peak gas to argue against big investments in a natural gas economy, which would further postpone his vision of a low energy world. The great danger of this is that he may put people off using natural gas, in which case they may well continue to rely on much more environmentally damaging fuels such as coal and oil.
Thirdly, the book contains numerous errors of fact which undermine his arguments. For example: he states that energy is required to keep the Earth revolving (literally) - what is this energy? Solar, geothermal...? So if the Earth somehow 'runs out' of energy, will it stop spinning...? His simplistic explanation of the drivers for growth in the economy conflicts with any standard economic theory. He attacks capitalism for its record on the environment, but condescendingly mentions that 'Communism was not any better' - I think it would be only fair to say that Communism has been far, far worse for the environment than capitalism - Chernobyl, for instance. Or visit a Soviet-era oil field versus a Western one. He suggests that the main gas suppliers to the US are anti-American (pandering to popular paranoia) - the main current and future gas suppliers being countries such as Canada, Trinidad and Tobago, Norway, Australia, Qatar, Russia, Nigeria - these countries have their problems, and sometimes disagreements with the US, but I hardly think any of them could be described as anti-American. Darley stresses how important natural gas is to make fertiliser, but in mature economies, this represents only 2-3% of gas use, and in any case, substitute feedstocks are available. He says that we are exceeding the energy budget we get from the sun, but the inflow of solar energy is more than 1000 times human use of energy in all forms. I could quote more errors, but I hope the point is clear: would you support a plan to reduce the human population by some 80%, based on the opinion of someone with such a shaky understanding of science, geopolitics and economics?
Fourthly, he is solidly against increase in efficiency and technological solutions because he believes they just allow more economic growth and environmental degradation. Yet the switch from coal to oil and now to gas has dramatically improved air quality in Western cities (compare the 'pea-soupers' of 1950s London with the situation today; or look at the big amelioration in pollution in Delhi with the recent adoption of CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles). Considerable further reductions in environmental impact are possible, for instance carbon dioxide sequestration (which Darley does not mention at all), which would tackle the very real issue of global warming. He misses the fact that, since 1970, American energy use per capita has been almost flat due to efficiency prompted by energy price increases. He quotes the 'Limits to Growth' report approvingly, without acknowledging that this report turned out to be fundamentally flawed because (a) it believed that energy use would not decrease in response to rising prices and (b) that further investment and technology would not discover new resources or substitutes for the apparently depleting supplies of oil, copper, tin, etc. It seems a counsel of despair, and very odd to say the least, coming from an environmentalist (as I also classify myself, by the way) to dismiss the very great gains in efficiency that are easily achievable even with today's technology. Again, the risk is that he will dissuade people from investing in technological advances that could really help the environment.
Finally, the whole argument of the book suggests that it is too risky to depend on natural gas and we should therefore dramatically reduce population (from 6 billion to 1 billion) and energy use (and by implication, material well-being). I would ask: what is more risky - to depend on LNG (liquified natural gas) imports into the US, a proven technology that has powered the economy of Japan for over 30 years with no serious incidents, or drastically to re-engineer the whole of global society? Is he suggesting that the average North American or European reduce their energy use to that of the average African? This seems almost inconceivable - Darley himself would certainly not be able to run his website with so little energy, certainly if he confines himself to today's technology. If Western energy use remains somewhere above Darley's supposed sustainable level, then is it right to expect the average African not to increase their energy use beyond the current, low levels?