Gusher Of Lies

I’ve had second thoughts about this book(no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I spent 7 gallons of gasoline to purchase it).

After reading pages 107-110, I’ve decided to add it to the list. In other words, I’m completely reversing course. Tip of the hat to Bif.

There is something weird going on with Bryce, but whatever it is, I kinda like it.

Actually… That would be a huge Thank You to Bif.

BTW, Bif, your post on the “books discussion” thread was so on the money it’s not funny. That was truly a brilliant “meta-review.” From the point of view of having read 30 pages it almost seems you’ve read the book.

6 Replies to “Gusher Of Lies”

  1. “Brilliant”.

    Your pretty funny. Like mostly I agreed with you.

    I’ve gone through this book and I’m pretty much done with it. I didn’t read all of it though. I will put together a few thoughts and post them. Then that’s it. Then you go big on it.

    How do you read this kind of non-fiction? (Unless it’s a biography) I read the first and last chapters, then I go to the TOC and the index and find the specific topics that interest me most. If what I read captures my interest I start backing up and filling the holes til I’ve gotten what I want. If I like the book, then typically when I’m done I’ve read maybe half to three quarters of it. Rarely go cover to cover.

  2. The book sticks to the topic of “energy independence” like glue. OK OK OK, it’s an impossibility for the U.S., politicians are clueless and/or deliberately misleading. I get it, I know it. Ethanol is a scam. Wind and solar won’t add nearly enough to fill the void. Many key metals and mineral resources are in limited supply and reside in far flung difficult locations. Agreed, so then what? Although he hints, he dodges and avoids the obvious follow-on questions about peak oil and precarious (geopolitical and economic) situation for imports in the future (he knows the score, he doesn’t want to go there in this book). And so what can we expect? And what can we do about it? Interdependance he says (i.e. be a better and more savvy importer I guess). The inquiring CFN doomer has already crossed all these bridges well ahead of Bryce’s book, and recon patrols have already scoured the landscape well behind enemy lines, and have reported back on all the various prospects, options, scenarios, hurdles and roadblocks. Not a lot you don’t pretty much already know. What’s good is it’s well sourced. This book would be a good first step for someone who is just recently becoming curious/suspicious about the energy situation. For a newbie, this book would be a good prelude to plunging into the hardcore bad shit, as it dispenses with the basic up-front myths pretty well.

    An example of what I liked. I liked his trashing of the “Brazil miracle” of energy independence that we’ve heard could be a model for the U.S. In addition to attacking their ethanol component (no problem there) he provides some context for comparing Brazil and U.S. oil consumption. Brazil’s per capita oil consumption is 0.5 gallons oil/day, and the U.S. per capita is 3 gallons/day. If Americans were to reduce their oil consumption by 84%, to the same consumption level of Brazilians, our daily consumption would go from 20 million bbls/day down to 3.3 million/day. Given that we produce 5 million bbls/day, we would go from importer to a major exporter, equal to Venezuela!! It’s ludicrous and he says so, for ‘murikans to think Brazil is proof that we can run our lifestyle independent of the international market.

    He scoffs at Thomas Friedman’s world is flat bullshit pretty well. Got to respect that. However the interdependance meme seems Friedmanesque.

    I like the appendices, a comprehensive tabulation of strategic mineral commodities including their uses and sources; and, a survey of fuel sources, land use and water requirements and energy ratios (lifted from Kreider and Curtiss). Plus tons of good chapter source notes on innumerable subjects.

    300 pages of doom and gloom, we fucked up, we’re cornered, we’re screwed, and the final page says… “as America faces these myriad challenges, I remain stubbornly optimistic.” Why? “…because America remains a model for the world: a place where liberty, freedom, individual property, human rights, mineral rights, and the rule of law are respected.” It goes on from there to say we need to all hold hands around the world and celebrate our “interdependence”.

    Cancel that beer order JR.

  3. St. Bif,

    Thanks for the extended commentary on GOL. I trust you implicitly in matters such as this (i.e., one less book to read). As you suggested, it sounds like a good newbie primer that includes the added bonus of extensive source material citations.

  4. Yeah, JR, there’s always the risk of meeting people when browsing books in meat space. LOL… I had the best of intentions… really.

    I similarly like to spend a lot of time on books worth studying, savo(u)ring, etc. Here’s the problem: very little free time. So yes, compromises do have to be made. Some books I just don’t get to even if they are already on my bookshelf. I’m hoping for some form of telekinetic osmotic effect to take place due to my proximity.

    But fair enough… when I get my hands on GOL, I’ll let it fall open to a random page and start reading there… but I mean, if you can’t trust Bif to render a credible executive summary (not that I’m an executive), who can you trust?

  5. So,
    Didn’t JHK have someone to help him with TLE?
    I would have thought the publisher could spring for an assistant who could check stuff like that as they go – for the very reason that authors can’t be bothered doing such stuff after they finish a book.

  6. Yarra. Editors and publishers do often employ some level of fact checking, such as is (or should be) done in journalism, as a quality control measure and to avoid inconsistencies, embarrassing or even libelous errors, mis-statements, mis-representations and the like. Although this checking may have occurred, if the sources are not provided in the book, then the reader can only decide whether or not to trust that the author and publisher have been careful, accurate and responsible. You won’t know how much of it is fudged or made up or otherwise wrong and you won’t know where to go to corroborate claims. How much this is an issue or matters to the reader depends on the objectives of the book and what the reader needs or wants the book to be.

    Providing sources/references, footnotes and indexing, etc. are laborious and time-consuming and can add cost, but provide for a higher degree of credibility because it demonstrates that the author has done his homework; is being transparent as to the information/facts/basis upon which interpretations, arguments and conclusions are made; and, allows the reader to follow-up on their own and consider the quality of the source material and whether these are reasonable and appropriate representations, interpretations and uses of source material by the author and whether they support his conclusions.

    Sorry for the long answer, but you know how I am.

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