Tough talk about oil

Brian Black reviews Children of the Sun by Alfred W. Crosby, in the Christian Science Monitor:

Energy consumption patterns have become the latest application of the “ugly American” ethic of gluttonous and selfish consumption. Each day, it seems, a different pundit explains how American consumers dwarf the energy needs of all other global consumers.

Children of the Sun offers a logic that – understood and acted upon – would require us to break that cycle of energy gluttony.

In this highly readable book, Crosby manages to unpack the essential concepts of energy and consumption in a manner comprehensible to the general reader. Similar to an introductory biology class, the book presents basic concepts of energy (it never disappears, just changes form) and biology (resource supplies are finite)…

Here are the hard, cold facts: Each gallon of gasoline that we pump contains 90 tons of plant matter (the equivalent of forty acres of wheat) that nature transformed over thousands of years…

More here.