counter create hit The Oracle of Oil: A Maverick Geologist's Quest for a Sustainable Future - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

The Oracle of Oil: A Maverick Geologist's Quest for a Sustainable Future

Availability: Ready to download

In 1956, geologist and Shell Oil researcher Marion King Hubbert delivered a speech that has shaped world energy debates ever since. Addressing the American Petroleum Institute, Hubbert dropped a bombshell on his audience: U.S. oil production would peak by 1970 and decline steadily thereafter. World production would follow the same fate, reaching its peak soon after the tur In 1956, geologist and Shell Oil researcher Marion King Hubbert delivered a speech that has shaped world energy debates ever since. Addressing the American Petroleum Institute, Hubbert dropped a bombshell on his audience: U.S. oil production would peak by 1970 and decline steadily thereafter. World production would follow the same fate, reaching its peak soon after the turn of the millennium. In battles stretching over decades, Hubbert defended his forecasts against opponents from both the oil industry and government. Hubbert was proved largely correct during the energy crises of the 1970s and hailed as a "prophet" and an "oracle." Even amid our twenty-first-century fracking boom, Hubbert’s underlying logic holds true—while remaining a source of debate and controversy. A rich biography of the man behind peak oil, The Oracle of Oil follows Hubbert from his early days as a University of Chicago undergraduate to his first, ill-fated forays into politics in the midcentury Technocracy movement, and charts his rise as a top geologist in the oil industry and energy expert within the U.S. government. In a deeply researched narrative that mines Hubbert's papers and correspondence for the first time, award-winning journalist Mason Inman rescues the story of a man who shocked the scientific community with his eccentric brilliance. The Oracle of Oil also skillfully situates Hubbert in his era: a time of great intellectual ferment and discovery, tinged by dark undercurrents of intellectual witch hunts. Hubbert emerges as an unapologetic iconoclast who championed sustainability through his lifelong quest to wean the United States—and the wider world—off fossil fuels, as well as by questioning the pursuit of never-ending growth. In its portrait of a man whose prescient ideas still resonate today, The Oracle of Oil looks to the past to find a guiding philosophy for our future.


Compare

In 1956, geologist and Shell Oil researcher Marion King Hubbert delivered a speech that has shaped world energy debates ever since. Addressing the American Petroleum Institute, Hubbert dropped a bombshell on his audience: U.S. oil production would peak by 1970 and decline steadily thereafter. World production would follow the same fate, reaching its peak soon after the tur In 1956, geologist and Shell Oil researcher Marion King Hubbert delivered a speech that has shaped world energy debates ever since. Addressing the American Petroleum Institute, Hubbert dropped a bombshell on his audience: U.S. oil production would peak by 1970 and decline steadily thereafter. World production would follow the same fate, reaching its peak soon after the turn of the millennium. In battles stretching over decades, Hubbert defended his forecasts against opponents from both the oil industry and government. Hubbert was proved largely correct during the energy crises of the 1970s and hailed as a "prophet" and an "oracle." Even amid our twenty-first-century fracking boom, Hubbert’s underlying logic holds true—while remaining a source of debate and controversy. A rich biography of the man behind peak oil, The Oracle of Oil follows Hubbert from his early days as a University of Chicago undergraduate to his first, ill-fated forays into politics in the midcentury Technocracy movement, and charts his rise as a top geologist in the oil industry and energy expert within the U.S. government. In a deeply researched narrative that mines Hubbert's papers and correspondence for the first time, award-winning journalist Mason Inman rescues the story of a man who shocked the scientific community with his eccentric brilliance. The Oracle of Oil also skillfully situates Hubbert in his era: a time of great intellectual ferment and discovery, tinged by dark undercurrents of intellectual witch hunts. Hubbert emerges as an unapologetic iconoclast who championed sustainability through his lifelong quest to wean the United States—and the wider world—off fossil fuels, as well as by questioning the pursuit of never-ending growth. In its portrait of a man whose prescient ideas still resonate today, The Oracle of Oil looks to the past to find a guiding philosophy for our future.

30 review for The Oracle of Oil: A Maverick Geologist's Quest for a Sustainable Future

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    The Oracle of Oil: A Maverick Geologist's Quest for a Sustainable Future, buy Mason Inman, is a biographical account of the work of Dr. Marion King Hubbard, most famous for his work on Peak Oil Theory. Hubbard worked his way through the US oil and gas industry during the '40's-'70's, doing policy papers for government agencies, as well as troubleshooting for large oil and gas companies like Shell Oil. The book begins with a mercifully short chapter or two on Hubbard's early life, and has little The Oracle of Oil: A Maverick Geologist's Quest for a Sustainable Future, buy Mason Inman, is a biographical account of the work of Dr. Marion King Hubbard, most famous for his work on Peak Oil Theory. Hubbard worked his way through the US oil and gas industry during the '40's-'70's, doing policy papers for government agencies, as well as troubleshooting for large oil and gas companies like Shell Oil. The book begins with a mercifully short chapter or two on Hubbard's early life, and has little on his familial relationships or even frame of thought. This is actually very refreshing, as I often dislike biographies that focus heavily on a person's personal life, as opposed to important works or periods of history (just my opinion). This book falls comfortably into my zone of interest. Hubbard's work at various University institutions led him to offer critiques and improvements to theories as wide ranging as Plate Tectonics, Hydrodynamics, and Geophysics. He also developed tools, instruments and statistical theories to measure and improve oil extraction resources. His biggest claim to fame, however, was his work on Peak Oil. Hubbard predicted a decline in production in the US to begin in the '60's or '70's, and was largely correct. As US growth continued to increase, the nation became an energy consumer, far outstripping its domestic production in consumption. This led to an increasing reliance on foreign oil imports, which led to both a shift in production to the Middle East, and some questionable foreign policy choices by the US government. Hubbard was a bit of a rebel. Although he worked for oil and gas, he was not a glowing industry optimist. Instead, he believed strongly in creating a US state that was energy independent, and was a big supporter of a switch to nuclear power, even doing policy work for US government agencies exploring the option. His theory on Peak Oil was unpopular in a nation with a history of "pioneer spirit" and the belief that resources were abundant. He also raised the ire of the government, when as a young man, he joined a movement for "Technocracy" in the 1930's. This movement was highly suspect, with regional annexationist aims, and possibly anti-democratic leanings. Hubbard was a fascinating character, and his work continues to be studied in the growing environmental governance sphere. He advocated for smart policy choices and did not take head of the rhetoric coming out of resource producers/regulators. He always advocated for the most sensible energy choice, and added much to the field of resource economics. Although before the time of environmentalism in the 1970's, he advocated for Peak Oil alternatives, and abhorred wasteful practices and unsafe disposal of materials. Inman's book was interesting to read. Hubbard was a larger than life character, the "King" of resource economics in his day. Inman does a wonderful job keeping the book readable and interesting, and cutting the fluff to ensure the facts are forefront. This was a great biographical account of the works of Marion King Hubbard, and I would highly recommend it to those interesting in environmentalism, resource economics and energy policy. Hubbard's work was classic, and this is a good amalgamation of his best.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    A pleasure to read. I could barely put this book down. I learned so much and picked up plenty of articles/books to add to my reading list.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Book Club of One

    I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Less a traditional biography and more the exploration of Marion King Hubert's research, Mason Inman's The Oracle of Oil is a very detailed look at King's ideas, in particular the "studying and debating limits to fossil fuels."(pg. 335). As should be obvious from the tittle the economics of the oil industry are the focus here. The time span explored is from the 1920s through to 2015 in the epilogue. A constant is the struggle to view eco I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Less a traditional biography and more the exploration of Marion King Hubert's research, Mason Inman's The Oracle of Oil is a very detailed look at King's ideas, in particular the "studying and debating limits to fossil fuels."(pg. 335). As should be obvious from the tittle the economics of the oil industry are the focus here. The time span explored is from the 1920s through to 2015 in the epilogue. A constant is the struggle to view economics either in the short term or looking at the so called big picture. King being the Geologist looking at the longer term facing off against the oil industry (and by extension the American government) looking to the shorter term. The latter only acknowledging the need for sustainable initiatives or change of laws when crises arise. While I felt I learned a lot, such as a clear explanation of fracking and other oil recovery methods, if not for winning this book I doubt I would have sought to read about this topic. The writing was for the most part engaging and flowed well, particularly as most sections were short. However there were several times I came across portions that seemed to be direct copies of text from earlier sections, that made me wonder if Inman wanted to reemphasize a certain point if had found a particular anecdote worth repeating. (Unfortunately I did not note any examples and do not feel the desire to skim for any).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim Carleton

    This is not so much a biography of a man as it is a biography of that man's career. I was fascinated by the topic; the sub-title is what drew me in. I rarely read a book cover-to-cover without reading from other books, but in this case, I put aside almost every other book that I was in the middle of, and concentrated on this. I appreciated the research that went into this book. I had never heard of the organization Technocracy before reading this, and had only read one or two mentions of Hubbert This is not so much a biography of a man as it is a biography of that man's career. I was fascinated by the topic; the sub-title is what drew me in. I rarely read a book cover-to-cover without reading from other books, but in this case, I put aside almost every other book that I was in the middle of, and concentrated on this. I appreciated the research that went into this book. I had never heard of the organization Technocracy before reading this, and had only read one or two mentions of Hubbert in articles on petroleum geology. I now have a much better idea of how much we've been led down a primrose path, how many lost opportunities we've had in my lifetime (nearly seven decades) to make better choices about energy production and consumption. And there are still far too many people who see petroleum (or coal) as our only logical source(s) of energy going forward. It is good to know that there have been people in the past who did the research to prove that this view is wrong, and that there are better ways to do things. My only real quibble with this book is that it *is* more about the work of Hubbert than about him, and I wished, at times, for more about the man, his circle of friends, his wife, etc. I came away not really getting to know *him*, and I think I would have liked to know him a little more.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vagabond Geologist

    OK this turned out better than I thought it would, in the end, I think the author was pretty clear about King Hubbert, his methods and his conclusions. I would have liked to learn more about the man, not just his work and politics. I felt like the author was pushing a climate change agenda in the final chapter. I know Hubbert was concerned about this but I would have preferred that the author leave modern-day politics out of it. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erik Vance

    There aren't a lot of ways to talk about energy and climate that feel fresh or new or - let's be honest - even interesting. But Inman has found a way. By telling the fascinating story of M. King Hubbert, a somewhat forgotten scientist who in many ways was well ahead of his time, he weaves the energy story into a lively narrative that engages the reader while putting much of the debate you see in the media into historical perspective. As someone who gets tired of the well-worn positions of the en There aren't a lot of ways to talk about energy and climate that feel fresh or new or - let's be honest - even interesting. But Inman has found a way. By telling the fascinating story of M. King Hubbert, a somewhat forgotten scientist who in many ways was well ahead of his time, he weaves the energy story into a lively narrative that engages the reader while putting much of the debate you see in the media into historical perspective. As someone who gets tired of the well-worn positions of the energy debate, I found the book refreshing and interesting. A must-read for history lovers and environmentalists.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I received this book from Good Reads. A biography on the life of King Hubbert, mainly centered on his concern with alternative sources. Turns out he was involved with fracking over 60 years ago. He also researched the use of solar and nuclear energy. The book is well researched, thought provoking and should be a must read for all the "deniers" in the US Congress! I received this book from Good Reads. A biography on the life of King Hubbert, mainly centered on his concern with alternative sources. Turns out he was involved with fracking over 60 years ago. He also researched the use of solar and nuclear energy. The book is well researched, thought provoking and should be a must read for all the "deniers" in the US Congress!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mason

    This is my own book, so of course I think it is great. :) There are several very positive reviews up on Amazon in case you all want to see those: http://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Oil-Mave... Reviews in some major publications are scheduled to be published in the next week or so. (The book's official launch date is April 11.) This is my own book, so of course I think it is great. :) There are several very positive reviews up on Amazon in case you all want to see those: http://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Oil-Mave... Reviews in some major publications are scheduled to be published in the next week or so. (The book's official launch date is April 11.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Geert

    excellent book with lots of interesting facts about a genius geologist. Also interesting to read about 1950s movement Technocracy

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bob Stern

    good biography of an interesting guy and his times

  11. 5 out of 5

    M.

    Interesting story about oil, resources, business, and history. I won it in a contest and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    This is a Goodreads win review. This book is about US oil production. This author tells the story of our quest for a sustainable future. It is a little boring for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tina & Darryl

  14. 4 out of 5

    Queenie

  15. 4 out of 5

    RobS

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bart

  18. 5 out of 5

    Darrell Cosden

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dan Harris

  20. 5 out of 5

    Miolnier

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kady

  22. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Barry

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ernest LaPorte

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bossman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aidan O'Gorman

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Lally

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nigel Tea

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wilhelm Johansson

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.