Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Black Gold

YA non fiction
Iraqui religious leaders declared jihad (holy war) against
foreign infidels occupying their country. There were demonstrations
in major cities. Occupiers struck back with violence that took the
lives of civilians (including women and children) as well as rebels.
Nope, this was not something orchastrated by President Bush. He
hadn't been born. I'm not even sure his dad had been. The year was
Wow! Invading the Middle East for oil goes back a lot further
than I imagined. I learned that and a whole lot more when I read
Albert Marrin's Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Lives. It is a
truly comprehensive study covering the formation of fossil fuels, the
history of their production and usage, their role in recent major
world conflicts, and moral and ethical issues.
One might fear that the scope of information covered in 158
pages with liberal use of relevant photographs would allow only for
recitation of the facts. No way, Jose! Marrin's writing style really
makes the subject come to life. Consider these sentences concerning
WWI aerial combat: "To burn alive was the most horrible fate a pilot
could imagine. The pilots' nicknames for gasoline captured their
fears: 'Orange Death,' 'Hell-brew,' 'Witches' Water,' 'Infernal
Liquid.' "
If there's a theme to this book, it is oil as the richest prize
and greatest problem of our time. The final chapter covers the need
to transition to a new energy order-if for no other reason than fossil
fuels being finite and rapidly depleted. A wide range of options is
covered. I'd call Black Gold a great read to gain insight into one of
the most critical issues facing humankind.
On a personal note, the hubby took me to the Bangor State Fair despite
his dislike of fairs. We went to the shows, many of which had good
environmental information. We rode the rides, especially my favorite,
the carosel. We brought supper home to the family. I didn't have to
A great big shout out goes put to the hubby. If that isn't romantic,
I don't know what is.
Julia Emily Hathaway

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