Crude: The Story of Oil

Paperback
The story of oil is written on a time scale that humans can barely grasp, but it starts with something innocuous and seemingly peripheral: the slimy dregs at the bottom of the seaCrude is the unexpurgated biography of oil and its crucial role in everyday modern life. Oil fuels our cars and illuminates our cities, and its by-products fertilise our crops, pave our roads and make plastic. Without petroleum-based fertilizer, about two-fifths of the world's population would not be alive. The Western world's newborn babies are caught by hands in petro-plastic gloves, swaddled in petro-polyester blankets and warmed by oil-powered heaters. The modern world is drenched in oil; Crude tells the gripping tale of how this came to be. A great human drama emerges, of discovery, risk, the promise of riches, and the power of greed. Even from the beginning, crude oil has inspired awe and sparked violence. From the billions of microscopic plankton collecting on the ancient ocean floor to the occupation of Iraq, from the hundreds of Nigerian women who stormed a Chevron plant to a monomaniacal scientist for whom life is the pursuit of this earth-blood, Shah masterfully captures the many sides of the indispensable mineral that we someday may have to find a way to live without. The use of the dwindling oil reserves is crucial to our future. This book is a great coverage of the many dimensions of the problem.' - Professor Ian Lowe AOAn engaging social history, written with impressive range and vision Sonia Shah has written a vitally important book for our times.' - Rosaleen Love, science writer and authoran exciting tour of the history, science and business of oil . A real eye-opener and a thoroughly good read!' - Dr Michael Howes, Griffith University