New PDF release: Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma


By Joseph A. Tainter

ISBN-10: 1441976760

ISBN-13: 9781441976765

For greater than a century, oil has been the engine of progress for a society that grants an exceptional way of life to many. We now take without any consideration that fiscal development is nice, helpful, or even inevitable, but additionally think a feeling of unease concerning the simultaneous progress of complexity within the tactics and associations that generate and deal with that development. As societies develop extra complicated in the course of the bounty of inexpensive strength, in addition they confront difficulties that appear to extend in quantity and severity. during this period of fossil fuels, reasonable power and extending complexity were in a mutually-reinforcing spiral. The extra strength we've got and the extra difficulties our societies confront, the extra we develop complicated and require nonetheless extra strength. How did our call for for power, our technological prowess, the ensuing desire for complicated challenge fixing, and the top of simple oil conspire to make the Deepwater Horizon oil spill more and more most likely, if now not inevitable? This e-book explains the true causal components best as much as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. historical past, a catastrophe from which it is going to take a long time to recover.

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Extra info for Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma

Sample text

Petroleum permeates almost all manufactured products and is at the core of our energy-intensive civilization. Without petroleum, modern economies would not exist. Many people do not recognize this fundamental truth about their own lives, and a currently popular delusion goes something like this: because a modern society depends less on energy in generating monetary income, getting rid of fossil fuels will have a lesser impact now than it had two decades ago. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Thermodynamics Thermodynamics is the science of admissible conversions of energy. Work, heat, and radiation are the means by which different forms of energy flow from one place to another. Work and heat are not equivalent. A quantity of work can be converted entirely to heat, as demonstrated in 1843 by James Prescott Joule, a wealthy brewer and experimental physicist. However, the young genius, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot, showed in 1824 that a quantity Thermodynamics 25 of heat cannot be converted to an equal quantity of work in a machine that works continuously (a steam or car engine).

The first small peak in 1870, was related to the Civil War and newly acquired technological sophistication in the United States. The second small peak in 1885 was probably related to the innovators who were born post-1860 coming of age. The third small peak in 1930 was a boost to innovation during the roaring 1920s. S. oil production peaked too. The latest and largest patent cycle, with an apparent peak in 2004, describes mostly progress in biotechnology, medicine, materials science, and informatics.

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Drilling Down: The Gulf Oil Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma by Joseph A. Tainter

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