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$20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better

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  • Posted November 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Fascinating Book!

    $20 Per Gallon is a good read. It was also my first eBook, and I have been liberated from paper books for good. The author weaves an incredibly interesting and easy to follow story about how our lives will change as the price of our fuel steadily increases. The author interviewed experts and other people as he toured different parts of the country while conducting his research. He paints a bright picture for America's future, unlike other authors who predict calamity as the world's remaining fossil fuel sources are used up. He says our lives will be changed by the eventual $20 per gallon price of gasoline, but that through innovation and industriousness, we will adapt and carry on.

    I recommend this book for any person who is interested in energy issues.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The number of connections this book makes is startling!

    First off, the structure of the chapters in this book is just wonderful. They're numbered according to gas price, so Chapter $8 describes the effects of gas prices at that particular price and Chapter $14 describes the effects at that price. Steiner focuses on a few specific things in each chapter and generally doesn't revisit them, which keeps the book compelling, fast and fresh.

    For instance, Chapter $8 details how many of the airlines will disappear at that price and how the remaining ones will reorder themselves. In Chapter $10 (one of my favorites) he spotlights a turning point of critical mass for electric vehicles -- part of the chapter details a day he spent working on an electric UPS delivery truck in Manhattan. Who knew?

    Chapter $16 may be the best chapter, however, but that's because I'm a foodie. Steiner illustrates how cheap gasoline has connected salmon from Norway to fish gutters in China to grocery stores back in Europe and the U.S. In a future of higher gas prices, he reasons, this kind of globe-trotting won't be done by our food. We'll eat locally, and as a by-product of that, more healthily. He goes on to explain that most of our fertilizer is made with fossil fuels so that, basically, when sit down to eat anything, be it corn or beef, we're sitting down to eat oil.

    But oil, Steiner says, is just the latest in a long string of fertilizers that we have exhausted. Perhaps most interestingly (I did not know this), America pillaged parts of globe for their guano (bird poop) for much of the 19th century. Giant guano deposits actually ignited a war between Chile and Bolivia and that's why Bolivia is landlocked to this day (Chile won).

    And Chapter $14 is outstanding, too, with it's focus on the death of Wal-Mart. Not sure I see that happening, but it's certainly interesting to ponder.

    Bottom line: I blew through this book in four days -- not normal for me and non-fiction!

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