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Darley, an environmental researcher in the UK, offers a fresh look at a fuel that is widely misunderstood. Although it is essentially methane, natural gas has been considered a waste byproduct, a prime fuel, a major source for fertilizer, a political football, and a short- or a long-term solution for the energy problem. The author assesses each of these conflicting views and shows the economic, environmental, and political dilemmas that must be reconciled. The electric power industry embraced gas to rid itself of the problems inherent with coal. Environmentalists were impressed with how clean natural gas burned. Economists liked the low relative costs. These are all flawed conclusions, and this author's thesis is that a massive worldwide conservation effort is the only viable future course of action. Given the world's political jumble, he is not hopeful. Extensive notes are included. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels.