Review

Half Gone: Oil, gas, hot air and the global energy crisis

An economic forecast of an oil industry geologist turned solar energy entrepreneur which restored Alan Finkel's faith in reasoned prediction.

Product details

Product name: Half Gone: Oil, gas, hot air and the global energy crisis.

Reviewer: Alan Finkel

Author: Jeremy Leggett

Publisher: Atlantic Books

Price: $24.95

Size: 320 pages

G Rating:

5

In 1972 a global think tank named the Club of Rome issued a dire warning that the world's oil supply would be exhausted in the next 20 years.

As an impressionable teenager, I was chilled to the bone reading the strident headlines in the morning newspaper. What kind of world would I grow up into? As it happens, the learned members of the Club of Rome got their time estimates completely wrong, a fact that made me sceptical of other doomsday predictions.

Until, that is, I read Half Gone by Jeremy Leggett. This was different.

It was written by an oil industry geologist who saw the global problems and became an environmental crusader and eventually a solar energy entrepreneur.

Through all these career transformations, Leggett kept his sense of humour and metaphorical insight.

Half Gone predicted that our oil supplies would be reaching their limits by about now and that demand-driven price increases would send petrol prices soaring.

How right Leggett has proven to be! His book restored my faith in reasoned prediction, and made me more attuned to the warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This book was published in 2005, and its imprint is by Portobello Books

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