Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline / Lisa Margonelli
Margonelli's Oil on the Brain takes the reader to various locations important to the oil industry and describes the impact of the industry on the people who live there. Margonelli treats everyone she meets sympathetically, without overlooking the profound problems that oil production and consumption are creating. I would have liked a more analytical work, but her non-judgemental observations provoke important questions and some thought. The best chapters describe her visits to four "petrostates:" Venezuela, Chad, Iran, and Nigeria. An American reader can not escape recognizing how our consuption habits are disrupting the lives of people in these oil producing states, often to their profound detriment.