This is an eye-opening book. Like many people of my generation (born this side of 1970 – just!) I do my best to recycle, turn out lights, buy Fairtrade and take public transport (whenever I have the time to do so, or when it’s not too cold, or when I don’t have big shopping bags to carry …). I’m even planning on making sure the next house I move to has a south-facing roof so I can install solar panels. But my efforts have been ad hoc at best. Until I read No Oil in the Lamp I had no understanding of the complexities behind the energy crisis and how it will impact every facet of life in the near future. I’ve heard scientists and politicians arguing about it but have never felt informed enough to really grasp what they were talking about. Andy Mellen and Neil Hollow have changed that. They sketch out in simple, unpatronising terms, the various arguments for and against each energy source. The concept of the long-term sustainability of each commodity consumed or energy source generated in terms of the ratio between energy-in and energy-out gave me a completely new perspective on my consumption. Scrupulously sourced and with more follow-up references than tunnels in a rabbit warren, this book could keep you busy for a very long time. But when you’re finished, don’t forget to pass it on: it’s essential reading! Oh, and they have an excellent website too www.theoillamp.co.uk
I have also interviewed the editor of this book about the impact that the energy crisis and the decline of renewable energy sources might have on the publishing industry. You can read all about it over at The Crafty Writer.