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The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, The Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy
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The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, The Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  134 ratings  ·  21 reviews
The sheer volume of talk about energy, energy prices, and energy policy on both sides of the political aisle suggests that we must know something about energy. But according to Peter Huber and Mark Mills, the things we "know" are mostly myths. In The Bottomless Well , Huber and Mills debunk the myths and show how a better understanding of energy will radically change our v ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 17th 2005 by Basic Books
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Calling something visionary (a word I noticed on the dust jacket) doesn't mean it is correct.

Huber and Mills make a couple of good points (mainly that the more energy we conserve, the less demand there is for it, thus the cheaper it gets and ultimately we end up consuming more) but the rest of the book is balderdash.

Any book on energy, specifically oil, that is published in 2005 and doesn't include a single mention of Hubbert's theory of Peak Oil is either seriously lacking in scope or is trying
Even though I am predisposed to agree with an iconoclastic approach to public and private energy policy, I was very disappointed in this authors "fantasia" on energy. This poor read was extremely redundant, and in all the wrong ways. The themes of greatest importance were not well developed, and the author’s favorite themes seemed to me to be the least important in the book. I was initially attracted to the many graphs, but was disappointed that most of them merely charted the obvious - like las ...more
basically we'll never run out of energy b/c the human mind will always come up with something to use. the day we don't, we're all dead anyway so no need to worry about it.
Jul 21, 2009 Maura is currently reading it
This was recommended to me by a securities analyst as the best book on gas/oil production and consumption, whether or not one agrees with the author's conclusions.
I love this book. My main takeaway? No one that talks energy or energy policy on TV knows what they are talking about. Maybe this author doesn't know what he is talking about, but I found it fascinating and it made sense to me. Nothing in the book made me think, "you have got to be kidding me" but I did recommend this book to a friend who declined to read it once he found out the author wrote for Forbes occasionally.

I also was excited that this book was optimistic and did not end in doom-and-gl
This book was often a bit technical for me, but I enjoyed it overall. Two points that caught my interest were:

People rarely consider the overall energy consumption of a product. For example, people often look to hybrids because they produce fewer carbon dioxide/tailpipe emissions. However, what people don’t consider is that energy consumption used to develop and build hybrids is often more labor/energy intensive, which consequently results in comparably larger amounts of greenhouse gas emissions
Kursad Albayraktaroglu
I am sure this book has some sort of very profound message : at least that is what some of its Amazon reviews say. But I have to admit that whatever that message was, it went right past me. Perhaps I was not sophisticated enough to get it; but I think the whole book reads like the incoherent dialogues of two schizophrenic former scientists sharing a bunk bed in a mental hospital.

I think the central theme in the book is that the more energy we waste, we somehow find more energy..Or something l
Aug 28, 2008 Jake rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in energy policy
Recommended to Jake by: Dave Tufte
Despite being a terribly informative book full of incredible insights, unfortunately, the material will probably move too slowly for some readers. Anyone interested in energy policy should read this book. The authors effectively demonstrate why every forecast on energy has been wrong, and what we are some things in relation to energy we can look forward to in the future.
David R.
A real eye-opener. The title is provocative, but the supporting content ably explains and provides proofs based on a more thorough understanding of energy (and entropy, and thermodynamics) than is held by either left or right. Huber and Mills truly challenge conventional wisdom. Their point of arrival provides reconciliation between "green" and "growth."
I understand what they put forth, and I read it at the time with vigorous agreement, right up until the last three pages. Lately I have begun to value the Slow Way of Doing Things. What's the point in doing it all bigger and faster if we lose our connection to the present?
You will learn a hell of a lot from this book.
This one never grabbed my interest. I like to read opinions that are contrary to popular believe but this one didn't hit the right spot. Didn't help that I think it requires a degree in EE to understand half of it. I did agree with them that the more efficient we become in using energy, the more energy we use, not less.
Joshua Pressel
Hubbert's Peak what? A bit nerdy, but very interesting read. Delves into history, economics, politics particle physics, thermo- dynamics, bio-chemistry, and of course energy policy.
Dec 25, 2011 Ruby marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
Specious logic, denial, and desparaging of existing theories. I needed something to read that I could disagree with. It's good for the argumentative skills.
Moses Operandi
This book was also excellent. Sadly, it was slightly too intricate and formulaic for a Freshman research paper. I do recommend it, though.
Strong ideas told well. I read it start to finish in one day before a job interview that I had with the author.
Tracy Black
I'm not going to finish this one. I made it 60 pages and the author still wasn't grabbing my interest.
Interesting and mostly understandable read about energy in our current time and looking back historically.
Completely changes how you view "energy" and all the associated issues. Al Gore's worst nightmare.
Kristen Thiel
interesting take on the energy crisis.
Learned a lot. Last chapter was weird.
interesting take on the energy debate
Sam Chapple
Sam Chapple marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2015
Senthil Nathan
Senthil Nathan marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2015
Jeremy Boedeker
Jeremy Boedeker marked it as to-read
May 22, 2015
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