Plain text version:
Oil permeates our world. From the gas in our cars to the plastic on our keyboards it dominates our behavior, whether we embrace it or not The concern about oil was once greenhouse gas emissions, but the BP disaster has highlighted how the simple act of extraction is fraught with danger. Crude World, by Peter Maas, looks at all that surrounds extraction, in chapters named after the basest of human instincts, such as Fear, Greed, Plunder, and Desire.
Take Equatorial Guinea, for example. Ruled by a man described as “the worst dictator in Africa,” the country receives hundreds of millions of dollars each year in oil revenues. Maas describes in vivid detail how those funds are spent, from a Boeing 737 with gold-plated bath taps to the suitcases stuffed with American dollars which were regularly transferred from the embassy in DC to the dictator’s bank.