How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives
Edwin Black, award-winning author of IBM and the Holocaust, has mined scores of corporate and governmental archives to assemble thousands of previously uncovered and long-forgotten documents and studies into this dramatic story. Black traces a continuum of rapacious energy cartels and special interests dating back nearly 5,000 years, from wood to coal to oil, and then to the bicycle and electric battery cartels of the 1890s, which created thousands of electric vehicles that plied American streets a century ago. But those noiseless and clean cars were scuttled by petroleum interests, despite the little-known efforts of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford to mass-produce electric cars powered by personal backyard energy stations. Black also documents how General Motors criminally conspired to undermine mass transit in dozens of cities and how Big Oil, Big Corn, and Big Coal have subverted synthetic fuels and other alternatives.
He then brings the story full-circle to the present day oil crises, global warming and beyond. Black showcases overlooked compressed-gas, electric and hydrogen cars on the market today, as well as inexpensive all-function home energy units that could eliminate much oil usage. His eye-opening call for a Manhattan Project for immediate energy independence will help energize society to finally take action.