The Energy of Slaves

The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude
Andrew Nikiforuk

The title of this book comes from the analogy Andrew Nikiforuk makes between the work done by slaves throughout most of human history and that done by machines since the industrial revolution. Machine slaves, powered by fossil fuels (predominantly oil), can be made to do a lot more, but only at great environmental, political, and moral cost. This is, in other words, yet another volume urging us to break our dependency on oil and develop a healthier, more rational, and sustainable economy. The slavery angle sometimes gets to be a stretch, but Nikiforuk knows this material well and makes a forceful argument for the need to change our ways.