Book Reviews

Book Review: The Energy of Slaves.


This seminal book authored by one of the most accomplished investigative journalists in Canada provides a moral framework in which to consider the current state of energy entitlement for most western cultures.

The author describes how the Roman Empire and before it, Egyptian pharaohs, used slaves to build huge pyramids. Romans based the expansion of their empire and intuitions on slaves.

The first several pages of the book outlines the history of the Roan Empire and how the ruling class exploited slaves.

Then the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries gradually turned slave labour into “machine labour” and ultimately made economies and nations using huge numbers of machines to accomplish and expand production. Living comfortably and using less human energy contributed largely to energy dependence.

The United States of America and to a large extent Canada, use proportionately more energy, relative to the size of their populations, but the size of both countries, climate, and industry contribute to this excessive energy consumption.

The author laments the fact that the U S A, once the largest petroleum producer, has become the largest importer of crude and processed oil. Much of it is contributable to the marketing prowess of automobile manufacturers with the help of governments that believed that employment of autoworkers contribute to the economic well being of the nation, but continently forgot, and still ignore the damage done to eliminate all its consequences to the very existence of the world as we know it.

The U S A is now at the mercy of despotic oil producing Middle Eastern kingdoms, enriching their treasuries with untold amounts of dollars. They in turn buy up business and property in western industrialized countries and help terrorist organizations, but keep their populations poor and in the dark.

While industrialized countries sought control over nature, they destroyed the natural balance. With each phase of destruction, science tried to remedy the damage by inventing new, but more destructive means. A vicious cycle that seems to have no end!

Yet people, mostly politicians who could change the lethal changes occurring just talk to protect their interests.

There is no need to drive around the corner to buy milk or a newspaper, and yet thousands of people do it every day. This and many other actions help create health problems, which in turn generate another set of energy consuming machinery to cure or control these problems.

The Energy Of Slaves ought to be mandatory reading in all high schools of every industrialized country, and for every citizen of the world!

An outstanding book that deserves to grace the shelves of every public and private library.

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