No Oil in the Lamp – review

Author: | Date: 21 June, 2013 | Category: Book Reviews | Comments: 0

No Oil in the Lamp: Fuel, faith and the energy crisis, by Andy Mellen and Neil Hollow, August 2012. Darton, Longman and Todd, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-2325-2944-9. RRP £12.99

Andy Mellen owns a small holding and has written on ecological issues for ThirdWay magazine. Neil Hollow has a doctorate in Environmental Biotechnology with concerns about peak oil.

The first thing that made me sit up was the review that read “Neil and Andy have set out the background to the issue of Peak Oil and exposed some of the consequences of an energy-constrained future”, this by the Chief Executive of Scottish and Southern Energy!

The thirteen chapters cover the problem and the Christian attitude to it. The conventional energy sources, coal, gas and nuclear are considered in detail and some of the moral issues facing Christians from use of these are discussed. There are two chapters about alternative energy, renewable electricity and renewable heat and transport, and a look at the neglected area of the relationship between oil, food and chemicals. The economic market system is explored as are some the alternative models compatible with a life after Peak Oil from a Christian viewpoint. The consequences of carrying on in our present way are debated; the transition movement is discussed as is the way The Bible relates to the present situation in the lessons and instructions within.

The final three chapters cover what we as individual can do, what the church locally and nationally can do, explaining what some local Churches have done, and in conclusion, where we go from here. There is also a very useful short glossary and study guide.

The fact is that I read the whole book in just one and a bit readings, I could simply not put it down. Easy to read, full of facts, some quite frightening, very well referenced indeed, and quite inspirational. As far as Peak Oil is concerned the world is sleep-walking into a bleak future unless facts are faced. The authors of this book face those facts in easy to read detail and show that there really is a way forward if action is taken.

Rev’d Peter Doodes


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