Groundswell: The Case for Fracking
Ezra Levant, Toronto: McLelland & Stewart, 2014, 272 pages.
If recent crises in Ukraine and Gaza are any indication of how our global thirst for energy is destabilizing the world order, then Ezra Levant--author of Groundswell: The Case for Fracking has got it right. Levant astutely allocates an entire chapter to Russia's Gazprom in "How the Shale Gas Revolution Weakens Russia's Energy Monopoly." The West's economic sanctions against Russia for its aggression against Ukraine have not only jeopardized the European Union's energy security, but also cemented the resolve of neighbouring Poland to develop its own shale gas reserves. The next chapter, "Shale Gas Around the World," sums up the environmental policies of regions with significant shale gas deposits--Quebec, China, Bulgaria, Poland, Ukraine, France --including Israel, where "after the Arab Spring toppled Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, [the] natural gas pipeline ... [that supplies Israel with Egyptian natural gas] ... was bombed fourteen times."
While Levant makes a compelling geopolitical argument for economics and energy self-sufficiency trumping the environment, he stumbles when referring to peak-oil theorists as "doomsayers." Levant's position that energy conservation and the development of alternative renewable sources of energy (such as wind and solar) are ill-conceived because of our planet's plentiful...