Compiling blog posts into a book is a new path to publishing filled with obvious potential dangers: the very timeliness of blog postings can mean a short shelf life for relevant information; read as a body of work, the posts might seem disconnected, repetitive or both; and many bloggers care little about memorable or even coherent prose.
Fortunately for readers, Raymond J. Learsy recognizes these pitfalls and, so, avoids them. Yes, some of these posts from Learsy’s Huffington Post blog have been overtaken by national and world events in the oil industry, in legislatures, at the gas pump. Mostly, though, the division of the posts into categories and subcategories, then arranged chronologically, gives the book a coherence that leads to a welcome learning curve about how United States oil dependence is damaging society.
Learsy is not trained as an investigative journalist. Rather, he describes his career as centered in the commodity trading field, with his expertise in the shipping of oil and liquefied natural gas cargos. Yet Learsy demonstrates the characteristics of an investigative journalist as he exposes sacred cows and does his best–in the contexts of oil price gouging by producers and environmental degradation–to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.
The first section of the compilations focuses on “Enemies Foreign,” especially the oil-producing nations known as OPEC. Learsy then moves to “Enemies Domestic,” particularly multinational oil companies and politicians who do their bidding. “How We Can Fight Back” constitutes the final section, in which Learsy discusses the U.S. government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the need for consumption cutbacks in every household and office, and the potentials of alternate energy sources.
Those who have read previous books about the oil industry might not experience epiphanies. But all careful readers are certain to complete this text with new knowledge.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.