The endless pursuit of economic growth, coupled with the decline in conventional energy sources, is driving ever more extreme forms of energy extraction around the world, with ecologically and socially disastrous consequences.
From the dangers of fracking to the devastating effects of tar sands extraction, this guide brings together everything you need to know about unconventional fossil fuels in one place for the first time. It gives an in-depth yet accessible analysis of their social and environmental effects, and includes information on where they are found, the companies trying to profit from them and the growing resistance movements against them. The report also contains a unique ‘carbon budget’ climate change assessment of unconventional fossil fuel production, and stand-alone factsheets on each of the types of unconventional fossil fuel.
The report includes:
• An overview of our global energy problems including the drivers of energy consumption.
• A short history of fossil fuels and their historical role.
• The motivations behind the development of unconventional fossil fuels.
• A brief explanation of the concept of Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) and its value in thinking about future energy needs.
• The role that unconventional fossil fuels will play in our changing climate: perhaps their most important consequence, as well as other impacts, particularly on water resources.
• Conclusions on where we might go from here.
• A table summarising information on the various types of unconventional fossil fuel
• Nine stand-alone factsheets on each of the types of unconventional fossil fuel, describing where they are found, how they are extracted, the significant environmental and social issues, stage of development, notable companies and resistance.
• A factsheet on carbon capture and storage technologies
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Individual factsheets on each of the types of unconventional fossil fuel are available free here: