The Crooked Mile

Through peak oil, biofuels, hybrid cars, and global climate change to reach a brighter future

by Kevin Clemens

Have you ever worried that one day the fossil-fuel spigot will run dry? Or that motor fuel will become so expensive that you will need to drastically change your lifestyle in order to provide life’s basic necessities for yourself and your family?

As car enthusiasts, we more than anyone should be tuned in to the ramifications of our nation’s dependence on fossil fuel and should be keenly aware of the fact that people have been working on alternative fuel solutions since the dawn of the automobile age, often with limited success. This is more or less the approach automotive journalist Kevin Clemens takes in his latest book, The Crooked Mile, an exploration of the past, present and future of energy and the automobile.

Clemens opens his book with an introductory mea culpa about his own fossil fuel addiction: “My own case of oil addiction has been chronic. For much of my professional career I have written about cars. I’ve driven cars in all 50 states, in more than 50 countries and on five continents.” He goes onto explain that his reason for writing the book was to: “find out for myself and write about what is coming next in the world of transportation and to put a human face on the technologies that we will use to meet the future challenges of personal mobility.”

“Unfortunately,” he concludes in the intro, “the deeper I got into it, the more I discovered that finding a way out of this mess, caused in part by 100 years of cheap energy, is not going to be easy.”

Clemens touches on all of the hot button issues: peak oil, climate change, biofuels, the viability of hybrid cars, the promise of lithium ion batteries in electric cars as well as the question of where electricity to power electric cars (and the lithium for the batteries) will come from. It’s a well-researched, topical and timely book that car enthusiasts owe it to themselves to read if for no other reason than that we might be better prepared to intelligently discuss and defend our favorite topic from ill-informed critics.

Copyright 2009 Mike McNessor (Hemmings Motor News – September 2009- used with permission)
(Reviewer McNessor is an Editor at Hemmings Motor News)
[Full disclosure, Kevin Clemens is the publisher of]

The Crooked Mile: Through peak oil, biofuels, hybrid cars, and global climate change to reach a brighter future
By Kevin Clemens
290 pages
List price: $17.95
Demontreville Press, Inc. 2009
ISBN: 978-0-9789563-3-2

RSS Feed - Comments

Leave a comment

(All comments are moderated: you will see it, but until it's approved no one else will.)