Vijay Vaitheeswaran and Iain Carson
Reviewed by Andrey Bilko for RebeccasReads (12/08)
For those who expect this book to solely focus on cars, and most importantly cars of the future, I have some bad news; this book does not exactly cover future cars. The main idea and purpose of the book is to make readers aware of the situation that America and the rest of the world is in due to our dependence on foreign oil, how we all got to this point, and what steps can be taken in the near future to try solve our current problems, like greenhouse gases and climate change.
The book covers a brief history of the automobile industry, which was very interesting (at least to me!). It talks about the oil companies, OPEC, and also our continuous “blood for oil” policies, which were originally started by FDR. “Zoom” spends time discussing the situation with China and India’s arrival at the global stage with hungry desires for cars. It is just hard to imagine how much damage countries the size of India and China, with populations of over a billion each can do, as more and more people in these countries are able to afford and buy a car. However, both nations have shown major interest in alternative fuels, realizing the upcoming environmental damage. The book uncovers artificial governmental policies that actually ended up hurting the American goal of “going green” and exposes big oil companies’ and Detroit’s lobbyists in D.C. It is just amazing to see how counterproductive the government has been in some cases. Alternative fuels, like ethanol, hydrogen, and natural gas are also discussed, showing how non-efficient American corn-based production of ethanol is.
The authors want to make the reader beware of the current situation that we, Americans, and the whole world is in, having to alter our current habits of spitting out carbon dioxide left and right. Everyone needs to realize and take a stand for the environment and oil-independence. And the last chapter of the book gives clear insights into what every person has to do in order to stand up for the environment and change current governmental policies addressing the automotive impact on the environment.
The book is well written, very easy to read and follow. In some cases, repetitive material is present, which I thought was unnecessary. Overall, a great read to get more understanding about how oil and cars work in our society and what impact they have on our lives. “Zoom” is a great opportunity for all young adults and adults to further educate themselves on the current energy situation and make their voices heard by pressuring the government into changing current environmental protection rules, especially the ones concerning cars.
Again, the main purpose of “Zoom” is to discuss various alternative fuels, which will help America and the world to rid themselves of foreign oil dependency, stimulating local economies by making alternative fuels locally, reducing the environmental impact, and simply starting a new automotive revolution, thinking outside of the internal-injection engine.