Audio Books for Eco-Car Enthusiasts

January 12, 2012

What better way to make your morning commute fly by than with audio books about your favorite green automobiles?  Whether you’re a car-lover in general and the rise in alternative vehicles intrigues you, you’re interested in the eco-history of cars that condemned the consumption of petroleum, or you simply want to know more about how the oil industry crushed the competition, you can find audio books that will take your mind off the gridlock you’re stuck in and remind you why modern man has an ongoing, worldwide love affair with cars, despite the fact that petroleum may be on the way out.  Here are just a few that are sure to get you revved up and ready to take that road trip you’ve been dreaming of, in a car that helps to reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. ZOOM: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future by Iain Carson and Vijay Vaitheeswaran.  It is shocking to think that the automobile industry has been around for more than a century now, and with it the exploitation and pollution of the planet.  Petroleum products have taken us from point A to point B for generations and now those resources are being exhausted.  And that’s totally aside from the fact that their carbon byproducts have created a global warming crisis.  This insightful book comprehensively explores the link between the auto and oil industries, how they got to the point we’re at today, and the companies that are looking to make a change for the future.
  2. Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives by Edwin Black.  Believe it or not, electric cars have been around almost as long as gas-powered vehicles.  So why haven’t we seen them?  The explanation would be worthy of the “conspiracy theory” descriptor if it wasn’t actually true.  This audio book delves into the way big businesses forced out even big-name inventors like Edison and Ford (who tried to push the idea of individual backyard charging stations for their electric cars), as well as the way that companies later conspired to derail (so to speak) mass transit.
  3. Powering the Future: How We Will (Eventually) Solve the Energy Crisis and Fuel the Civilization of Tomorrow by Robert B. Laughlin.  If you wonder what the world might look like in a couple hundred years, just picture a planet without petroleum.  You might imagine a world gone to pot, with roadways crumbling from disuse, but the truth is that technology will win out with innovative new cars that run on the power of the sun (and wind, and water).  Laughlin takes us there with a bold prediction about how the world will cope with the loss of the most destructive fuel source on the planet.
  4. Is That Thing Diesel? by Paul Carter.  After working on oil rigs for the better part of his life (and detailing the experience for readers and listeners in two hilarious chronicles), Carter retired and got to the good life.  Or did he?  According to his latest foray into writing, the answer is no.  Instead of kicking back he decided to ride around Australia on an experimental motorcycle that ran on used cooking oil.  His antics will have you rolling even as you learn about the ups and downs of a fuel revolution.
  5. An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It by Al Gore.  The PowerPoint presentation that started it all (or at least caught the public attention) is also available for your listening pleasure.  Although some of the numbers have since been disputed, the truth is that this is still a great introduction to the global warming crisis and how we can turn things around by lessening our dependence on petroleum products.

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for Used Saab Engines, where Saab engines are shipped nationwide daily.

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