High gas prices aren’t the end of the world- but they may be the beginning of the end. This, at least, is the feeling of many who shudder at the staggering power oil-rich countries have over the world’s political affairs.

In Petrotyranny, John Bacher uncovers the frightening facts of the world’s oil industry. He reveals that the worst dictatorships control six times the reserves that are under democratic control, and explores the potential for global conflict that exists as the demand for energy increases and the oil supply decreases. What kind of power will these dictatorships possess in the future? How many wars will be fought over the ever-shrinking supply of oil?

Bacher takes an optimistic approach, viewing the problem as a challenge: the world’s democracies need to devise a creative response to avoid the looming crisis. That is, start replacing fossil-fuel burning with renewable energy - and start the process now.


Petrotyranny is a prescient analysis of the global oil establishment and its implications for us all. Bachers treatment combines, in reader-friendly style, the rigour of scholarly discipline, a common-sense kind of prophecy (particularly with respect to Osama bin Laden), and interdisciplinary competence, underpinned with a restrained sense of irony.

Alternatives Journal

A stunning expose of the oil industry. Youll never want to give them your hard earned money again.


Petrotyranny is a comprehensive and wide-ranging look at the political implications of the development of oil production throughout the globe.

Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society

This densely packed, carefully annotated work is no easy read, but it is highly informative.

Encompass Magazine

This is a breakthrough book for the green and peace movements, and a must-read for anyone interested in solutions to the linked problems of economic globalization, global warming and conflict proliferation...Petrotyranny is a somewhat demanding read, but one that is well worth the effort.

Now Magazine

A very timely and provocative book for specialists, policy makers, students, and general readers.


Bacher throws a brilliant light on the dark background intrigues that create the deadly trinity of oil, war and dictatorship.

Eye Weekly

Petrotyranny takes us around the world on a geography lesson about democracy, dictatorships and oil...this is an excellent source of information for environmental and human rights activists the world over. A definite must for your bookshelf!

The ACTivist

Based on his wide reading and prodigious memory, Bacher takes us on a whirlwind, though sometimes confusing, tour of the globe...a timely comment on global oil politics.

Literary Review of Canada

About the Authors

John Bacher

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014

John Bacher

John Bacher received his Ph.D. in History from McMaster University in 1985, and has taught at McMaster and the University of Toronto. A co-author of Get a Life: An Environmentalist's Guide to Better Living, Bacher is a passionate supporter of environmental preservation.