The Quest

The Quest

Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World

eBook - 2011
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This sequel to The Prize provides a narrative of global energy, the principal engine of geopolitical and economic change. The author, an energy authority continues the riveting story begun in the book, The Prize, in this account of the quest for the energy the world needs, and the power and riches that come with it. He proves that energy is truly the engine of global political and economic change, as well as central to the battle over climate change. From the jammed streets of Beijing, the shores of the Caspian Sea, and the conflicts in the Mideast, to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, he takes us inside the decisions and choices that are shaping our future. Without understanding the realities of energy examined in this book, we may surrender our place at the helm of history. He tells the inside stories of the oil market, the rise of the "petrostate", the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive corporate mergers that transformed the oil landscape. He shows how the drama of oil, the struggle for access to it, the battle for control, the insecurity of supply, the consequences of its use, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics that dominate it-will continue to shape our world. He takes on the toughest questions-will we run out of oil, and are China and the United States destined to conflict over oil? He also reveals the surprising and turbulent history of nuclear, coal, electricity, and natural gas. He investigates the "rebirth of renewables", biofuels and wind, as well as solar energy, which venture capitalists are betting will be "the next big thing" for meeting the needs of a growing world economy. He makes clear why understanding this greening landscape and its future role are crucial. He further brings climate change into unique perspective by offering an original and unprecedented history of how the issue went from concerning a handful of scientists, terrified of a new Ice Age, to one of the overarching issues of our times. This book presents an extraordinary range of characters and a panorama of dramatic stories that illustrate the principles that will shape a robust and flexible energy security system for the decades to come.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, c2011
ISBN: 9781101563700
1101563702
9781101563588
1101563583
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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rvbinder Jan 15, 2012

Yergin's The Prize and The Commanding Heights are excellent. I started this 800 page tome with relish. It continues many of the themes of his earlier books, which read as well as a Tom Clancy story, but with meticulously researched facts and cogent interpretations devoid of the self-serving polemics that too often passes for intellect these days.

After the first hundred pages, I was ready to give up. Although Yergin's past books are truly masterful and very well-crafted, this has the feel of a cable news crawl. I can't go more than a few pages without getting hit with some god-awful rambling incoherence or a misspelling. The crutch phase "a couple of" is used far too often -- more than once. I wonder if this was dictated and never looked at again, except by an illiterate copy editor.

The second and third parts are much better than the first. I found the analysis of the 2007-2009 oil price spike quite interesting. It was refreshing to read an explanation of the commodities markets that shows an understanding of how they actually work, as opposed to an alarmist screed.

Yergin's mastery of the complex and diverse global energy picture is truly impressive. I've learned quite a bit from this, as well as being entertained by the story. The occasional lapses in composition seem all the more jarring given the otherwise excellent analysis and presentation.

f
fletchmo
Dec 06, 2011

note to self: resume pg 257

p
Peter07
Nov 26, 2011

Disappointing read. Too much detail for the general reader. Too superficial for the more interested reader.

h
hertz
Oct 07, 2011

Exhaustive, comprehensive approach to the whole field of energy. Combines the expertise of a textbook with the readability of a shorter newspaper article. Best to take time to allow yourself to work through this densely woven exposition. My favorite parts included the evolution of the oil industry, along with contemporary geopolitics involving pipeline routes and international trade. I lost interest as the focus turned to renewable energy and future sustainability. Nonetheless, this is a substantial resource for anyone curious about any aspect of the field.

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