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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb guide to one of the most fundamental issues facing the global economy, 8 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The Quest: Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World (Hardcover)
This book is level-headed, sober and deeply informed account of humanity's quest for a sustainable energy system.

Covering geopolitics, economics and narrative history, Mr Yergin takes us through the last two centuries (or thereabouts) of human civilisation's relationship with energy, playing particular attention to the host of scientists, technologists, industrialists and politicians who've shaped it.

His style is wonderfully understated and incredibly knowledgeable, filling in all sorts of corners in one's knowledge. The picture painted is one of relentless progress beneath the surface; ever increasing effectiveness of energy systems; a venture capital industry getting to grips with renewables; the growing centrality of climate change to policymaking; and a fluctuating oil price which affects everything.

The book is studded with brilliant anecdotes, such as Margaret Thatcher making her cabinet sit through a day-long tutorial on climate change, or the first pre-Rio IPCC meeting, when the UN translators walked-out just as negotiations were reaching a climax, because it was against their work rules to stay past 6 pm.

Rather than taking explicit positions on the energy issues covered in this book, Mr Yergin gives the reader an understanding of, and the background to, those issues. He seriously knows his energy chestnuts, and his book is a one-stop shop for anyone seeking a rounded grasp of grasp this fundamental question for the global economy, and the prospects for our species.

Peter Baker
Author of The Jolly Pilgrim
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