Zakaria: How will we fuel the future?
Oil rigs just south of town extract crude for Chevron at sunrise in Taft, California. (Getty Images)
September 25th, 2011
04:16 PM ET

Zakaria: How will we fuel the future?

By Fareed Zakaria, CNN

At the influential TED conference last year, Bill Gates declared that if he were allowed one wish to improve humanity’s lot over the next 50 years, he would choose an “energy miracle”: a new technology that produced energy at half the price of coal with no carbon dioxide emissions. He explained that he’d rather have this wish than a new vaccine or medicine or even choose the next several American presidents. To help understand the reasoning behind Gates’s thinking, one should read Daniel Yergin’s intelligent new opus, “The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.”

Yergin, the founder of a leading energy consulting firm, is the author of several acclaimed books, most notably "The Prize," a monumental history of oil from its discovery to 1990. “The Quest” starts where “The Prize” left off, and at 804 pages it is similar in heft, but in fact a very different kind of book. “The Prize” was grand narrative history, full of characters like John D. Rockefeller and Winston Churchill and driven along by momentous events like World Wars I and II, both of which played a role in making oil the world’s pivotal energy resource.

“The Quest,” which begins with the Persian Gulf war of 1990-91 and goes up to the present, does not have the same kind of material. The world has been through interesting times since 1990, but the events and characters are less striking and too recent to make for a rich dramatic narrative. This book is really trying to answer a question: What will the future of energy look like over the next 50 years? In addressing that issue, Yergin takes on a myriad of other topical questions: Are we running out of oil? Is natural gas the answer? What about shale gas? Is global warming a real danger? Is solar power the answer? He addresses each one of these in a chapter or series of chapters that mix recent history and fair-minded analysis.

Because he tries to confront all these topics — and many more — this book lacks the drama and compulsive readability of “The Prize.” But it is an important book nonetheless, a valuable primer on the basic issues that define energy today. Yergin is careful in his analysis and never polemical. If there is a flaw, it is that he is too cautious in some of his conclusions, shying away from saying outright what his narrative implies. Despite that, “The Quest” makes it clear that energy policy is not on the right course anywhere in the world and that everyone — on the left and the right, in the developed and the developing world — needs to rethink strongly held positions.

Read the rest of my review over at The New York Times.

Post by:
Topics: Energy • Environment • From Fareed • Oil

soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. Reyes Richmon

    Whats up! I simply wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the great information you have here on this post. I might be coming again to your blog for more soon.

    http://www.onlineshopynanam.blogrelation.com/a

    December 24, 2020 at 10:51 am |
  2. Lakisha Hartl

    I enjoy the comments on this web site, it really gives it that community experience!

    http://www.buy4solutioncomlanan.blogzet.com/a

    December 25, 2020 at 12:59 pm |
  3. Stanley Sperandio

    very nice post, i surely love this web site, keep on it

    http://www.buy4solutioncomnbpcp.blog5star.com/a

    December 30, 2020 at 3:24 pm |
  4. Gaylord Henter

    Thanks for your write-up. What I want to point out is that while looking for a good internet electronics shop, look for a website with comprehensive information on critical indicators such as the personal privacy statement, security details, any payment procedures, and other terms in addition to policies. Constantly take time to look into the help along with FAQ areas to get a far better idea of how a shop functions, what they are capable of doing for you, and just how you can make use of the features.

    http://www.buy4solutioncomzsmey.blogpostie.com/a

    December 30, 2020 at 3:51 pm |
  5. Shin Smallen

    Wow! This can be one of the most useful blogs we have ever come across on thesubject. Basically excellent article! I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

    http://www.buy4solutioncomlzmanz.bloginder.com/a

    January 1, 2021 at 7:38 pm |
  6. Josefine Teska

    Thanks for the several tips provided on this blog site. I have observed that many insurance agencies offer clients generous discount rates if they opt to insure multiple cars with them. A significant number of households have got several vehicles these days, particularly those with more mature teenage young children still residing at home, as well as savings with policies can soon mount up. So it is a good idea to look for a great deal.

    https://Dreamproxies.com/features/

    January 6, 2021 at 2:51 pm |
  7. Leroy Dominga

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 10, 2021 at 3:11 am |
1 2 3

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.