A Wall Street Journal besteller and a USA Today Best Book of 2020
Named Energy Writer of the Year for The New Map by the American Energy Society
“A master class on how the world works.” —NPR
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin offers a revelatory new account of how energy revolutions, climate battles, and geopolitics are mapping our future
The world is being shaken by the collision of energy, climate change, and the clashing power of nations in a time of global crisis. Out of this tumult is emerging a new map of energy and geopolitics. The “shale revolution” in oil and gas has transformed the American economy, ending the “era of shortage” but introducing a turbulent new era. Almost overnight, the United States has become the world's number one energy powerhouse. Yet concern about energy's role in climate change is challenging the global economy and way of life, accelerating a second energy revolution in the search for a low-carbon future. All of this has been made starker and more urgent by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic dark age that it has wrought.
World politics is being upended, as a new cold war develops between the United States and China, and the rivalry grows more dangerous with Russia, which is pivoting east toward Beijing. Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping are converging both on energy and on challenging American leadership, as China projects its power and influence in all directions. The South China Sea, claimed by China and the world's most critical trade route, could become the arena where the United States and China directly collide. The map of the Middle East, which was laid down after World War I, is being challenged by jihadists, revolutionary Iran, ethnic and religious clashes, and restive populations. But the region has also been shocked by the two recent oil price collapses--and by the very question of oil's future in the rest of this century.
A master storyteller and global energy expert, Daniel Yergin takes the reader on an utterly riveting and timely journey across the world's new map. He illuminates the great energy and geopolitical questions in an era of rising political turbulence and points to the profound challenges that lie ahead.
In this sprawling geopolitical survey, Pulitzer-winning energy historian Yergin (The Prize) explores upheavals in energy supplies and international relations. The boom in fracked oil and natural gas, he notes, has made America once again the planet's leading energy producer and a major exporter. Meanwhile, Russia is trying to use gas exports to strong-arm Ukraine and Western Europe and shore up its clout; China is building pipelines abroad to import fuels; and OPEC's oil-exporting economies are struggling with falling prices and a global glut of crude. Looking ahead, Yergin sees evolution in energy markets because of electric vehicles, driverless cars, and ride-hailing apps, and cites studies predicting that demand for oil will stop rising in the 2030s and be followed not by a "plummet" but by "a gradual decline on a downward-sloping plateau." Yergin provides a lucid, judicious overview of global energy and its discontents, with colorful though not always relevant historical background. But there's not much new, and the basic picture is of a world where energy is abundant, cheap, widely available, and therefore not a coveted prize. The result is a well-informed yet surprisingly ho-hum rundown of how energy issues affect world affairs.