Recommended Professional Reading List for Energy Topics

Global Energy Shifts

Global Energy Shifts

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In the year 1900, the industrial world was almost entirely reliant on coal for its commercial energy. Only 50 years later, a new system – based on oil – had spread across the entire globe. By the end of the twentieth century, yet another system – based on natural gas – was achieving world-wide diffusion. Global Energy Shifts explores the societal forces that led to the expansion of these energy systems and demonstrates that the convergence of specific geopolitical, commercial, and social conditions can generate rapid and far-reaching transformations in the energy foundations of our world. In an important concluding chapter, Podobnik describes opportunities for fostering a similarly rapid shift toward renewable energy systems in the twenty-first century drawing on lessons from world history.

Neptune's Inferno

Neptune’s Inferno

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The Battle of Guadalcanal has long been heralded as a Marine victory. Now, with his powerful portrait of the Navy’s sacrifice, James D. Hornfischer tells for the first time the full story of the men who fought in destroyers, cruisers, and battleships in the narrow, deadly waters of “Ironbottom Sound.” Here, in stunning cinematic detail, are the seven major naval actions that began in August 1942, a time when the war seemed unwinnable and America fought on a shoestring, with the outcome always in doubt. Working from new interviews with survivors, unpublished eyewitness accounts, and newly available documents, Hornfischer paints a vivid picture of the officers and enlisted men who opposed the Japanese in America’s hour of need. The first major work on this subject in almost two decades, Neptune’s Inferno does what all great battle narratives do: It tells the gripping human stories behind the momentous events and critical decisions that altered the course of history and shaped so many lives.

From Arab's Nationalism to OPEC

From Arab’s Nationalism to OPEC

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As OPEC approaches its 50th anniversary, the paperback edition of Nathan J. Citino’s well-received study advances a challenging, revisionist interpretation of U.S.-Saudi relations and OPEC’s historical significance. Citino re-examines the relationship between President Eisenhower and King Saud in the context of the transition from British imperial hegemony to an American capitalist order in the Middle East. He shows how the political realignment that resulted in OPEC ensured that wealth and power subsequently remained in the hands of oil-producing governments. Using American and British archives, corporate records, and Arabic sources, this work reinterprets the foundations of U.S. Middle East policy, the modern Saudi state, and the global politics of oil.

Energy Security

Energy Security

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Energy security has become a rallying cry in recent years, especially in the wake of increased terrorist threats in the Middle East and elsewhere. But what does the term energy security really mean? For many it is ensuring the safe supply and transport of energy as a matter of national security. For others, it is developing and moving toward sustainable, low-carbon energy sources to avoid environmental catastrophe. Still others view it as increasing oil drilling to achieve independence from foreign markets and ensure affordability.Yet the fact remains that the vast majority of global energy production still comes from fossil fuels, and it will take a thorough understanding of the interrelationships of complex challenges—finite supply, environmental concerns, political conflict, and economic volatility—to develop policies that will lead to true energy security.

This volume presents a realistic, cross-disciplinary look by recognized authorities at the global quest for energy security. While each nation faces different geopolitical, economic, and environmental challenges, the prescriptions offered here could well lead us in the right direction.

Rising Powers Shrinking Planet

Rising Powers Shrinking Planet

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Recently, an unprecedented Chinese attempt to acquire the major American energy firm Unocal was blocked by Congress amidst hysterical warnings of a Communist threat. But the political grandstanding missed a larger point: the takeover bid was a harbinger of a new structure of world power, based not on market forces or on arms and armies but on the possession of vital natural resources.Surveying the energy-driven dynamic that is reconfiguring the international landscape, Michael Klare, the preeminent expert on resource geopolitics, forecasts a future of surprising new alliances and explosive danger. World leaders are now facing the stark recognition that all materials vital for the functioning of modern industrial societies (not just oil and natural gas but uranium, coal, copper, and others) are finite and being depleted at an ever-accelerating rate. As a result, governments rather than corporations are increasingly spearheading the pursuit of resources. In a radically altered world– where Russia is transformed from battered Cold War loser to arrogant broker of Eurasian energy and the United States is forced to compete with the emerging “Chindia” juggernaut–the only route to survival on a shrinking planet, Klare shows lies through international cooperation.

The Power Surge

The Power Surge

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The United States is in the throes of two unfolding energy revolutions, and partisans-convinced that only their side holds the key to American prosperity, security, and safety-are battling over which one should prevail. In The Power Surge, Michael Levi takes readers inside these revolutions to find out what’s really happening-and which side is right. From the back roads of Ohio where old friends are warring over fracking, to the wilds of Colorado where speculators are chasing the holy grail of oil, he shows how oil and gas production, after decades in decline, are being propelled upward by new technologies and high prices, prompting enthusiasts to predict an economic renaissance and impending energy independence. On the other side of the fight, he visits California eco-startups developing game-changing technologies and Midwest manufacturers betting on a new energy future, revealing how more efficient cars and trucks are increasingly dominating the road and costs for renewable energy have plummeted, leading many to herald a starkly different future that moves beyond fossil fuels and saves the planet.

The Quest

The Quest

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Renowned energy authority Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Prize, in this gripping account of the quest for the energy the world needs — and the power and riches that come with it. A master story teller as well as one of the world’s great experts, Yergin 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, Yergin takes us inside the decisions and choices that are shaping our future. Without understanding the realities of energy examined in The Quest, we may surrender our place at the helm of history.

The Prize

The Prize

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The Prize recounts the panoramic history of oil — and the struggle for wealth power that has always surrounded oil. This struggle has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, and transformed the destiny of men and nations. The Prize is as much a history of the twentieth century as of the oil industry itself. The canvas of this history is enormous — from the drilling of the first well in Pennsylvania through two great world wars to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and Operation Desert Storm.

Before the Lights Go Out

Before the Lights Go Out

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“Hi, I’m the United States and I’m an oil-oholic.” We have an energy problem. And everybody knows it, even if we can’t all agree on what, specifically, the problem is. Rising costs, changing climate, peaking oil, foreign oil, public safety—if the fears are this complicated, then the solutions are bound to be even more confusing. Maggie Koerth-Baker—science editor at the award-winning blog BoingBoing.net—finally makes some sense out of the madness. Over the next 20 years, we’ll be forced to cut 20 quadrillion BTU worth of fossil fuels from our energy budget, by wasting less and investing in alternatives. To make it work, we’ll need to radically change the energy systems that have shaped our lives for 100 years. And the result will be neither business-as-usual, nor a hippie utopia. Koerth-Baker explains what we can do, what we can’t do, and why “The Solution” is really a lot of solutions working together. This isn’t about planting a tree, buying a Prius, and proving that you’re a good person. Economics and social incentives got us a country full of gas-guzzling cars, long commutes, inefficient houses, and coal-fired power plants out in the middle of nowhere, and economics and incentives will be the things that build our new world. Ultimately, change is inevitable.

Turning Oil Into Salt

Turning Oil Into Salt

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Throughout history the pursuit of strategic commodities has governed world affairs. Centuries ago salt enjoyed a monopoly over food preservation, and securing access to the white mineral shaped the great empires’ international behavior. Today, it is oil that monopolizes our transportation system giving those who control it inordinate power on the world stage. Breaking the oil cartel and oil’s monopoly over transportation fuel is the only way to bring about energy independence, insulate our economy against future oil shocks and win the war on radical Islam, argue two of America’s leading energy security advocates Gal Luft and Anne Korin in Turning Oil into Salt: Energy Independence Through Fuel Choice. Energy independence is not about the amount of oil we use or import; it’s about turning oil from a strategic commodity second to none to just another commodity. In an unvarnished and lucid manner Luft and Korin chart a realistic way to do so while addressing the barriers on the road.

Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Hot, Flat, and Crowded

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Friedman explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the expansion of the world’s middle class through globalization have produced a dangerously unstable planet–one that is “hot, flat, and crowded.” He also shows how the very habits that led us to ravage the natural world led to the meltdown of the financial markets and the Great Recession. The challenge of a sustainable way of life presents the United States with an opportunity not only to rebuild its economy, but to lead the world in radically innovating toward cleaner energy. And it could inspire Americans to something we haven’t seen in a long time–nation-building in America–by summoning the intelligence, creativity, and concern for the common good that are our greatest national resources.

Earth: The Sequel

Earth: The Sequel

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How to harness the great forces of capitalism to save the world from catastrophe.The forecasts are grim and time is running out, but that’s not the end of the story. In this book, Fred Krupp, longtime president of the Environmental Defense Fund, brings a stirring and hopeful call to arms: We can solve global warming. And in doing so we will build the new industries, jobs, and fortunes of the twenty-first century.In Earth: The Sequel, readers will encounter the bold innovators and investors who are reinventing energy and the ways we use it. Among them: a frontier impresario who keeps his ice hotel frozen all summer long with the energy of hot springs; a utility engineer who feeds smokestack gases from coal-fired plants to voracious algae, then turns them into fuel; and a tribe of Native Americans, fishermen in the roughest Pacific waters for 2,000 years, who are now harvesting the fierce power of the waves themselves.These entrepreneurs are poised to remake the world’s biggest business and save the planet – if America’s political leaders give them a fair chance to compete.

Reinventing Fire

Reinventing Fire

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Authored by a world leader on energy and innovation, the book maps a robust path for integrating real, here-and-now, comprehensive energy solutions in four industries-transportation, buildings, electricity, and manufacturing-melding radically efficient energy use with reliable, secure, renewable energy supplies. Popular in tone and rooted in applied hope, Reinventing Fire shows how smart businesses are creating a potent, global, market-driven, and explosively growing movement to defossilize fuels. It points readers to trillions in savings over the next 40 years, and trillions more in new business opportunities. Whether you care most about national security, or jobs and competitive advantage, or climate and environment, this major contribution by world leaders in energy innovation offers startling innovations will support your values, inspire your support, and transform your sense of possibility. Pragmatic citizens today are more interested in outcomes than motives. Reinventing Fire answers this trans-ideological call. Whether you care most about national security, or jobs and competitive advantage, or climate and environment, its startling innovations will support your values, inspire your support, and transform your sense of possibility.

Resource Wars

Resource Wars

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From the oilfields of Saudi Arabia to the Nile delta, from the shipping lanes of the South China Sea to the pipelines of Central Asia, Resource Wars looks at the growing impact of resource scarcity on the military policies of nations.International security expert Michael T. Klare argues that in the early decades of the new millennium, wars will be fought not over ideology but over access to dwindling supplies of precious natural commodities. The political divisions of the Cold War, Klare asserts, have given way to a global scramble for oil, natural gas, minerals, and water. And as armies throughout the world define resource security as a primary objective, widespread instability is bound to follow, especially in those areas where competition for essential materials overlaps with long-standing territorial and religious disputes. In this clarifying view, the recent explosive conflict between the United States and Islamic extremism stands revealed as the predictable consequence of consumer nations seeking to protect the vital resources they depend on.A much-needed assessment of a changed world, Resource Wars is a compelling look at warfare in an era of rampant globalization and intense economic competition.

Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light

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Providing electricity to the unlit and unstable parts of the globe is crucial to jump-starting development, improving the environment, and stabilizing fragile states that ferment many of today’s security threats. Let There Be Light shows the failures of centralized electricity to meet these challenges – and describes how distributed, renewable energy such as solar and wind power can work. But, Kleinfeld and Sloan argue, it is not enough to harness the power of the elements. To scale, distributed energy must harness the power of the market. Taking on the major challenges that have impeded distributed energy’s success, this book describes the roles development donors, social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, the military, and the business world can play to make lighting the developing world a reality.

The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point

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The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

The Wide Lens

The Wide Lens

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How can great companies do everything right—identify real customer needs, deliver excellent innovations, beat their competitors to market—and still fail?The truth is that many companies fail because they focus too intensely on their own innovations, while neglecting the ecosystems on which their success depends. In our increasingly interdependent world, winning requires more than just delivering on your own promises. It means ensuring that a host of partners—some visible, some hidden—deliver on their promises, too.Ron Adner draws on over a decade of research and field testing to reveal the hidden structure of success, from Michelin’s failed run-flat tires to Apple’s path to market dominance. The Wide Lens offers a powerful new set of frameworks and tools that will multiply your odds of innovation success.

The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

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In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.

Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

 
Additional resources are available at the Navy General Library Program.