Is the earth's oil supply starting to run out, or is there far more oil than some experts believe? This book points out flaws in the research used to warn of an oil shortfall and predicts that large new reserves of oil are soon to be tapped. • Presents a cogent analysis that debunks the myths and exposes the agendas of those who promulgate the scarcity theory • Supplies applied economic analysis—backed by well-informed research and proven analytical methodologies—by a scholar and researcher with real-world experience • Explains how the extraction of crude oil from shale formations through hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," should result in abundant long-term supplies with much greater geographical diversity, less political risk, and increased price stability • Provides valuable insights into investing in the energy sector
World acclaimed scientist Vaclav Smil reveals everything there is to know about nature's most sought-after resource Oil is the lifeblood of the modern world. Without it, there would be no planes, no plastic, no exotic produce, and a global political landscape few would recognise. Humanity’s dependence upon oil looks set to continue for decades to come, but what is it? Fully updated and packed with fascinating facts to fuel dinner party debate, Professor Vaclav Smil's Oil: A Beginner's Guide explains all matters related to the ‘black stuff’, from its discovery in the earth right through to the controversy that surrounds it today.
Ongoing urbanization and ever-growing harmful environmental impacts from urban areas necessitate a sustainability transformation in cities. However, cities are also centers of wealth creation and consumption, which both drive environmental degradation. It is clear that cities need to re-establish themselves as low-energy/low-carbon systems, but the transformation is complex in many ways and time is running out. This Special Issue, “Energy Efficient Cities of Today and Tomorrow”, seeks to provide a more profound understanding of the future energy requirements of urban areas and low-energy and low-carbon cities. The published papers range from macro-level assessments of cities manifesting themselves as forerunners in their environmental work to micro-level studies of pro-environmental attitudes and their impacts on individual emissions, a carbon footprint impacts of sharing of goods and services.
A bracing corrective to the myths that have shaped economic, military, and diplomatic policy, dispelling our oil-soaked fantasies of dependence. There is a conventional wisdom about oil—that the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf is what guarantees access to this strategic resource; that the "special" relationship with Saudi Arabia is necessary to stabilize an otherwise volatile market; and that these assumptions in turn provide Washington enormous leverage over Europe and Asia. Except, the conventional wisdom is wrong. Robert Vitalis debunks the myths to reveal "oilcraft," a line of magical thinking closer to witchcraft than statecraft. Oil is a commodity like any other: bought, sold, and subject to market forces. Thus, the first goal of this book is to expose the suspect fears of oil scarcity and conflict. The second goal is to investigate the significant geopolitical impact of these false beliefs. In particular, Vitalis shows how we can reconsider the question of the U.S.–Saudi special relationship, which confuses and traps many into unnecessarily accepting what they imagine is a devil's bargain. The House of Saud does many things for U.S. investors, firms, and government agencies, but guaranteeing the flow of oil, making it cheap, or stabilizing the price isn't one of them. Freeing ourselves from the spell of oilcraft won't be easy—but the benefits make it essential.
"In this book Harold L. Vogel comprehensively and holistically examines the business economics and investment aspects of major components of the travel industry, including airlines, hotels, casinos, amusement and theme parks, cruise lines, and tourism. The book is designed as an economics-grounded text that uniquely integrates reviews of each sector's history with economics, accounting, and financial aspects and analysis. As such, it provides a concise, up-to-date reference guide for financial analysts, economists, industry executives, legislators and regulators, advertisers, and journalists interested in the economics, financing, and marketing of travel and tourism-related goods and services. The fourth edition of this well-established text updates, refreshes, and significantly broadens the coverage of tourism economics. It includes new sections on travel law and applications of big data and artificial intelligence technologies as well as additional material on demographic spending patterns, the online travel agency business, the pandemic's effects and affects on industry finances, expanded coverage of the cruise line industry, and information on the damage to tourist destinations caused by excessive pollution and traffic."--
This book is a new and provocative treatment dealing with and defining sustainable pathways for the restoration of the Mississippi Delta. Based on a consideration of natural functioning of the Mississippi delta, factors that led to its severe deterioration, and major global trajectories of the 21st century, the authors investigate possible future pathways for sustainable management of the delta. They consider current conditions as well as future trajectories of climate and energy and resource scarcity. The book concludes that without profound changes of how humans live in and manage the delta, sustainability of the delta will be profoundly compromised.
This is a book about the international oil market. It takes a historical perspective on how the market emerged, developed, and became what it is today—the biggest commodity market in the world. It is mature and complex, but far from perfect. Throughout most of its 150-year history, the oil market has been monopolised by companies and governments. For only a fraction of that, oil traded in a relatively free market. As a result, we had to live with ‘big oil’, economic shocks, high oil prices, instability and wars. Using a simple concept of market power, this book will explain the meaning of ‘oil price’ and how it is established while offering a valuable lesson for other commodities. Market power is the key to understanding the ‘price of oil’. This book uses a simple concept of price-makers and price-takers to examine the evolution of oil markets, their structure, and prices. The early decades of the oil industry were competitive with low barriers to entry. Barely 25 years later, the Standard Oil company created a refining monopoly, buying oil at its own ‘posted’ price. In the following century, the cartel of major oil companies, helped by their governments, did the same at the international level. OPEC helped producing governments regain control of their own resources, but the organisation was never able to retain a similar level of control. After 1986 price collapse, OPEC abdicated the price-making function in favour of the market. While it never gave up attempts to influence prices, OPEC had to link their official prices to one of the global oil benchmarks. Modern international oil markets function because of oil benchmarks such as Brent, WTI and Dubai. This book showcases: • How oil traders played a prominent role in development of the industry • How policies of consuming nations helped oil cartels • Why and how the US price of oil was negative • How AI has changed the way markets operate and the way in which the markets are likely to change in future This book explores how oil markets grew, functioned, and have occasionally failed to do their job. The ecosystem of derivatives or ‘paper barrels’ trading in far greater volume than physical oil plays a very important role in mitigating risk. With this core tenant, setting the ‘price of oil’ is explained in detail.
Companion to Environmental Studies presents a comprehensive and interdisciplinary overview of the key issues, debates, concepts, approaches and questions that together define environmental studies today. The intellectually wide-ranging volume covers approaches in environmental science all the way through to humanistic and post-natural perspectives on the biophysical world. Though many academic disciplines have incorporated studying the environment as part of their curriculum, only in recent years has it become central to the social sciences and humanities rather than mainly the geosciences. ‘The environment’ is now a keyword in everything from fisheries science to international relations to philosophical ethics to cultural studies. The Companion brings these subject areas, and their distinctive perspectives and contributions, together in one accessible volume. Over 150 short chapters written by leading international experts provide concise, authoritative and easy-to-use summaries of all the major and emerging topics dominating the field, while the seven part introductions situate and provide context for section entries. A gateway to deeper understanding is provided via further reading and links to online resources. Companion to Environmental Studies offers an essential one-stop reference to university students, academics, policy makers and others keenly interested in ‘the environmental question’, the answer to which will define the coming century.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels draws on the latest data and new insights to challenge everything you thought you knew about the future of energy For over a decade, philosopher and energy expert Alex Epstein has predicted that any negative impacts of fossil fuel use on our climate will be outweighed by the unique benefits of fossil fuels to human flourishing--including their unrivaled ability to provide low-cost, reliable energy to billions of people around the world, especially the world’s poorest people. And contrary to what we hear from media “experts” about today’s “renewable revolution” and “climate emergency,” reality has proven Epstein right: Fact: Fossil fuels are still the dominant source of energy around the world, and growing fast—while much-hyped renewables are causing skyrocketing electricity prices and increased blackouts. Fact: Fossil-fueled development has brought global poverty to an all-time low. Fact: While fossil fuels have contributed to the 1 degree of warming in the last 170 years, climate-related deaths are at all-time lows thanks to fossil-fueled development. What does the future hold? In Fossil Future, Epstein, applying his distinctive “human flourishing framework” to the latest evidence, comes to the shocking conclusion that the benefits of fossil fuels will continue to far outweigh their side effects—including climate impacts—for generations to come. The path to global human flourishing, Epstein argues, is a combination of using more fossil fuels, getting better at “climate mastery,” and establishing “energy freedom” policies that allow nuclear and other truly promising alternatives to reach their full long-term potential. Today’s pervasive claims of imminent climate catastrophe and imminent renewable energy dominance, Epstein shows, are based on what he calls the “anti-impact framework”—a set of faulty methods, false assumptions, and anti-human values that have caused the media’s designated experts to make wildly wrong predictions about fossil fuels, climate, and renewables for the last fifty years. Deeply researched and wide-ranging, this book will cause you to rethink everything you thought you knew about the future of our energy use, our environment, and our climate.
Through theoretical discussions and case studies, this volume explores how processes of contestation about knowledge, norms, and governance processes shape efforts to promote sustainability through international environmental governance. The epistemic communities literature of the 1990s highlighted the importance of expert consensus on scientific knowledge for problem definition and solution specification in international environmental agreements. This book addresses a gap in this literature – insufficient attention to the multiple forms of contestation that also inform international environmental governance. These forms include within-discipline contestation that helps forge expert consensus, inter-disciplinary contestation regarding the types of expert knowledge needed for effective response to environmental problems, normative and practical arguments about the proper roles of experts and laypersons, and contestation over how to combine globally developed norms and scientific knowledge with locally prevalent norms and traditional knowledge in ways ensuring effective implementation of environmental policies. This collection advances understanding of the conditions under which contestation facilitates or hinders the development of effective global environmental governance. The contributors examine how attempts to incorporate more than one stream of expert knowledge and to include lay knowledge alongside it have played out in efforts to create and maintain multilateral agreements relating to environmental concerns. It will interest scholars and graduate students of political science, global governance, international environmental politics, and global policy making. Policy analysts should also find it useful.
From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493--an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow's world. In forty years, Earth's population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups--Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug's cry. Only in that way can everyone win! Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces--food, water, energy, climate change--grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilization on the line, the author's insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare on an increasingly crowded Earth.