The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin

Incredibly long, but eye-opening. So much more of the news makes sense to me now, like I’ve been given a set of mental footnotes for each story that mentions anything related to energy.

The book could’ve used some serious editing, though. I found numerous typos, misspellings, repeated phrases, even whole paragraphs that echo each other.

In addition, the book starts out at a good pace, but begins to feel like a slog somewhere around Part 4 (where he discusses renewable energy, then spends Part 5 going into more detail about renewables). Had to push myself to finish this one.

That said, I learned an incredible amount, including:

  • In 2011, the US was 78% self sufficient in overall energy: natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, renewables, etc
  • Cap-and-Trade as a solution to carbon pollution was pioneered by the lead permits issued to refineries in the 80s to eliminate lead from gasoline
  • In 2009, newly discovered reserves equalled the amount of oil produced over the entire lifetime of the industry