Library / Biographies | Industries

Date of review: June 2021
Book author: Daniel Yergin
Вook published: 2020

The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin (2020)

I think all of Daniel Yergin's books are great to read and have a unique style as he can discuss global problems through individual characters and subtle details that are almost impossible to learn anywhere else. More pragmatic readers who want to maximise the amount of new ideas/knowledge per minute spent with a book would be disappointed.
This is a 493-page book that covers wide topics from US shale gas to sanctions on Russia, rising China and climate change. You often get a feeling that you already know this simply because the author touches on topics that have been discussed in such detail elsewhere. But then you get a fascinating story about Elon Musk's Tesla (which I have not even read in the book about Musk himself) or the story of George Mitchell, who was the first to start using fracking to commercially extract natural gas from shale formations.

Apart from this, I think the book has an underlying thread that somehow connects various times in history and places on this planet.

One of the key messages is on the irreversible technological progress which allows us to do things we could not even imagine 20-30 years ago. Another one is about the strong cyclicality of the industry, which is not just about prices but also overall sentiment and expectations of industry participants and experts. It is an important reminder today when many are discussing the 'New super cycle in commodities'.

Finally, the book is also helpful in understanding the key issues around climate change and its impact on fossil fuel demand and prices, although do not expect a lot of precision. As with every good novel, it allows the reader to make his or her own conclusions about the future, having a deep background knowledge of the past.

As the very last final thought, I should say that The Prize - the first book I read by Yergin on the history of the global oil industry is still my favourite on this subject.

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