cover image The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations

The New Map: Energy, Climate and the Clash of Nations

Daniel Yergin. Penguin Press, $38 (528p) ISBN 978-1-59420-643-6

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. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME. (Sept.)