Four New Books Coming Out in 2010

Why America is Not a New Rome (The MIT Press) has just come out (see Books) and three new books will be published later in 2010.

Prime Movers of Globalization: The History and Impact of Diesel Engines and Gas Turbines (The MIT Press) examines the fundamentals of modern economic integration and speedy long-distance travel. Modern economic globalization would be impossible without our ability to move billions of tonnes of raw materials and finished goods among the continents and to fly at speeds approaching the speed of sound. Much has been written about organizational and political underpinnings of economic and social globalization, but much less on the history of the two prime movers that made these realities possible. Neither steam engines, nor gasoline-fuelled engines could have accomplished comparable feats. Diesel engines made ocean shipping the cheapest mode of long-distance transport and without gas turbines there would be no fast, inexpensive, mass-scale intercontinental travel.

Energy Transitions: History, Requirements, Prospects (Praeger Publishers) explain an inherently gradual nature of fundamental shifts in using primary energy resources, generating electricity and commercializing and diffusing new prime movers and new energy conversions.  The book uses long historical perspectives in order to illuminate these changes on the global level as well as with a number of key national examples, including the United States, China, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

Energy Myth and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate (American Enterprise Institute) deconstructs some of the most common energy myths (including the glorious future of electric cars, imminent peak of crude oil extraction, possibility of a rapid repowering of America, exaggerated potential for liquid biofuels, contributions to be made by wind-powered electricity generation and a dubious promise of carbon sequestration) and offers a reasoned approach to addressing the world’s energy challenges.