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Energy: The Master Resource [Paperback]

by Robert L. Bradley Jr., Richard W. Fulmer
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 30, 2004 0757511694 978-0757511691 1st
The best single primer on energy also happens to be written by an Austrian economist--a Rothbardian even!

Author Robert Bradley, together with Richard Fulmer, have put together an outstanding book that covers this huge subject, beginning with answers to the most fundamental questions (What is energy? Where does energy come from?) through current policy applications (Are we running out of oil? Is the globe warming?). It is ideal for students and classroom use. But it is also the best book for anyone who wants to think and talk intelligently about this huge topic.

It is set up in the form of a textbook, with excellent graphics and clear text, but also contains enough documentation to provide resources for further study. The organization is outstanding and the discussion thorough. For example, under the topic of electricity, we find short descriptions of coal-fired plants, nuclear fission, natural gas, hydroelectric plants, wind power, geothermal energy, microturbines solar power, biomass, fuel cells, and more. A great merit of this book is that it discusses not just the technology but also the economics of various alternative energy sources--a point which is nearly always neglected in the usual literature.

Also not neglected is the area of energy regulation and its effects, and the authors take a free-market perspective.

Gene Callahan is precisely right: "The authors deserve high praise for having created a comprehensive, easily accessible introduction to the vast, multi-disciplinary study of the relationship between humans and energy. It is hard to imagine a better staring place from which to begin exploring the topic."

Lew Rockwell writes: "It behooves every citizen to bone up on this subject, which is sure to grow in importance in the coming years. You need Robert Bradley's book to get clear on the technological, economic, and political issues involved in energy markets."

ISBN 0757511694
Paperback, 235 pages.

Frequently Bought Together

Energy: The Master Resource + The Conundrum + Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future
Price for all three: $51.99

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Kendall Hunt Publishing; 1st edition (July 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757511694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757511691
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Above average introduction to energy-related business. February 23, 2006
While there's nothing here that can't be found elsewhere, this is an above average introduction to energy-related business issues. Rather than having to search various resources, Bradley compiles them into a single, thin, easily read volume.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Source February 23, 2005
This book is an excellent source of information about energy as well as the development of energy resources. The book contains a great body of statistical and other information, often not readily available from other sources. Moreover the colorful charts are excellent. The reader expecting detailed explanations of energy technology will be disappointed. But as a general energy history and overview this work is unsurpassed.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Energy: The Master Resource is a simple primer on current energy issues, with a strong push for market solutions. The authors present a compelling case for property rights and the rule of law as prerequisites for effective management of energy resources. The book surveys the means for producing and using major energy resources (the petroleum, natural gas, coal; nuclear fuels; biofuels; and other renewables). It also generally does a good job of describing market forces related to energy, but occasionally comes up short.
Bradley and Fulmer carefully avoid the issue of economic externalities when it suits them. They simplify the economics of energy to declare that the market always yields the best result. Unaccounted costs related to pollution, whether measurable or vague, are missing from their equation. Likewise, the ways that lobbying and taxation distort the energy market are ignored.
Moreover, the authors make a peculiar leap of logic with respect to the development of environmental laws. After establishing that many clean air and clean water laws emerged in the 1970s, Bradley and Fulmer assert that better environmental quality in the present (as compared to the era before clean air/water laws) is evidence that such laws are unnecessary.
The authors also dismiss those they describe as "pessimists" to a fault. For example, in a section dealing with petroleum supplies and prices, the authors suggest that the idea of oil trading for over $100 per barrel in the next decade (from the 2004 publication date) is mere hysteria. Yet, only four years after the book went to press, oil topped $140 per barrel.
Ultimately, a few important issues are left out, seemingly because they disagree with the authors' positions.
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