The Significance of ——
The Prize and The Quest
By Daniel Yergin
——- To Me
(Not a Book Report: just what it meant to me.)
I read The Prize only a couple of years ago even though it is a book from 1991. So, I was very late but it is the kind of book which has information so attuned to our daily lives that any late reading by me was meaningless. From the moment I started reading I saw and experienced its connections with my everyday life. The book won a Pulitzer.
Since I am of the age group that was born during World War II I knew something of the war’s effect on my people and overall the people of my country. I was very short on understanding the power that oil played in the history of it all. I only knew the power oil brought to my transportation needs.
When I read history books I think of it as if I were weaving a blanket or some other protective wrap and I think of each book as being a thread or a group of threads added to the ever expanding object. If there is a way in the technology of manufacturing cloth where one can go back into threads already woven and insert supporting threads which add greater strength to what was already there then this book would provide threads added to those which existed before man arrived. Continuing with the analogy I can go on to say that my virtual blanket expanded greatly as I read and finished this book.
Even though the time frame of the book was mainly framed between the late 1800’s up in Titusville, Pennsylvania and the Iraq invasion of Kuwait it had connections to much earlier history and suggestions for many future years.
It should go without saying that with much of my blanket woven with The Prize that as soon as I learned about The Quest it was ordered and now has been read and woven.
Here again oil plays a major role but there is so much more. I do not know what the population of the world was when oil was discovered inTitusville. I do know that about the time I was born in 1939 it was around 2-1/2 billion. While I was reading The Quest I learned from the daily news sources that it is now around 7 billion.
Mr. Yergin’s books do not make any big issue of the earth’s population but if you read in between the lines it is easy to see that because of the shear numbers of people and the needs and desires of them to have “Things” for comfort and joy then energy is going to have to serve us better.
First it has to be available at cost we can afford and at the same time it cannot add cost which could come from destroying out health and/or our earth.
Thinking back to my blanket I am finding little fuzzy particles to appear on some of the most identifiable threads. Close examination of the fuzzy things clearly show them to be question marks, (?). The threads themselves are all strong fibers with names like; oil, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, natural gas and shale oil but, as mentioned each is laden with much fuzziness. Some of the question marks are common to each major thread. Some have a large dose of question marks related to availability and others concerned with cost. Some like nuclear, coal, oil and even gas have fuzzy question marks which address the sequestration of the left over waste or by-products: where and how to put them away for safe keeping.
I have a few years left so my blanket is going to expand and these books have kept me informed of all the fibers I need to keep up with for my future thread selections but after me I can see that there is going to be much weaving to be done and many of the threads will have much of the fuzzy question marks removed.