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Energy Supply and Renewable Resources

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One has only to read a newspaper or magazine to realize the importance of energy at this early juncture of the 21st century. It will surely become more critical as world demand for oil continues to increase and its supply peaks and begins to fall.

Industrialized nations have become addicted to an ever-increasing amount of energy, and developing nations are beginning to demand advantages in their business and personal lives that require abundant energy. Competition for scarce resources, primarily oil, is already shaping U.S. foreign policy, military strategy, and international trade balances. Battles over energy sources are not new. U.S. relations with Japan before the bombing of Pearl Harbor deteriorated badly because of Japan’s aggression in oil-rich Indonesia. Germany made a huge strategic error in World War II by attacking the Soviet Union to take over its oil fi elds in Azerbaijan.

Conflicting with our need for energy is our desire to control pollution and global warming. Th e complex issues surrounding energy are quite confusing to the vast majority of citizens of the world and the United States. Americans very much need to understand energy issues, including crises, shortfalls, aff ordability, economics, dependence on foreign oil, political instability in oil-producing nations, foreign relations, infrastructure, environmental considerations, and alternative sources. Th ese are exactly the issues explained by this excellent book. Young Americans will be making important national and personal decisions regarding energy during their lives, and they will have to be well informed to make the right decisions. For example, they should form opinions on whether a nation’s economic security necessarily depends on oil, what can be done about the environmental impact of energy use, and whether alternatives to oil can be developed quickly enough to have the potential to substitute for dwindling oil reserves.
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