The best single primer on energy also happens to be written by an Austrian economist—-a Rothbardian even!
Robert Bradley, a leading free market energy economist, has in collaboration with Richard Fulmer put together an outstanding book that covers the huge subject of energy, beginning with answers to the most fundamental questions (What is energy? Where does energy come from?) and proceeding to 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.
Alarmists about energy have published book after book predicting an energy crisis. We shall soon run out of oil, they claim, and this will plunge the world’s economy in crisis. As if this were not enough, man-made global warming threatens to bring about catastrophic changes.
Bradley decisively refutes these doomsayers. Oil and other fossil fuels, he shows, are abundant. Increased exploration and new techniques for extraction have produced an ample supply of oil. We face no crisis, and there is no good reason to look to solar and wind power as replacements for oil. These have long ago been rejected as inefficient by the market.
Global warming proponents also take an unduly pessimistic view. If the globe is in fact warming, the changes that ensue are likely to be on the whole beneficial.
Our real problems with energy stem not from the free market, but from ill-advised government programs, such as price control and restrictions on resource extraction.
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."
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Austrian Economics, Freedom and Peace