By Bruce Podobnik
In the year 1900, the industrial world was almost entirely reliant on coal for its commercial energy. Only 50 years later, a new system - based on oil - had spread across the entire globe. By the end of the twentieth century, yet another system - based on natural gas - was achieving world-wide diffusion. Global Energy Shifts explores the societal forces that led to the expansion of these energy systems and demonstrates that the convergence of specific geopolitical, commercial, and social conditions can generate rapid and far-reaching transformations in the energy foundations of our world. In an important concluding chapter, Podobnik describes opportunities for fostering a similarly rapid shift toward renewable energy systems in the twenty-first century drawing on lessons from world history.