Fueling the Future: How the Battle Over Energy Is Changing Everything


396 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-88784-695-5
DDC 662'.6




Edited by Andrew Heintzman and Evan Solomon
Reviewed by Richard G. Kuhn

Richard G. Kuhn is an associate professor and chair of the Geography
Department at the University of Guelph.


The Ingenuity Project is a fascinating premise on which to assemble a
collection of essays on Canadian and global energy futures. The concept,
taken from Thomas Homer-Dixon’s book, The Ingenuity Gap, is based on
the notion that as societies become more complex, a gap develops between
the demand for ingenuity and its supply. The challenge thus becomes one
of closing the disparity between the two.

Fueling the Future is about advancing possible energy trajectories that
are feasible given the current situation of rapidly increasing demand,
supply constraints, and mounting environmental and social costs. It is
about finding ways to preserve the necessary and positive consequences
of energy that will drive economic and social prosperity while
eliminating the negative consequences of energy development and use. To
accomplish this task, the editors asked an eclectic group of experts to
provide their views. Their analysis had to be presented clearly and in
understandable terms, and they had to address issues from a governance
perspective, not a critical or theoretical one.

The result is this excellent work: an impressive array of ideas
presented by some of the leading energy researchers and practitioners,
including Geoffrey Ballard, David Brooks, L. Hunter Lovins, and Jeremy
Rifkin. Each section of the volume is prefaced by an overview by the
editors, which nicely sets the context for the subsequent chapters. A
fascinating timeline, interspersed throughout the book, chronicles the
history of energy.

Fueling the Future will have broad appeal. The style is engaging and
the ideas presented are interesting. The range of topics spans nuclear
energy, the hydrogen economy, renewable energy sources, demand
management, corporate initiatives, human rights, and fossil fuels. No
single “grand solution” is advanced; indeed, none could be, given
the nature of the problem and the myriad possible solutions that exist.
As with any good book, readers are challenged to form their own


“Fueling the Future: How the Battle Over Energy Is Changing Everything,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/14612.