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Book Review: Energy: The Master Resource by Robert L. Bradley

  • The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Tags The Environment

07/30/2014Pierre Desrochers


Volume 8, No. 3 (Fall 2005)


Almost nowhere, however, are lay readers presented with a more sober and realistic perspective according to which the institutional framework of market economies has always been conducive to greater resource creation than depletion, that increased carbon dioxide concentrations will have benefits as well as costs, and that past and current energy crisis can typically be traced back to political interventions rather than physical shortages or market failures. Of course, one can always find some reasonable textbook (Boyle, Everett, and Ramage 2003) and work on synthesis that will hint at this perspective, but they are not targeted at a broad audience. It is in this context that Robert L. Bradley and Richard W. Fulmer’s primer, Energy: The Master Resource is so valuable. Unlike almost every other popular book on the subject, it is squarely rooted in the optimistic tradition that was best exemplified by the late Julian Simon. Indeed, the title reflects Simon’s observation that, if human ingenuity is the “ultimate resource” that created all others, energy is the “master resource” that enables human beings to convert one material into another. Bradley and Fulmer deal succinctly with the basic physical concepts, history, technology, economics, and public policy of energy. They discuss both long term trends and recent controversies in a nontechnical and abundantly illustrated way that will appeal to students, policymakers, and the interested public.

Cite This Article

Desrochers, Pierre. "Review of Energy: The Master Resource by Robert L. Bradley." The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 8, No. 3 (Fall 2005): 93–95.


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