Eric Pooley is the senior vice president for strategy and communications at the Environmental Defense Fund and the author of The Climate War: True Believers, Power Brokers, and the Fight to Save the Earth (Hyperion).
THE QUEST: ENERGY, SECURITY, AND THE REMAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD
BY DANIEL YERGIN, Penguin Press, 804 pages, $37.95
In the 1950s, a cantankerous earth scientist named Marion King Hubbert rose to prominence at Shell Oil and later at the U.S. Geological Survey. Hubbert was an unforgettable human being -- one colleague called him "the most difficult person I ever worked with" -- who loathed politicians and economists, looked forward to the collapse of American democracy, and thought technocrats such as himself should rule the world. He was also undeniably brilliant.