Smil Shows How Fossil Fuels “Are Indispensable to Feeding the World”

(p. C6) In “How the World Really Works” the distinguished Canadian environmental scientist Vaclav Smil distills a lifetime of erudition.

. . .

Mr. Smil describes the massive extent to which fossil fuels are required to extract and produce the core materials—ammonia-based fertilizers, steel, cement and plastics—that are indispensable to feeding the world and building the machines and infrastructure on which modern economies depend.

. . .

Within the realm of the possible, he writes, “one thing remains certain” about transitioning to renewable energy: “It will not be (it cannot be) a sudden abandonment of fossil carbon, nor even its rapid demise—but rather its gradual decline.”

For the full review, see:

William Barr. “12 Months of Reading; William Barr.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, Dec. 10, 2021): C6.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the review has the date December 8, 2022, and has the title “Who Read What in 2022: Political and Business Leaders.”)

The book praised by William Barr is:

Smil, Vaclav. How the World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We’re Going. New York: Viking, 2022.

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