Energy Economics: A Modern First CourseProfessor Ferdinand E. Banks
September 30th, 2014
Following this introduction, there are 8 comparatively non-technical expositions (= chapters) dealing with energy economics. Think of this book as ENERGY ECONOMICS 101! Portions of most of these chapters have been published, and there is some repetition, but repetition doesn't bother me. This is because I want to assist in imparting fluency about the most important energy economics topics, especially to beginners! There are only a few diagrams, and far less mathematics than in my previous energy economics textbooks (2000. 2007, 2014), because my aim is to examine, simplify and repeat. Too much mathematics gets in the way of understanding, because as both Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi noted, mathematics is a lovely tool, but not when overindulged in!
Some explanation is necessary where the title of this book is concerned. My other 3 textbooks are sometimes advertised as books for the first course in energy economics, but often they are more suitable for intermediate courses. Yes, several times below you will encounter (in appendices) mathematics that would be out of place in first-year presentations, but my intention is for this book to be referred to as Energy Economics 101. Moreover, if you encounter a problem while reading this book, move on and come back to the problem later after you have become familiar with the rhythm of the topic.
During the last few years, this teacher has found irresistible the concept of students having some simple energy economics reading at hand when on a bus or train, or for that matter sitting in one of Uppsala University's marvellous student clubs on a Friday or Saturday evening, waiting for the music to begin. Here I can recall one of my colleagues in the Palais des Nations in Geneva (Switzerland) who often had an economics textbook nearby, but who hardly ever read it. When I asked why he read it so seldom, he answered that it was too difficult, but having it within arms reach made him feel good, and also impressed his superiors. I want all students, all readers to be able to answer, partially or otherwise, most of the questions they receive about energy economics at any hour of the day or night, and if they cannot answer comprehensively, they at least give the right impression. In the briefing students receive on the first day of my course in energy economics (as was once the case with my courses in financial economics), it is made clear that if they prefer a passing to a failing grade, the expression "I don't know", followed by silence, is mostly taboo. Of course, what I am always willing to accept is "I don't know because your explanation is not clear, Professor Banks. Would you explain again, and please keep explaining until I get the message."
Everyone will not agree with everything in this book, but after you begin to read these 8 chapters, I hope that you will not ask me or anyone else to believe that OPEC is going to collapse, or nuclear reactors are no longer being constructed, or speculators caused the oil price escalation in 2008. Remember, the purpose of this book is to help you to shine, by which I mean to convince friends, neighbours and anybody else that your knowledge of these highly relevant topics identifies you as together, today, world class. I want to help all readers to become stars.
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Professor Ferdinand E. Banks
September 30th, 2014
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