THE FRACKING DEBATE

THE RISKS, BENEFITS, AND UNCERTAINTIES OF THE SHALE REVOLUTION

A deft, fair analysis that clarifies the issues for both the general public and concerned policymakers.

An examination of the pros and cons and the unknowns of the shale revolution, bringing much-needed light to the hot topic of fracking.

Raimi (Energy Policy/Univ. of Michigan) is a research associate at Resources for the Future, an organization that focuses on natural resource and environmental issues. In his first book, the author aims to address the most important issues of the debate surrounding hydraulic fracturing, or fracking as it is commonly called, and he draws on the expertise of state regulators, environmental lawyers, leaders in the gas and oil industry, working scientists, and academics. In addition, he traveled widely around the United States, talking to people who live near fracking sites. The result is a highly readable account with straightforward explanations of what is involved in extracting oil and gas from shale. Numerous simple black-and-white charts and tables back up the narrative, and each chapter concludes with a brief summary of the issues covered. These include the mechanics of fracking, its effects on the environment and the health of those living nearby or working at a drill site, the risk of earthquakes, the effect on the economy and on climate change, and the manner in which the industry is regulated. The take-home message is that the shale revolution is here to stay and that neither proponents nor opponents have all the right answers. As Raimi makes clear, there are no easy answers to some of the complex issues involved. The final chapter gives the book a personal touch, as the author reveals the feelings of people living close to fracking sites. From his conversations with them, he concludes that they may not like the noise, dirt, traffic, and changes to their landscapes, but the money and the jobs are generally welcomed.

A deft, fair analysis that clarifies the issues for both the general public and concerned policymakers.

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-231-18486-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Columbia Univ.

Review Posted Online: Sept. 23, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

THE CULTURE MAP

BREAKING THROUGH THE INVISIBLE BOUNDARIES OF GLOBAL BUSINESS

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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