Friesen (international studies and history, Fresno Pacific Univ.) understands that the causes of (and solutions to) the climate change crisis are linked to energy use. In this volume he puts energy use in historical context by explaining how economic incentives and cultures have driven energy choices. He uses the US, Germany, China, and India as examples, devoting chapters to each. Friesen highlights the human consequences by beginning the chapter on each country with a case study showing how energy use has changed over three generations for a single actual family. He then focuses on global energy transitions, revealing a nuanced understanding of economic, political, and ethical considerations. The final chapter looks to the future, first from a pessimist’s perspective and then from an optimist’s. This overview of the rise and future demise of fossil fuels is comprehensive, accurate, fair, and scary, the last because it is not clear that the world will react appropriately to ethical imperatives, both spatial and intergenerational. A well-written examination of how we got where we are and why fundamental change is necessary and at the same time problematic. Summing Up: Essential. All readers.