Human progress and flourishing proponent and communicator. Progress studies writer, researcher, and thinker. Energy Project Manager. Asia-Pacific Twitter: @tonymmorley 📈
When you ask questions like that, the name Vaclav is going to come up at least a few times, and Energy and Civilization was a titan of a book. The other book from Smil that I would have to recommend in line with your question would be "Grand Transitions How the Modern World Was Made" - Vaclav Smil, c2021
Another recent Smil book, slightly out of the scope of your question but still relevant, is "Numbers Don't Lie: 71 Things You Need to Know About the World" - Smil c2021.
Note: Smil is a fellow Canadian, and I've had the opportunity to bounce emails around with him since 2018, when when I reached out to ask his take on some Tesla-related questions. While he's a truly brilliant thinker, a genuine world expert on energy, many books, including Rhodes's, took inspiration from his work — he is, from my perspective, become, or perhaps always was, glass-half-empty on the future of human civilization. I had the opportunity to interview him for an op-ed earlier in the year but didn't push it as I was somewhat worried it would result in an unrestrained dump on future progress.
Hey team Progress Forum; Tony Morley here. I'm a part-time progress studies writer and communicator since 2018, with published work for Big Think, Free Think, The Progress Network, Quillette, Human Progress, and more. My principal vocation is in renewable energy project management, although I work within the progress space as much as I possibly can.
I'm currently working on the world's first children's book on human progress, "Human Progress for Beginners," which will, after two painful years, (hopefully) be hitting the press in Q4 2023. I also dump a heap of progress news into the "Human Progress Facebook Group" and an experimental concept, "The Progress Dashboard." I'm working toward trying to contribute more substantially to the movement, but unsurprisingly, it's a work in progress.
You can follow my work @tonymmorley on Twitter. 📈