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Carson, Iain

Carson, Iain

PERSONAL:

Male.

ADDRESSES:

Home—England. Office—The Economist, 25 St. James's St., London SW1A 1HG, England.

CAREER:

Journalist and editor. Economist, London, England, industry editor, 1994—; previously worked as a reporter and news anchor for BBC Television and Channel 4.

WRITINGS:

(With Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran) Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future, Twelve (New York, NY), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Writer and editor Iain Carson lives and works in London, England, where he is an industry editor for the Economist. He writes primarily about the airline, general transportation, and manufacturing industries. Prior to joining the staff at the Economist, Carson worked as both a reporter and as a news anchor for BBC Television, and for Channel Four. His first book, Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future, which he wrote with Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran, was a finalist for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Zoom addresses the relationship between the automobile industry and the production and refinement of oil. Although it appears to be a straightforward subject based upon supply and demand, the reality is that concerns about the limit of the world's oil supplies combined with very real issues revolving around global warming, emissions, and the health of the planet have made the subject a volatile and important one. Carson and Vaitheeswaran address the topic from a number of angles. They discuss automobile manufacturers and their progress toward building a more fuel-efficient car, if not one that does not rely upon fuel at all. Then the authors look at the demand for cars, particularly in countries such as China and India, where the size of the population and the state of the economy has prevented most individuals from purchasing a car, so that roughly nine people out of every thousand currently owns a car. That number is bound to escalate, however, due to both the improving economies of both countries and the rapid growth in that area of the world's population. The inevitable result of the largest populations of the world increasing the number of cars per capita is that the dangerous greenhouse gases that are polluting the atmosphere will increase as well. From there, Carson and Vaitheeswaran move on to discuss the state of the atmosphere and how well it is holding up under the constant onslaught of man-made toxins. They discuss where this is leading us as citizens of the planet, as well as what is being done to slow or reserve the damage of global warming and extreme emissions output. Deb Kincaid, writing for BookLoons, stated that the book "succeeds well as a condensed explanation of the symbiotic history of Big Oil and Detroit, the role of marketplace dynamics as it relates to the fuel and auto industries, and the influence innovative leaders can have in coping with global warming."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Business Week, October 15, 2007, "Fill 'er Up—but with What?," p. 117.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2007, review of Zoom: The Global Race to Fuel the Car of the Future.

ONLINE

BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (June 18, 2008), Deb Kincaid, review of Zoom.

Irish Times Online,http://www.ireland.com/ (November 7, 2007), Richard Gillis, "Getting in Gear for the Cars of the Future."

Zoom to the People,http://www.zoomtothepeople.com (June 18, 2008).

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