If his hypothesis is correct, then, it is the grinding movement of the continents that is ultimately responsible for the Industrial Revolution. No continental drift, no coal. No coal, and humanity, if, indeed, such a species had evolved at all, might still be tilling the fields.
I think that everybody ought to keep a small feeling of bitterness inside them. On whatever ground, industrial, fighting, wars, anything. We ought to keep this little feeling of bitterness, otherwise they’ll become so complacent, and so so contented that they’ll become stagnant.
[...] the power derived from fossil fuels was dual in meaning and nature from the very start. Steam as a form of superior power was just that. The two moments cannot be isolated from each other, since they constituted each other in a unity, the opposites interpenetrating throughout.
Free-riding is at the core of environmental problems. If a climate coalition reduces its emissions, world prices change and nonparticipants typically emit more; they may also extract the dirtiest type of fossil fuel and invest too little in green technology.
Everybody wanted to be like a miner. Wanted to stands in street corners and look at the posh people pass with hostile eyes, and insult the girls from the doctor’s daughter, the lawyer’s daughter, the preacher's daughter as they passed - insult them with these coal looks because they were the kings of the underworld.
“Each energy transition affects not just broad or abstract cultural values, but very specifically changes the way we see ourselves and each other—what we think it means to be a person.”
In the last two centuries, however, humans have vastly increased the amount of energy they capture by learning to tap into fossilized sunlight. [...] Exploiting fossil fuels have set off an energy bonanza, transforming human societies and values.
Coal is a combustible rock, composed of lithified plant remains. It consists of acerals, minerals and water. It is formed by the alteration of dead plant material that initially accumulates as a surficial deposit of peat and is then burried beneath laers of younger sediment.