We have such short memories.
Relating to today’s debate about fossil fuels versus renewable fuels, here is what The Times of London said in 1866 about a similar debate over coal versus renewables:
Coal is everything to us. Without coal, our factories will become idle, our foundries and workshops be still as the grave; the locomotive will rust in the shed, and the rail be buried in the weeds. Our streets will be dark, our houses uninhabitable. Our rivers will forget the paddlewheel, and we shall again be separated by days from France, by months for the United States. The post will lengthen its periods and protract its dates. A thousand special arts and manufacturers, one by one, then in a crowd, will fly the empty soil, as boon companions are said to disappear when the cask is dry.
People forget that the world was powered entirely by renewable energy until fossil fuels and later nuclear fuel came along. The truth is that today’s attacks on fossil fuels and the push for subsidies for renewable fuels are tantamount to asking for a return to the days described by The Times.