I have questions for you! Please weigh in. In 1865, W.S. Jevons wrote about the eventual depletion of coal in England. Here’s the quote:
“This question concerning the duration of our present cheap supplies of coal cannot but excite deep interest and anxiety wherever or whenever it is mentioned. For a little reflection will show that coal is almost the sole necessary basis of our material Power, and is that, consequently, which gives efficiency to our moral and intellectual capabilities. England’s manufacturing and commercial greatness, at least, is at stake in this question, nor can we be sure that material decay may not involve us in moral and intellectual retrogression” (ix).
This is eerily similar to some contemporary political rhetoric regarding US energy policy. To what extent is dependence on fossil fuels tied to “moral and intellectual capabilities?” If we did switch entirely to renewable energy sources, would the moral/intellectual character of our national identity change?