Energy and Society
Fred Cottrell has updated and revised his article Energy and Society. He notes, in this revision to his 1955 original
The energy available to man limits what he can do, and influences what he will do.” Much of what I said a quarter of a century ago does not need to be changed. However, of course things have happened that require an update. Those familiar with the first edition may want to skip the unchanged material, but it had to be included for the benefit of those who have never read the 1955 edition.
The oil embargo of the 1970s and the corresponding enormous increase in the price of fuel impressed many people with the significance of energy in our lives. Nevertheless, the great majority of them regard what has been going on as a temporary aberration. Given the right incentives or the proper action by government, the problem will go away. What we are experiencing is a political, economic or technological problem. Certainly if we can put a man on the moon we can deal with the “energy crisis".
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