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Fuels are the tectonic plates of civilization under the feet of humanity. When they move, things change. Fueling Change follows three different fuels and their seismic shift in the 19th century from wood, to coal to oil within a 50-year period. This enormous event has never before been acknowledged or analyzed and opens a new discipline to further study--fuel and energy transitions and their effect on local populations.
Now that we as a human civilization have been brought to a halt by the natural force of the corona virus, we may pause to appreciate the power of nature to get our attention. We discovered that we can bring to a halt all our obsolete use of car and gasoline and still get our economy to function, because we have built the same kind of highway parallel to the concrete and asphalt one we already have. We just didn't test it to see if it could carry the traffic that was overwhelming the physical one. Guess what? It can and does.
Such extravagant proof that a new highway, a new way of life and an abandonment of an obsolete infrastructure should be obvious. As 19th century citizens abandoned the horse in the 1890s after 6,000 years of using them, things changed quickly and for the better because a parallel system for car manufacture, for fuel supply and for highways could be created very quickly. We now stand in the same place: We leave behind the very addictive 20th century artifact of car and gasoline and asphalt highway for a much cleaner, more efficient and healthier electronic one.
Let's enter the 21st century with it. This story begins at the tail end of the Wood Age with horses, Indians, women tied to menial labor and male-dominated decision making. Time now to move through the gates to the 21st century that has the look and feel of true equality and real understanding of resource protection and care.
We can't "go back to work." We can only go forward to the 21st century and its fresh understanding of the pending world.