All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.
—Leonardo da Vinci
Over the past 250 years, energy has driven an enormous expansion of the global population, and it has dramatically changed the way we live. Beginning in the second half of the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution—enabled by cheap and ample supplies of coal—brought about many new inventions, large-scale industrial production, and jobs for many. The world's per capita income and population both began to grow rapidly.
The first half of the 20th century saw the rise of automobiles and airplanes—enabled by growing global production ...