Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.
—J. Paul Getty
When humans first tamed fire, they needed energy sources to feed that fire. Thus the history of energy production greatly predates human civilization. But as civilizations grew, they demanded greater and more concentrated sources of energy in the form of fossil fuels. This chapter details how we produce the fossil fuels we use today, as well as some of the environmental and social costs of producing those energy sources.
Coal was the first energy source produced on a large commercial scale. While coal had ...