David Wogan, writing for Scientific American:
There are three themes that run through U.S.’s energy history:
- We go through energy transitions regularly, largely out of necessity (running out of forests or whale oil (Peak Whale) or with the discovery of a better fuel source;
- We tend to diversify our fuel mix as time goes on (again, finding new, better fuel sources) by adding new fuel sources more than we retire fuel sources;
- We tend to decarbonize as time goes on (from carbon-intensive wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas).