Preindustrial societies relied on muscle power for work: if not your own, then that of some animal, or of another human. Combustion of fossil fuels has largely become the ‘muscle’ that does most physical work: electricity powering machines that replace the jobs, for example, carried out by slaves in the ancient (and not so ancient) world… petrol pulling our carriages and ploughs. As recently as the American Civil War, people killed to keep their slaves. Many of us – most of us in the ‘developed world’ – entirely rely on this new slavery. It does not seem likely to me that we will give it up without a fight.
fossil fuels as slaves
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