In the latter part of the nineteenth century, the citizens of Great Britain faced a formidable challenge: coal resources seemed destined to run out and commentators were unable to foresee a viable alternative fuel. To address the crisis, military strategists were urged to seize control of coal in foreign lands, and companies were encouraged to increase domestic production of the resource. In Global Energy Shifts, Bruce Podobnik draws intriguing parallels between the \u0022coal panics\u0022 that once swept through Britain and the \u0022oil panics\u0022 that grip the world today. His concise history of global energy use contextualizes the coal and oil scares, demonstrating how the convergence of specific geopolitical, commercial, and social conditions can generate rapid and far-reaching transformations in the energy foundations of our world. Ultimately, Podobnik informs readers on how a \u0022crisis\u0022 of one fuel system is quickly averted with the introduction of another, and describes opportunities for shifting our problematic, oil-based system toward a renewable energy system.
Bruce Podobnik is Associate Professor of Sociology at Lewis and Clark College. He is co-editor (with Thomas Reifer) of Transforming Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities in the Post 9/11 Era, as well as a number of articles on environmental and social movement topics.
List of IllustrationsAcknowledgments1. Global Energy Shifts in World Historical Perspective2. The Rise of Coal3. Conflict in Coal and the Emergence of New Energy Systems4. The First Period of Crisis5. The Rise of Oil, Natural Gas, and Nuclear Power6. The Second Period of Crisis7. Toward a Sustainable Energy SystemAppendix A: Sources and Methods Used to Compile Energy DataAppendix B: Glossary of Petroleum Company NamesAppendix C: Sources of Strike Data in Energy IndustriesNotesBibliographyIndex