Another insightful analysis by Andy May. Useful information for discussions with the innumerate lefties in your life, who do not understand energy math nor attempt to try. This may help get the point across.
Guest essay by Andy May
It is difficult to compare 1840 to 2015, so much of what we have today didn’t exist then. But, they had to move people and goods from place to place as we do now. They had farms then as we do now. They used wagons pulled by horses, mules or oxen. We use cars and airplanes. They used muscle power to farm, we use tractors, combines, grain carts, and trucks powered by petroleum fuels. In 1840 crude oil and natural gas production and use were rare. Coal was used in manufacturing, but steam engines were still in their infancy. So the world in 1840 was fossil fuel free for the most part. Biofuels, that is burning wood and dung, were common. Windmills would not appear until 1854. Hydropower was not in common use until after 1849. Solar power had not been invented yet.
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