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Benefits from Fossil Fuel Use
Environmental Aspects of Fossil Fuel Use | Fossil Fuel in General
Benefits From Fossil Fuel Use


Many of the benefits we derive from our way of life, and our high standard of living, are due to fossil fuel use. Light, heat, food, communication, travel, community -- all are based on our ability to produce and use energy. And most of our energy, about 85%, comes from fossil fuel. (Another 8% comes from nuclear power, and 7 % from all other sources, mostly hydroelectric power and wood.)

Here is the view of the great Isaac Asimov on the importance of fire, and fossil fuel:

The vast amount of energy placed at the disposal of humanity, through fire, could be, and was, used to revolutionize the nature of our existence.

The mere fact that fire was a source of light and heat independent of the sun meant that humans could roam beyond the tropics that imprison our nearest living relatives, the great apes, and into the damp, cold regions with seasons of snow and long freezing nights. In addition, the heat of the fire brought about changes in food that were the equivalent of partial digestion, and this made ordinarily inedible food palatable and nourishing. Our food supply was thus multiplied greatly.

It was fire and fire alone that enabled man to become a creature native to all the world and put mastery into his hand. Nor has the importance of fire diminished with time; rather the reverse. Wood was undoubtedly the first fuel used in building and maintaining a fire. Coal took primacy of place in the 17th century, joined by gas and oil in the 20th.

From: "Life and Energy", Doubleday, 1962

It is beyond the scope of this site to go into detail about the benefits we derive from fossil fuel energy. That would take us into areas such as philosophy, history & archeology (how we used to live), and anthropology (how others live). Here are some suggestive links:


American Anthropological Association
American Philosophical Association
includes most professinal philosohers in the US.
Archaeological Institute of America includes many regional "societies, such as the Mississippi-Memphis Society of the AIA and the New Haven Society of the AIA .
Association for the Foundations of Science, Language and Cognition (AFOS) - international professional association of scientists and theorists of science, language, and cognition, who says it "seeks to learn how well-founded knowledge of the states of affairs and processes surrounding us can be achieved and communicated in a systematic, applicable and improvable form."
Canadian Anthropology Society
Canadian Philosophical Association includes most philosophers in Canada.
Federation of Small Anthropology Programs.
Historians Committee for Open Debate
Historical Renaissance
- dedicated to digitizing history and sharing culture.
Human Relations Area Files - non-profit consortium of universities, colleges and research agencies.
International Society for Environmental Ethics
International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology
International Students of History Association
Organization of American Historians
Philosophy of Science Association - contains membership, journal, conference, and other information on the society.
Society for Economic Anthropology
Society for the Anthropology of Europe - affiliated with H-Net and to the Society for the Anthropology of Europe. Site contains links to discussions and resources, and, maintains an online archive.
Society for Philosophical Inquiry - says it is dedicated to "bringing philosophy out of the stifling confines of academia and making it a vibrant and relevant part of everyday life."

Yahoo Sites:

Arts: Humanities: History: Middle Ages: Organizations.
Arts: Humanities: History: U.S. History: Organizations.
Arts: Humanities: Philosophy: Organizations
Education: Organizations
Social Science: Economics: Organizations.
Society and Culture: Organizations

Regulation: Scholars are regulated informally by peer review.

Government information:

Department of Energy (home page)
Energy Information Administration (home page)

Trade periodicals and other publications:

Most of the Associations listed above have publications.

Culture and Agriculture - publication of the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association. Site includes an index of articles and notes for contributors.

Other sources:

Ancient Greek World - view artifacts that tell a vivid story of life in ancient Greece.
Child Labor in America 1908-1912
- investigative photos with Lewis W. Hine's original commentary.
NOAA Photo Library Collection - extensive on-line collection of over 5,000 public domain photographs and images from the early 1800's to the present.
Research in Values and Philosophy -- promotes research, writing, and publication by teams of philosophers and related specialists in the various regions of the world.
Smithsonian Institution - America's "treasure house" for learning.
That Wacky Millennium! - stuff that happened from 1001 C.E. to 2000 C.E.

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