Week 5, Lecture 2
People have found methods to create power in new ways, steam-powered electrical generator, and
hydroelectricity, nuclear-powered steam turbine (very expensive and very dangerous).
Energy sources harnessed by pre-industrial human systems
Animals, wood fires, sunlight, whale oil, wind, moving water, etc.
Whale boiled down to get oil to power lamps…yes lamps
Human energy use,
Until industrial revolution, human energy use was almost all from renewable, non-fossil fuel
Small impact on carbon cycle
Signifitgant impact on forests and land cover, watercourses
Transformation in 1800’s: Steam engine, uses coal to boil water creates pressurized steam that turns a
shaft. It allows creation of factories away from watercourses, permits steamships and railways.
Refined oil 1800’s
Liquid fuel is far more portable, lighter and cleaner than coal, burns more efficiently
Permits development of automobiles with internal combustion engines
Natural Gas 1800’s
Less portable than liquid fuels (requires construction from fossil fuels to cons