PAST AND PRESENT
Before we can establish where we are going in our national energy journey, we must know where we now stand and understand how we got here. It’s important to consider the past and present of America’s energy story so that we can have the background knowledge we need to put into historical perspective the various issues we’ll examine more deeply later in this book. In Chapter 1, we’ll look at why we are facing the end of the fossil-fuel age and contemplate what it might mean for the future survival of our republic and our civilization. In Chapter 2, we’ll explore the process by which the United States gradually became so dependent on fossil fuels for driving its economic, social, and political institutions. Finally, in Chapter 3, we’ll analyze the various energy opportunities available to replace fossil fuels, and we’ll examine the positive and negative aspects of their widespread use in American society.