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The Subterranean Forest


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Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface I. Energy Systems and Social Evolution 1. Palaeolithic Hunter-gatherer Societies 2. The Neolithic Revolution and the Problem of Dynamics 3. Traditional Agriculture - A Controlled Solar Energy System 4. The Structure of the Agrarian Energy System 5. The Dynamics of Agrarian Society 6. Crisis and Transformation 7. The Industrial System and Fossil Energy II. Forest and Wood in Preindustrial Germany 1. Natural Foundations The forest as a component of the agricultural biotope Forms of forest use The transportation problem 2. Preindustrial Wood Consumption Commercial consumption Iron smelting Private households 3. Regulation Problems III. England: Coal in the Industrial Revolution 1. Substitution of Wood by Coal Why was coal first used in England? The rise and decline of coal consumption in the Middle Ages A new rise Resistance to coal burning Coal as trump in the trade war Land gained with coal use Was England dependent on coal? 2. Wood and Coal in Iron Smelting Technical problems Fuel shortage and stagnation The breakthrough in iron smelting 3. Transport and Steam Power Transportation of coal Power sources for draining coal pits From the steam pump to the rotating steam engine 4. Significance of Coal in the Industrial Revolution IV. Germany in the 18th Century: Wood Crisis and Strategies for Solutions 1. Conserving Wood Fuel conserving stoves Problems in the commercial field 2. Functional Separation of Agriculture and Forestry 3. Substitution for Wood Substitution of wood by coal State measures in favour of coal Resistance and prejudices Ascendancy of coal 4. Was the Wood Crisis an Energy Crisis? V. Perceptions of Fossil Energy 1. The Finiteness of Fossil Fuels 2. Classical Political Economy and the Stationary State 3. Jevons and the Contraction of the Industrial System 4. Nuclear or Solar Energy Bibliography

About the Author

Rolf Peter Sieferle is Professor of History at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland. His other Publications include 'Fortschrittsfeinde?' (1984), 'Die Krise der menschlichen Natur' (1989), 'Bevolkerungswachtum und Naturhaushalt' (1990), 'Die konservative Revolution' (1995), 'Ruckblick auf die Natur' (1997).


SELECTED REVIEWS OF 2001 WHITE HORSE PRESS EDITION 'If anyone is still wondering what environmental history has to offer, this is a book they should read'. Paul Brassley in Environment and History 'Sieferle's account of this transition, its preconditions and its lasting consequences, is an excellent contribution to the still inexplicably sparse literature on energy in human history: well informed, well written, revealing in many ways'. Vaclav Smil in Journal of Economic History 'An engaging source for anyone grappling with the history of the Industrial Revolution'. Fredric Quivik in Technology and Culture

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