Well obviously anything is possible. Everything that happens all depends on what is known, financial stability, and the mindset of people. During the industrial revolution people got in the mindset of grow bigger and better everything. Almost as if they had caught a new whiff of Frontier Spirit. They were not thinking about the health or environmental effects of anything they did. They just wanted to grow society and get rich.
However, obviously things could have been different. Things can always be different. It all depends on whether or not people are willing to think outside of the paradigms society has set for them.
Actually, there were biofuels in widespread use. But, petroleum became a cheaper fuel, because at that time they didn’t realize how limited the supply was. Now that petroleum is going up in price, and we know more about the implications it has for the environment, alternative energy sources are making a comeback.
I think it was inevitable. When it really hit the fan, we didn’t have the technology — nor did we have the need — to monitor the state of the environment, and before the advent of computers and the internet, the world was still safe to think in isolation: there is so much of this black stuff everywhere, how could the supply ever run out?
It’s kind of a shame that oil turned out so bad — we have to ignore the fact that it’s actually really cool! It was cheap, abundant, and easy to convert to usable energy. Of the alternative and renewable energies that we have today, nothing really compares to oil in these respects. And besides, think of all the technologies, foods, products, processes that relied on oil to be invented or begun: almost everything!
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