The energy transition
For many thousands of years the first humans burned wood to keep ourselves warm and cook food. Then we discovered coal and later, gas. For a while whale oil became an important source of energy - until they they were driven close to extinction and whaling didn't end until the 1960s. By that time, whale oil had already been replaced by cheap, abundent mineral oil.
Over the course of human history there have been several major energy transitions and we are in one right now. This time it's urgent because the products of burning are the major driver of climate change.
It's doubly difficult because our growing civilisation is consuming energy at a prodigious rate, increasing by the day.
Dr Bjorn Sturmberg is Senior Research Fellow at the ANU Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program and author of Amy's Balancing Act.
Interview by Rod.
It is Free