Jonah Goldberg

Kerosene helped wean America (and everyone else) off our “addiction” to whales. Oil and coal helped end our addiction to wood for, well, everything. Wood was not only a heating fuel, it was instrumental to railroads and all manner of construction. Ronald Bailey has noted that “Railroads, the 19th century’s ‘modern’ form of transportation, consumed nearly 25 percent of all the wood used in America, for both track ties and fuel.” In 1900, New York City alone supported over 120,000 horses who befouled the water and the air in the city, but also required vast amounts of land to supply the hay that fueled them.

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