Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Hostmen

I've been reading Edwin Black's Internal Combustion and it's interesting to read about Kings and their forests of wood fuel (Robin Hood is said to be about the hero who fought over wood) and the hostmen of industrial England who held so much power in coal, the government couldn't stymie them. What is interesting is that the railroad is what broke their monopoly by opening up more places rich with coal but without a river to run it down. Today we have a similar monopoly with oil rich countries and a big fight over that energy. Perhaps we are on the cusp of another shift because of oils location and environmental ills. Perhaps it is the railroad that will bring it back.

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