Where do you start with a topic as sprawling as the history of energy production, consumption, and distribution? Why not start with the sources and take it from there?
On these pages, you'll find historical introductions to seven different types of energy sources that humans have harnessed over time. They offer a primer on the physical and geographic contexts of energy sources – but in keeping with how CHE explores things, these pages also look at the human context of energy sources as well. Check out our perspectives and grid pages for more intriguing ways of thinking about energy.
These pages were authored by members of the 2010 CHE Methods Seminar, who broke into teams to tackle these various energy sources and to provide historical perspectives on energy in the United States. These pages demonstrate what happens when you bring diverse disciplinary approaches to bear on environmental issues of the past and present – which is what CHE is all about.
CHE grads at the Prairie Du Sac Hydropower Station
Photo by William Cronon