- xiv, 255 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
- Contents: Machine generated contents note: pt. I CONTEXTS -- 1.Fossil fuels before 1950 -- 2.Energy technologies -- 3.Energy in society -- 4.Fossil fuel consumption in numbers -- pt. II CHRONOLOGIES -- 5.The 1950s and 1960s: post-war boom -- 6.The 1970s: crises and oil price shocks -- 7.Patterns of electrification -- 8.The 1980s: recession and recovery -- 9.The 1990s: shunning the global warming challenge -- 10.The 2000s: acceleration renewed -- pt. III REFLECTIONS -- 11.Interpretations and ideologies -- 12.Possibilities -- 13.Conclusions -- APPENDICES -- Appendix 1 Measuring environmental impacts, energy flows and inequalities -- Appendix 2 Additional figures and tables.Includes bibliographical references (pages 212-248) and index.Summary: Coal, gas and oil have powered our societies for hundreds of years. But the pace at which we use them changed dramatically in the 20th century: of all the fossil fuels ever consumed, more than half were burnt up in the past 50 years alone, the vast majority of that within a single generation. Most worrying of all, this dramatic acceleration has occurred against the backdrop of an increasingly unanimous scientific consensus: that their environmental impact is devastating and potentially irreversible. In 'Burning Up', Simon Pirani recounts the history of the relentless rise of fossil fuels in the past half century, and lays out the ways in which the expansion of the global capitalist economy has driven it forward.