“THE WOOD AGE” – PART OF OUR PAST, BUT SHOULD WE WISH FOR IT AS OUR FUTURE?

Martin A. Hubbe

Abstract


A new book by Radkau, Wood. A History, provides telling insight into the cleverness and also into the short-sightedness of humans in their almost uninterrupted dependence on forest resources. This essay touches upon the earliest evidence of prehistoric wood-based technologies – showing examples where humans have tended, in many generations, to exhaust their readily available resources. Beginning in the Industrial Revolution a greatly expanded usage of first coal and the petroleum have tended to take some of the pressure off of the use of wood as a fuel source. But there are early signs that the situation may be changing soon. Large wood-to-liquid-fuel facilities are being talked about. Though the usage of wood for fuel has the potential to be a sustainable enterprise, human history suggests we should exercise caution.

Keywords


Wood; Prehistoric technologies; Resource shortages; Biofuel; Renewable resources

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126