The Coal Question
By William Stanley Jevons
I AM desirous of prefixing to the second edition of the following work a few explanations which may tend to prevent misapprehension of its purpose and conclusions.The expression “exhaustion of our coal mines,” states the subject in the briefest form, but is sure to convey erroneous notions to those who do not reflect upon the long series of changes in our industrial condition which must result from the gradual deepening of our coal mines and the increased price of fuel. Many persons perhaps entertain a vague notion that some day our coal seams will be found emptied to the bottom, and swept clean like a coal-cellar. Our fires and furnaces, they think, will then be suddenly extinguished, and cold and darkness will be left to reign over a depopulated country. It is almost needless to say, however, that our mines are literally inexhaustible. We cannot get to the bottom of them; and though we may some day have to pay dear for fuel, it will never be positively wanting. [From the Preface]
First Pub. Date
London: Macmillan and Co.
The text of this edition is in the public domain. Picture of William Stanley Jevons: Photogravure after a photograph of W. Stanley Jevons, taken by Maull & Co., London., courtesy Liberty Fund, Inc.
Graph of Coal in England and Wales
CONCERNING THE PROGRESS OF THE NATION,
PROBABLE EXHAUSTION OF OUR COAL-MINES.
FELLOW OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON;
COBDEN PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL ECONOMY IN OWENS COLLEGE, MANCHESTER.
MACMILLAN AND CO.
“The progressive state is in reality the cheerful and the hearty state to all the different orders of the society; the stationary is dull; the declining melancholy.”ADAM SMITH.