Although the demise of coal can justifiably be blamed on the shift in government support to the nuclear industry, in truth the main challenge it faced was from petroleum. Initially, Scotland’s oil industry was also based on mining. Its geographical centre was just to the west of Edinburgh, not far from where the airport can now be found.
These days, despite the constant stream of publicity highlighting the climate emergency, many of us still drift into a lifestyle driven by uncritical, passive mass energy consumption. It’s too easy to casually switch on devices without any consideration of how the energy that powers them has been derived. Yet, all strands of our energy industry have a fascinating history and associated culture, some of which has been truly heroic and, needless to say, also often troubling in nature.