While a little off topic I thought the following was worth sharing. I read a WSJ book review written by one of my favorite authors, John Steele Gordon. He reviewed “Leviathan“, a comprehensive account of the history of Whaling. Here’s an excerpt from the review:
American whalers ranged farther and farther across the world’s oceans as their prey grew scarce in home waters … But as the price of whale oil ratcheted up in the face of increasing demand and decreasing supply, competition from other sources began to increase. When Edwin Drake demonstrated the practicality of drilling for petroleum in 1859, the glory days of American whaling were over.
One cannot avoid drawing parallels between this significant black swan event that single handedly destroyed America’s largest pre-industrial age business and the recent announcements regarding cellulose ethanol.