Just Published! "Energy Consumption in Canada in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: A Statistical Outline" by Richard Unger and John Thistle
John Thistle & Karen Pottle-Fewer
Book Cover

Complementing other works in a series produced by a network of European scholars, this book reports energy consumption in the context of economic growth for Canada over the last two centuries.  The statistics on changes in energy carriers and in energy use per person and per unit of output when compared to Europe show Canada as an outlier in the history of energy utilization.  Both Canada and European countries experienced rapid industrialization, rises in population and rises in energy consumption, but Canada had and has higher levels overall per person. From the earliest available figures per capita consumption exceeded, in some cases considerably, that in many other countries. While resources, investment, levels of production, settlement patterns, the structure of the economy, technology and other factors all contributed to rising energy consumption over the past two centuries, geography also ensured that Canadians would be and remain relatively high consumers of energy.  Distances are great, population density is low, and, even more important, it is cold in the North. In sum, Energy Consumption in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries is a quantitative and contextual reflection on Canadian history, Canada compared to other countries, and energy and the environment.

For more information about the book or how to obtain copies please feel free to contact John Thistle at jthistle@mun.ca  or visit the publisher website at




May 8th, 2014

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