Climatic Change

, Volume 122, Issue 1–2, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Slave ownership and fossil fuel usage: a commentary



In a recent, thought-provoking article, Jean-François Mouhot argues that there are many similarities between historical slave ownership and present-day fossil fuel usage. For that reason, Mouhot believes, members of modern fossil-fuel-dependent civilization should not feel morally superior to slave owners. While it is easy to sympathize with Mouhot’s intentions of furthering a transition to sustainable energy use, some arguments made in the article are in need of refinement.



The author would like to thank Stefan Öberg, John Lapidus and three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments on previous drafts of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economic HistoryUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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