Day by day it becomes more evident that the Coal we happily possess in excellent quality and abundance is the mainspring of modern material civilization," British economist William Stanley Jevons wrote in his book The Coal Question, published in 1865.
Far from implying that this is some sort of "beginning of the end" for mining, Mr Runge refers to a very respected English economist, William Stanley Jevons, speaking about the UK coal industry in the 19th Century.
A century later, when William Stanley Jevons wrote of the origins of money as a convenience for avoiding the "double coincidence of wants," he was extrapolating not from history but from a functional view of money, rooted in the calculus of utilities that he was just then inventing.
Scholars have devoted much attention in recent years to explaining the differences between the basic analytical frameworks of classical political economy and the marginalist supply and demand theories published by William Stanley Jevons and Leon Walras in the 1860s and 1870s.
Here he seeks to establish a background upon which later, predominantly neoclassical, developments, might be viewed; the names of John Stuart Mill, William Stanley Jevons, and Walter Bagehot figure prominently.