I haven't researched that exact timeframe to give a judgment (I've read only starting around 1865), but I don't see how this is too relevant anyway. Either way the market provided kerosene. Whale oil might not be proof of low supply (and hence high prices) driving a search for newer technology, but so what?
the blog post appears to have been taken down. care to give the jist?
Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley
Here's a google cache of the article:
Wow. Really interesting stuff.
The historical question of how big the role of a tax in alcohol played on ending the use whale oil would be interesting to investigate.
The economic question though, I don't think, wouldn't change. The primary point would be that the increasing price of whale oil lead to a search for alternatives that was eventually satisfied with petroleum based fuels. It wouldn't really matter (from an econ perspective) if this increasing price was driven by taxes or declining whale populations.
At least that is how I am reading it. But I am a little confused. Why would whale oil be subject to the alcohol tax?
Maybe a more literal use of the word?
"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann
"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence" - GLS Shackle
Student:At least that is how I am reading it. But I am a little confused. Why would whale oil be subject to the alcohol tax?
article:Take, for instance, the Whale Oil Myth — the idea that the free market, without any government intervention, is fully capable of making energy technology transitions. People who believed in the myth have argued against environmental regulation and energy research.
article:The petroleum industry did not arise in response to market conditions but rather in response to government intervention. Petroleum did not save the whales in the 1860s. Other technologies had already done that. In effect, the petroleum industry was born with the silver spoon of subsidy wedged firmly in its teeth.
article:As arcane as it may seem, the whale oil myth is a good illustration of the ongoing debate over energy policy. It matters because the implication that conservative economists draw from the “whale oil myth” is that the invisible hand of the marketplace is appropriately the main (if not only) driving force behind change in energy use. Liberals see a stronger role for government.