This video is rather quick, and might be overwhelming to those not already somewhat familiar with the history being described. Still, it does a remarkable job of relating the history of fossil fuels in five minutes:
Readers may not agree with all of the arguments – some are certainly debatable – but it seems like a good way of pressing people to think about some of the ways fossil fuels have influenced history, and about some of the interconnected issues of today.
The video was produced by the post carbon institute. The organization has written material that expands on the video: The Post Carbon Reader – Managing the 21st Century’s Sustainability Crises. They have some pretty high-profile fellows: Bill McKibben and William Rees among them.