An interesting look at society's shift in energy-supply priorities, and how we got to where we are today (UK perspective):
"Welcome to the Wind Age" by Jennie Bristow,
published in "Spiked Science":
"Windmills are pretty if you are on holiday in Norfolk or Amsterdam. But how did we end up wanting them as a symbol of advanced modern society? How did we get from the Nuclear Age, where the successful application of a scientific breakthrough meant that people believed we never needed to worry about sources of energy running out, to the Wind Age, where we give ourselves over to the unpredictability of nature and look to little Denmark as a model?
"Well, it wasn't because of Three Mile Island, or Chernobyl, or the other nuclear scares and accidents that still play heavily on our minds. What is surprising is how few such disasters there have been. There are legitimate concerns about the disposal of nuclear waste, but these are blown way out of proportion - this is a practical problem needing a solution, yet it tends to be discussed as an apocalypse in the making. What really killed the Nuclear Age was an explosion of self-doubt across the Western world, where we stopped trusting in science and politics and started believing in our own nightmares."