What do nice kids get for Christmas? Pretty much whatever they dang well please. And what do naughty kids get? Usually spankings, unless it’s a way too friendly new age parent or it’s Christmas season. Then they get coal. For those of you unfamiliar, this is coal.
A quick course on coal. Coal is a fossil fuel, which means that it was once a fuel but now it’s old and mostly powers museum exhibits, I think. It’s uses are plentiful if you have the patience to use such an outdated energy source instead of good clean, reliable, purely positive nuclear energy. Among those uses: creating electricity, providing a background story Derek Zoolander, drawing the ire of environmentalists, etc.
But long before the industrial revolution, coal had only one purpose. Being a rock. In case you aren’t sure how it would feel to get a boring old rock as your holiday gift, just ask Charlie Brown.
However the industrial revolution made coal suddenly valuable. Next thing you knew, young entrepreneurs began to be naughty left and right, building their coal empires on a bed of lies, anger, and general ne’er-do-wellness. One might notice that lumps of coal rarely fill stockings any more. We can attribute this to Santa wising up to those little punks.
Then we invented the internal combustion engine and Al Gore rolled over in his father’s nether regions. The value of coal plummeted and young children resorted to being nice as the opportunity cost returned to equilibrium. For those of you wondering about the spike at the end, i attribute it to shale. Unfortunately, shale leaves a sticky, drippy stocking so that will likely see the same success as early coal.