AbstractA new book by Radkau, Wood. A History, provides telling insight into the cleverness and also into the short-sightedness of humans in their almost uninterrupted dependence on forest resources. This essay touches upon the earliest evidence of prehistoric wood-based technologies – showing examples where humans have tended, in many generations, to exhaust their readily available resources. Beginning in the Industrial Revolution a greatly expanded usage of first coal and the petroleum have tended to take some of the pressure off of the use of wood as a fuel source. But there are early signs that the situation may be changing soon. Large wood-to-liquid-fuel facilities are being talked about. Though the usage of wood for fuel has the potential to be a sustainable enterprise, human history suggests we should exercise caution.