All domestic, commercial and industrial facilities obtain their energy services (e.g. electricity, heating and cooling) primarily from the nationwide electric and natural gas utility grids. These grids are maintained by state-franchised monopolies, an invention of the same inventor as the incandescent light bulb, Thomas Edison no less. It was Edison and his business head (Samuel Insull) who persuaded states and municipalities to single-source the matrices of wires and pipes to traverse the countryside, towns and cities across state and private property lines to supply electricity and fuel to consumers. Built countrywide during the past century, these grids have become marvels of the modern industrial age. They provide virtually universal access to effective, clean, abundant, convenient and inexpensive energy with no more effort than the flick of a switch. Indeed, these energy grids are the very essence of productivity, security and prosperity in the modern world. What's more, they give the impression that progress requires a partnership of private enterprise and politics.
Modernity is the result of capitalistic industrialization, entrepreneurial initiative and free-market socialization. The results of this social paradigm are eagerly sought everywhere but its methods are just as eagerly misrepresented and misconstrued. The idea that politics is essential and instrumental is one example.
Modernity has also bred concerns that man's appetite for energy is unsustainable and has grown to the point where it is damaging the environment and climate in which he lives.