Well I had some fun with modern days crazies, so let’s switch back to a more informative tack. While I am not a Green, efficiency fascinates me – and as our ancestors had way less energy at their disposal than we, they could afford much less waste.
A very good site talking about past technologies is Lowtechmagazine.
Link goes to one of my favorite articles – about pre-electric times when ropes and steel wires were used to drive machinery directly with water power.
The writers over there also talk about modern solar etc. solutions but usually have a very critical eye on whether all of it actually makes sense energetically or resource-wise – not like the common know-nothing Green fanatic who just wants shiny stuff with subsidies.