"If you were in Darkness, what would you want more than anything else - what would it be that every instinct would call for?"
"Why, light, I suppose."
"And how would you get light?"
Theremon pointed to the switch on the wall. "I'd turn it on."
Sheerin said, "Where will light come from, when the generators stop? You'd be out on the street in the Darkness. And you want light. So you burn something. Ever see a forest fire? Ever go camping and cook a stew over a wood fire? Heat isn't the only thing burning wood gives off, you know. It gives off light, and people are very aware of that. And when it's dark they want light, and they're going to get it."
"So they'll burn logs", Theremon said without much conviction.
"They'll burn everything they can get. They've got to have light. They've got to burn something, and wood won't be very handy, not on city streets. So they'll burn whatever is nearest. A pile of newspapers? Why not? What about the newsstands that the papers on sale are stacked up in? Burn them too! Burn clothing. Burn books. Burn roof-shingles. Burn anything. The people will have their light - and every center of habitation goes up in flames! There is the end of the world you used to live in."
Isaac Asimov e Robert Silverberg, Nightfall (1990)