Carbon Democracy

Political Power in the Age of Oil

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1781681163

Category: Political Science

Page: 292

View: 755

Carbon Democracy provides a unique examination of the relationship between oil and democracy. Interweaving the history of energy, political analysis, and economic theory, Mitchell targets conventional wisdom regarding energy and governance. Emphasizing how oil and democracy have intermixed, he argues that while coal provided the impetus for mass democracy, the shift to oil drastically limited democratic possibility; above all, the ability to confront contemporary ecological crises.
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Carbon Democracy

Political Power in the Age of Oil

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1844677451

Category: Political Science

Page: 278

View: 7373

"Timothy Mitchell begins with the history of coal power to tell a radical new story about the rise of democracy. Coal was a source of energy so open to disruption that oligarchies in the West became vulnerable for the first time to mass demands for democracy. In the mid-twentieth century, however, the development of cheap and abundant energy from oil, most notably from the Middle East, offered a means to reduce this vulnerability to democratic pressures. The abundance of oil made it possible for the first time in history to reorganize political life around the management of something now called ???the economy??? and the promise of its infinite growth. The politics of the West became dependent on an undemocratic Middle East."--Publisher website.
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Carbon Democracy

Political Power in the Age of Oil

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1844678962

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 2196

Oil is a curse, it is often said, that condemns the countries producing it to an existence defined by war, corruption and enormous inequality. Carbon Democracy tells a more complex story, arguing that no nation escapes the political consequences of our collective dependence on oil. It shapes the body politic both in regions such as the Middle East, which rely upon revenues from oil production, and in the places that have the greatest demand for energy. Timothy Mitchell begins with the history of coal power to tell a radical new story about the rise of democracy. Coal was a source of energy so open to disruption that oligarchies in the West became vulnerable for the first time to mass demands for democracy. In the mid-twentieth century, however, the development of cheap and abundant energy from oil, most notably from the Middle East, offered a means to reduce this vulnerability to democratic pressures. The abundance of oil made it possible for the first time in history to reorganize political life around the management of something now called “the economy” and the promise of its infinite growth. The politics of the West became dependent on an undemocratic Middle East. In the twenty-first century, the oil-based forms of modern democratic politics have become unsustainable. Foreign intervention and military rule are faltering in the Middle East, while governments everywhere appear incapable of addressing the crises that threaten to end the age of carbon democracy—the disappearance of cheap energy and the carbon-fuelled collapse of the ecological order. In making the production of energy the central force shaping the democratic age, Carbon Democracy rethinks the history of energy, the politics of nature, the theory of democracy, and the place of the Middle East in our common world.
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Lifeblood

Oil, Freedom, and the Forces of Capital

Author: Matthew T. Huber

Publisher: U of Minnesota Press

ISBN: 0816685967

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 7007

If our oil addiction is so bad for us, why don’t we kick the habit? Looking beyond the usual culprits—Big Oil, petro-states, and the strategists of empire—Lifeblood finds a deeper and more complex explanation in everyday practices of oil consumption in American culture. Those practices, Matthew T. Huber suggests, have in fact been instrumental in shaping the broader cultural politics of American capitalism. How did gasoline and countless other petroleum products become so central to our notions of the American way of life? Huber traces the answer from the 1930s through the oil shocks of the 1970s to our present predicament, revealing that oil’s role in defining popular culture extends far beyond material connections between oil, suburbia, and automobility. He shows how oil powered a cultural politics of entrepreneurial life—the very American idea that life itself is a product of individual entrepreneurial capacities. In so doing he uses oil to retell American political history from the triumph of New Deal liberalism to the rise of the New Right, from oil’s celebration as the lifeblood of postwar capitalism to increasing anxieties over oil addiction. Lifeblood rethinks debates surrounding energy and capitalism, neoliberalism and nature, and the importance of suburbanization in the rightward shift in American politics. Today, Huber tells us, as crises attributable to oil intensify, a populist clamoring for cheap energy has less to do with American excess than with the eroding conditions of life under neoliberalism.
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Rule of Experts

Egypt, Techno-politics, Modernity

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520232624

Category: History

Page: 413

View: 3346

Drawing upon two decades of fieldwork in Egypt, a political scientist and ethnographer offers a sweeping critique of social science theory, arguing that we need to move beyond postmoderism to examine the fundemental constructs of the social sciences: the nation, the economy, and violence.
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Colonising Egypt

With a new preface

Author: Timothy Mitchell

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520911660

Category: History

Page: 240

View: 3488

Extending deconstructive theory to historical and political analysis, Timothy Mitchell examines the peculiarity of Western conceptions of order and truth through a re-reading of Europe's colonial encounter with nineteenth-century Egypt.
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Disassembly Required

A Field Guide to Actually Existing Capitalism

Author: Geoff Mann

Publisher: AK Press

ISBN: 1849351260

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 262

View: 4236

Capitalism is a complex, dynamic, and extraordinarily robust way of organizing human life; it is also a system that achieves prosperity for the few, impoverishes the many, and depletes the commons for all. We know that capitalism is a broken system, in desperate need of change. But, to imagine a different system, we first need to understand how capitalism actually exists today —and be able to explain to others how it works, and why change is needed. Disassembly Required is an attempt to meet these challenges. It offers an anti-capitalist analysis of capitalism, and, even more important, it explains why it is anti-capitalist. It does not stop at claiming that the present way of organizing the “economic” aspects of our lives is politically indefensible and ecologically unsustainable, but digs into the details of capitalist institutions and the economics that justify them. From money and markets to the subprime crisis, it explains the fundamental features of contemporary capitalism and how they contribute, sometimes in surprising ways, to overall capitalist dynamics. “A brilliantly lucid book. Mann illuminates the basic principles of modern capitalism, their expressions in contemporary economies and states, and their devastating socio-ecological consequences for working people everywhere. This is a must-read if we are to envision ways of organizing our common planetary existence that are not based upon the illusory promises of market fundamentalism and the suicidal ideology of endless economic growth.”—Neil Brenner, New State Spaces “Geoff Mann is a new breed of monkey-wrencher. He knows that contemporary capitalism has a perverse habit of dismantling itself and gives us a toolkit to build a new, more socially just edifice.”—Andy Merrifield, Magical Marxism “Insightful and incisive, thoughtful and thorough, filled with new avenues for thinking about resistence. Pass this one by at your own peril.”—Matt Hern, Common Ground in a Liquid City “An essential handbook for understanding ‘actually existing’ capitalism, and thus the world as it really is—rather than as it is theorized and justified by the dissembling high priests of mainstream academia, policy, and politics.”—Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos
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Life After Carbon

The Next Global Transformation of Cities

Author: Peter Plastrik,John Cleveland

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1610918509

Category: Architecture

Page: 304

View: 2975

In Life After Carbon urban sustainability consultants Pete Plastrik and John Cleveland present a global pattern of reinvention from the stories of 25 "innovation lab" cities—from Copenhagento Melbourne. Plastrik and Cleveland show that four transformational ideas are driving urban climate innovation around the world: carbon-free advantage, efficient abundance, nature's benefits, and adaptive futures. Life After Carbon presents the new ideas that are replacing the pillars of the modern-city model, converting climate disaster into urban opportunity, and shaping the next transformation of cities worldwide. It will inspire anyone who cares about the future of our cities, and help them to map a sustainable pathforward.
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No Immediate Danger

Volume One of Carbon Ideologies

Author: William T. Vollmann

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399563504

Category: Science

Page: 624

View: 2629

A timely, eye-opening book about climate change and energy generation that focuses on the consequences of nuclear power production, from award-winning author William T. Vollmann In his nonfiction, William T. Vollmann has won acclaim as a singular voice tackling some of the most important issues of our age, from poverty to violence to the dark soul of American imperialism as it has played out on the U.S./Mexico border. Now, Vollmann turns to a topic that will define the generations to come--the factors and human actions that have led to global warming. Vollmann begins No Immediate Danger, the first volume of Carbon Ideologies, by examining and quantifying the many causes of climate change, from industrial manufacturing and agricultural practices to fossil fuel extraction, economic demand for electric power, and the justifiable yearning of people all over the world to live in comfort. Turning to nuclear power first, Vollmann then recounts multiple visits that he made at significant personal risk over the course of seven years to the contaminated no-go zones and sad ghost towns of Fukushima, Japan, beginning shortly after the tsunami and reactor meltdowns of 2011. Equipped first only with a dosimeter and then with a scintillation counter, he measured radiation and interviewed tsunami victims, nuclear evacuees, anti-nuclear organizers and pro-nuclear utility workers. Featuring Vollmann's signature wide learning, sardonic wit, and encyclopedic research, No Immediate Danger, whose title co-opts the reassuring mantra of official Japanese energy experts, builds up a powerful, sobering picture of the ongoing nightmare of Fukushima. Watch for No Good Alternative, the second volume of Carbon Ideologies, focusing on human experiences related to coal mining and oil and natural gas production - coming in June 2018.
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The Tragedy of Political Science

Politics, Scholarship, and Democracy

Author: David M. Ricci

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300037609

Category: Political Science

Page: 335

View: 2297

"This book is both a comprehensive review and a thoughtful critique of the development of political science as an academic discipline in this century. David Ricci eloquently describes the tragic dilemma of political science in America: when political scholars deal with politics in a scientific fashion, they reveal facts that contradict democratic expectations; when the same scholars seek to justify those expectations, their moral arguments carry little professional weight."--Jacket.
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Oil's Deep State

How the petroleum industry undermines democracy and stops action on global warming - in Alberta, and in Ottawa

Author: Kevin Taft

Publisher: James Lorimer & Company

ISBN: 145940999X

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 9722

Why have democratic governments failed to take serious steps to reduce carbon emissions despite dire warnings and compelling evidence of the profound and growing threat posed by global warming? Most of the writing on global warming is by scientists, academics, environmentalists, and journalists. Kevin Taft, a former leader of the opposition in Alberta, brings a fresh perspective through the insight he gained as an elected politician who had an insider's eyewitness view of the role of the oil industry. His answer, in brief: The oil industry has captured key democratic institutions in both Alberta and Ottawa. Taft begins his book with a perceptive observer's account of a recent court casein Ottawa which laid bare the tactics and techniques of the industry, its insiders and lobbyists. He casts dramatic new light on exactly how corporate lobbyists, politicians, bureaucrats, universities, and other organizations are working together to pursue the oil industry's agenda. He offers a brisk tour of the recent work of scholars who have developed the concepts of the deep state and institutional capture to understand how one rich industry can override the public interest. Taft views global warming and weakened democracy as two symptoms of the same problem — the loss of democratic institutions to corporate influence and control. He sees citizen engagement and direct action by the public as the only response that can unravel big oil's deep state.
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Routes of Power

Author: Christopher F. Jones

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674728890

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 312

View: 9751

The fossil fuel revolution is usually a tale of advances in energy production. Christopher Jones tells a tale of advances in energy access--canals, pipelines, wires delivering cheap, abundant power to cities at a distance from production sites. Between 1820 and 1930 these new transportation networks set the U.S. on a path to fossil fuel dependence.
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The Energy of Slaves

Oil and the New Servitude

Author: Andrew Nikiforuk

Publisher: Greystone Books

ISBN: 1553659791

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 793

By the winner of the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award Ancient civilizations relied on shackled human muscle. It took the energy of slaves to plant crops, clothe emperors, and build cities. Nineteenth-century slaveholders viewed critics as hostilely as oil companies and governments now regard environmentalists. Yet the abolition movement had an invisible ally: coal and oil. As the world's most versatile workers, fossil fuels replenished slavery's ranks with combustion engines and other labor-saving tools. Since then, cheap oil has transformed politics, economics, science, agriculture, and even our concept of happiness. Many North Americans today live as extravagantly as Caribbean plantation owners. We feel entitled to surplus energy and rationalize inequality, even barbarity, to get it. But endless growth is an illusion. What we need, Andrew Nikiforuk argues in this provocative new book, is a radical emancipation movement that ends our master-and-slave approach to energy. We must learn to use energy on a moral, just, and truly human scale.
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Behind the Carbon Curtain

The Energy Industry, Political Censorship, and Free Speech

Author: Jeffrey A. Lockwood

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

ISBN: 082635808X

Category: Nature

Page: 311

View: 4749

Exploring censorship imposed by corporate wealth and power, this book focuses on the energy industry in Wyoming, where coal, oil, and gas are pillars of the economy. The author examines how governmental bodies and public institutions have suppressed the expression of ideas that conflict with the financial interests of those who profit from fossil fuels. He reveals the ways in which university administrations, art museums, education boards, and research institutes have been coerced into destroying artwork, abandoning studies, modifying curricula, and firing employees. His book is an eloquent story of the conflict between private wealth and free speech. Providing more of the nation’s energy than any other state, Wyoming is a sociopolitical lens that magnifies the conflicts in the American West. But the issues are relevant to any community that is dependent on a dominant industry—and wherever the liberties of citizens and the ethics of public officials are at risk.
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The Confidence Trap

A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present

Author: David Runciman

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400888751

Category: Political Science

Page: 416

View: 2763

Why do democracies keep lurching from success to failure? The current financial crisis is just the latest example of how things continue to go wrong, just when it looked like they were going right. In this wide-ranging, original, and compelling book, David Runciman tells the story of modern democracy through the history of moments of crisis, from the First World War to the economic crash of 2008. A global history with a special focus on the United States, The Confidence Trap examines how democracy survived threats ranging from the Great Depression to the Cuban missile crisis, and from Watergate to the collapse of Lehman Brothers. It also looks at the confusion and uncertainty created by unexpected victories, from the defeat of German autocracy in 1918 to the defeat of communism in 1989. Throughout, the book pays close attention to the politicians and thinkers who grappled with these crises: from Woodrow Wilson, Nehru, and Adenauer to Fukuyama and Obama. In The Confidence Trap, David Runciman shows that democracies are good at recovering from emergencies but bad at avoiding them. The lesson democracies tend to learn from their mistakes is that they can survive them—and that no crisis is as bad as it seems. Breeding complacency rather than wisdom, crises lead to the dangerous belief that democracies can muddle through anything—a confidence trap that may lead to a crisis that is just too big to escape, if it hasn't already. The most serious challenges confronting democracy today are debt, the war on terror, the rise of China, and climate change. If democracy is to survive them, it must figure out a way to break the confidence trap.
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Material Politics

Disputes Along the Pipeline

Author: Andrew Barry

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 111852909X

Category: Science

Page: 264

View: 7571

In Material Politics, author Andrew Barry reveals that as we are beginning to attend to the importance of materials in political life, materials has become increasingly bound up with the production of information about their performance, origins, and impact. Presents an original theoretical approach to political geography by revealing the paradoxical relationship between materials and politics Explores how political disputes have come to revolve not around objects in isolation, but objects that are entangled in ever growing quantities of information about their performance, origins, and impact Studies the example of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline – a fascinating experiment in transparency and corporate social responsibility – and its wide-spread negative political impact Capitalizes on the growing interdisciplinary interest, especially within geography and social theory, about the critical role of material artefacts in political life
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Grass, Soil, Hope

A Journey Through Carbon Country

Author: Courtney White

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 160358546X

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 272

View: 1849

This book tackles an increasingly crucial question: What can we do about the seemingly intractable challenges confronting all of humanity today, including climate change, global hunger, water scarcity, environmental stress, and economic instability? The quick answers are: Build topsoil. Fix creeks. Eat meat from pasture-raised animals. Scientists maintain that a mere 2 percent increase in the carbon content of the planet’s soils could offset 100 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions going into the atmosphere. But how could this be accomplished? What would it cost? Is it even possible? Yes, says author Courtney White, it is not only possible, but essential for the long-term health and sustainability of our environment and our economy. Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and related land-based carbon sequestration activities. These include a range of already existing, low-tech, and proven practices: composting, no-till farming, climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, increasing biodiversity, and producing local food. In Grass, Soil, Hope, the author shows how all these practical strategies can be bundled together into an economic and ecological whole, with the aim of reducing atmospheric CO2 while producing substantial co-benefits for all living things. Soil is a huge natural sink for carbon dioxide. If we can draw increasing amounts carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely in the soil then we can significantly address all the multiple challenges that now appear so intractable.
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Fossil Capital

The Rise of Steam Power and the Roots of Global Warming

Author: Andreas Malm

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1784781304

Category: Political Science

Page: 496

View: 2142

How capitalism first promoted fossil fuels with the rise of steam power The more we know about the catastrophic implications of climate change, the more fossil fuels we burn. How did we end up in this mess? In this masterful new history, Andreas Malm claims it all began in Britain with the rise of steam power. But why did manufacturers turn from traditional sources of power, notably water mills, to an engine fired by coal? Contrary to established views, steam offered neither cheaper nor more abundant energy—but rather superior control of subordinate labour. Animated by fossil fuels, capital could concentrate production at the most profitable sites and during the most convenient hours, as it continues to do today. Sweeping from nineteenth-century Manchester to the emissions explosion in China, from the original triumph of coal to the stalled shift to renewables, this study hones in on the burning heart of capital and demonstrates, in unprecedented depth, that turning down the heat will mean a radical overthrow of the current economic order. From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Spying on Democracy

Government Surveillance, Corporate Power and Public Resistance

Author: Heidi Boghosian,Lewis Lapham

Publisher: City Lights Books

ISBN: 0872866033

Category: Law

Page: 352

View: 5946

Spying on US citizens is rising as corporations make big bucks selling info about our private lives to the government.
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Landscapes of Power

Politics of Energy in the Navajo Nation

Author: Dana E. Powell

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822372290

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 6481

In Landscapes of Power Dana E. Powell examines the rise and fall of the controversial Desert Rock Power Plant initiative in New Mexico to trace the political conflicts surrounding native sovereignty and contemporary energy development on Navajo (Diné) Nation land. Powell's historical and ethnographic account shows how the coal-fired power plant project's defeat provided the basis for redefining the legacies of colonialism, mineral extraction, and environmentalism. Examining the labor of activists, artists, politicians, elders, technicians, and others, Powell emphasizes the generative potential of Navajo resistance to articulate a vision of autonomy in the face of twenty-first-century colonial conditions. Ultimately, Powell situates local Navajo struggles over energy technology and infrastructure within broader sociocultural life, debates over global climate change, and tribal, federal, and global politics of extraction.
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