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Natural Science
NATS 1760
Darrin Durant

NATS 1760 DARRIN DURANT/JAMES ELWICK Monday, October 22, 2012 Energy 2: Energy & Democracy  Mitchell‟s Thesis:  democracy is not the “consequence” of the industrial revolution destroying older forms of power, but of people “acquiring” and “assembling” political forms of power from within the processes attached to coal production. That new power was “weakened” in the transition from “a collective life powered with coal” to one “built upon oil”( pg. 79)  Coal and oil are intimately connected to our democracies  So… Mitchell‟s stories of coal and oil development are intended to show  the way forms of power are tied up with the coal and oil  the way people gained power via coal but lost power via oil BURIED SUNSHINE  150-350 million years ago, peat bog forests and marine organisms decayed in watery, oxygen-deficient environment( pg. 30)  The limit? Historically set by the energy required to produce a fuel( pg. 80)  The “accelerating supply of energy” enabled “new forms of mass politics”(pg.81)  dispersed forms of human settlement  but also new, concentrated forms( urban, not agricultural) THE GREAT DIVERGENCE  Change from wood to coal “underlies the „great divergence‟, post- 1800( pg. 82)  Northern/Central Europe & USA versus China, India & the Ottoman Empire  Coal, industrialization and colonization  The emergence of merchant markets within northern and central Europe( shifting the balance of power); Frank(1998) ReORIENT  Pomeranz says that you can free up your agricultural lands through colonialism (by preserving and hiring people to import materials to your land) COAL, DEMOCRACY & COLONIALISM  Representative Government  early: oligarchic alternative to democracy( pg. 83) o Voting limited to property owners rd  By 1870‟s, upheavals in Europe( e.g. Italy/ Germany unification, French 3 Republic) o Legal order for unions and political parties to emerge  1870-1915: age of empire and age of democracy o Population concentration in cities  The rise of coal( pg. 84)  produced democracy in some paces  produced colonial domination in other places o The link between coal and democracy was contingent WOOD VS. COAL WOOD COAL  Lots of people  Few people  Handling small amounts of energy  Handling large amounts of energy  principle act for voting- why should I vote if it doesn‟t count for much?  what happens if all people share the same view  collective action COAL & POLIICAL FORCE, PRE- WWII(pg. 84-90)  England, France, USA: industrial regions, water * rail networks unions  “Great volumes of energy now flowed along narrow, purpose-built channels” (pg. 85)  specialized bodies of workers could influence supply  USA: 1881-1905, coal worker strikes( triple the national average)  room- and – pillar method: worker autonomy  Germany: 1889 strikes, reform of working conditions  Mass strikes: Belgium(1902), Russia(1905), West Virginia(1919), Germany(1920), Britain(1926)  Le Sabotage(1909): worker slow-downs, work-to-rule( French railwaymen)  a single worker could bring down a steam engine… o “Force the powerful to listen” (pg. 86) o Strikes effective, not because of isolation, but because of inter-connected dependencies of coal economy  Democracy: industrial democracy(workers manage and share in profits) or welfare state(workers bargain over pay and condition)? (pg. 93 & 98) COAL & POLITICAL FORCE, POST-WWII (pg. 90-93)  Sept 1945, USA: first oil strike  US Marshall Plan:  April 1948- Dec 1951: “reorganize energy flows”  US model: a welfare state, not an industrial democracy o US helped by more coal
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