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Lecture 10

Lecture 10: Nats 1760.docx

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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1760
Darrin Durant

Energy Pt. 2 Energy & Democracy 6/10/2013 6:08:00 AM Mitchell’s thesis: page 79 So…  Mitchells stories of coal and oil development are intended to show … o The ways forms of power are tied up with coal and oil o The way people gained power via coal but lost power via oil o The example of the Baku strike is a support of the thesis Buried sunshine:  150-350 million years ago peat bog forests and marine organisms decayed in water, oxygen-deficient environments  The limit to uses of things like coal? Mitchell: Historically set by the energy required to produce a fuel  The accelerating supply of energy enabled new forms of mass politics o Dispersed forms of human settlement o But also new, concentrated forms of settlement (urban, not agricultural)  Mitchell: The greater divergence – movement from coal to oil that occurred same time as shift in economic activity in the global (from East to West). The old south-east Asia (Ottoman empire) being the global driver until the West usurped this role – around 1800. The East was the primary economic driver is the past b/c of their resources. The West pursued dominance through purchasing resources, developing products, and selling them back – they saw democracy as a way around religion/landed aristocracy. o Mitchell: historical link of what we’ve done with energy(resources) has a link with what we did politically. Coal, democracy, and Colonialism:  Representative Government: Early – oligarchic alternative to democracy (83) o Plebiscite limited to property owners  1870s, upheavals in Europe o legal order for unions/political parties to emerge  1870-1915: age of empire and age of democracy o population concentration in cities  The rise of coal (84) o The link b/w democracy and coal was contingent (depending on the strength of the union the situation varied).  Mitchell is adding the history of coal & oil to the history of democracy. Wood vs. Coal:  Wood: lots of people, handling small amounts of energy  Coal: few people, handling large amounts of energy Coal & Political Force , pre-WWII (p.84-90)  Only in some places did unions become things of influence
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