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The Commoner N. 13 – Winter 2009 – There’s an Energy Crisis (among others) in the Air…

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  • Kolya Abramsky and Massimo De Angelis: Introduction: Energy crisis (among others) is in the air. [PDF]
  • Tom Keefer Fossil Fuels, Capitalism, and Class Struggle. [PDF]
  • Kolya Abramsky: Energy and Labor in the World-Economy. [PDF]
  • Evo Morales: Open Letter on Climate Change: “Save the Planet from Capitalism”. [PDF]
  • George Caffentzis: A Discourse on Prophetic Method: Oil Crises and Political Economy, Past and Future. [PDF]
  • Ewa Jasiewicz: Iraqi oil workers movements: spaces of transformation and transition [PDF]
  • Patrick Bond: The global carbon trade debate: For or against the privatisation of the air? [PDF]
  • Ariel Salleh: Climate Change, Social Change – and the ‘Other Footprint’ [PDF]
  • Director Shannon Walsh: Video clip: H2Oil. [video]
  • Shannon Walsh: The Smell of Money: Alberta’s tar sands [PDF]
  • Jane Kruse and Preben Maegaard: An authentic story about how a local community became self-sufficient in pollution free energy and created a source of income for the citizens [PDF]
  • TRAPESE Collective: The Rocky Road to a Real Transition: The Transition Towns Movement and What it Means for Social Change [PDF]
  • Mónica Vargas Collazos The Ecological Debt of Agro-fuels [PDF]
  • Tatiana Roa Avendaño and Jessica Toloza: Dynamics of a Songful Resistance [PDF]
  • Sergio Oceransky: Wind Conflicts in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec- The Role of Ownership and Decision-Making Models in Indigenous Resistance to Wind Projects in Southern Mexico [PDF]
  • Jane Kruse: The End of One Danish Windmill Co-operative [PDF]

 Introduction: Energy crisis (among others) is in the air

Kolya Abramsky and Massimo De Angelis

There seems to be a general consensus, left and right, that we are in the midst of a new energy crisis. Either, “Peak Oil” is to blame, based on the argument that oil resources are about to peak bringing about serious constraints on future use of energy. Or, climate change is highlighted, warning that the sustained use of fossil fuel is heating up the planet and bringing about catastrophic changes in climate patterns.

With this issue of The Commoner we have sought to create a space to discuss the current energy crisis from a perspective that considers technology and energy within the social relations that they are part of, both being shaped by these relations and also shaping them. The editors of this issue do not believe this crisis is simply one of finite resources (“peak oil”), or that there is a technological path out of these crises, despite the indisputable fact that both resource scarcity and technology are nonetheless important factors. Instead, we understand the use, production, and distribution of energy as moments of capitalist social relations of production. As such, energy and technology are both important sites of struggle, and are shaped by these struggles. Like all phenomena, the basis of the current energy crisis does not have one but many converging “causes”. A politically essential one is the many resistances against capital’s appropriation of natural resources, beginning with oil and gas but not limited to these. [whole PDF article].