Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution

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* Book: Sparking A Worldwide Energy Revolution. Social Struggles in a Transition to a Post-Petrol World. Ed. by Kolya Abramsky. AK Press, 2010

URL = http://www.akpress.org/2009/items/sparkingaworldwideenergyrevolution

"a major contribution to the movement working for a transition from carbon capitalism to an ecologically sound energy system. Its sixty chapters document the present energy crisis, describe alternative technologies, and introduces us to the people who worldwide are fighting for a healthy planet and the recreation of the earth's commons"


Table of Contents

Introduction: Racing to “Save” the Economy and the Planet: Capitalist or Post- capitalist Transition to a Post-petrol World?, Kolya Abramsky..........................5


Chapter 1 | Promissory Notes: From Crisis to Commons, Midnight Notes and Friends..................................................................................32

Chapter 2 | A Discourse on Prophetic Method: Oil Crises and Political Economy, Past and Future, George Caffentzis.......................................................................60

Chapter 3 | Building the Clean Energy Movement: Future Possibilities in Historical Perspective, Bruce Podobnik.................................................................................72


Section 1: Up Against the Limits: Energy, Work, Nature, and Social Struggles

Part 1: Energy Makes the World Go Round and Work Makes the Energy Sector Go Round


Chapter 4 | Machinery and Motive Power: Energy as a Substitute for and Enhancer of Human Labor, Tom Keefer................................................................................81

Chapter 5 | Energy, Work, and Social Reproduction in the World-economy, Kolya Abramsky......................................................................................................91


Part 2: Oil: The World’s Foremost Energy Sector in Terminal Crisis?


Chapter 6 | Peak Oil: Past, Current and Future Scenarios, Energy Watch Group....102

Chapter 7 | A Shortage of Oil to Save Our Climate? On the Permanent Oil Crisis, Peak Oil and the Interaction Between the Two, Peter Polder........................ 115

Chapter 8 | No Blood for Oil! A Retrospective on the Political Economy of Bush’s War on Iraq, George Caffentzis.......................................................................... 123


Part 3: Some Regional Perspectives on Energy


Chapter 9 | Climate Change, Energy and China: Technology, Market and Beyond, Dale Wen/Focus on the Global South............................................................... 130

Chapter 10 | For Democratic, National Development of North America’s Energy Resources, Various Energy Sector Trade Unions and Other Organizations...155 .

Chapter 11 | European Energy Policy on the Brink of Disaster: A Critique of the European Union’s New Energy and Climate Package, Sergio Oceransky..... 159

Chapter 12 | Energy Security in Africa with Renewable Energy, Preben Maegaard................................................................................................. 175

Chapter 13 | Multi-national Companies and the Energy Crisis in Latin America, Erika González, Kristina Sáez, and Pedro Ramiro/Observatorio de Multinacionales en América Latina


Part 4: Community and Worker Struggles Over Ownership and Control in the Fossil Fuel Sector and Their Role in a Transition to a Post-petrol World


Chapter 14 | Struggles Against Privatization of Electricity Worldwide, David Hall/ Public Services International Research Unit.................................................... 188

Chapter 15 | Community Resistance to Energy Privatization in South Africa, Patrick Bond and Trevor Ngwane................................................................................... 197

Chapter 16 | Recuperating the Gas: Bolivia in its Labyrinth, Marc Gavaldà....... 208

Chapter 17 | Iraqi Oil Workers Movements: Spaces of Transformation and Transition, Ewa Jasiewicz....................................................................................................... 219

Chapter 18 | Way Out for Nigeria: No More Oil Blocks!—Let’s Leave the Oil Under the Ground, Nnimmo Bassey/Environmental Rights Action Nigeria............ 228

Chapter 19 | Leave the Oil in the Soil: the Yasuní Model, Esperanza Martinez.... 234

Section 2: From Petrol to Renewable Energies: Socially Progressive Efforts at Transition Within the Context of Existing Global Political and Economic Relations

Part 5: Leading the Way: A Sample of Emerging “Best Practices”


Chapter 20 | The Emergence of a Wind Economy in Germany, Land as a Reusable Resource, Klaus Rave.......................................................................................... 246

Chapter 21 | An Authentic Story About How a Local Community Became Self-Sufficient in Pollution Free Energy From the Wind And Created a Source of Income for the Citizens, Jane Kruse and Preben Maegaard.......................... 256

Chapter 22 | The Role of Renewable Energy Sources in the Development of Cuban Society: the Lessons to be Learned, Conrado Moreno Figueredo and Alejandro Montesinos Larrosa............................................................................................. 264

Chapter 23 | Development, Promotion, Dissemination and Diffusion of Household Biogas Technology in Rural India, Raymond Myles/INSEDA....................... 277

Chapter 24 | Transition to Energy-Efficient Supply of Heat and Power in Denmark, Preben Maegaard................................................................................................. 292


Section 3: Struggles Over the Choice of Future Energy Sources and Technologies

Part 6: Technofixes


Chapter 25 | The Technofix Approach to Climate Change and the Energy Crisis: Issues and Alternatives, Claire Fauset/Corporate Watch............................... 300

Chapter 26 | Developments of Iceland’s Geothermal Potential for Aluminum Production—A Critical Analysis, Jaap Krater and Miriam Rose/Saving Iceland ..... 311


Part 7: Moving Fast to Stay Still: Rebooting Coal, Oil and Nuclear


Chapter 27 | EnergyJustice “Clean Coal” Fact Sheet, Nancy LaPlaca................... 326

Chapter 28 | The Smell of Money: Alberta’s Tar Sands, Shannon Walsh and Macdonald Stainsby............................................................................................ 333

Chapter 29 | Nuclear Energy: Relapse, Revival or Renaissance?, Peer de Rijk/World Information Service on Energy.......................................................................... 345

Chapter 30 | The Ecological Debt of Agrofuels, Mónica Vargas Collazos/Observatorio de la Deuda en la Globalización....................................................................... 355


Part 8: Resurrection of the Nuclear Industry, its Connection with Global Militarism and Limited Uranium Supplies


Chapter 31 | Confronting the Nuclear Resurgence: British Government’s Maneuvers, EU Policy, and the Nuclear-Fossil Collusion, Sergio Oceransky.................... 366

Chapter 32 | Japan as a Plutonium Superpower, Gavan McCormack................... 373

Chapter 33 | A Different Perspective on the US-India Nuclear Deal, Peter Custers............................................................................................................389

Chapter 34 | Peak Uranium, Energy Watch Group.................................................. 398


Part 9: Whither Coal: Expanded Production, Leaving it in the Ground, or Simply Running Out?


Chapter 35 | Bone and Blood: the Price of Coal in China, China Labour Bulletin.................................................................................................. 406

Chapter 36 | Leave it in the Ground: the Growing Global Struggle Against Coal, Sophie Cooke........................................................................................................ 424

Chapter 37 | Peak Coal, Energy Watch Group.......................................................... 431


Part 10: Agrofuels as the Geopolitical Handmaiden of the Petrol Industry: A Tale of Enclosure, Violence and Resistance


Chapter 38 | Global Agrofuel Crops as Dispossession, Les Levidow and Helena Paul.......................................................................................................... 439

Chapter 39 | Brazil as an Emergent Power Giant: the “Ethanol Alliance,” Camila Moreno.................................................................................................... 453

Chapter 40 | Dynamics of a Songful Resistance Tatiana Roa Avendaño and Jessica Toloza........................................................................................................ 465

Chapter 41 | Call for an Immediate Moratorium on EU Incentives for Agrofuels, EU Imports of Agrofuels and EU Agroenergy Monocultures, Diverse Organizations........................................................................................ 476

Chapter 42 | Some Brief News Reports from Direct Action-based Resistance From Around the World: Brazil, UK, Germany and the Philippines...................... 482

Section 4: Possible Futures: the Emerging Struggle for Control of the Globally Expanding Renewable Energy Sector and the Roads Ahead

Part 11: Emerging Social Conflicts in the Renewable Energy Sector: the Example of Wind


Chapter 43 | Denmark: Politically Induced Paralysis in Wind Power’s Homeland and Industrial Hub, Preben Maegaard..................................................................... 489

Chapter 44 | The Situation of Employees in the Wind Power Sector in Germany Martina Winkelmann/IG-Metall. ..................................................................... 495

Chapter 45 | Fighting the Enclosure of Wind: Indigenous Resistance to the Privatization of the Wind Resource in Southern Mexico, Sergio Oceransky..........................505

Chapter 46 | Two mini case-studies: 1) The End of One Windmill Cooperative 2) Chinese Peasants Killed in Land Conflict Over Windmills....................... 523

Chapter 47 | Stop Presses! Vestas Workers Occupy Wind Turbine Blade Factory and Call for Nationalization of the Plant................................................................. 526


Part 12: Time to Speed Up! Renewable Energy as a Possible Way Out of the World economic crisis?


Chapter 48 | The Political, Economic and Ecological Reasons for Establishing the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA: Sharing the Benefits Instead of the Burden, Hermann Scheer/World Council for Renewable Energy....... 530

Chapter 49 | The Role of IRENA in the Context of Other International Organizations and Initiatives, IRENA Secretariat.................................................................... 535

Chapter 50 | Accelerated Global Expansion of the Renewable Energy Sector as a Response to the World economic crisis: the Example of Wind, Preben Maegaard ... 545

Chapter 51 | Another Capitalism is Possible? From World Economic Crisis to Green Capitalism, Tadzio Mueller and Alexis Passadakis......................................... 554

Chapter 52 | “Everything Must Change So That Everything Can Remain the Same”: Reflections on Obama’s Energy Plan, George Caffentzis................................ 564


Part 13: Towards a Transition Based on Decentralization, Common Ownership, Dignified Work, and Community Autonomy


Chapter 53 | Sustainability and Just Transition in the Energy Industry, Brian Kohler/ ICEM.............................................................................................................569

Chapter 54 | Keeping the Investors at Bay: Towards Public Ownership and Popular Acceptance of Renewable Energy for the Common Good, Preben Maegaard................................................................................................. 577

Chapter 55 | Technology for Autonomy and Self-reliance: International Technology Transfer for Social Movements, Andrea Micangeli, Irene Constantini, Simona Fernandez/Self-reliance and Environment Technologies Unit ...587


Part 14: Alliances and Conflicts Along the Road to an Anti-capitalist Energy Revolution


Chapter 56 | Saving the Planet From Capitalism: Open Letter on Climate Change From the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales..................................................... 595

Chapter 57 | Charging the Resistance with Renewable Energy Sources: A Solidarity Project with the Zapatista Communities and DIY Wind Generators for Autonomous Spaces, FARMA Collective.......................................................... 600

Chapter 58 | The Yansa Group: Renewable Energy as a Common Resource, Sergio Oceransky/Yansa CIC......................................................................................... 608

Chapter 59 | Sparking an Energy Revolution: Building New Relations of Production, Exchange and Livelihood Kolya Abramsky...................................................... 628


Excerpts

  • Excerpt 1: Chapter 14, Part 4. David Hall on behalf of Public Services International Research Unit

See: Struggles Against Privatization of Electricity Worldwide.