Energy, Equity, and Social Struggle in the Transition to a Post-­-Petrol World

George Rahi
2011 Trail Six: An Undergraduate Geography Journal   unpublished
Notions such as sustainability, green growth, and the post-­carbon city have become increasingly popular ways of envisioning solutions to climate change and fossil fuel dependency. These multi-­scalar reevaluations and critiques of industrial society's relationship to energy have produced important insights into the un-­sustainability of current politico-­ economic relations. However, these ideas, such as sustainability, remain contested with multiple and competing claims as to what processes
more » ... to what processes will produce a sustainable future. This paper surveys some of the key tensions between various critiques of the energy/society relationship, and highlights the importance of equity, labour and livelihood in relation to discussions of an alternative energy future. Furthermore, this paper explores whether a shift to 'alternative' energy requires an accompanying new mode of production and social relationship to capitalism.