There is, however, a considerable campaign to be undertaken before we reach a post-carbon world, especially in the United States. A larger lesson from Carbon Democracy is that such democratic struggles depend not on future designs but upon identifying in current socio-technical systems their points of vulnerability. This postscript has traced the peculiar vulnerability of oil companies dependent on flows of equity investment that must increase as rapidly as the costs of producing oil are rising. Yet those rising costs reflect a world in which cheap, conventional oil is more and more scarce and the technical expense and environmental costs of producing unconventional oil are escalating. These risks and costs reveal a world at odds with the optimistic scenarios on which accelerating flows of equity depend. Meanwhile, capital that long ago began losing interest in organising â€” and thus becoming vulnerable to â€” large-scale productive labour, tried the easier route of organising lives around the making and servicing of debt. The problems of peak oil hastened the collapse of the debt machine. The recent US energy boom offers only a temporary and equally vulnerable diversion.
Mitchell, Timothy. Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil. Verso; London. 2013. p. 267