Long-Term Transitions and Social-Ecological Transformations – Integrating Different Spatial and Temporal Scales
Bioenergy and in particular biofuels are often mentioned as an alternative for fossil fuels. Current research, however, clearly reveals both the negative biophysical and socioeconomic side effects of such transformation strategies, resulting in multi-scalar resource conflicts. In the case of labour we assume that the transition towards a low carbon society will have as many and equally far reaching implications for human labour as the transition towards the fossil fuels based industrial society has had. To analyse these transitions, the presentation will discuss the interrelation between socio-metabolic regimes and the amount of human lifetime spent on labour, the respective critical qualitative capacities of human labour power, and the institutional forms in which labour is employed. Both examples indicate the relevance of long-term trends in the energetic-material basis of societies and the need to investigate socioeconomic conflicts and power relations carefully.