'By the end of the nineteenth century, industrialized regions had built networks that moved concentrated carbon stores from the underground coal face to the surface, to railways, to ports, to cities and to sites of manufacturing and electrical power generation.
Great quantities of energy now flowed along very narrow channels. Large numbers of workers had to be concentrated at the main junctions of these channels. Their position and concentration gave them, at certain moments, a new kind of political power. The power derived not just from the organizations they formed, the ideas they began to share or the political alliances they built, but from the extraordinary concentrations of carbon energy whose flow they could now slow, disrupt or cut off.'
— Timothy Mitchell (2009), 'Carbon democracy', Economy & Society 38 (3), p. 403.