From John Urry’s Societies beyond Oil pg 9:
Leading social analyst Zygmunt Bauman famously described the twentieth-century development of all this movement as a ‘liquid modernity’. But what he did not examine was how there was in fact a literal liquid –oil –that made this modernity, oiling the wheels of a globalizing society. It seemed that the modern world had struck ‘black gold’. Its supplies of oil powered up societies in many novel ways and this high carbon pathway would move onwards and upwards, developing and reinforcing Western modernity as both ‘business as usual’ and as ‘natural’. Urbanist David Owen refers to this twentieth-century development as ‘liquid civilization’, a mobile civilization based on the very cheap liquid of oil and for which there are no significant alternatives.