PEAK OIL WEBSITES
A beginner’s guide
Peak Oil: A Graphic Story
Australian graphic artist Stuart McMillan definitive Peak Oil primer
Leading Peak Oil think tank
Exploring hydrocarbon depletion
Website of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO)
This (now defunct) forum contains highly informed discussions
A meta-directory of resources
World Crude Oil Production Statistics by Year
How a peak oil crisis will affect different parts of the world
Jörg Friedrichs, a lecturer in politics at the University of Oxford, examines how different parts of the world would likely react to a peak oil scenario.
The Post Carbon Institute’s Energy Reality website aims to build fundamental energy literacy and to shift the public conversation around energy. The Energy Reality website, targeted primarily at a U.S. audience, is the online home for:
- A robust energy primer and series of thought provoking essays;
- The Public Energy Art Kit (P.E.A.K.), a campaign to increase energy literacy using arts and activism;
- A collection of compelling photos shareable via social media to connect people with the efforts of partner organizations working to address the impacts of global energy economy; and
- The list of hundreds of ambassadors and organizations with whom we partnered to disseminate over 5,000 free copies of the breathtaking and thought-provoking book, ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth.
Interactive Chart: Global Oil Production & Consumption
This chart by Timo Grossenbacher, based on very recent data by BP, allows the reader to quickly grasp the temporal and spatial differences in oil consumption and production. On one hand, during certain periods of history, some nations consumed almost as much oil as the rest of the world together. On the other hand, the data of the last ten years show a growing divergence between consumption and production.
Quotes from Peak Oil Experts
A comprehensive list of quotes on peak oil, including from those within the ‘oil establishment’ (Some quite startling)
Do the Math of Peak Oil and Convince Yourself
A Step-By-Step Plan to Calculate Hubbert’s Curve by Hans Zandvliet
Ordinary people cannot verify what the experts say about the timing of the peak of global oil production. The entire calculation remains a kind of magical mystery in which to either believe or not. The calculation itself is not the problem; any college student with a bit of affinity for mathematics should be able to do these calculations. The lack of reliable data is the problem. This is where Hans Zandvilet’s article can come to your help.
Uncertainties in The Outlook for Oil and Gas
A doctoral thesis by Christophe McGlade
The most attention-grabbing attempts to predict oil futures have come from geologists and environmental activists, who tend to look solely at production. But this overlooked doctoral thesis by Christophe McGlade, in contrast, focuses on how both supply and demand might be constrained in the coming decades. Peak oil researchers should take note of McGlade’s thesis because he predicted, in November 2013, that oil prices would sink, and that they will stay low throughout the second half of this decade.
Energy and Human Evolution (1995)
By David Price, Cornell University
By using extrasomatic energy to modify more and more of its environment to suit human needs, the human population effectively expanded its resource base so that for long periods it has exceeded contemporary requirements. But the exhaustion of fossil fuels, which supply three quarters of this energy, is not far off, and no other energy source is abundant and cheap enough to take their place. A collapse of the earth’s human population cannot be more than a few years away.
PEAK OIL & INDIA
The India Energy Security Scenarios 2047
India Page – ASPO USA
Regularly updated page on energy news related to India
Peak Oil and Implications for India
S.C.N. Jatar, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis
Peak Oil and India
Are we scraping the bottom of the barrel? An analysis by Akhilesh Singh
Peak Oil: Which countries will survive best?
Country by country analysis of Peak Oil’s impact which covers India. From www.wolfatthedoor.org.uk
India, Oil, And Electric Vehicles
India – Energy Analysis
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
PEAK OIL BLOGS
Our Finite World
Prominent Peak Oil writer Gail Tverberg’s blog
Analysis and commentary by Euan Mearns, formerly with Oil Drum
Peak Oil Barrel
“The reported death of Peak Oil has been greatly exaggerated”
Ron Patterson tracks Peak Oil
Survive Peak Oil
Peter Goodchild’s blog on Peak Oil, population and resources
The Archdruid Report
John Michael Greer’s blog. Offers “druid perspectives on nature, culture, and the future of industrial society.”
Kurt Cobb’s blog on envrionment and resources depletion
Ran Prieur’s (now defunct) website on Peak Oil, collapse and related themes.
Discussion of Peak Oil led socio-economic collapse (in America mainly)
Chris Clugston’s blog. Read Clugston’s landmark analysis of industrial society’s depleting inputs:
Increasing Global Nonrenewable Natural Resource Scarcity—An Analysis
Jay Hanson’s broad based analysis of collapse
Collapse of Industrial Civilisation
“Finding the Truth behind the American Hologram”
Nature Bats Last
Guy McPherson’s blog on Climate Change, collapse and extinction
Speaking Truth to Power
Carolyn Baker’s blog on Peak Oil and collapse of industrial society.
Research & Degrowth
Research and actions to consume less and share more
ARTICLES ON PEAK OIL AND RELATED ISSUES
The Impossibility of Growth
By George Monbiot, environmental writer and The Guardian columnist
This piece eloquently sums up our present predicament – the converging catastrophes of climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil. Monbiot also looks at why we are unable to deal with, or even discuss its possibility. Do visit the original Guardian web page to view readers’ comments and a discussion provoked by the article.
Peak Oil and the Collapse of Industrial Civilisation
By Peter Goodchild, author of Tumbling Tide: Population, Petroleum, and Systemic Collapse
Systemic collapse, the coming crash, overshoot, the die-off, the tribulation, the coming anarchy, resource wars — there are many names, and they do not all correspond to exactly the same thing, but there is a widespread belief that something immense is happening. This event has about ten elements, each with a somewhat causal relationship to the next. (1) Fossil fuels (e.g., oil, natural gas, coal), (2) metals, and (3) electricity are a tightly-knit group, and no industrial civilization can have one without the others. As those three disappear, (4) food and (5) fresh water become scarce. Matters of infrastructure then follow: (6) transportation and (7) communication — no paved roads, no telephones, no computers. After that, the social structure begins to fail: (8) government, (9) education, and (10) the large-scale division of labor that makes complex technology possible.
Converging Energy Crises –
And How Our Current Situation Differs from the Past
By Gail Tverberg
This article presents highlights from a talk called Converging Crises (PDF) given by Gail Tverberg at the Age of Limits Conference. The talk deals with the crises facing us as we reach energy limits, and also addresses the related topic of how our current situation is different from past collapses.
Eight Energy Myths Explained
By Gail Tverberg, prominent Peak Oil blogger and author
Republicans, Democrats, and environmentalists all have favorite energy myths. Even Peak Oil believers have favorite energy myths. The following are a few common mis-beliefs, coming from a variety of energy perspectives. I will start with a recent myth, and then discuss some longer-standing ones.
Oil Limits and the Economy: One Story, Not Two
By Gail Tverberg
The two big stories of our day are:
(1) Our economic problems: The inability of economies to grow as rapidly as they would like, add as many jobs as they would like, and raise the standards of living of citizens as much as they would like.
(2) Our oil related-problems: One part of the story relates to too little, so-called “peak oil,” and the need for substitutes for oil. Another part of the story relates to too much carbon released by burning fossil fuels, including oil, leading to climate change.
While the press treats these issues as separate stories, they are in fact very closely connected, related to the fact that we are reaching limits in many different directions simultaneously.
Peak Oil And Global Warming – A Question Of Culture
Certainly for the last 20 years these two themes have tunneled into political consciousness, but there are huge differences. Peak Oil was never “official”, but Global Warming or at least anthropogenic global warming quickly became official, in the UN system, EU28 countries, the US, Japan, Canada and Australia, and some other developed countries. Peak Oil faced and faces the same trial, by politics. Saudi Arabia, for example is not interested, to say the least, in either theory due to the explicit political-economic linkage between them.
From The Market Oracle
Complexity, Problem Solving and Sustainable Societies
By Joseph Tainter
Talks about the rising energy intensity that is a corollary of any increase in complexity and also the diminishing returns
Reducing Energy Inputs in the Agricultural Production System
By David Pimentel
Modern agriculture is driven almost entirely by non-renewable energy sources. In US, agriculture accounts for about 19 percent of the total national energy use. As oil and natural gas supplies rapidly decline, this paper takes the US as an example to explore how agricultural production can be maintained while reducing fossil energy inputs by 50 percent.
The Oil We Eat
By Richard Manning (Appeared in Harpers Magazine 2004)
This article by Richard Manning on oil, agriculture, food traces the origins of agriculture and the human addiction of conversion of hydrocarbons into carbohydrates
When Will The Peak Oil Crisis Begin?
By Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute
Why Peak Oil Refuses to Die
By Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute
The one chart about oil’s future everyone should see
Kurt Cobb, Resource Insights
The Catch-22 of Energy Storage
A must read to understand the complexity of estimating ERoEI of alternatives.
The Tragic Story of Human Success
By William Catton
A Chapter from the landmark book Overshoot
Royal Society Report: People and the Planet
The Royal Society, UK
A major study investigating the links between global population and consumption, and the implications for a finite planet.
The Seneca effect: why decline is faster than growth
Ugo Bardi, University of Florence
When things start going bad, they tend to go bad fast. We might call this tendency the “Seneca effect” or the “Seneca cliff,” from Lucius Annaeus Seneca who wrote that “increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid.”
Energy and Limits to Growth
John Bradford, Mississippi State University
This essay explicitly address the relationship between natural resources and the modern economic system. It explores the relationship between energy use and economic growth, and the relationship between “peak oil” and the global debt crisis.
We need to Talk About Growth
By Michael Rowan Emeritus Professor, University of South Australia
The idea of economic growth has never been the subject of mainstream political critique. That economic growth is good is a view unchallenged by any major political party. No doubt there are deep philosophical – or at least ideological – reasons for this, but the problem might also be explained by our simple failure to understand the mathematics of growth. The fact is that if we wish for our economic system to be long lived then at some point we must give up growth. Growth is simply incompatible with longevity.
Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever
By Jeremy Grantham, Chief Investment Officer of GMO Capital (with over $106 billion in assets under management)
One of the world’s largest asset managers, Grantham catalogues many of the issues related to resource depletion in a no-nonsense and urgent tone, yet with an odd juxtaposition – he is saying these things about limits, resource constraints, and human behavior as the head of a firm whose objective it is to increase financial capital.
The Olduvai Theory – Heading into the Gorge
By Richard C. Duncan
The Olduvai Theory is defined as the ratio of world energy production and population. It states that average energy production per capita will decline to its 1930 level by 2030. Collapse will be strongly correlated with an “epidemic” of blackouts around the globe. This warning has come from scientists for more than a century.
Economics in a Full World (PDF)
By Herman E. Daly, American ecological economist and professor at the School of Public Policy of University of Maryland
The global economy is now so large that society can no longer safely pretend it operates within a limitless ecosystem. Developing an economy that can be sustained within the ﬁnite biosphere requires new ways of thinking.
Sustainability: The State Of The Movement
Robert Gilman, Context Institute
Gives a big picture view of the sustianability movement
The Core Challenge Of Our Times
Robert Gilman, Context Institute
If you are new to sustainability concerns, it will give you a big-picture overview about what these concerns are. If you have been around sustainability issues for a while, it will orient you to a unique approach to it.
The Transition Movement: Questions of Diversity, Power, and Affluence (PDF)
This Simplicity Institute Report presents an overview, literature review, and critical analysis of the Transition Movement, and raises important question about its politics (or lack of it).
The 7 barriers that stand in the way of a Transition Initiative
One of your first tasks, – individually and collectively – will be to navigate the initial barriers – real and imagined – that stand in the way of you starting off on the transition journey. We call these ‘The Seven Buts’.
The sower’s strategy: how to speed up the sustainable energy transition
By Ugo Bardi, University of Florence, Italy
In order to survive the double threat of resource depletion and climate change we need to move as quickly as possible to a sustainable society based on renewable resources. This article argues that the transition can be eased if we adopt the “sower’s strategy.” Farmers, as we know, must keep some of the harvest for the future. Applied to the world’s economy, the sower’s strategy dictates that we use part of the energy and resources produced by means of fossil fuels to build renewable energy plants and a sustainable economy.
The Future of Food and Farming
This report by the UK Government’s Foresight project looks at the increasing pressures on the global food system between now and 2050. Titled The Future of Food and Farming, it highlights the decisions that policy makers need to take today, and in the years ahead, to ensure that a global population rising to 9 billion or more can be fed in a fair and sustainable way.
Deep Future: the ultimate destiny of humankind
By Ugo Bardi, University of Florence, Italy
The way we see the destiny of humankind is inextricably linked to the great “pulse” of carbon burning that has been ongoing for a couple of centuries and which is now reaching its peak. Here are some possible futures of humankind, arranged from the least exciting one (near term extinction) to highly exciting ones, involving expansion over the whole galaxy.
Planetary Boundaries research
The Planetary Boundaries framework was first introduced in 2009, when a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists identified and quantified the first set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come. A Jan 2018 update by the researchers say four of these boundaries have already been breached.
A growing number of scientists now say we are living in a new geological epoch — the Anthropocene, which is changing Earth’s life support system.
The Great Acceleration (slideshow)
This planetary dashboard of the trajectory of the Anthropocene shows increasing human impact
UNEP – Blue Planet synthesis paper
This 2012 paper by 20 past winners of the Blue Planet Prize – often called the Nobel Prize for the environment – urge governments to replace GDP as a measure of wealth, end damaging subsidies, and transform systems of governance to set humanity on a new path to a better future – or risk climate, biodiversity and poverty crises that will spawn greater problems worldwide.
Sharing Cities Toolkit
Shareable.net’s evolving compilation of resources comprised of a mix of How-to’s, Project Guides, example Policy and tried and true Models and Advice.
Sandy Irvine’s ‘Deeply Green’ Book Guide
A set of really outstanding titles that could constitute a basic book collection for any green activist. Also noted is possible follow-up reading, sometimes individual books and sometimes individual authors whose entire ‘back catalogue’ will repay exploration. At the end, a number of authors are mentioned whose works deserve inclusion.
PEAK OIL IN THE MEDIA
Grist magazine – great resource that would appeal to young people
Foreign Policy magazine
OTHER LINKS OF INTEREST
International Energy Agency
IEA World Energy Outlook 2007 – Special Report – Focus on China and India
National Geographic – Daily Energy News
Earth Policy Institute|
This report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations looks at progress made in “growing greener cities” in Latin America and the Caribbean
Prof Albert Bartlett on the mathematics of energy, population and economic growth
Peak Oil Australia
An interview with Prof. Calvin Jones: “Economics is a child of the oil age”
by Rob Hopkins, originally published by Transition Culture
Technology cannot tackle climate change
Calvin Jones says Wales can lead the way in replacing economic growth with the notion of useful work
Ready for Rationing? Why We Should Put the Brakes on Consumption If We Want to Survive
Stan Cox talks about his new book “Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing.”
Resource on biofuels
Research & Degrowth
R&D is dedicated to sustainable degrowth – a downscaling of production and consumption that increases human well-being and enhances ecological conditions and equity on the planet.
A transdisciplinary open-access journal, Earth’s Future focuses on the state of the Earth and the prediction of the planet’s future. Limited access to articles available at above link.
The Dark Mountain Project
The Dark Mountain Project calls itself “a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself.” They produce and seek out writing, art and culture rooted in place, time and nature. Here’s a link to their manifesto.
The Simplicity Institute
A non-profit education and research centre dedicated to advancing the Simplicity Movement, which critiques consumerist and growth-obsessed economies.
Peak Oil Denial Bingo!
A game to play while arguing with peak oil deniers. Play Peak Oil Bingo