Peak Oil Primer: Road to a fossil fuel free society 
By former Energy Bulletin Editor Adam Grubb

Peak Oil and the Future of Humanity 
By Hans Zandvliet
Conclusive evidence that we are very near, or maybe even past the moment of peak oil.

Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management
A U.S. Dept. of Energy commissioned study (better known as the Hirsch Report)
According to this report prepared for the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) by Science Applications International Coporation (SAIC), “Waiting until world conventional oil production peaks before implementing crash program mitigation leaves the world with a significant liquid fuel deficit for two decades or longer”.

Nuclear Energy and Fossil Fuels
The original 1956 paper by M. King Hubbert in which the late U.S. geologist first proposed the concept of Peak Oil.  Hubbert, then working for Shell Oil,  predicted that, for any given geographical area, from an individual oil field to the planet as a whole, the rate of petroleum production of the reserve over time would resemble a bell curve.

The Last Barrel of Oil
By Ben Ashton Sherwood
With oil consumption at an all-time high, it is of fundamental importance that we know how much oil is left on Earth. This paper addresses the following questions: (1) How much oil is left on Earth? (2) Will we ever run out of oil? (3) Are there sustainable alternatives to oil, and if so what are they?

The Limits to Growth (30-Year Update)
By Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens III
In 1972, three scientists from MIT created a computer model that analyzed global resource consumption and production. Their results shocked the world and created stirring conversation about global ‘overshoot,’ or resource use beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. Citing climate change as the most tangible example of our current overshoot, in this edition, the scientists now provide us with an updated scenario and a plan to reduce our needs to meet the carrying capacity of the planet.


Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change
William R. Catton Jr.
Catton’s primary contribution is the trailblazing articulation of an environmental sociological framework that challenged existing sociological theories in general from a completely different tack: by synthesizing sociological and ecological theory. He argued that a prevalent idea of human control over nature, instead of being a great achievement, might be only be a reflection of exploitation of natural resources that were actually finite.

Converging Crises
Presentation by Gail Tverberg at the Age of Limits conference
Tverberg outlines the many crises converging on civilisation: Population Issues, Resource Depletion, Environmental Degradation, Debt; Viability of Financial System, Government Funding Issues,  Jobs Availability, Electrical Grid Problems,  Geopolitical: Fighting Over Resources Again. You can also read Tverberg’s article Converging Energy Crises – And How our Current Situation Differs from the Past, which expands the presentation, and specifically addresses why unlike previous crises faced by humanity, “this time it’s different.”

Melbourne University research on Energy, Climate Change, Collapse, Resilience and Transition 
Some of the most crucial academic research into humanity’s present and future is being conducted at the Melbourne Sustainability Society Institute at the University of Melbourne. Here are links to some of their most important papers:

Is Global Collapse Imminent? by Graham Turner. Dr Turner gathered data from the UN (its department of economic and social affairs, Unesco, the food and agriculture organisation, and the UN statistics yearbook), the US national oceanic and atmospheric administration, the BP statistical review, and elsewhere, which was plotted alongside the 1972 book Limits to Growth scenarios. The results show that the data is strikingly similar to the book’s forecasts.

Other MSSI Research Papers
The Ideology of the Anthropocene? by Jeremy Baskin
Resilience and its Discontents by Brendan Gleeson
Resilience and Justice by Susan S. Fainstein
Coming Through Slaughter: Ecology of the Urban Age by Brendan Gleeson
The Economics of Oil by Samuel Alexander
China’s Energy Transition: Effects on Global Climate and Sustainable Development by Ross Garnaut
A Critique of Techno-Optimism by Dr Samuel Alexander, Research Fellow MSSI
Post-Growth Economics by Dr Samuel Alexander, Research Fellow MSSI
More research papers are available at the MSSI website.

The World 5 model; Peak metals, minerals, energy, wealth, food and population
Harald Ulrik Sverdrup, Deniz Koca and Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir
This paper shows that several metals, elements and energy resources are about to run into scarcity within the next decades, and most elements within some centuries. A new global systems model was assembled to analyse this scarcity as a continuation of the model used in the Limits-to-Growth World3 model. We show that this scarcity will lead to “peak wealth”, “peak population”, “peak costs”, “peak junk”, “peak problems” and possibly “peak civilization”, unless some urgent measures are systematically taken throughout the world.

Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies
By Safa Motesharrei – University of Maryland, Jorge Rivas – University of Minnesota, Eugenia Kalnay – University of Maryland
There are widespread concerns that current trends in resource-use are unsustainable, but possibilities of overshoot/collapse remain controversial. Collapses have occurred frequently in history, often followed by centuries of economic, intellectual, and population decline. In this 2014 paper, the authors build a human population dynamics model by adding accumulated wealth and economic inequality to a predator-prey model of humans and nature.

A Minimal Model for Human and Nature Interaction
By Safa Motesharrei – University of Maryland, Jorge Rivas – University of Minnesota, Eugenia Kalnay – University of Maryland
This 2012 study, sponsored by Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, highlights the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Food, Energy and Society
By David Pimentel and Marcia H. Pimentel
We are faced with dwindling food supplies in certain geographic areas, increasing pressure on energy resources, and the imminent extinction of many threatened species. Compiled by Andrew Ferguson, this document contains excerpts from the third edition of the Pimentels’ landmark study on the interdependency of food, energy, water, land, and biological resources. Since its first publication in 1979, the world’s natural resources have become even more diminished due to the rapid expansion of the global human population.

The Trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration
Will Steffen, Wendy Broadgate, Lisa Deutsch, Owen Gaffney and Cornelia Ludwig
Only beyond the mid-20th century is there clear evidence for fundamental shifts in the state and functioning of the Earth System that are beyond the range of variability of the Holocene and driven by human activities. Thus, of all the candidates for a start date for the Anthropocene, the beginning of the Great Acceleration is by far the most
convincing from an Earth System science perspective.

Food, Energy, Water and the Climate: A Perfect Storm of Global Events
By John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government
A ‘perfect storm’ of problems by 2030, will unleash public unrest and international conflict, says this report by Professor John Beddington, Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government

Reality, Risks & Response to Climate Change
By American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
More than 97% of climate experts have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening. There may be no more pressing issue intersecting science and society than climate change and the What We Know initiative was born in response to that reality. What We Know was initiated by The AAAS, the world’s largest non-government general science membership organization. Their report, Reality, Risks & Response to Climate Change, helps us understand the science behind the realities, risks and response to the climate challenge.
Visit their website:

Resource Stress: A KPMG Report
The combined pressures of population growth, economic growth and climate change will place increased stress on essential natural resources (including water, food, arable land and energy). These issues will place sustainable resource management at the center of government agendas. A report by global consulting firm KPMG.

Searching For A Miracle: “Net Energy” Limits & The Fate of Industrial Society
By Richard Heinberg, Post Carbon Institute, Foreword by Jerry Mander
A non-technical examination of a basic question: Can any combination of known energy sources successfully supply society’s energy needs at least up to the year 2100? In the end, we are left with the disturbing conclusion that all known energy sources are subject to strict limits of one kind or another.

Arithmetic, Population, and Energy
By Albert A. Bartlett, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder
This paper revisits Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis, a paper published by Prof Bartlett more than 20 years ago,  examines the arithmetic of steady growth, such as 5% per year, the doubling time for such growth, and the large numbers one gets when steady growth continues over modest periods of time. The examination then turns to what happens when one has steady growth in a finite environment. These concepts are applied to populations and to fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal.  To view a video of Prof. Bartlett presenting this paper, visit the Videos page.

The Meaning of Sustainability
By Albert A. Bartlett, Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder
What is Sustainability and how does Peak Oil, Climate Change and population growth impact it?

The Olduvai Theory: Energy, Population, and Industrial Civilization
By Richard C. Duncan
The Olduvai theory states that industrial civilization (as defined by per capita energy production) will have a lifetime of less than or equal to 100 years (1930-2030). 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. .

Boserupian Theory on Population and the Environment Relationships
Catherine Marquette
Conceptual thinking on population and environment within both the social and natural sciences has traditionally suffered
from a long-term confinement within opposing “Malthusian” versus “Cornucopian” views. The work of Ester Boserup, however, continues to transcend the boundaries of this polarized discourse. This paper reviews the main points of Boserupian theory and its relevance to developing regions, in paricular to sub-Saharan Africa. Recent reinterpretations of Boserup’s work relevant to population and environment relationships in developing countries are also considered.

Avoiding Collapse
An agenda for sustainable degrowth and relocalizing the economy
William E. Rees
The overarching premise of this paper is that human-induced global change represents a new context for development planning that cannot safely be ignored. Global ecological and socio-economic trends should now be major considerations in reframing even local planning strategies. It argues that meaningful consideration of global trends would generate a whole new approach to sustainability planning at every spatial scale.

A New Story for a New Economy: To Find Our Human Place in a Living Universe
By David Korten, author and member of the Club of Rome
Human beings currently organize themselves as if they are money-seeking robots inhabiting a dead Earth in a dead universe. This potentially fatal error explains why we are in deep trouble. This essay by Korten proposes that a viable human future depends on navigating a deep cultural and institutional transformation.

The Transition Handbook|
By Rob Hopkins,  pioneer of the Transition Town movement
We live in an oil-dependent world, and have got to this level of dependency in a very short space of time, using vast reserves of oil in the process – without planning for when the supply is not so plentiful. Most of us avoid thinking about what happens when oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive outcome. These changes can lead to the rebirth of local communities, which will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses using local materials.

Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movement Report:
Voices and Reflections from the Field

By The Post Carbon Institute 
The Post Carbon Institute has been at the forefront of spreading awareness about Peak Oil and exploring solutions and alternatives. Their new report is an instructive look at emerging grassroots initiatives that are building alternatives to a centralised, energy-intensive, global economy.

The Essence of Permaculture
By David Holmgren – environmental designer, ecological educator and writer, best known a co-originator of the permaculture concept with Bill Mollison
This free e-book provides a summary of the permaculture concept and principles. Permaculture, which originally referred to “permanent agriculture”, is a branch of ecological design that develops self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems, inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming philosophy.

The Simpler Way
Samuel Alexander, Ted Trainer and Simon Ussher
One of the authors of this report, Ted Trainer, defines ‘The Simpler Way‘ as “Working for transition from consumer society to a more simpler, more cooperative, just and ecologically sustainable society”.  In the web page linked above, Trainer provides an exhaustive set of documents arguing how environmental problems can’t be solved in or by consumer capitalist society.

Peak Oil: Time to Change
An article that provides an overview of Peak Oil in Malayalam



Yugant: Capitalism, Global Warming and Peak Oil
By T Vijayendra, Cerana Foundation 
Yugant means end of an era. Two crises have come together that have endangered life on our planet and have spelt an end of the capitalist era. The first is global warming and the second is peak oil. Global warming, since it threatens life on earth, demands, on moral grounds, to reduce consumption of fossil fuels immediately. Peak oil, as we show below, brings down consumption of fossil fuels. Both will spell an end of capitalist era.

Regaining Paradise: Towards a fossil fuel free society 
T Vijayendra
One of the earliest books to be published in India about Peak Oil and the transition towards a fossil fuel-free society.
CONTENTS OVERVIEW: Wolf at the Door. What about Alternative Forms of Energy? The Vision for a Fossil Fuel Free Society. Negative Entropy and Sustainability. Cuba without Isms. The Federal Republic of India. Regional Initiative. Trade Union Initiatives. Urban Initiatives. Rural Initiatives. What can I do?
APPENDICES: The Quaker Method. A Village of the Watermills

Carbon Cimax: End of HydroCarbon Legacy
Mihir Mathur, Watershed Organisation Trust, Pune
Contents overview: World Oil Discoveries. World’s Giant Oil Fields. End of HydroCarbon Legacy. Indian Peak Oil. Carbon Climax. The Road Ahead. Post Carbon Dawn: Cuba Peak Oil

What is our share of energy in nature?  How should we distribute it?
Sagar Dhara, Cerana Foundation 
Search for a roadmap to a sustainable, equitable and peaceful human society. Paper presented at the Indian Social Science Congress, Aligarh Muslim University, 27-31 December, 2013.

Personal Carbon & Energy Footprint Calculator
The Personal Carbon & Energy Footprint Calculator© helps you estimate the carbon emissions and energy consumption arising out of your activities. Emission factors (EF) in this calculator are based on Indian data

Peak Oil Impact: Death of Fossil Fuelled Cities and Birth of Solar Cities of Tomorrow
Sagar Dhara & T. Vijayendra
Cities are energy consumers, not producers. With the fossil fuel era coming to a close within this century, and no viable alternative energy source visible on the horizon, cities as they exist today are unsustainable.

Gain Maximization For a Few Vs Risk Minimization For All
Sagar Dhara
On the choice that society will have to make to survive this century

How Much Energy Can We Have?
Sagar Dhara
This article explores the history of energy surplus—its creation and distribution, and attempts to answer the question of how much energy can each one of us have if we were to stay within earth’s capacity to provide energy sustainably and were it distributed equitably.

Is Sustainable Development an Oxymoron?
Sagar Dhara
Sustainable development, today’s catch-phrase, is an oxymoron. For sustainable living, we need to reduce our
energy consumption by at least 40%, move towards energy equity and replace today’s dominant global outlook of “Gain maximization for a few” by “Risk minimization for all.”

Transition Town Movement
Compiled by T Vijayendra
Community-led responses to climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy that show the way forward

Cuba Without ISMS: Road to a fossil fuel free society
T Vijayendra
On how Cuba faced an energy crisis and undertook a radical transformation of their society to overcome it

Global Warming in the Indian Context: An Introductory Overview
Nagaraj Adve, Delhi Platform
Download English (MS Word doc)    Download Kannada Translation (PDF)

Local Exchange Systems – Designing Community Incentives
A Discussion on Alternate Economics to Strengthen Local Economy and Facilitate Sustainable Adaptation.
Mihir Mathur & Mithika D’Cruz, Watershed Organization Trust, Pune
The paper positions Localisation and Local Economics as one of the systemic and strategic response mechanisms towards multiple threats of climate change, peak oil (resources) and risks of economic globalization.

Requiem For Our Times
T. Vijayendra
Like those in his earlier book, The Losers Shall Inherit the World, these articles too were first published in Frontier and deal with current socio-economic-cultural issues of a diverse range of topics. These include, Sanskrit, Hinduism, Bhimsen Joshi, Education Manifesto, Euthanasia, Small States, Population, Cities, Peak Oil and the Politics of Non-Violence. There are also two small articles dealing with the Passion (Christ’s suffering at the Cross) and the concept of Liberation.

Our Land Our Life
An educational programme for the children of farming communities in India
Nyla Coelho

Our Land, Our Life is the curriculum framework for an educational programme for children with specific emphasis on farming and farm related activities. It’s design provides a hands on approach to learning both academic and farm related topics. The document was prepared by the Organic Farming Association of India, Taleemnet and the Natural Farming Institute with other collaborators to serve the needs of the rural and the farming communities of India. Although the emphasis is on the above, others too, specially home schooling children and alternative schools will find the document useful. The programme is the outcome of a yearlong research based on inputs from pioneer educators, organic farmers and academicians from across the country.

Tending a Schoolyard Garden
Nyla Coelho
Tending a Schoolyard Garden is a teacher handbook that attempts to plant the idea of growing a edible schoolyard garden in the minds of educators. Written in an easy to follow style with step-by-step instructions and plenty of illustrations, it offers teachers the necessary wherewithal as well as the confidence that this is doable. This book is the outcome of field tests of the Our Land Our Life curriculum (see above). For print copies of Our Land Our Life and Tending a Schoolyard Garden, write to:


India Energy Index
A comprehensive energy index for India by Ashok Sreenivas and Rakesh K Iyer of Prayas (Energy Group), Pune
A comprehensive energy sector assessment index for an assessment of India’s energy sector, by considering not only energy demand and supply but also the relationship and impacts of the energy sector on society, environment and the economy.