Peak oil and the elephant in the room

This short essay by Richard Heinberg points out how the decreasing availability of easily accessible liquid hydrocarbon fuel remains central to the cluster of crises facing Spaceship Earth. Between 2002 and 2011 the price of a barrel of oil rose five times while continuing to contribute to anthropogenic global climate disruption.

There is a danger that we lose the big picture when grappling to understand the threats to our planet, rather like the blind men in the Indian proverb who are trying to discover what an elephant is by examining only its component parts. Heinberg, a leading analyst on the availability, use an effects of energy resources, paints the bigger picture. He argues that we urgently need policies of de-growth and de-carbonisation to keep our Spaceship Earth as a sustainable home.

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