Peak Everything

Waking Up to the Century of Declines

Richard Heinberg 2007


Heinberg was one of those who warned that the world’s supply of oil is in the peak phase right now, and from now on, the available supply of oil will gradually decline.


This book starts with that, but looks at other things that we use, assuming that the supply is unlimited.  The data that he looks at shows that all the fossil fuels will peak by mid-century – natural gas, and coal.  Also, the Uranium supply is limited, and gets more and more expensive to process.  Moreover, the global  climate change can potentially reduce other things that we have assumed will continue forever:

Food – assuming the continued population growth

Fresh Water – For many areas, the source of fresh water are glaciers



Each chapter is a separate essay on these and other topics.  Sounds like all bad news, but Heinberg actually is optimistic that society could adjust, and life could actually be more rewarding than it is now.  On the other hand, we could ignore the evidences and continue the current direction resulting in massive disasters – starvation, disease, flooding, crop failures, etc.


Short book. Easy read. Recommended.