Richard Heinberg

Senior Fellow-in-Residence, Board Secretary

Climate, Communities, Economics, Energy, Food & Agriculture

Richard Heinberg is the author of eleven books, including some of the seminal works on society's current energy and environmental sustainability crisis:

  • Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future (2013)
  • The End of Growth: Adapting the Our New Economic Reality (2011)
  • The Post Carbon Reader: Managing the 21st Century's Sustainability Crises (2010; co-editor)
  • Blackout: Coal, Climate, and the Last Energy Crisis (2009)
  • Peak Everything: Waking Up to the Century of Declines (2007)
  • The Oil Depletion Protocol: A Plan to Avert Oil Wars, Terrorism & Economic Collapse (2006)
  • Powerdown: Options & Actions for a Post-Carbon World (2004)
  • The Party's Over: Oil, War & the Fate of Industrial Societies (2003)
Richard is Senior Fellow-in-Residence of the Post Carbon Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost Peak Oil educators. He has authored scores of essays and articles that have appeared in such journals as Nature, American Prospect, Public Policy Research, Quarterly Review, The Ecologist, Resurgence, The Futurist, European Business Review, Earth Island Journal, Yes!, and The Sun; and on web sites such as,,,, and 
Since 2002, Richard has delivered over five hundred lectures to a wide variety of audiences in 14 countries—from insurance executives to peace activists, from local officials to members of the European Parliament. He has been quoted and interviewed countless times for print (including for Reuters, the Associated Press, and Time magazine), television (including Good Morning America, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Al-Jazeera, and C-SPAN), and radio (including WABC and Air America). 
Richard has appeared in many film and television documentaries, including Leonardo DiCaprio’s 11th Hour, is a recipient of the M. King Hubbert Award for Excellence in Energy Education, and in 2012 was appointed to His Majesty the King of Bhutan's International Expert Working Group for the New Development Paradigm initiative.
Richard’s animations Don’t Worry, Drive On, Who Killed Economic Growth? and 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Minutes (winner of a YouTubes’s/DoGooder Video of the Year Award) have been viewed by 1.5 million people . 

More information about Richard can be found on his website.

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Richard Heinberg presenting at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at Sydney Opera House. Recorded September 2012.


Conversations with Great Minds: Richard Heinberg

length: 25:40   credit: RT   Aug 04, 2014

Richard Heinberg interviewed on RT's Great Minds August 1st, 2014.


Our Energy Reality

length:   credit: Spring of Sustainabilitydownload   Jun 13, 2014

A teleseminar with Richard Heinberg: Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute and author, & Ken White: Associate Director of the Post Carbon Institute.

This interview is part of the Spring of Sustainability, a global tele series where you can learn from some of the most potent innovators, visionaries, green pioneers and change agents who offer skills training, inspiration and powerful solutions for our global sustainability issues. For more information, please visit

Latest Publications

Blame the Environmentalists

Richard Heinberg    Aug 11, 2014   

Confidential image via shutterstock. Here’s The Script, in four despicable acts: Act 1. Fracking boom goes bust as production from shale gas and tight oil wells stalls out and lurches into decline. Act 2. Oil and … >>

Why Peak Oil Refuses to Die

Richard Heinberg    Sep 02, 2014   

Pumpjacks image via shutterstock. Reproduced with permission.   Perhaps you’ve seen one of the recent barrage of articles claiming that fears of an imminent peak and decline in world oil production have either … >>

FOUNDATION CONCEPTS: What Is Sustainability?

Richard Heinberg    Mar 15, 2012   

EXCERPT: As a contribution to this ongoing refinement of the concept, I recently formulated five axioms (self-evident truths) of sustainability. My goal was simply to distill ideas that had been proposed previously and … >>

Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future

Richard Heinberg

The rapid spread of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") has temporarily boosted US natural gas and oil production... and sparked a massive environmental backlash in communities across the country. The fossil fuel … >>

press coverage

Heinberg quoted on Iraq oil

Richard Heinberg  

Post Carbon Senior Fellow Richard Heinberg was quoted in this article on the growing Iraqi crisis. From the article: California-based Post Carbon Institute expert Richard Heinberg said if a significant portion of Iraqi … >>