Richard Heinberg

Senior Fellow-in-Residence, Board Secretary

Climate, Communities, Economics, Energy, Food & Agriculture

Richard Heinberg is the author of eleven books including :

  • Snake Oil (July 2013)
  • The End of Growth (August 2011)
  • The Post Carbon Reader (2010) (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 a Senior Fellow 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, The 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 
He has been quoted in Time Magazine and has spoken to hundreds of audiences in 14 countries, including members of the European Parliament. He 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 . 
Since 2002, he has delivered more than five hundred lectures to a wide variety of audiences—from insurance executives to peace activists, from local and national elected officials to Jesuit volunteers.

More information about Richard can be found on his website.

download Richard's CV

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


Snake Oil: Richard Heinberg at UBC

length: 1:41:31   credit:   Mar 18, 2014

Richard Heinberg speaks on his newest book Snake Oil: How Fracking’s False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future, covering the short-term nature of the recent North American oil boom and the financial bubble that supports it. Heinberg covers the implications of the 2016-2017 peak in unconventional output by providing essential information for any community facing the false promises of companies planning to extract reality.

Event Partners Included: Village Vancouver, Post Carbon Institute and the UBC Sustainability Initiative. Recorded 25 February, 2014.


The Oil 'Revolution' Story Is Dead Wrong

length: 49:42   credit: Peak Prosperitydownload   Mar 11, 2014

With all the grandiosity of the media headlines touting our destiny as the new "Saudi America", many pundits have been quick to pronounce Peak Oil dead.

Here at, one of the most frequent questions we've received over the past two years is: will the increased production from new "tight" oil sources indeed solve our liquid fuels emergency?
Not at all, say Chris and this week's podcast guest, Richard Heinberg. Both are fellows at the Post Carbon Institute, and you are about to hear one of the most important and most lucid deconstructions of the false promise of American energy independence.

Latest Publications

Export Stupidity

Richard Heinberg    Mar 27, 2014   

Congress is holding hearings this week on the possible lifting of a US oil export ban instituted in the 1970s to promote national energy self-sufficiency and has invited a number of “experts” with dubious ties to … >>

Preface to the Romanian edition of Snake Oil

Richard Heinberg    Dec 13, 2013   

  Snake Oil: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future has been translated into Romanian! Here's the preface Richard Heinberg wrote for that edition. *** In the United States, fracking is … >>

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

Snake Oil reviewed at Dissident Voice

Richard Heinberg  

Post Carbon Fellow Richard Heinberg's book Snake Oil was reviewed at Dissident Voice. From the review: Snake Oil also debunks the flimsy economic hype used to promote other methods of unconventional oil and gas … >>