Richard Heinberg,

Richard Heinberg

California, United States

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Past articles by Richard:

Fountain Pen as Bellwether

My other vice consists of a modest collection of antique Parker and Sheaffer fountain pens made between the years 1924 and 1960. → Read More

2020: The Year Consensus Reality Fractured

Consensus reality was never consistent or complete and never a correct map of what meant to represent; it was skewed by power relations. → Read More

Making America ungovernable

Adaptation will require leadership and social cohesion. Instead, America may be lurching toward further political division and violence. → Read More

A simple way to understand what’s happening ... and what to do

The world seems to be coming apart at the seams. It’s critical to understand why, so that we can avoid the worst and find the best responses so as to move toward the environmentally and socially healthy future we want. It turns out that there’s a relatively simple frame for gaining such understanding. → Read More

Has oil peaked?

Last month, the world’s 4th largest oil company—BP—predicted that the world will never again consume as much petroleum as it did last year. So, have we finally hit peak oil? And if so, what does that mean for our economy and our world? → Read More

United States: An Obituary

Greed, consumerism, racism, and imperial ambition sealed our nation’s fate. If, as people, we wish to move forward, we must revert to the best of our early unifying values: hard work, thrift, generosity, fairness, honesty, ingenuity, and mutual respect. We’ll need to embody these values increasingly in local institutions, businesses, and other social arrangements of every conceivable kind if we… → Read More

If My House Were the World: The Renewable Energy Transition Via Chickens and Solar Cookers

The energy transition is an enormous job. People who look at it just in terms of politics and policy have little understanding of what is actually required. → Read More

Nobody takes the renewable energy transition seriously

Despite all the demands from climate activists, scientists, and even policy makers, hardly a single country is taking the shift to renewable energy seriously. Even countries and regions that claim to be working toward an energy transition are failing to do what would be required in order for the transition to succeed. What’s behind this surprising and disturbing state of affairs? → Read More

Review: Planet of the Humans

The documentary "Planet of the Humans" produced by Michael Moore is not the last word on our human predicament. Still, it starts a conversation we need to have, and it’s a film that deserves to be seen. → Read More

Fraying Food System May Be Our Next Crisis

Experts who study what makes societies sustainable have been warning for decades that our modern food system is packed with ticking bombs. → Read More

How much is a barrel of oil worth?

If you were an oil futures trader wanting to unload a May 1 contract on Monday, April 20, a barrel of oil was worth $-37. That’s right, traders were, in effect, willing to pay someone—anyone—to take ownership of a commodity that powers modern industrial society, and has suddenly become too abundant. → Read More

Pandemic Response Requires Post-Growth Economic Thinking

Here is a quick survey of the post-growth economic policies recently introduced by sustainability theorists, and a brief discussion of each... → Read More

Opinion: Sooner or later, we have to stop economic growth — and we’ll be better for it

January 8, 2019 — Both the U.S. economy and the global economy have expanded dramatically in the past century, as have life expectancies and material progress. Economists raised in this period of plenty assume that growth is good, necessary even, and should continue forever and ever without end, amen. Growth delivers jobs, returns on investment and higher tax revenues. What’s not to like? We’ve… → Read More

Richard Heinberg on Our Bonus Decade

If you’re someone who’s curious about the geopolitical implications of carbon fuel and the ecological havoc it wreaks, you’ve heard of Richard Heinberg. → Read More

The Big Picture

The Big Picture adds both a sense of urgency, and also a new set of priorities that are currently being neglected and should be communicated clearly. → Read More

Our Bonus Decade

It’s been ten years since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2008. Print, online, and broadcast news media have featured articles commemorating the crisis → Read More

When it comes to sustainability, we’re a society of distracted drivers

Rather than sharing the distractions now capturing the attention of other drivers, we must each retrain ourselves to pay attention to the instrument panel and the road ahead of us. Abandoning old habits and making new ones requires effort. But some habits are so unwise that changing them is a life-or-death affair. → Read More

What Will it Take to Avert Collapse?

The United Nations has asked the global climate science community to write a report providing feasible pathways to limit warming to 1.5 degrees. → Read More

Human Predators, Human Prey: Part 3

Perhaps seeing the class and power dynamics of society through the lens of predation can highlight the machinery of inequality and exploitation... → Read More

Human Predators, Human Prey: Part 2

Predator-prey relationships shape the flow of energy through ecosystems. But what happens in a human social “ecosystem” when energy flows increase? → Read More