“The Saudis have been lying about their oil reserves for a very long time.”

—Robert Hirsch, former oil executive and US government energy official

Peak oil “is the secret ticking time bomb under the global capitalist system”

—Bülent Gökay, International studies professor

“It’s not the size of the tank which matters, but the size of the tap.”

Dr. Jean-Marie Bourdaire, former director of both the International Energy Agency and the World Energy Council

“The Saudi Arabian liquor store is running out of bottles. Do we sober up, or do we find another liquor store, full of really crappy booze, to break into?”

Bill McKibben on the increasing use of tar sands and America’s addiction to oil

“Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”

—economist John Maynard Keynes

“The public will be furious with governments: why didn’t you tell us about this and what are you doing about it?”

—Robert Hirsch, former US energy official and oil executive, speaking about “peak oil”

“There is a crying need for a central repository of professional non-politicized data and information.”

ecologist and energy expert Charles Hall

“We live in a society of consumption where growth is the Santa Claus who will cure all future problems.”

—Jean Laherrere, former head of exploration techniques for French oil company Total

“We have only two modes—complacency and panic.”

—James R. Schlesinger, the first US energy secretary, in 1977, on the country’s approach to energy

“Total energy use in the US has most likely peaked.”

—David Murphy and Charles Hall of SUNY Syracuse


books I've read on failure & grace

The World Without Us
The Last Oil Shock: A Survival Guide to the Imminent Extinction of Petroleum Man
A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster
Hell and High Water: Global Warming--the Solution and the Politics--and What We Should Do
The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl
The Tipping Point
Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization
Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History, 1300-1850
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Mason's favorite books »