Archive for the ‘Key Works & Thinkers’ Category

Embedded below is a series of youtube clips from a talk given by one of my favourite thinkers – Nate Hagens.  The talk was given @ the University of Wisconsin in April 2009.

I’ve said it before, but Hagens “gets it” better than almost everybody I’ve come across in my 3 or so years of pretty intense research on the various global threats in the 21st Century.  The reason that I think Hagens has so much to offer those of us who care about what’s really going on in the world, is due to the relevancy of his background & experience.  Having done his MBA in finance at the University of Chicago and then becoming a hedge-funder on Wall St., it was a significant change of direction for someone like Hagens to then go back to academia and study natural resources by pursuing a PhD in Ecological Economics.  Due to his understanding of finance, natural resources & human behaviour, I take what Hagens’ says as some of the most valuable commentary available on the net.

Check out the videos below to get a good big picture overview of the supply & demand side factors relevant in the Peak Oil/Limits to Growth debate.


On August 8th, 2010, long-time energy industry veteran and Peak Oil educator Matthew Simmons passed away.  Simmons was one of the first names I picked up on when I first learned about Peak Oil back in 2007.  After having watched the documentary “A Crude Awakening” which had several minutes of interview footage with Simmons, I realized that this guy knew his stuff.

The more I dug into Simmons’ work, the more I knew that this was someone worth paying attention to.  Surely, as many have pointed out, Simmons was outspoken on a lot of things, sometimes to the point of hyperbole, but this should not discredit the immense amount of valuable work & advocacy that Matt Simmons did to raise awareness of Peak Oil.  His book Twilight in the Desert remains a Peak Oil classic to this day.

Personally, I know that I will miss his leadership, even though I never met the man.  If there was one thing that Simmons did extremely well, it was that he was an honest student of energy-issues.  Unlike so many others, Matt Simmons studied the data carefully, and didn’t shy away from openly discussing the implications of that data.

The fact that Simmons, who probably had as good a grasp on the global energy industry as anybody, spoke out so vociferously about Peak Oil, and more recently the potential for ocean energy, is a great inspiration.

Additional Resources:

Financial Sense Newshour Tribute to Matt Simmons (link – tribute begins @ 17:50 mark):

From FSN Description:

“This week Jim Puplava will offer a special tribute to Matt Simmons, including clips from a number of Matt’s interviews on the Financial Sense Newshour. Jim will explain how Matt opened his eyes regarding the global threat of Peak Oil, and how it changed the way he looked at a world hooked on cheap fossil fuels. Matt’s explosive 2005 book, “Twilight in the Desert” debunked Saudi Arabia’s claims of vast untapped oil reserves. Matt Simmons’ contributions will continue to live on and hopefully will help awaken a sleeping world.”

The Ocean Energy Institute (link)

Papers, Speeches & Presentations by Matthew Simmons (link)

In terms of what Chris Martenson discusses, the concept of materials scarcity falls under his 3rd “E” – the environment. Regardless of what category you lump it into, materials scarcity is an absolutely crucial factor in understanding the complex constellation of tectonic forces impinging upon us today.

For that reason, I’m happy to share with you the following report done by the Materials Innovation Institute entitled “Material Scarcity – An M2i Study.”

Many astute commentators from academia, to the intelligence & security communities, to the finance & investment community, and many more, are studying the science & implications of material scarcity.

The really good analysts, really aren’t even analysts – they’re synthesizers, connectors, integrators. These are the Nate-Hagens’, the Chris Martenson’s, the Donna & Dennis Meadows’, the Charlie Hall’s and the George Mobus’, the Noah Raford’s, and the John Robb’s of the world. These guys & girls “get it.” They get a very important ecological principle, namely, “that you can’t do just one thing.” What I mean by this, is that these people and others like them, understand that complex problems cannot be understood by limiting the scope of ones lens. In order to understand this Mongolian Clusterfuck, a wide-angle lens & systemic perspective is required.

This report sheds light on a very important part of the complex problems we now face – namely, material scarcity.

This was one of my “wake the f*#$-up” videos.  In it, Albert Bartlett – Professor Emeritus of Physics at The University of Colorado @ Boulder, explains why he believes that “the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” This has become a very famous lecture over the years  – Professor Bartlett has given it over 1600 times since 1969.  Definitely worthy of your attention.

Additional Resources:


C-realm Podcast Interview – “Malthusian Memes

Excerpts from Albert Bartlett interview for the documentary “Blind Spot