How did it come to this? Unsustainable global fossil fuel use in historical perspective, 1950-2018
Simon Pirani, Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies
The global level of fossil fuel consumption continues to rise, despite ever-more-insistent claims that we are moving to a post-fossil-fuel era. The presentation will put this in historical perspective, focusing on the accelerated consumption growth from the mid-20th century onwards. The post-war boom, the 1970s oil price shocks and processes associated with economic globalisation all played their part. Policy failed on a grand historical scale: it did not curb consumption growth even after the global warming effect was discovered in the 1980s. An interpretation of this history will be suggested, emphasising that fossil fuels are consumed by and through social, economic and technological systems. The implications of this history for present day dilemmas will be considered
Simon Pirani is Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. He is author of Burning Up: a global history of fossil fuel consumption, to be published by Pluto Press in August 2018. Over the last 12 years he has published widely on energy in former Soviet countries. He was editor of Russian and CIS Gas Markets and Their Impact on Europe (Oxford University Press, 2009) and co-editor with James Henderson of The Russian Gas Matrix: how markets are driving change (Oxford University Press, 2014).
The seminar will take place in room C21, in the Pariser Building on Sackville Street- number 12 on the map here http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/maps/interactive-map/?id=9
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