In 1956, geophysicist and Shell Oil researcher Marion King Hubbert forecast that American oil production would peak surprisingly soon and decline steadily thereafter. Hubbert's prediction outraged the architects of the US oil industry at the time but it was largely correct. Amid a twenty-first century shale boom, Hubbert's logic remains a source of debate.
Richly researched, The Oracle of Oil rescues the history of a man who shocked the scientific community with his brilliance, eccentricity and controversy. Mason Inman shows Hubbert was a man of his era: a time of great intellectual ferment and discovery tinged by dark undercurrents of intellectual witch hunts. A portrait of a man whose prescient ideas about sustainability still resonate today, The Oracle of Oil looks to the past to find a guiding philosophy for our energy future.
Mason Inman is an award-winning journalist who focuses on energy and climate issues. He has written for National Geographic News, Science, Nature, and The Economist, and has reported from Bangladesh and Pakistan. He lives in Oakland, California.