Centre for World Environmental History

Past Events and Research Seminars

Rising fossil fuel consumption and global warming: a historical perspective

Thursday 26 April 16:00 until 17:30
Arts A 108
Speaker: Dr Simon Pirani (Oxford)


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 period since 1950 that is characterised by a “great acceleration” of human impacts on the natural world. The post-war boom, the 1970s oil price shocks, the acceleration of consumption growth in developing countries, and the failure to curb consumption since the discovery in the 1980s of the global warming effect, all played their part. An interpretation will be offered emphasising that fossil fuels are consumed by and through social, economic and technological systems.

All welcome

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By: Martin Wingfield
Last updated: Monday, 23 April 2018