The Great Burning

April 17, 2015

NOTE: Images in this archived article have been removed.

Part two of a four-part video series. Released in conjunction with Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels.

What will we do when the Great Burning comes to an end?

In this short video, Richard Heinberg explores why The Great Burning — the combustion of oil, coal, and natural gas — must come to an end during the next few decades. If the twentieth century was all about increasing our burn rate year after blazing year, the dominant trend of twenty-first century will be a gradual flame-out.
This video is the second in a four-part series by Richard Heinberg and Post Carbon Institute. (View Part 1 Here.)The themes covered in these videos are much more thoroughly explored in Heinberg’s latest book, Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels.
Special thanks to New Society Publishers for partnering with us on this fantastic series and to for granting image rights.


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Richard Heinberg

Richard is Senior Fellow of Post Carbon Institute, and is regarded as one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from our current reliance on fossil fuels. He is the author of fourteen books, including some of the seminal works on society’s current energy and environmental sustainability crisis. He has authored hundreds of essays and articles that have appeared in such journals as Nature and The Wall Street Journal; delivered hundreds of lectures on energy and climate issues to audiences on six continents; and has been quoted and interviewed countless times for print, television, and radio. His monthly MuseLetter has been in publication since 1992. Full bio at

Tags: energy limits, energy transition, Fossil Fuels