Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis

by Albert A. Bartlett

University of Colorado at Boulder


Negative Population Growth is indeed privileged to be able to reprint "Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis" on the 20th anniversary of its first publication in the American Journal of Physics in September of 1978.  Since then, it has been reprinted in full or abridged in over 30 different publications or proceedings, including  translation into Spanish for publication in Mexico.  The special importance of this article as a resource for educators is reflected in its use in several introductory physics textbooks, in the "Physics Teachers' CD-ROM Toolkit" published by the University of Nebraska, and in the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization's journal New Trends in Physics Teaching. 

Section I: 
Dr. Bartlett's comments on the 20th Anniversary of "Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis" 
Section II:  "Forgotten Fundamentals of the Energy Crisis" 
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Background
Part 3: The Powers of Two
Part 4:  Exponential Growth in a Finite Environment
Part 5:  Length of Life of a Finite Resource When the Rate of Consumption Is Growing Exponentially 
Section III:  Part 6: How Long will our Fossil Fuels Last?
Part 7:  What Do the Experts Say? 
Part 8:  A Word of Caution
Section IV: Part 9:  What do we do now?
  Part 10:  Conclusion
Part 11:  A Postscript for Science Teachers
Section V: Notes and Appendix
List of Reprintings
About the Author
Section VI: Links to High-Resolution Graphics for reprinting

Download a PDF version here