Post Carbon Institute

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Post Carbon Institute
Post Carbon Institute
Founded 2003 (2003)
Founder Julian Darley and Celine Rich
Key people
Asher Miller, Executive Director; Debbie Cook, Board President; Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow-in-Residence
Revenue (2015)
Expenses (2015) $793,798[1]

Post Carbon Institute (PCI) is a think tank which provides information and analysis on climate change, energy scarcity, and other issues related to sustainability and long term social resilience. Post Carbon's Fellows specialize in various fields related to the organization's mission, such as fossil fuels, renewable energy, food, water, and population. Post Carbon is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and is based in Santa Rosa, California, United States.

Activities and history[edit]

Post Carbon Institute largely publishes and promotes the work of its Fellows and allies. It maintains two major websites, for material from its staff and Fellows, and for material from allies. Since 2009 it has focused on: publishing articles, reports, and books; running issue-oriented promotional campaigns; and serving as a speakers' bureau for some of its Fellows.

Founding in 2003[edit]

Post Carbon Institute was founded by Julian Darley (President) and Celine Rich (Executive Director) in 2003. Although not explicitly recognized as a founder, Dave Room worked full-time as a volunteer for two years helping build the Institute from months of its inception into a funded organization. Dave was Julian's primary partner in the endeavor, working on all programs and cultivating the first major donor to the Institute. Its initial purpose was to implement programs to educate the public on issues surrounding global fossil fuel depletion (see peak oil, peak coal, peak gas) and climate change, as well as on possible responses to these challenges. A key tool for this was a film called "The End of Suburbia," which featured Richard Heinberg and James Kunstler among others. Post Carbon promoted the concept of "relocalization," a strategy to build community resilience based on the local production of food, energy, and goods, and the development of more localized governance, economy, and culture.[2]


Post Carbon Institute was one of the few organizations in this period actively promoting the concept of peak oil, along with groups such as the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, the International Forum on Globalization, and the Transition Towns movement, and websites such as and The Oil Drum. It ran the predominant online social network focused on community responses to peak oil and climate change, the Relocalization Network.


Asher Miller became Executive Director in 2009, and Post Carbon restructured to concentrate its program activities on research and publishing. It broadened its topical focus to include natural resource depletion, climate change, the limits to economic growth, overpopulation, food, and other issues — partly in response to the changed U.S. political landscape following the 2008 oil crisis, the subsequent 2008 economic crisis, and the election of President Barack Obama (see Post Carbon Institute Manifesto). Most of its earlier programs were consolidated or discontinued. It entered into partnerships with Transition US[8] and Energy, a clearinghouse website on issues surrounding global energy resource depletion. Its roster of Fellows and Advisors was significantly expanded to include notable figures such as Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, David Orr, and Majora Carter.


Since 2012, projects have focused on energy, economic growth, and community resilience.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Post Carbon Institute" (PDF). Foundation Center. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  2. ^ Vancouver Straight (2009-07-23). Hello local, goodbye global: Relocalization movement gains momentum
  3. ^ San Francisco Chronicle (2008-05-27). Supply-demand imbalance boosts oil prices
  4. ^ The Scotsman (2008/10/09). Scottish councils urged to get into peak oil practice
  5. ^ Toronto Star (2008-01-03). Is oil supply at its peak?
  6. ^ Boulder Daily Camera (2007-09-28). Lifestyle changes prepare locals for energy changes
  7. ^ Homer News (2008/08/13). Homer in good shape to tackle energy volatility, says expert
  8. ^ New York Times (2009/04/19). The End is Near! Yay!
  9. ^ Crawford Kilian, The End of Growth...and Then What?, The Tyee, 11 June 2012.
  10. ^ Susan Carpenter, Natural gas: study raises doubts on U.S. supply, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2011.
  11. ^ Jim Jubelirer, A Primer for the Post-Carbon World, GreenBiz, 10 December 2010.
  12. ^ Peter Moskowitz, Sapping the sweet spots: How long will US energy boom last?, Al Jazeera America, November 10, 2014.
  13. ^ Anne Mulkern, Is Calif.'s Monterey Shale a major oil resource or over-hyped?, EnergyWire, 5 December 2013.
  14. ^ InfrastructureUSA, Resilient Against What?, 21 October 2013.
  15. ^ Candice Bernd, Post Carbon Institute Calls on Environmentalists to Embrace Post-Growth Economics, Truthout, 9 October 2013.
  16. ^ Richard Heinberg, Was the Oil and Gas Industry Promoting Peak Oil to Make Maximum Profits?, AlterNet, 19 August 2013.
  17. ^ Tara Lohan, The Coming Crash: Our Addiction to Endless Growth on a Finite Planet, AlterNet, 27 March 2013.
  18. ^ Publishers Weekly, Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems, 4 February 2013.
  19. ^ Wendy Koch, Could fracking boom peter out sooner than DOE expects?, USA Today, 3 November 2013.
  20. ^ Alvin Lee, Shale Oil and Gas: The Contrarian View, Forbes, 6 May 2013.
  21. ^ Brita Belli, Owning Your Energy, The Environmental Magazine, September/October 2012.
  22. ^ Michael Shuman, 5 Ways to Make Your Dollars Make Sense, Yes! Magazine, 14 February 2013.
  23. ^ FinancialPress, Energy Bulletin has Moved to, 3 January 2013.