Last updated on: 10/13/2008 | Author:

George Monbiot Biography

Visiting Professor of Planning at Oxford Brookes University
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Can Alternative Energy Effectively Replace Fossil Fuels?"

“[U]nless another source of energy [other than oil], just as cheap, with just as high a ratio of ‘energy return on energy invested’ (EROEI) is discovered or developed, there will be a gradual decline in our ability to generate the growth required to keep the debt-based financial system from collapsing…

The only question worth asking is what we intend to do about it. There might be a miracle cure. Photosynthetic energy, supercritical geothermal fluid drilling, cold fusion, hydrocatalytic hydrogen energy and various other hopeful monsters could each provide us with almost unlimited cheap energy. But we shouldn’t count on it. The technical, or even theoretical, barriers might prove insuperable. There are plenty of existing alternatives to oil, but none of them is cheap, and none offers a comparable EROEI.”

“Living with the Age of Entropy: Is a Life Without Fossil Fuel Possible?,” Guardian, Aug. 23, 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Visiting Professor, Oxford Brookes University (United Kingdom)
  • Columnist, Guardian
  • Author and Investigative Journalist
  • Honorary doctorate, University of St Andrews
  • Honorary doctorate, University of Essex
  • Recipient, United Nations Global 500 Award for outstanding environmental achievement, 1995
  • Recipient, Lloyds National Screenwriting Prize
  • Recipient, Sony Award for radio production
  • Recipient, Sir Peter Kent Award
  • Recipient, OneWorld National Press Award
  • Former radio producer, BBC World Service
  • Former radio producer, BBC Natural History Unit
  • Graduate, Brasenose College, Oxford University
  • Spent seven years as an investigative journalist in Indonesia, Brazil and East Africa
Quoted in:
  1. Should Hydrogen Be the Dominant Energy in the US?
  2. Will the Development of Biofuels, Such as Ethanol, Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
  3. Should Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Technology Be Developed?