For this issue of The Fifth Estate we hand you over to Australian cartoonist Stuart McMillen, a Canberra-based science communicator who has spent over 12 months drawing his 120-page comic Peak Oil, which was released earlier this month.

Peak Oil tells the true story of renegade geologist M King Hubbert, who first described the concept of Peak Oil in 1956. In short, Hubbert’s Peak Oil concept states that world’s petroleum resources are limited by geological factors, and that the rate of extraction is destined to reach a maximum “peak” rate, and then forever decline.

McMillen’s comic portrays the controversy and suspense surrounding Hubbert’s 1956 announcement, which included Hubbert being called off the stage by his employers Shell Oil in the moments before he was scheduled to speak.

The comic explains the logic behind Hubbert’s theory, as well a whimsically questioning the implications for civilisation to be in an era of maximum petroleum availability.

It’s a powerful piece of work. Go to the site to see the full impact.

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