Ugo Bardi's Blog

Professor of Chemistry, Analyst

Ugo Bardi teaches physical chemistry at the University of Florence in Italy. His scientific interests are mainly in socioeconomical models of resource management, with a special view on fossil fuel depletion and on the development of renewable energy. He is member of the editorial board of "The Oil Drum," a web site dedicated to energy resources; he is member of the scientific committee of ASPO (association for the study of peak oil), president of the Italian section of ASPO, member of the scientific committee of the "Climalteranti" group, an association of Italian climatologists. He has published two books on oil depletion (in Italian) and he is completing the forthcoming book The Limits to Growth Revisited, which will be published by Springer. He is also interested in the connection of modern science with the classical world and has published one book on the ancient myth of the Etruscan Chimera (in Italian) as well as articles on the decline of the Roman Empire. Ugo Bardi is an Italian citizen, born in Florence in 1952. He is married with Grazia and they have two children (rather grown ups by now). They live on the hills of Fiesole, near Florence.

Abiotic Oil: Science or Politics?

For the past century or so, the biological origin of oil seemed to be the accepted norm. However, there remained a small group of critics who pushed the idea that, instead, oil is generated from inorganic matter within the earth's mantle. The question might have remained within the limits of a specialized debate among geologists, as it has been until not long ago. However, the recent supply problems have pushed crude oil to the center stage of international news.

Peak Civilization

The Fall of the Roman Empire

A silver mask that had belonged to a Roman cavalryman of imperial times. It was found on the site of the battle of Teutoburg, fought in September 9 a.d. This year marks the 2000th anniversary of the battle that led to the annihilation of three Roman legions and changed forever the history of Europe. It was a tremendous shock for the Romans, who saw their mighty army destroyed by uncivilized barbarians. It was not yet the peak of the Roman Empire, but it was a first hint that something was deeply wrong with it.