Nicole Foss

Nicole M. Foss is co-editor of The Automatic Earth, where she writes under the name Stoneleigh. 

She is very good at explaining the complex flow of resources and money that are playing out in 'peak-everything' times.

"Whilst energy is the key driver on the way up,
finance is the key driver on the way down
because it plays out so quickly
& I think over the next few years
finance is going to re-write the energy debate."

How I Prepared My Home 

for Peak Oil and Economic Uncertainty

Nicole Foss, senior editor of financial blog The Automatic Earth, where she writes as Stoneleigh, describes her personal preparation for peak oil and economic uncertainty.

Foss returns to North America in November 2011 for the International Conference on Sustainability, Transition and Culture Change: Vision, Action, Leadership organized by Local Future non-profit, and directed by Aaron Wissner.

Foss has delivered her Century of Challenges talk hundreds of times. 

A Century of Challenges 

- Peak Oil & Economic Crisis

1. The first 20-minutes of her talk regarding peak oil is available here:

2. To view her full talk, visit The Automatic Earth at:

3. To view a full Q&A session with Mrs. Foss, following her presentation, see here:

A Century of Challenges - Q and A

To learn more about Mrs. Foss, visit:

Foss is a biologist, an environmental attorney, an energy industry insider, and an expert in the economics of finance. Foss believes that resource limits (peak oil) and the collapse of global Ponzi finance are a "perfect storm" of converging phenomena that threaten to trigger wealth destruction, social discontent, and global conflict. The consequences for unprepared individuals and families could be dire.

In Foss's presentation "A Century of Challenges", she discusses the many converging factors that are contributing to the predicament we face today, and how individuals can build a "lifeboat" to cope with the difficult years ahead. She explains how our current financial system is an unsustainable credit bubble grounded in "Ponzi dynamics," or the logic of the pyramid scheme.

Foss argues that this crisis has developed in the context of the fossil fuel age, an age which will prove to be a relatively brief period of human history. She says that we have already seen oil reach a global production peak, and other fossil fuels are not far behind; and while there is still plenty of fossil fuel in the ground, production will fall, meaning that there will be less and less energy available to power the economy at prices afford to pay.

Foss continues that societies have gone through boom and bust cycles before, examples include: the Tulip Mania, the South Sea Bubble and the "Real" Great Depression of the 1870s; but most people in the Western world today will face this crisis without the knowledge or means to provide the basics of their own survival. The industrial system has nearly destroyed the individual capacity for self-reliance.

Foss argues that individuals and communities that take steps now to prepare stand a much better chance to thrive in a changing world.

Warwick University says of Foss's work, "[she] writes a finance blog with a difference; instead of saying how to make money, it tells ordinary people how to avoid losing it."

Foss travels extensively on speaking tours throughout North America, Europe and Australia

We Need Freedom of Action To Confront Peak Oil

In the third video in the series "Peak Oil and a Changing Climate" from The Nation and On The Earth productions, co-editor of The Automatic Earth, Nicole M. Foss, explains how energy relates to the economy and what our impending energy crisis will look like. Foss discusses the issues associated with peak oil in financial rather than environmental terms, because she finds that peak oil has much more to do with finance than it does with climate change.

Foss talks about what she calls a "false positive feedback loop," which involves optimism leading to "caution being thrown to the wind." When this happens, Foss believes that people become angry. Succumbing to fear and anger might lead to engagement in destructive behavior, which would make it harder for society to confront peak oil and climate change.

Reacting to former vice president Dick Cheney, who once said "the American way of life is not negotiable," Foss says, "That's true because reality is not going to negotiate with you."

For more videos in the series, visit

Peak Oil & Collapse Of The Economy - part 1

Jim Puplava interviews Nicole Foss

Foss and her writing partner have been chronicling and interpreting the on-going credit crunch as the most pressing aspect of our current multi-faceted predicament. 

The site integrates finance, energy, environment, psychology, population and real politik in order to explain why we find ourselves in a state of crisis and what can be done about it. 

Prior to the establishment of TAE, she was editor of The Oil Drum Canada, where she wrote on peak oil and finance.

Most recently, Foss ran the Agri-Energy Producers' Association of Ontario, where she focused on farm-based biogas projects and grid connections for renewable energy. 

While living in the UK she was a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where she specialized in nuclear safety in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union, and conducted research into electricity policy at the EU level.

Her academic qualifications include a BSc in biology from Carleton University in Canada (where she focused primarily on neuroscience and psychology), a post-graduate diploma in air and water pollution control, an LLM in international law in development from the University of Warwick in the UK. 

She was granted the University Medal for the top science graduate in 1988 and the law school prize for the top law school graduate in 1997.