He grew up in England and graduate in physics and chemistry from Manchester University in 1967. That was followed by a trip to Canada, where he got a job as a computer programmer with an oil company, giving him an insight into the nature of exploration and production. But he retained his academic inclinations, and took a masters at the University of Toronto before returning to the oil industry as a financial analyst. After a subsequent trip to India, he became interested in solar energy, and returned to England to pursue research into the subject at Reading University. He became aware of Peak Oil from an article in SunWorld, and seeing its significance went on to organise a seminar at the university in 1995. Besides working in the solar energy industry, he has since dedicated himself to studying Peak Oil in depth and taking steps with government departments and at other meetings to raise awareness of it, publishing widely. He was one of the founder members of ASPO.
If society goes on as it is, without a dramatic change in how it sources its energy, then calculations show that the world will almost certainly hit its recoverable-resource oil limit fairly soon.