Such fallacious reporting is nothing new—the United States government happily overestimated oil reserves in the 1950s and 1960s until peak oil hit the lower 48. David Rutledge, professor of engineering and applied sciences at the California Institute of Technology, claims the same mistakes are being repeated with coal.
His results, reported in a panel discussion at this year’s American Geophysical Union meeting, state the world only has 662 billion tons of coal, including reserves already exploited. The estimate is well short of the 1,027 billion tons remaining in proven and projected reserves, according to the World Energy Council.
Leading to the possibility of imminent peak coal.