Leigh Ferrara

Leigh Ferrara is a freelance writer and researcher based in San Francisco.

Recent Articles

The Peak Shrink

Freaked out about the end of oil? There's a therapist for that.

In a small liberal town in Massachusetts' Berkshires, Kathy McMahon makes her living spicing up people's sex lives. But arguably her most prescient work is not as a couple's therapist; it's as an online advice columnist for people who are freaked out about the coming peak-oil crisis. More than three years ago, peak oil -- the idea that we have exceeded or are fast approaching the earth's maximum capacity for oil extraction -- rocked this middle-class, middle-aged clinical psychologist's mind-set. In May 2006, shortly after her peak oil "awakening," McMahon started Peak Oil Blues, a "Dear Abby"–like online column about waning fossils fuels, in part to deal with her own growing unease over the scarcity of oil. "My world was dramatically changed when I learned about peak oil," McMahon's introductory post reads. "The more I looked around, the more things I realized would go, like plastics or kiwi fruit." Although there is little disagreement that the oil supply is limited, a debate...