Castle below rollercoaster by Stuart McMillen


A high angle view of geologist M. King Hubbert in a roller coaster car, looking down towards the Paro Taktsang monastery and Neuschwanstein Castle.

Castle below rollercoaster is a scene from Stuart McMillen’s comic Peak Oil (2015), about fossil fuel depletion. The comic follows American geologist M. King Hubbert (1903–1989), who studied the fossil fuel reserves of both the United States and the total Earth. Stuart’s comic underlines the continued relevance of Hubbert’s work today, on a planet of finite resources.

In this scene, Hubbert imagines himself atop a roller coaster slope representing the fossil fuels used by humanity to date. He uses this vantage point to imagine the “creations of beauty and majesty” that human beings have constructed. In this case, both Paro Taktsang and Neuschwanstein Castle were built in an era before the emergence of the fossil fuel powered construction industry. Later scenes in the comic show the super-sized sprawl brought about by the burning of fossil fuels in the 20th century.
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