17 Apr 2010

Peak Oil: more evidence of the need to act

The Guardian reports that the US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact. This report comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel - we also saw Sir Richard Branson and other business leaders warn this year that we face an energy crunch in 5 years.

Pic: 'Peek' Oil from local artist Russ for this blog

This is an issue that I repeatedly have raised at the District Council - see for example recently here and here and in my presentation to Cabinet here - we need to reduce our fossil fuel consumption - tinkering is not enough - we need radical measures. There are many opportunities. If the Council borrowed money to put renewables (like solar power) on Council properties, we could pay back the loan with money saved from fuel costs. Then within say eight to ten years the Council would be making money. Such moves make economic and environmental sense, we just need the political will to make it happen.

Stroud District Council is more aware than most and 'Peak Oil' is now entered the language of reports - but we still need to do much more....

Another interesting story was that it took a 22 year old student to uncover fraud around peak oil. The Ecologist covered the story here - they note how Lionel Badal was working on his undergraduate dissertation when he suddenly found himself privy to information that he knew must be made public. The body on which the UK and others rely heavily to make that assessment is the International Energy Agency (IEA)- their reports have been reiterating the conclusion that peak oil was not a problem. Behind the scenes however, it is now clear that senior staff thought otherwise. How can they play at such games when so much is at stake?

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

Speculation that government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about "peak oil". The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is also refusing to hand over policy documents about "peak oil" – the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines – under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, despite releasing others in which it admits "secrecy around the topic is probably not good".

Observer 22nd Aug 2010