Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The petrol pump's running dry

Whilst Peak Oil is rapidly becoming mainstream with Joe public, amazingly the government seems to still be in denial. Malcolm Wicks, in response to questions put in the House of Commons Debate on Oil Prices, stated that "the huge increase in the price of a barrel of oil has caught the whole world by surprise and we are in, frankly, difficult and uncharted waters."

Whilst it is true we are in unchartered waters, the rise in price has been anticipated ever since Hubbert first came out with his theory on Peak Oil back in the 1950's. Unfortunately, our government has been basing their policies on forecasting of increase of oil prices to $70 - in 2020! So, no suggestion of reduced supplies there then. How is this possible? Oil is a finite resource, we are now in a position that what little remains out there is more difficult to get at and thus extraction will prove ever more expensive, not only in financial terms but also environmental costs. Thing is, Peak Oil is not a difficult concept to grasp. The tank is running dry, and as one clever bod put it, we are now trying to suck out the remaining dregs that have soaked into the pub carpet (a rather disgusting analogy, but oh so graphically pertinent). Market economics dictate that as a finite source dries up, so it's price will escalate. Mr Wicks and Mr Brown seem to be under the impression that "the solution is increased production". But of what? Certainly not oil.

Mr Wicks, have a look at peak, although you may experience delays. Spotted on their website by my mate Marm, is their new posting:

Welcome new visitors!

The site is responding slowly due to an influx of thousands of new visitors, so expect delays until our upgrades are in place.

Thanks for your patience.

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