Tuesday, 24 May 2011

UK govt to prepare Oil Shock Response Plan

Not sure if this is 'better late than never' or 'closing the stable door after the horse has bolted'... Anyway, it is at least promising that the UK govt has finally admitted that peak oil is something that it needs to respond to:

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday agreed to develop an 'Oil Shock Response Plan', following a meeting with the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security (ITPOES).

The group, which was formed by Arup, B&Q, Buro Happold, Solarcentury, SSE, Stagecoach and Virgin, and campaigns for greater awareness of the economic threat presented by dwindling oil supplies, said that the meeting had proved "constructive" and had helped to advance the energy security dialogue.
Of course, what's needed is not just a plan, but for it to be put into action immediately. Perhaps the government didn't notice that we've already had the third oil shock, with prices peaking in 2008, and we've actually having a fourth one already with prices spiking close to the same levels a few weeks ago.

The spike in 2008 contributed to causing the financial crash by pushing up prices of daily necessities to the point that sub-prime mortgage holders had to default (though that day would have come at some point anyway), but that arrived at the end of a period of strong economic growth. The current price spike arrives as the UK barely scrapes out of recession and during a period of government spending cuts and rising taxes, so I dread to think what the outcome will be.

Let's hope the UK government will make this a matter of urgency, but at the same time this is too important to be left to government. It's up to each individual and family to recognise that there's a different future ahead, where energy is much more expensive and in short supply, economic growth is a distant memory and bank collapses are the norm. Preparations need to be made. It's time to become less materialistic and get our enjoyment of life from the things that have been around since before we had oil: family, friends, good food, beer and live music. Sure, there will need to be some drastic changes too, not all of them easy, but the later we leave the smaller the chance of us holding on to the things that make life worthwhile.


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