Monday, September 12, 2005

'we're all fucked,' admits brown

Gordon Brown 'blames Opec on fuel costs'.

He elaborates; Denouncing Opec as a "cartel" which had failed to respond quickly enough to the rising demand for oil from China, Mr Brown made clear that he wanted to see action by the end of this month to increase supplies and relieve pressure on prices.

This isn't going to happen, for the simple reason that OPEC can't do it. Earlier this year Gharwar, the largest oilfield on earth, was announced to be in decline. Which almost certainly means the world is in permanent production decline.

No amount of chest-beating at OPEC countries can make them produce oil they don't have. Any urging them to do so is, in effect, done in the belief they can make oil out of thin air.

'Don't you know how much thin air they have in Saudi Arabia? Why aren't they making it into oil for us then, eh? Bastards!', Mr Brown commented later.

In a more in-depth piece in The Guardian there's a different emphasis on the story. Britain must use less oil, says Brown

The piece is interesting for the rare inclusion in the mainstream media of the words 'peak oil', albeit in conjunction with 'experts say it could trigger a global recession'.

Er, could?

All of the last five major recessions have been triggered by a hike in oil prices. Now imagine what happens if there's a price hike with no hope of it ever coming back down but instead inexorably increasing.

Is there anyone who can give a reason how this merely 'could' be the trigger for a recession?

Understating the severity of the situation gallops onward with the line about 'weaning the country off fossil fuels towards greener, renewable energy'.

The alternative fuel sources cannot deliver anything like the energy we get from fossil fuels. All credible opinion is clear that yes, we need to be getting off the fossil fuels and on to the renewables, but of far greater importance is reducing our demand as it simply cannot be met from any source.

These things never say 'weaning the country off fossil fuels towards less energy consumption'. But to even say we need to consume less oil when we have no replacement available is, in effect, to admit that.

For us to actually do it means consuming less of pretty much everything. It means the end of many things we take for granted. I'm not just talking disposable plastic cups, I'm talking stuff like universal health care and pensions. Our economy and our fossil fuel consumption are so closely linked that the end of cheap fossil fuels means reaching the inevitable end of economic growth.

Mr Brown hasn't mentioned any of that by name, but any implication that we can simply swap to non-fossil energy sources and carry on is utterly absurd. In a position as well informed as the Chancellor's, if he's saying we need to consume less oil then he's saying the age of cheap oil - and thereby the age of perpetual economic growth - is over.

The longer we keep up the charade that it means anything else, the less opportunity there is for any sort of gradual 'weaning off' and the more brutal and ugly the crunch will be.


Anonymous said...

In so many words? This insane position will of course continue as supplies deplete, as the chances of oil suppliers providing transparency is....well it just isn't going to happen. Expect regular supply problems from now on... time to buy a horse?

Anonymous said...

just as he does in the shower when it goes cool... he just turns up the hot water, as there is an unending supply in his perfect world senario... how well he was raised not to have ever had to do without... spoilt mofo...

i honestly cannot figure out if our leaders are that stupid (not believing peak oil) or that fearful of consequences of admitting it is upon us (peak oil)....

things that make u go hmmm... u-know?


merrick said...

Ron, I'm pretty darn sure they see it coming. They are very well informed, and the Bush administration is just a wing of the oil industry.

This explains the drive for all the new 'anti-terrorism' legislation. It's already illegal to blow people up, or to build the bombs or raise funds for it. We don't need new laws for that.

The new laws frame the crimes in incredibly harsh terms, and to me they appear to see a time of great civil unrest on the horizon...