how ready are we for peak oil?
Attempts are being made around the world to increase energy supply from renewables. For example, Denmark now gets 20% of its electricity from wind. The UK government has taken the controversial decision to expand nuclear power. (why nuclear is not the answer…) But we are highly unlikely to be able to increase the supply of renewables or nuclear enough in time to counter the chaos that peak oil is bound to produce.
The oil companies are trying to promote a business as usual approach. They’re busy trying to find new ways to produce oil – from crops, from coal, from the Canadian tar sands. None of these make any sense in terms of energy input to output, scale of possible production or cost of production. They will not keep the world’s cars on the roads. And all of them would compound the environmental disaster we are creating.
More of the same is not an option. We need to change our underlying economic model which is based on cheap oil and globalisation. It is extremely hard for people to comprehend the fact that the end of cheap oil will almost certainly mean chaos. Or that we have to fundamentally change the way our society functions – away from limitless consumption towards sustainability and living within the earth’s natural limits. Luckily enough these are also the solutions to climate change which is coming up fast on the rails behind peak oil.