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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

UK Govt Takes Peak Oil Threat Seriously, but NZ Govt Deep in Denial

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The UK's Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has ordered his officials to look at the impact of a 1970s-style oil price spike on the British economy. Mr Huhne warned that a  1970s-style doubling in the price of oil would drain £45billion from the UK economy in two years, hitting investment and jobs. 

Meanwhile our Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee and the NZ government are deep in denial about peak oil and resulting higher oil prices.
Mr. Brownlee still believes that peak oil is about "running out of oil"   Anyone with even a  basic understanding of peak oil knows that it's actually about oil production, about supply not being able to meet demand -- forcing up prices, possibly causing oil shortages -- all with severe impacts on New Zealand's economy and our way of life.

Which is exactly why Mr. Huhne  has ....
“ asked for some work to be done in the department about what the impact of that might be in terms of British business, businesses that have nothing to do with energy.  The corner shop is affected if we have an oil price shock because the economy is hit very seriously.” 

The UK government has come under pressure from Lloyds of London, Oxford University, UK Energy Institute, UK Energy Task Force - including Sir Richard Branson, and a 200 page report on global oil depletion from the prestigious UK Energy Research Centre - to name just a few.  There has been a concerted push in the UK to force the UK government to get advice and come up with a strategy to at least attempt to mitigate the effects of the next oil shock. 

Why is it that here in New Zealand no similar ground swell of pressure on the Key government from industry, businesses, economists and energy think tanks has occurred?  And where was our media?  None of these UK reports were reported on, or analysed by our mainstream media.

It seems like New Zealand is in this comfortable bubble of complacency and denial, believing that somehow we are immune from the next oil shock. This has to change - and fast.  The UK reports and many others all point to peak oil impacting sometime between 2011 - 2015.


valerie said...

Unfortunately it has nothing to do with the UK dominant coalition partner's (conservative) stand ... Lib Dem coalition bargaining has allowed this investigation.. it wont go anywhere though!! And it did not make major media headlines here in UK... Bubble is just bigger here in UK and they mine otherpeoples lands.. the whole place is NIMBY.. cant blame them though, when like rats we get crowded out we guard our own patch dont we...Hope you are not a UK EX pat!!

Denis Tegg said...

thanks Valerie. You may well be right about it not going anywhere but at least a Cabinet Minister in the UK had the courage to speak publicly. In NZ us plebs cannot be entrusted with this information, so there is this cone of silence from politicians and the media.

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